How to Dress Steampunk
Steampunk, an up-and-coming, DIY-emphasized fashion and novel genre, combines Victorian styles with a bit of a punk flare. Eccentric inventor or lavender-scented aristocrat, tea-serving fortune teller or brass-laden airship pirate - the possibilities are practically endless.
Research! Get an idea for the aesthetic behind it all. Check out brassgoggles.co.uk and community.livejournal.com/steamfashion .
Buy or make a good pair of goggles. Goggles are the perfect focus point to any steamy outfit. You can buy a simple pair of motorcycle goggles and modify them.
Be creative! If you want, you can come up with a steampunk persona or three, or not. Even if you don't think you can draw, try sketching out outfit ideas.
Learn to sew. This isn't necessary, of course, but it really helps. Even just being able to change a button or let down a hem or take out a seam are really useful skills, especially when it comes to such a DIY oriented fashion.
Shop vintage! Visit nearby thrift stores. You can find great stuff this way, especially blouses, pants, skirts, hats....
Take a leather-working class! This way you'll be able to make a lot of cool accessories.
- Steampunk looks great on guys, too!
- Common steamy fabrics include leather, brocade, wool, cotton.
- Common steamy colours include browns, bronzes, dark golds, burnt ambers, dark purples, dark forest greens, and deep burgundies. Also, dark teals, creams and just colors that appear to be greyed, worn, or "rusted" in any way.
- Hang out with other s'punks! You can find information on meetup plans at the steampunk LJ community.
- Don't forget the "punk" in "steampunk"! It is always acceptable to have a classic punk edge, such as a torn skirt or pants, asymmetry, piercings, dyed hair, tattoos... in fact, these are very common and really bring the look together. Just as long as you have a balance of punk and Victoriana, you're good to go.
- Don't forget your hair! You can get great steampunk hairstyles by studying vintage photos of the fancy updos and bobs from the 1800s-1940s. Try doing some Google searches for things like steampunk hair style or Victorian hair photo to get inspiration.
- Do your homework! It can be fun and interesting to read books such as Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld or even watch the new steampunk queen Riese on YouTube (youtube.com/riesetheseries)
- Common steamy patterns include pinstripes,damask, delicate Victorian florals, argyle. But solids are more common than patterns.
- When you're making accessories, keep in mind: leather, brass, clocks, and gears. Don't overdo it though!
- In summer, the layers and often heavy fabrics of steampunk may cause you to overheat. Go easy on yourself and tone the outfit down - and always, steampunk or not, carry water with you and drink it!
- As always, exercise caution and take all necessary safety measures when working with sharp objects, power tools, etc.