Steampunk Goggles – The definitive Guide
Steampunk Goggles are your typical go-to whenever you are feeling Steampunk. And that’s reasonable: these are beautiful accessories which fit essentially every sort of look you can think of. Even if they can’t really be worn in a formal setting (like watches or glasses), you can still give it a shot whenever you want to cosplay or party with your friends. Here’s everything you need to know about Steampunk Goggles:
⦁ What are Steampunk Goggles?
Goggles are close-fitting glasses with side shields that you can use to protect your eyes from anything that can harm them. These are frequently used by people with jobs related to heavy machinery or serious biohazards. Think of firefighters, scientists, construction workers, air pilots…All these cool jobs require you to be aware of the safety precautions.
And, guess what? Steampunk took this concept and gave it its very own twist. It’s very common for cosplayers to dress-up as character archetypes representing these jobs, or using the same clothing style.
Here’s where goggles take a huge role. Whether you are protecting yourself from abrasive flames, from the merciless cold wind or from corrosive clouds of gas, it’s obvious that you need, at least, an amazing pair of goggles.
Don’t be fooled, though: these are NOT glasses. Goggles look really incredible, yes, but they are also very thick and tend to be created of heavy materials.
They do not have the same wearability of glasses, even though you can wear prescription lenses with them. We recommend wearing them if you want to attend an event, a wedding, a party, or simply if you want to have another Steampunk photoshoot done.
Differently from glasses, also, goggles are not subtle at all; and this is one of the features about goggles that make them such an attractive item for the fans of this aesthetic.
⦁ Did People Wear Them in the Victorian Era?
As we mentioned in part 1, several jobs during the Victorian era were known to be a target for goggle makers. We can say that aviators and construction workers were probably the most popular occupations which required these accessories. However, this didn’t stop creative fans from giving this accessory a couple extra flavours many decades later. Here are a couple ways for you to wear your brand-new goggles:
⦁ Steampunk goggles and hat
⦁ Steampunk goggles and mask
⦁ Steampunk goggles beanie
⦁ Steampunk goggles cap
⦁ Steampunk goggles over glasses
⦁ Steampunk goggles on head
⦁ Steampunk cat goggles
⦁ Steampunk goggles for dogs
⦁ Steampunk goggles for baby
⦁ Steampunk goggles hair
⦁ Steampunk goggles with a monocle
⦁Steampunk goggles over just one eye
⦁ What kind of goggles can you wear?
Obviously, there are many types of goggles you can wear. The variety of colours, styles and decoration that you can find is big enough to fit all possible sub-aesthetics of the genre. Here we will show you a couple of pictures so you can choose (from left to right) what you like the most:
⦁ Steampunk goggles bicycle
⦁ Steampunk goggles brown leather
⦁ Steampunk one eye goggles
⦁ Steampunk flying goggles
⦁Steampunk dragon goggles
⦁Steampunk goggles masquerade
⦁Steampunk motorcycle goggles
⦁Steampunk hipster goggles
⦁ Steampunk welding goggles DIY
⦁ Steampunk goggles green lenses
⦁ Steampunk goggles gold
⦁ Steampunk goggles red lenses
⦁ Steampunk goggles gears
⦁ Steampunk goggles industrial
⦁ Steampunk goggles kaleidoscope
⦁ Steampunk oxy goggles
⦁ Oakley steampunk goggles
⦁ Oculus steampunk goggles
⦁ Steampunk goggles royal
⦁ Steampunk riding goggles
⦁ Steampunk round goggles
⦁ Steampunk goggles sunglasses
⦁ Steampunk goggles spirit Halloween
⦁ Steampunk goggles that fit over glasses
⦁ Steampunk Victorian goggles
⦁ Steampunk vintage goggles
⦁ Steampunk night vision goggles
⦁ Steampunk vented goggles
⦁ Steampunk aviator hat and goggles
⦁ Steampunk goggles octopus
⦁ Steampunk goggles lights
⦁ Unisex steampunk goggles
⦁ How can you customise your Steampunk Goggles?
There are many available options for you to customise your goggles in a way that agrees with your personality the better. Among the most popular choices, you have:
⦁ Extra lenses: this works amazingly if you are cosplaying a scientist archetype of a character or a science aficionado. The best part? You can add as many extra lenses to your goggles as you want, and they don’t even have to be functional. If you have a couple pieces of convex or concave glass to spare, don’t hesitate to add them to your goggles!
