Following from Monday’s steampunk post, I’m going to dive into real life for a moment and talk about Steampunk fashion as I might wear. Fair warning, this is quite a picture-heavy post. :D
The Typical Steampunk
Of course, we’ve got the goggles and cogs stereotype, but I’m going to focus on the dress sense of the fantasy genre. Yup, you know the kind – short dresses, leather and pistols in belts, and the sort that make me pull a face in that traditional aspect. And, uh, external corsets. Yeah, it’s quite a clever way of linking the Victorian aspects to the modern movability and the punk of women being able to breathe and move more easily, but it’s not the kind of style I’d personally associate with Steampunk. Why do we have to show everyone that we’re wearing a corset? (It’d be pretty obvious from our shape anyway). That’s like the Victorian version of wearing our underwear outside of our clothing! xD I’m no Superman, thank you!
But I’m not to judge on the typical Steampunk. It does suit those who wear it, especially when surrounded by others at conventions.
But I can’t afford conventions, and there aren’t so many in England that I’d go to, either.
The Neo-Victorian Way
As you may know, I love myself some NeoVictorian living. But I cannot, in a practical manner, wear my long black dress every day. And I only have one dress for the time-being. Yus, sirree, I’m waiting on another dress. A la When the Clock Broke’s Aidelle and Zara, I dress my modern outfits into Victorian themes, or I loosen the Victorian outfits into something less conspicuous on a daily basis.
Here’s one I ‘made earlier’ on a whim: simple black trousers (which I tend to wear anyway), with a blue, sequined/embossed short-sleeve shirt under a puffed white overshirt, sharing the Victorian’s love of layers. Do you think those colours match? I do. :D And don’t forget the tulip earrings. I bought those from Steampunk Etsy shop, London Particulars.
In Aidelle’s time in The Continent, woman are still in the floor-dress phase, forbidden from wearing trousers, but the hems have started to rise, as at the beginning of Earth’s 1910s, and, as such, Aidelle finds herself more comfortable in her first outfit, a bolero, a blouse and a knee-length pencil(-ish) skirt.
That’s elegant, but still a bit atypical.
Zara’s time, on the other hand, is fully into the stage of women’s rights and trouser-wearing. When she first appears, she’s dressed in long black trousers, something which, as a Physics’ student, she prefers for ease of work. I, too, share Zara’s wearing of trousers. It’s always good to have a flexible staple piece of clothing, and black is a colour that harks back to the mechanical elements.
With Steampunk, You Can Have Your Own Themes
With me, I always make sure that Lady Chronaire, my steamsona, is wearing metal flower earrings. This metallic theme extends beyond my accessories – have you looked at my belt(s)? The black base one exemplifies the hook-and-eye style Steampunk values – one might want to drizzle some metallic colours and button-rivets to hint of the age of steam and industry.
However, in my ‘casual steampunk’, I also delve to the poorer/simpler aspects of the genre. This picture shows an outfit I whipped up, inspired by the styles featured in the TV show Lark Rise to Candleford. This involves a high-waisted skirt over another short-sleeved blouse and, if possible, tights or bare legs. I used silk for the shirt to add an element of glimmer, a NeoVictorian version of steampunk iron. Of course, in history, the purple and green dyes would have been bought by only the higher classes, but these go well together for a more modern look. I’d play about with colours and see what you get.
Here’s a ‘selfie’ shot of the hair just after I did it.
Whilst my hair is naturally that curly, and I’ve simply tied it into a ponytail and then clipped it with a large butterfly clip, you with straight hair might want to add a few curls, especially around the fringe, since that’s what a lot of Victorian styles feature as base.
Glasses are optional. Personally, I feel more NeoVictorian with the confidence of contact lenses. Don’t forget you can also jazz the modern world up with a hat or two or bows! I love hats. Gloves, too, are optional, but sometimes necessary. Sadly, they are quite difficult to dance in, so one ought to rustle up more practice in that department.
As you can see here, in my casual NeoVictorian gear, I’m not against adding elements from other decades. For instance, in this picture, I took inspiration from the 80s with this vintage denim jacket (it belonged to my mother’s friend); the blue goes well with my blue blouse underneath and the tight shape gives the illusion of a corseted shape, and the silver buttons stand out if one hunts for the theme of metallic highlights.
I take so many brief webcam pictures of my outfits and accessories that I might parade them all across the blog. Haha, maybe not for your own sanity!
Hope you enjoyed that little peek into my everyday and steamy attire! I’m still in Dubai and, hopefully, enjoying myself whilst dressed in normal and smart attire.