Basics Of Steampunk: Dressing the Part

You heard the word “steampunk” and you thought “what on earth?”

So you looked it up, and immediately, the internet bombarded you with images of Victorian era gentlemen with Buck Rogers-esque weaponry…. Ladies with industrial corsets and brass flight goggles… gears, and brass sprockets, and top hats, and you wanted more. Here are some basics to get you started on the path to that world where an insult is still answered with a duel.

Clothing: Begin with something Victorian. You don’t need to go out and actually purchase original Victorian-era clothing, you can get all sorts of reproductions, and patterns to reproduce online. The internet is a wonderful thing!
Some websites worth checking out for their historical reproductions:

  • The Gentleman’s Emporium
  • Reconstructing History

Accessories are key! You can tell a lot about how much someone cares about their new look by whether or not they change their eyeglasses and their wrist watch! Get yourself some round frames, and a pocket watch. How about a walking stick or cane? Something with brass end caps perhaps? (empty bullet casings make excellent end caps!), you could even grab yourself some punk sunglasses! You’ll need flight goggles for your next airship ride… you should look into getting a pair. Something in leather and brass will carry you far!

Ladies should consider a hand fan, and perhaps a parasol. Both can be matched to your clothing, as well as ‘steampunked’ with brass filigreed trim or leather wrapped handles. Not looking to be particularly lady-like? Consider gentlemen’s clothing, or trousers, matched with a tight-fitting bodice and leather corset.

You may need a gun belt slung on your hips, to holster your own innovative weaponry. Steampunk Lab has numerous photos of different sorts of handguns, all dreamed up by steampunk aficionados.

Footwear can be industrial and heavy, or Victorian, or a combination of the two. Buckles and belting only add to the look, so don’t fear them!

Don’t feel like looking like a dandy? No problem. All airships need crews. Dream up your ship, gather your ‘crew’ and consider your uniform options! Watch “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and see what they were wearing on the Nautilus.

Steampunk is everywhere… it is a subculture that embodies the ideas of romance and violence in one. What lady doesn’t want a gentleman defending her? Well, besides the obvious one who has her own weapons. It’s the thought that counts!

There are no real rules… dream big!