What Is Steampunk Style?

by Mallory Whitfield on January 5, 2009


awesome clockwork corset and clockwork bra, image credit: By The Sword, Inc

We’ve become a little obsessed lately with all things related to steampunk fashion around my house. Suddenly my boyfriend is really into the whole thing – he even dragged me to Joann’s Fabric over the weekend to find patterns and fabrics for a vest so he can start making his own steampunk clothing! But what is steampunk style?? Let me explain:

Steampunk Costumes

For those not familiar, steampunk is a genre which blends together elements of science fiction, fantasy and history – it usually pulls visual cues from the Victorian period, post-apocalyptic, as well as the Wild West era. Different people interpret it in many ways, but when I first learned about it… well, I guess you could say it was like finding there was an actual name for something I’d liked all along!

Even in high school, I remember loving themes of Victorian-era garb, but I usually preferred to see it interpreted in a more modern way, rather than as a straight out of Victorian England costume. I loved seeing fancy Victorian style boots mixed with a little leather and lace. Who would have thought so many other people do too??

Steampunk Boba Fett

It’s become more mainstream in recent years, and when we went to Dragon*Con we definitely saw a TON of steampunk inspiration, like this Steampunk Boba Fett!

Common visual costuming themes among Steampunk fans include Victorian style corsets, clockwork gears, aviator style goggles and helmets, gas masks… Like I said, these themes have a very broad interpretation, so you can go a little crazy with it!

As for David, between steampunk inspiration and his other costuming goals (hello, Star Wars costumes!), he’s become quite the sewer lately! He made the vest he’s wearing in the outfit below:

David's steampunk inspired outfit for Easter

He wore the vest he made along with his seersucker suit, fancy bowler hat, weird-o steampunk sunglasses, pipe and this 1920s replica Freemason pocket watch that I got him for Christmas.

If you’re in the New Orleans area and into the steampunk lifestyle, check out this group that some of my friends started: the Adventurers League of G.E.A.R.S. There are plenty of other groups around the world, where you can join in the fun too. Meetup.com offers information for a bunch of different local steampunk groups or checkout The Steampunk Empire to find a group near you!

Want more inspiration? Check out my other page on steampunk fashion for more pics and info, or look below to see more fun steampunk stuff!

Colonel James Fizziwig - The Consolidator Steampunk Disruptor

Colonel James Fizziwig – The Consolidator Steampunk Disruptor

Sexy Steampunk Ladies' Shoes

Sexy Steampunk Ladies’ Shoes

CyberSteam Gold Eyepatch with Orange Lens

CyberSteam Gold Eyepatch with Orange Lens

Want to learn more about Steampunk? Here are a few resources to get you started:

The Art of Steampunk: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement

The Art of Steampunk: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement

Metalwork Jewelry: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Inspired by Steampunk

Metalwork Jewelry: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Inspired by Steampunk

The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature

The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature

Steampunk Style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings

Steampunk Style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings

Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts

Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts

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