⦁ Cogs-and-gears: your typical Steampunk decoration comes back, but this time you can add them to your goggles! It’s pretty much the most common go-to when you want to have something extra in your Steampunk persona and you can’t quite make up your mind around it. These are found pretty much anywhere on the internet, and you can also order a bunch!
⦁ Flowers: if you want to give your goggles a touch of delicacy, this is one of the cutest ways to do it. Add flowers around the side shields, or even combine it with a matching flower crown, and you are done.
⦁ Clockwork: another classic of the Steampunk community. Any clockwork piece (as long as it’s not too heavy!) can be added to the side shields of the goggles or even the lenses themselves. You can also make or commission “fake” clockwork pieces to stick them to your pair. Trust us, this is a safe bet!
⦁ Can you make your own Steampunk Goggles? 5 tips for your Steampunk goggle DIY project
If you think that starting your own DIY project would be a fun way to spend your time, then you have come to the right place. Here, we will detail the main points that you have to consider before creating your very own and unique goggles.
⦁ MATERIALS (The most common options)
You will need some kind of safety goggles as your starting point; you can get them from any hardware store. And now that you know you have to go there, you will also need a couple of locknuts, coils, and springs for decoration.
As you know, Steampunk colours are quite dim, austere and auburn-looking. We suggest you get spray paint for your base coating, then a couple of bottles of acrylics, and finally a couple of brushes for the rest of your decoration. Try to get grey, gold and brown acrylic paint. You’ll also need a hot glue gun.
If you want to Steampunk your design, we also suggest you get a leather strap with a brass buckle from your local leather shop or thrift shop. Now you are ready to start making your Steampunk DIY goggles!
⦁ STEAMPUNK GOGGLE DESIGN
Choose the basic colour of your coating. Start applying your initial acrylic coat to your safety goggles. You will need to spray/paint between 3 to 4 coats before you get a solid cover. Once the paint coat has dried, you have to place your gear locknuts. Try gluing them in a way between the centre and the external frame of the goggles, as you don’t want the decoration to be way too close to your eyes. Also, try to fit all the circumference of the goggle, making it even.
Let them dry for 30 minutes and in a well ventilated space, outside is best. You have to be sure that these gears will stay in place after you’ve glued them.
⦁ STEAMPUNK TRINKETS
Now it’s time to place the coils and springs. You can locate as much as you want of them all around. You can also use the other sorts of decoration that we mentioned in section 4. Everything must be hot-glued to the safety goggles. If not done this way, the decoration is prone to fall.
⦁ SPRAY PAINT
Now it’s time for spray-painting! Probably the most fun part of the whole process. You can use it in two different ways:
⦁ You can paint all your gears before you place them into the safety goggle.
⦁ You can give an overall glimmer to your steampunk goggles decoration if you put a slight spray-paint coat over them. It is up to you!
⦁ STEAMPUNK STRAP
As you might have guessed, you have to glue it. Try to cover the plastic stripe of the safety goggles as much as you can; that way, you can make your goggles fit better into the aesthetic.
Aaaaaand we are done! You surely made a wonderful creation. However, if you didn’t start yet and are still looking for inspiration, don’t worry! Here are a couple Youtube tutorials of DIY goggles that will surely give you that artistic strike you are looking for:
⦁ Where can you buy Steampunk Goggles?
As with all Steampunk items, you will find different places to make your purchases. You will have to find the one that’s more comfortable and within-budget for you. Here are a few ideas of where you could buy your Steampunk goggles:
⦁ eBay: with the rise of online purchases, it’s impossible for us not to mention eBay. This webstore has a pretty good deal of prices for affordable goggles, and the price range that you can find is quite wide. You can buy cheap goggles and then decorate them later, or directly give yourself a treat and buy a slightly pricier pair for your collection.
⦁ Amazon: another big name that we recommend for your goggles. A particularity of Amazon is that you can also buy directly from the shop of the goggle maker (if you click the respective link). This will help you broaden your horizons and you will be giving an opportunity to small creators.
