So, you’ve heard of steampunk, a style combining Victorian fashion with modern science fiction elements. And now you want to get in on this hip trend. Being a seemingly bizarre idea, it can be hard to know exactly where to start, but it is actually rather simple to achieve this one-of-a-kind look.
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The first step in dressing steampunk is deciding what type of character you want to be. There are a few basic archetypes and some of the most popular steampunk characters include an aviator, pirate, explorer, aristocrat, and mechanic. Once you have chosen a look to shoot for, think logically about what pieces would be needed to make the appearance work. True, steampunk does offer a fair amount of freedom, but let’s not get carried away. For example, if a pirate is your aim, a Victorian dress or a skirt may not be the most logical choice.
To aid in your selection, here’s a brief overview of the primary archetypes with their typical attire, though this is not a comprehensive list. As steampunk is often experimental and unique, these archetypes are often combined for an original look that is sure to stand out among the crowd. Steampunk archetypes are as follows:
- Aviator – flight helmet, leather gloves, shoulder boards, belt with side arm, military jacket, boots, insignia (be creative!), and goggles
- Explorer – pith helmet, khaki colored clothing, backpacking gear, compass, and goggles
- Aristocrat – high class style, rich colors and materials, elaborate decorations, fashionable hats, gloves, and parasols (for the women)
- Dandy (male) – Stylish and tailored formal wear such as a tux with tails, complimenting accessories (i.e. cane), hat, gloves
- Femme Fatale (female) – form fitting clothing (somewhat revealing), rich colors (often red or burgundy), rich materials (lace, silk, or velvet), feathers, granny boots
- Hunter/Fighter – Many options available here as long as you are equipped for the occasion. For example, a western hunter would have a rifle or a monster hunter would have arcane weapons. It is all about the weapons here.
Crypto Brown Tweed Steampunk Platform Boots:
- Mechanic/Scientist – dirty and every day work clothing, tool belt with tools, work gloves, goggles, and inventions (for the scientists)
- Adventurer- utilitarian clothing, khaki colors, shirt with rolled up sleeves, suspenders, rugged boots, belt, side arm, and compass
- Military – Distinct uniform (many choices), cap or helmet, tall boots, gloves, and medals
- Aviator/Sky Pirate – Options range from military look to more casual and individualized, goggles are a must!!
Once you have settled on your particular look, it is time to add the “punk” to steampunk! Though steampunk does have roots in history, don’t forget that it is also based in a science fiction genre. As fiction meets history, there is much freedom in creating a look, as historical accuracy is not necessary. In fact, the best steampunk style is anachronistic, meaning it mixes modern fashion with period elements. Some ways to do this is to use modern fabric for period clothing, shortening hemlines and necklines on historical garments to make them more revealing, and wearing tiny versions of period hats (a popular fad!).
Steampunk Flying Pilot Goggles:
Accessories also play a huge part in a steampunk look. One of the most popular accessories worn is goggles. They may look ridiculous, but these eye coverings help to create an innovative appearance. Weapons and gadgets are also common and it works well to carry a modern weapon with a period look or vice versa. Accessories are indeed the perfect finishing touch!
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