A Definite Guide to Steampunk Fashion for Beginners

A Definite Guide to Steampunk Fashion for Beginners

What is Steampunk fashion?

Steampunk is the blend of science fiction elements into classic Victorian fashion. It’s about taking old-fashioned influences from the past, mixing them with elements from the Industrial Revolution including steam, gears and cogs and creating a new trend – one that looks as if it belongs in a science fiction setting.

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Steampunk fashion is essentially the merging of the Victorian Era with the Industrial Age. The classic Steampunk look focuses on the designer’s ability to combine Victorian and industrial ideas. Although this is a style of dress, this type of fashion isn’t only the classic black dress.

Steampunk fashion is also heavily influenced by alternative culture. Many times Steampunk fashion incorporates interesting, alternative styles that include a wide range of colors and styles. Steampunk fashion is a style that allows the wearer to either represent a story or focus on their creativity.

Steampunk fashion and clothing are often made to look like they would appear in a pre-Victorian-styled ‘romantic’ time. The Victorian era is the golden days of people’s imagination when fantasy, science, and mystery ruled.

But, what is it, and how it came to be?

The birth of Steampunk Fashion

The Victorian era was a period of enlightenment – a lot of inventions were made during that time. Steel, bicycle, telephone, electricity, moving pictures, and radio – you name it!

These machinations led further to what we know as the Industrial Revolution. Contraptions and scientific inventions changed people’s lives and even touched the very essence of art, literature, clothing, and film.

Thus, Steampunk culture was born. It originated as a movement with art and books, along with the works of many other authors, that featured sophisticated and sometimes very futuristic clothes and machines that people would be more comfortable wearing.

Steampunk followers add more elements to their clothes, such as brass or copper, and such, Steampunk fashion was born.

Contemporary Steampunk fashion Classic Steampunk fashion follows the Victorian era, embodying elements of machinery and steam. It was a time known for its opulence, strict social hierarchy, and finesse.

Steampunk fashion has been very popular for several years, especially with young people. However, with the popularity of Steampunk fashion, newer styles have come into fashion. What is Steampunk’s contemporary design?

It’s all about comfort

Comfort is the keyword when talking about contemporary Steampunk fashion. In most cases, more typical designs are replaced by practical, more comfortable alternatives.

Vivid colors

Steampunk fashion is mostly about earthy and metallic colors like brown,bronze, rust, copper, gold and metallic gray. Contemporary steampunk fashion includes shirts in vivid colors and prints; pants that cover the backside of the leg and can be worn under skirts or trousers; or, dresses with sheer layers and beaded detailing.

The eclecticism of various elements

Modern Steampunk may include elements that aren’t present in the original Victorian England rudiments. This usually poses a debate within Steampunk, however, many fans forego it as long the costume includes bits of old steampunk fashion, antique electrical gadgets, and other odd pieces of technology.

For example, we have the cowboy steampunk, mermaid steampunk, and chibi Lolita maid steampunk outfits.


Modern Steampunk has a unique sense of humor in fashion. The outfits are quirky and, more often than not, include some Victorian elements. Many are inspired by the past, usually either emphasizing the eccentric or the mechanic.

Steampunk in the media

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy fiction that arose from the convergence of the late twentieth century creative and technological evolution with the 19th century historical and industrial period.

It has inspired writers, artists, filmmakers, and fashion designers to use the subculture in their works. Notably, we have:


“The sciences, each straining in its direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but someday the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

― H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

“It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.”

― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make because they lead little by little to the truth.”

― Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth

“We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams.”

― H.G. Wells

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”

― Mary Shelly

Many of these sources are influenced by Steampunk aesthetics and its characteristic futuristic designs. Steampunk is often portrayed in the media as a futuristic, fashionable, cultural-technological fashion for a subset of urban youths with a strong interest in gadgets, mechanics, inventing, science fiction, alternative, and high-tech fashion.

How to get started in Steampunk Fashion

Steampunk is an exhibition of imaginative crafts, fashion, and music, combining the glamour of 19th-century machinery and 20th-century sci-fi fantasy. Looking to learn how to buy, make, or wear clothing inspired by steam-powered machinery? Here’s how.