⦁ Local thrift store: even if it might be difficult to find a pair of pristine goggles, don’t feel discouraged: there’s surely at least a piece of a lens or a leather strap that you can wear. Maybe an old glasses’ frame that you can use for a DIY project. We encourage you to go to a thrift store, as sometimes you can find very interesting objects there. We promise!
⦁ What’s the difference between a goggle and a glasses?
We have already mentioned quite a few differences between a pair of goggles and a pair of glasses, but here we will fully dedicate this section to go into detail about it. Here is a list of the main differences, one by one:
⦁ You get them through a prescription; they are meant to aid your eyesight (except if they are sunglasses)
⦁ These are, in essence, medical products
⦁ You can decorate them, but it’s way less impressive if you compare them to the adaptability of the goggles
⦁ These are way more fragile than goggles
⦁ They are thick and enormous safety accessories that are required in many jobs
⦁ These protect your eyes; however, they do not enhance or correct your eyesight.
⦁ You can decorate them freely, as a Steampunk accessory.
⦁ Solid and less fragile than glasses
⦁ Who wears Steampunk Goggles?
There are many archetypical characters in the Steampunk genre, and they all come from different sorts of media (videogames, books, art, etc). We will show you a couple of pictures here, focusing on those that wear goggles:
⦁ Air pilots/Air crew member (The most popular choice!)
⦁ Mad scientists
⦁ Cosplayers wearing Steampunk Goggles
⦁ @Emilyunknown (⦁ https://www.instagram.com/emilyunknown/ Follow her on Instagram!)
This cosplay is beautiful. The bright red hair, the yellow fabric, the straps, the leather jacket: this is a really interesting survivor/aviator vibe that Emily is showing us. Please note that the briefcase and the binoculars she has might imply that her character is also an avid traveller. The goggles are quite simple, yet they add so much to the picture. In essence, this is an excellent work.
⦁ @irine_meier (https://www.instagram.com/irine_meier/?hl=es Follow her on Instagram!)
Irine decided to go for a classic. Whenever you think of “Steampunk lady” you are probably imagining a variation of this very own picture. The details are minimal, yet they are fundamental to the look. Her gloves, her necklace, her belt: everything fits exactly inside the auburn look of the Steampunk genre. Please note that her hair has quite a simple style (a messy bun), and that’s because it fits her ‘mechanic’ look.
⦁ @shannnwow_cosplay (https://www.instagram.com/shannnwow_cosplay/?hl=es Follow her on Instagram!)
Shanny decided to use the Classic steampunk version and gave it a goth look: it’s as easy as replacing everything that’s supposed to be brown, and tone it to black. Her corset and leathers give an extra spice to her look, and her goggles are exactly over her hat, which is one of the ways to use them. Note that her make-up, in this picture, is not excessive. It’s a stunning look that mixes two fashion styles in a very balanced manner.
⦁ Celebrities that wear goggles, some examples with pictures:
⦁ Sabrina Carpenter, who wore a Steampunk look during Halloween at a charity donation event, decided to go full-in with her golden goggles:
⦁ Rowan Blanchard also went with a more military-inspired look, but she added the goggles to the look, of course:
⦁ Even if he’s not with us anymore, nobody can forget Gene Wilder’s look in the comical piece of Young Frankenstein with the goggles, which, by the way, he wore with exceptional class:
⦁ Or Johnny Depp’s look in Sleepy Hollow, which we have mentioned many times before, because how couldn’t we?! It’s a perfect example of how Steampunk looks should look like. This movie had everything, and the Steampunk atmosphere made it even greater.
⦁ Where can you wear your Steampunk Goggles?
As we have been mentioning before, the best locations possible are Renaissance fairs, weddings, or any dress-up or cosplay event. There might be a Steampunk festival in your area, if you are lucky, even! But it’s not necessary to be that picky. Here we will show you a couple of pictures of events where you can see happy Steampunk fans showing off their amazing goggles:
⦁ Man wearing a military-inspired red and black goggles at the Blists Hill Steampunk Weekend Festival. His partner (presumably his wife) is wearing a red-tinted pair of glasses that are simply magnetizing:
⦁ Man wearing an inventor/engineer-inspired pair of goggles at the Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival in 2017. He seems very chill in his elegant leather vest:
⦁ Man at the Whitby Steampunk Weekend wearing a bizarre pair of flexible goggles. Take a closer look into his eyes, though, and you might find a surprise:
⦁ A lovely couple, also at Whitby’s Steampunk weekend, showing off their fantastic pairs of goggles (He looks so serious, and she looks so confident!):
⦁ How can you wear your Steampunk Goggles?
