Introduction – what is steampunk fashion?

fashionable steampunk couple lady and a captain

Steampunk fashion is definitely a unique and appealing trend that is based on a mixture of the industrial revolution from the 1800s and Victorian Era. It usually comes with details based on post-apocalyptic, alternative reality and romantics from the literature popular in the 19th century. Steampunk fashion refers to the clothing, makeup, body transformations, jewelry, and even hairstyles. The next time you see an example of this trend you will probably recognize it.

How does Steampunk fashion for men look like?

mens steampunk fashion. a man with a steampunk costume and a gun.

Steampunk clothing for men is more popular these days than ever before. If you are planning to become a gentleman from this realm, you will need to know a few things. The first one is the character you want to represent. Are you a sky captain, an aristocrat who likes exploring the steam world or something else? Once you have the answer to this question, choosing the desirable clothing is much easier.

We must add that most pieces of clothing implemented into the steampunk fashion style are based on Victorian Era Plus principle.This means that they are a combination of classical clothing worn in this period of time, with the addition of science fiction and improbability. For instance, you can wear a hat that looks like it came from the 19th century, but with hidden compartments for your gadgets. The examples are countless.

Anyway, you will want to look like you were born or you live in the steampunk reality. To do so, you should start with goggles. They are more than just popular in movies and steampunk art and they are mandatory if your character is related to airplanes, fast vehicles or he simply loves gadgets. Always wear these goggles around your neck or on the top of the head. Monogoggles are popular as well. However, they are more popular among ‘’evil’’ characters.

The next main thing you will have to consider is the vest. It was almost mandatory in the Victorian era and almost all men wore it every single day. There are a lot of excellent steampunk vests out there. They may be oriented towards gadget or scientists, meaning they will have 4 or more pockets, or they can be elegant, suitable for aristocrats.

Now we will move on the shirts. They are made of cotton and they are bigger than you would normally wear. All of you who are planning to represent a mechanic or a worker from steampunk realm will need a shirt of this kind. Trousers are unique for this fashion style as well. They are high-waist models with black and white or brown colors, usually accompanied with stripes.

As you would expect, hats were popular in the 19th century, which suggests you should wear them if you like steampunk fashion. You can always wear a top hat. Pith helmets are desirable if you want to look different. Aviator helmets are purpose-made and they can help you look more like a character you want to mimic.

Coats are the next piece of clothing you are going to need. There are a few options to choose from. We all like tail coats and for most people, they are the best alternative. Inverness capes are the next best thing. You already saw them in the Sherlock Holmes movie. These coats are suitable if you want to look like an aristocrat from the mentioned era. If you are trying to look like a mechanic or a worker, you will need a coat that looks old and damaged. Yes, even if you are a sky captain you will need a coat like this.

Don’t forget about accessories. Goggles, as we have mentioned, telescopes and pocket watches are the best examples. Add chains and leather arm braces and possibilities are endless.

Also, read our buyers guide to steampunk sunglasses to help you choose the perfect steampunk sunglasses for your face shape.

About steampunk fashion for woman

steampunk fashion for women example

If you want to know how steampunk fashion for women looks like, you will need some time. It is an elegant and desirable blend of different clothing that is stunning in the lack of a better word. Obviously, the first thing you will need to choose is a dress or a skirt. Dresses are basically ‘’borrowed’’ from the 19th century. They are massive, elegant and astonishing. Skirts, on the other hand, are a mixture of the two eras, the old one and futuristic. You can find narrow models that reveal a bit more or those that look like they were designed in the Victorian era.

A lady who likes steampunk fashion must know that a coat and a hat are mandatory. Coats come in traditional designs and they are always worn after a blouse. Blouses can be white, red, green or blue and they will come with big sleeves and narrow elements around the wrists. Coat should match your blouse in color or be an extension of it. Hats, on the other hand, are commonly chosen according to the class of a character you want to present. As such, we can see smaller hats for ladies or big ones with feathers and additional elements that were common among aristocrat ladies.

While a vest for men is a mandatory piece of clothing, it isn’t for women. You can choose to wear one if you want to mimic a character that is known for an adventurous lifestyle or the one that is familiar with the steampunk technology. Most of these vests are based on the Wild West, so you can expect pockets for your gun and ammo.

Steampunk shoes come in black, white and brown colors. Most of them are tall shoes that will be revealed only if you wear a skirt. Almost all dresses will hide the shoes so you don’t have to pay a massive attention to it.

Jewelry is an essential component of steampunk fashion for women. There are a few main elements here. The first one is the brooch. They come in vintage design and you can choose between countless options out there. A choker is the next best thing and can be paired with an elegant dress or a sexy skirt. Don’t forget about huge necklaces that are made of silver or even cloth. All pieces of jewelry look vintage and the design originates from the Victorian era.


Modern steampunk fashion

example of modern steampunk fashion

Nowadays steampunk fashion can be divided into two main categories. The first one consists of historical recreationists, meaning that the clothing, accessories, and jewelry are based on alternative but a possible reality where people still use steam engines. We can see that this category doesn’t involve the impossible or anything that is based on science fiction.

The second type of steampunk fashion consists of sci-fi cosplayers. It is for most of you a more interesting part of steampunk fashion. Here we can see elements borrowed from science fiction movies and books that were based on steampunk genre. The popularity began in 2006 when the first convention known as SalonCon was held. In the recent past, we were able to see countless conventions held in all parts of the world.

Modern steampunk fashion is different than the traditional one. It uses mostly leather and metal rather than cotton and materials that were popular in the 19th century. This makes is completely different and look like a blend of old and futuristic trends.

Some of the best-known fashion designers are known to use steampunk elements in their creations. The best example is John Galliano who presented clothing based on steampunk for Christian Dior back in 2010. A second designer is Jean Paul Gaultier. He has used corsets based on Steampunk fashion since 2011. An interesting fact is the effect of this trend on conventional fashion which has been noticed since 2015.

 Fashion products you can wear to work

elegant steampunk fashion for work

Steampunk fashion isn’t something you should wear only when joining a convention of this kind. It is actually something that can be worn to work, every single day. If you want to try this possibility, keep in mind that there are 3 different levels. The first level is modern clothing that comes with steampunk elements. For instance, we can see pants that are decorated with gears, bronze and brass items. This is usually considered as entry-level steampunk style.

Then we have the second level. In it, you can wear pieces of clothing that are actually steampunk fashion elements. The best example is a vest that is paired with 4 pockets and comes in brown color. Add a top hat and you can go to work wearing this every day. It is more than just possible and you will probably get more than just one compliment. In addition, wearing steampunk fashion shirts and shoes are possible as well.

The third level is when you wear a complete steampunk fashion set. It refers to the short, blouse, dress, shoes, jewelry and all the rest. This trend is more popular than you can imagine and it gains in popularity as we speak. The last thing we must add is the fact wearing this kind of clothing will make you elegant and different than all the rest.