Know your basic Steampunk elements

While there is no hard and fast rule on how to dress as a Steampunk character, there are a few elements you can focus on to incorporate the Steampunk style into your everyday life.

Bustle skirts. The cloth is trimmed and shaped in a full-length cut to accentuate the hips, with a low and open cut on the front.

Corsets. Victorian corsets are beautifully decorated with intricate embroidery, lace, and other embellishments. They make the waist smaller and accentuate the busts and the hips.

Pocket watches. A favorite staple of the Steampunk culture, pocket watch accessories are a treasured style of antique watches for Steampunk lovers. Buy here

Shoe wear. Steampunk shoe wear is more of boots, cogs, and dress slippers.

Stripes. Pinstripes are during the Victorian period signify the bold and daring. Fashion pinstripes suggest people who dare to question the social cues.


Lace. Lace and ruffles still add a touch of quirkiness to any Victorian-Steampunk ensemble. Add lace to your gloves or shirt to give it a classic touch.

Eyewear. A Steampunk cultured lover’s eyewear includes goggles, spectacles, and monocles. These eyeglasses, which come with leather patches, complete your look.

Mechanical gears and accessories. We’re referring to the gears, cogs, wheel parts, and rustic plates that can be worn anywhere on your body. Gears played a significant role in the Industrial Revolution.

Hats. What is Steampunk without a bowler hat or a top hat? Hats are worn in the high society of Victorian men and women. It’s better to get one with a touch of fabric, gears, or mechanical accessories to complete the look for Steampunk fans.


Vambrace. The birth of the Industrial Revolution is the epitome of metal. Vambraces are forearm guards worn around the elbow.

Leather. Leather is a key component of the Steampunk style. In any Victorian culture, it gives you an old and rustic look. Hats, vests, corsets, belts, pantaloons, and shoes can all be made out of leather.

Colors. Orange, copper, gold, and rust are all common steampunk colors. The industrialized coal look can also be achieved with black and metallic grey. Black, maroon, olive green, and yellow ochre are other colors that fit well in steampunk fashion.

Gadgets and gizmos

Gadgets and gizmos in Steampunk culture include mechanical automatons, dirigibles, clocks, contraptions that appear in early science fiction novels.


Where to shop for Steampunk clothes and accessories

Steampunk is still a niche market. Steampunk enthusiasts have expanded their designs to create some of the most wonderful costumes for events and parties. Where to look or buy for one?

DIY your closet

Look for clothing and accessories that you already have. See whether it fits into one of the elements of Steampunk and accessorize from there.

Thrift stores

We always like going to thrift stores and discover a range of costumes and clothing you can find in the past – preferably, the Victorian age of fashion. You can get as little as $0.50 or less.

Online novelty shops

One of the most popular shopping destinations for Steampunk and vintage fans is online novelty shops. You can buy steampunk shoes, goggles, and of course, t-shirts and tank tops.

Customization stores and shops

You can find and customize a variety of Steampunk accessories to set off your Steampunk outfits. Trying to search for one online or on social media today!

How to budget for DIY steampunk fashion style So, the crazy ramp-up to the uber-coolness of Steampunk fashion has finally started, you’re totally stoked and totally happy about it. In this post, we are showing you how to buy DIY Steampunk accessories that you can use to create a Steampunk fashion style from cheap and easy DIY materials.

Start by finding the Steampunk style that fits your age, personality, and wants. Once you found the style that matches your style, then start gathering DIY Steampunk accessories that you can create yourself with the things you have in your kitchen, office, and garage.

That’s a great start. But, can you afford all these outfits? Where will you get all these materials?

After several years of learning about costuming, we think it’s time to start sharing some of the things that help us keep costs down, from the start of planning to the end.

Don’t get stuck at the costume shop. Try to plan a lot of your costumes at home, or start by building a costume based on a great style or design you see on someone else.

Think local. It’s easy to spend big bucks if you have to buy all your materials from far away.

