If you’ve been following fashion trends in the past few years, you’ve likely noticed a 19th century influence in at least a few big-name fashion designers’ shows. Christian Dior’s spring 2010 runway show in Paris and the Prada fall-winter 2012 men’s fashion campaign both featured pieces that seemed to be taken straight from Victorian-era Britain.
(Picture Credit Left -Titanic Ballerina Pump-Alexander McQueen)
But the runway wasn’t the first area of fashion to incorporate this classical style. Steampunk fashion — influenced by steampunk science fiction literature — is a style that incorporates 19th through 20th century clothing, with an industrial and futuristic twist. It’s been a popular subculture for decades, but only recently has it been showing up in high fashion.
It’s easy to brush this aside as just a phase, but experts predict that steampunk will only become more popular. According to a 2013 study by IBM, steampunk fashion is expected to be the next big trend in retail within the next two years.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait for retailers to carry steampunk fashion before adding it to your wardrobe. Here’s a list of steampunk basics to get you started.
Do your research
Most people don’t spend their free time looking up historical fashion, but it helps to know a bit about Victorian-era fashion before starting your steampunk collection. Research fashion from that time period, as well as current steampunk looks to get an idea of where to start. This also helps you determine what styles you prefer and what you’ll want to avoid.
Start with one piece
Going out and buying whatever looks remotely steampunk causes you to end up with a mishmash of clothes that don’t coordinate. Start slowly by finding one item you love, like a military jacket, a pair of button boots or a full skirt, and building an outfit based on that. Eventually you’ll learn which items complement each other.
Don’t forget accessories
Similar to popular fashion, accessories complete a steampunk outfit. Goggles and top hats are a few common steampunk accessories, but necklaces, rings, bracelets, gloves and practically any other accessory that adds to your outfit can be used.
It’s all in the details
Steampunk wouldn’t be steampunk without all the little embellishments that give it that industrial vibe. The best place to find these is a hardware store or industrial supplier. Look for items like gears and cogs to sew onto your clothing or attach to accessories.
Metal fasteners — like washers — can be used like gears and cogs, and can replace buttons for a more industrial feel.
A steampunk outfit can be as simple as wearing a military jacket with jeans and boots. But if you’re ready to go all out, there are lots of ways to get in on the trend.
· Corsets are a staple of steampunk fashion, and can be worn many different ways — with a blouse and pants, a skirt, under a jacket or even channeling your inner Queen Victoria by donning a corseted gown.
· Pinstripe suits, Western-style pants and vests can be played up with canes, top hats, pocket watches and other accessories.
· If you’re the inventor-type, try making something that will enhance your outfit. For example, many people modify or create weapons that resemble steampunk machinery. It can be a detailed project or a simple modification — like transforming a Nerf gun into a futuristic blaster.
Make the outfit yours
The great thing about steampunk fashion is that you can interpret it in many ways, leaving plenty of room for creativity and individual style. This list can get you started, and hopefully will inspire you to branch out and include whatever pieces suit your unique steampunk wardrobe.
Guest Post By Carly
Carly is a professional nerd and video game collector. She loves all things fantastical, and one day hopes to start her own line of steampunk accessories. For now, she’s content to express her hobby by traveling to conventions and donning the latest steampunk attire.
Steampunk Heels From Hades, Metropolis on Amazon
Victorian Gothic Lolita Dress Long Tiered Layered Women Skirt EBAY $82
Victorian Gothic Lolita Dress Ball Gown Steampunk
$99 On Ebay Victorian Choice 2009
Anna-Kaci Women’s Crochet Fringe Poncho Shawl Wrap with Torn Look $20 On Amazon
Anna-Kaci Free Size Off-White Intricate Crochet Doily Design Thin Shawl $20 on Amazon
Anna-Kaci S/M Fit Brown Beige Long Sleeve Dress w Pleated Skirt Bottom $27 On Amazon
Anna-Kaci S/M Fit Off-White Floral Crochet Prairie Inspire Long Semi-Sheer Dress $44 On Amazon
Gamiss Women’s Elegant Slimming Office Lady Lace Ruffles Blouses $22 On Amazon
Anna-Kaci S/M Fit Black Regal Victorian Inspired High Neck Ruffle Front Blouse $26 Amazon
$99 $99 On Ebay Victorian Choice 2009
Jawbreaker Women’s Victorian Steampunk Shirt $59 On Amazon
Beautiful Victorian Coat – $156 On Amazon
Elan Women’s Chiffon Long Sleeve Top with Lace Detail $46 On Amazon
Old Victorian Nightgown, $39 On Amazon
Anna-Kaci S/M Fit Beige Wild Flower Petal Detail Dress$28 on Amazon
Anna-Kaci Women’s Flower Sequin Rope Detail Mini Dress $30 on Amazon
Anna-Kaci S/M Fit Seafoam Embroidery Detail Lace Ruffle Dress $47 on Amazon
Womens Sexy Knee High Steampunk Boots Footwear $59- $74 on Amazon
Striped Steampunk Corset with Waist Belt and Chain and Ring Detailing $75 on Amazon
Corset Super Store Women’s Steampunk Corset, Jacket, and Belt $107 On Amazon
Anatomy of Steampunk: The Fashion of Victorian Futurism Amazon From $19
Illustrated throughout with color photographs of the dazzling creations of numerous steampunk fashion designers, Anatomy of Steampunk is an inspirational sourcebook.
Calvin Klein Women’s Lace Maxi Skirt $129 on Amazon
Bohemian Mid Length Cotton Skirt $17 Amazon 9 COLORS
Steampunk Sterling Silver Cufflinks $99 On Amazon
Pensee Steampunk Watch Mechanism Cufflinks for Men with Gift Box $59 On Amazon
Iron Man Downey Sunglasses $4.00 on Amazon
Vintage Inspired Classic Retro Sunglasses Designer Steampunk $15 on Amazon