Wild West meets sci-fi meets Victorian England. What’s not to love about steampunk? For cosplay enthusiasts, steampunk offers the chance to blend beautiful period costumes with stunning technological pieces. Whether you’re a crafter looking for some DIY inspiration or a weekend warrior that’s never met a yard sale you didn’t love, we’ve got some great ideas for how to get started putting together a great ensemble. These looks will work at steampunk conventions, for Halloween or just for fun.
Goggles. If any piece of costuming is symbolic of steampunk, it is goggles. The most common choices have a leather strap that evokes a certain kind of Amelia Earhart vibe. Round Victorian Era driving or flying goggles are a popular accessory for steampunks. They can be worn alone or with other aviation-inspired accessories for a more complete look. If you can’t stand looking through lenses, goggles make a great addition to a hat and a creative way to hold your hair back.
Corsets. Corsets are an essential piece of clothing for women who embrace steampunk fashion. Steampunk corsets combine traditional feminine details such as lacing and boning with masculine metal detailing. Brown or black leather corsets with lace accents and heavy metal embellishments like pins, zippers, or buttons are a popular choice among steampunk women – and some steampunk men too! Corsets are one of the most flattering pieces of period costuming out there.
Waistcoats.Victorian Era waistcoats with unique detailing can be found in the closets of steampunks everywhere. Typically, these waistcoats are evocative of Sherlock Holmes, but usually with much more visual interest. Steampunk fashion combines traditional 19th -century waistcoats with military-inspired or ornate metal detailing such as pins, buttons, or thick watch chains.
Aviator hats and gear.If you want to put together the perfect steampunk ensemble, you need to find the right accessories. An old-style leather steampunk aviator hat is an absolute must. Other popular accessories include the quintessential steampunk goggles mentioned above and white silk aviator scarves. Are you picturing Amelia Earhart or the Red Baron yet? Good, that’s the look you’re going for! Complete your ensemble with a vintage leather bomber jacket with military-inspired detailing, and you’ll be ready for your first steampunk convention.
Clock gear jewelry.A true steampunk always carries a pocket watch or accessorizes with clock-inspired jewelry. Victorian Era pocket watches with thick, shiny chains are essential. Steampunk fashion also incorporates antique clock detailing such as gears or hands, usually fashioned in rich, warm metals such as aged gold, bronze or copper. Typically the clock accessories combine period fashion with stunning, modern detailing.
If you want to put together the perfect steampunk ensemble, there are a number of ways you can do it. The key is to combine traditional, Victorian Era elements such as corsets and waistcoats with unique, military-inspired or industrial-looking detailing. Think Sherlock Holmes or Amelia Earhart with a heavy metal twist. True steampunk style is about embracing the traditional appearance of a bygone Era, while incorporating stunning, modern-day elements. Whether you are attending a steampunk convention, looking for the perfect Halloween costume or you’re interested in changing up your whole wardrobe, these are five essential elements to the perfect steampunk ensemble.
About the Author: Jill Strong is a freelance writer covering fashion, DIY and home trends. When she’s not spending time with her family, you can find her organizing her steampunk aviator hat collection and hunting for steampunk costume accessories online.