The Different Types of Steampunk Costumes
Steampunk may seem a bit enigmatic to the average outsider what with all the old timey clothes, anachronistic technology, and clockwork and steam engines, but there is method to the madness. Being one of the most rapidly growing nerd subcultures the definition of what is and is not a “proper” steampunk costume is up for debate. Below we’ll look at the most iconic and broad categories of costumes in the steampunk world.
Modeled after 19th century workers with a fantastical twist the steampunk mechanic typically comes dressed in period accurate shirt, pants (girls might choose a skirt if they want), and boots, along with suspenders and a canvas cap. You’ll want to accessorize with a pair of goggles, possibly an industrial leather apron, and a large wrench. This outfit has the beauty of relative simplicity and is often chosen as a budget option for people who don’t want to or can’t spend a lot of money for a fancy suit or dress
Gentleman/Lady (old world)
This costume type is modeled fairly closely to the English Victorian elite. Ladies will be dressed in corsets and wide, elaborate dresses as well as a top hat or any of the variety of ladies’ hats that were popular at the time. To make it more steampunk they may choose to also include goggles, or accessorize with jewelry build from clockwork or gears.
Men will dress in a tailcoat, vest, extravagant necktie, and top hat. If possible it’s also advisable to grow a moustache, the more luxurious the better. Accessories can include canes, goggles, watch and fob, or any mechanical looking accoutrements that you can come up with.
American style steampunk formalwear is a little bit different than it’s European cousin in that it’s a little bit less formal. Ladies’ dresses are shorter and show a bit of leg, often being coupled with clunky looking boots. Occasionally they might also instead wear pants and a cowboy hat to reference the American frontier. They also are much less likely to be wearing extravagant hats and will often just go with a pair of goggles or nothing at all.
Gentlemen will generally go without the tailcoat and may have a somewhat anachronistic looking gun instead of a cane. They do still wear large top hats, watches, and delightful moustaches though. Another flavor of this style seems to incorporate bits of what’s generally considered to be pirate regalia such as swords, and daggers.
This genre of costume is reserved for the steampunk mechanical enthusiast. Often dressed in various bits of mechanical looking armor, goggles, and heavy boots, the real heart of this style rests in the accessories. Steampunk adventurers might wear steam powered rocket packs, elaborate mechanized weapons that occasionally replace limbs, and goggles with a gratuitous number of extraneous lenses and functions.