There are always ways to make the most of cheap, usable materials. For example, if you’re making a vambrace, you can use cans or cardboard to get the desired look you need. If you’re thinking about clothing, go through the second-hand stores to find the perfect accessories to round out my costumes, such as an old jacket or hat.


But how much is a cool, new, and fashionable costume worth? Would you spend hundreds of dollars on a high-quality costume that will look good on you? Would you spend hours and hours on a painstakingly crafted costume that you know isn’t going to look good in pictures?

How to plan your Steampunk Costume?

So many people try to make Steampunk costumes without a good plan. They end up with holes and don’t know how to fix them.

Step 1: Decide what Steampunk look you’re aiming for. What look do you want your costume to have? Do you want to be a specific character from a specific film? Is that your costume? Is it your attire? Then do that. That’s your Steampunk costume.

Step 2: Do research on costumes you can purchase or build. Do a Google search for Steampunk costumes and look through the sites or images that come up. Sometimes a company will have a video or even an online gallery, where you can see real costumes that are examples of Steampunk style. But the good thing about that is it will give you an idea of what other people have built. That way you can get ideas and designs and look at other images. Also, you can look at steampunk stores and find other authentic images.

Step 3: Pick out a costume or outfit that’s in that style. Do a Google search for Steampunk outfits. That way you can get ideas or images of outfits that you can get inspired by. But just because you do that doesn’t mean you have to buy it. But this step is to get an idea of what you want your costume to look like.

Step 4: Find out where you can buy a Steampunk costume or item or build it yourself. If you buy a costume or an item that’s in the style then you can find a lot of different images or websites that you can buy the items or find a seller that’s selling the items. If you build a costume or item it’s going to be different but just like buying a costume or item, it’s going to give you an idea of what it looks like. And that’s also why sometimes it’s better to build a costume than buy it because you’re not worried about getting ripped off or having something stolen or broken or lost.

Tips to Steampunk Fashion for beginners

Steampunk fashion can be hard to define, but is intriguing and inviting nonetheless. Most Steampunk fashion can be simplified for beginners. Steampunk clothing designs tend to be long and complex.

For beginners, though, things can be shortened and simplified even further by picking out a few key pieces. When searching for Steampunk clothing, the most important factor to consider is cost. With a little creativity, many Steampunk clothing designs can be made for very cheap.

Find inspiration in books and media

Some of the newest styles of Steampunk fashion are heavily influenced by both the modern clothing industry and popular movies. This means that Steampunk fashion is influenced by more than just antique timepieces.

In addition to traditional Steampunk fashion styles, there is now a whole range of new styles that are based on science fiction films. Many of these films are slightly outdated in their time, but have since been popularized and have become quite popular. Steampunk fashion is similar to the clothing of the late Victorian era but is now updated with new styles and designs.

Join a convention

Steampunk is popular with science fiction and fantasy fans, but the real popularity of this subculture goes beyond its fans. This subculture is being taken very seriously, with conventions and festivals being held all around the world.

However, if you want to experiment with the theme at a convention, we recommend going to a steampunk convention in a neighboring area of your home region. This way you can just walk around and look around. It’ll help you form your first impressions and see some things that might work for you.

So, we recommend you have early exposure to the theme. Talk to people that you see at the conventions. Ask them about it and get your take on it.

Network with steampunk lovers online or join a cosplay group

You can join a Steampunk group. You can make friends with people online. You can go to conventions.

If you’re just starting, a lot of people are very excited about the idea of dressing in the genre and they’ll be happy to give ideas. Then you get an idea for the costume you want to build. So joining a group of people is important.

Final Words

There’s a fine line between creative genius and crazy. Especially when you’re talking about a Steampunk fashion-inspired dress. But, be a bit of both. First of all, Steampunk features very interesting, stylish, and flamboyant designs of various pieces of fashion and accessories that look super cool.

And since it’s so flamboyant and colorful, it makes it extremely popular with people who are fond of dressing up in chic and stylish clothes.

Secondly, Steampunk is now trending to become the next big fashion trend. Many people are already following it. You don’t want to be left out when it comes to the Steampunk trend. You are now more ready to make your fashion bold and unique. But, you need to prepare yourself to do it right.

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