Being that Steampunk fashion is quickly catching on and becoming mainstream, finding something to wear should be pretty simple. There are a few favorite elements within the Steampunk world including top hats, goggles, corsets, pocket watches, gears, gauges, copper wiring and tubing, and other industrial things from the time period. Remember that Steampunk is all about incorporating Victorian high-technology into everyday life.
Steampunk may be a little more difficult for women than it is for men. While any type of elegant ballroom dress may work, many who desire to really delve into the world of cogs and gears will do so with an array of “common Steampunk elements”. These elements, for women specifically, include corsets, small or unique hats, copper accents, elegant Victorian style coats, leather straps, and lacy gloves to name a few. Women’s role in Steampunk is much more autonomous than in the historic Victorian time. Women are seen as strong and independent. They are free from the shackles of a male-dominated society, while still living in a male-dominated society. If you can imagine the type of woman that Amelia Earhart must have been to defy so many men and become an aviation legend, then you’re probably familiar with a type of character most Steampunk women prefer.
While not necessary in costuming, intricate weapons are common for both men and women. In this time period, there are many perils awaiting and a person is only as safe as they are able to defend themselves. There are many dangers awaiting the modern Steampunk woman such as rogue machinations, thieves, savages, members of an enemy faction, or even wild beasts. There are many new elements in the Steampunk world that have been known to corrupt man and beast alike, sometimes leading to zombie-like results. You can never be quite certain what you will encounter when traveling the Wild West. For this reason, you will notice that much of the Steampunk woman’s clothing is as beautiful as it is functional. Dresses and skirts may be hiked up a little higher in order to ensure easy mobility, should she need escape dancer. Leather cuffs, straps, belts, and other elements may be used to hold bits in place to improve mobility or protect certain organs. Chains or ties may be used to keep tools handy on your person. Throughout all this, a modern Steampunk woman will never want to forfeit any style. She will always keep her hair styled and have only the most most ornate flair available. All pieces, not matter their utility, will be highly decorated. In a perfect world, decoration and utility will become one.
Depending on her lifestyle, goals, or general character, a woman may choose from any array of possible clothing styles. The only real choice you have to make is which style fits your personality. Imagine yourself in the Wild West just trying to do what you do best. What is it that you’re doing? What is your goal? Make sure you dress appropriately!
Even though women are much more independent than you may have expected, the Steampunk world is still very male-dominated. While it’s not uncommon for a woman to be (gasp!) traveling by herself, or adventuring, it still somehow never ceases to catch the men off guard. They find it rather amusing and novel for women to be behaving in this manner. It’s almost as if the Steampunk man is still one in the same with the Victorian era man, while the Steampunk women has a new, refreshing independence. This is why men in the Steampunk world are still seen wearing common blazers, coats, pinstripes, vests, and pocket watches. Almost all Steampunk men’s attire will include dress slacks, a dress shirt, a coat, and a vest. Boots are incredibly popular, as they’re very hardy and useful. Some men (myself included) will shed the coat, in exchange for more mobility.
Because this is a wild and untamed time, you can never be certain what you will encounter. It’s always best to look good, while always being able to get out of tight situation. Hats of all types are common and it’s normal to see men incorporate some kind of steam-driven technology incorporated in their clothing. Gears can often be seen from parts of the exposed technology. Goggles are great for keeping sand and sun out of your eyes, but often have other uses as well. Sometimes they are used to detect dangerous gas or steam leaks, sometimes they assist in seeing in the dark, other times goggles are used to hide your line of sight. When walking down the street in a Steampunk town, you’re certain to see your fair share of goggles. In this ever-changing world, keeping time is paramount to success. You’ll see most men carrying a pocket watch of varying intricacies, sometimes other utilities as well.
Men, moreso than women, integrate the technology side into their persona. Sometimes the man has lost a body part in a war, or lost use of an eye and will incorporate all types of technology to render these failed organs new. Sometimes there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the body part, they just want stronger or more efficient use of it. Other times there is literally no reason for the technology other than, quite simply, that men love technology. Let your imagination wander as you develop your character, be the man you always dreamed of being but couldn’t because of… well… reality.
WEBSITES TO GET YOUR STEAMPUNK ATTIRE
These are some websites we were able to find that offered many different Steampunk pieces of clothing from full outfits to all the accessories. There are plenty of other shops out there. Etsy and Ebay and provide many more options as well. Have fun with it!