There’s definitely an infinite number of attires to choose from, as Steampunk goggles have a very broad versatility when it comes to clothes matching. There are many colours, outfits, material combinations and styles out there. We will show you just few examples for you to get inspiration, and then you can go find your own combinations!
⦁ The Professor/Inventor look goes fantastically with a small pair of meticulously crafted bronze goggles. Look at her chemise, her leather straps, her round spectacles, her austere make-up, her earrings, and the way her hair is done. It’s simply an extremely elegant look, which goes beautifully with these particularly delicate goggles.
⦁ Are you looking for a messier, mechanical look, and basically the opposite of the first picture? Check out this photo below. Her make up pretending to be carbon on her skin and the worn-out goggles, matched with the crazy hairstyle and the attire she has on is also a very good option for goggle-wearing. We also have to mention that the make-up strategically put to give the impression that she removed the goggles from her face is very clever:
⦁ Are you looking for an aristocratic, extravagant-gentleman look? This is your model. This man’s eyeliner, matched with this beautifully trimmed beard, moustache, and the handgun make him look like a beautiful and deadly suitor. His completely dark goggles, put over his hat, are a marvellous focal point in his attire. Not to mention the second pair on his neck: because, why not?
⦁ What are Steampunk Goggle buyers saying?
(Quotes from customers)
If you still don’t buy the excitement that we are sharing about Steampunk goggles, look at what other fans have to say! Here are three reviews of three Steampunk goggles buyers:
⦁ Reviewer 1: “Most notable costume detail”, who bought UMBRELLALABORATORY Steampunk Victorian Style Goggles with Compass Design, Colored Lenses & Ocular Loupe
“These goggles were one of the most complimented and noticed part of my costume! The band is completely adjustable and stays put on your head. The monocle pieces and fully 360 adjustable AND you can remove them and/or place them somewhere else. The lenses are AMAZING and thick. Looking through them was like a kaleidoscope. They were a last-minute order that arrived the day I needed them and I’m so happy I made that Impulse purchase.”
Find these goggles here:
⦁ Reviewer 2: TamBee New Colored Diamond Lens Vintage Steampunk Goggles Glasses Welding Black With Red Rechargeable Lens Halloween Face Mask
“I bought these glasses as my dog and I are cosplaying as Sole Survivor and Dogmeat from Fallout 4. And let me tell you this was a great purchase.
I was worried about the ability the goggles would have to hold onto a dog's head, knowing ahead of time that he would probably not enjoy his cosplay as much as I would. But much to my surprise, it has tough elastic bands that are easily adjustable and fit around him extremely well. He looks great in them!”
Find these goggles here:
⦁ Reviewer 3: “Nice!” - Bought Attitude Studio Steampunk Goggles Steam Punk Glasses Cosplay Costume
“They definitely got compliments with my Steampunk garb. They have a "hand-made" quality and appearance to them, which is a GOOD thing for what I was looking for. Seriously can't beat them for the price a great gift also!”
Buy these goggles here:
⦁ How do you know which Goggles are the right ones for you?
There are general guidelines that you can find everywhere on the internet about buying the correct glasses according to your face shape. This is simply a very visual way to help you choose your glasses with a little help. Well, guess what? You can also apply the same guidelines to choose the best framing and side-shields for your goggles! The only extra characteristic you might have to consider is that goggles are usually bigger and thicker than glasses (as we repeated all along this article). Take that into consideration before buying your goggles/commissioning them!
⦁ Our final thoughts
⦁ Why do Steampunk fans wear goggles?
It’s a very complex question, as it means that we have to consider a lot of historical and artistic context, but if you want to boil it down to two simple concepts, here we will present them: protection and identification.
It’s obvious that the first people that started wearing goggles decided to put them on because of practicality and functionality, and the second reason is more related to a fashion choice.
Many Steampunk aficionados realized that you could really make an impression by wearing such an attention-grabbing accessory within their costumes.
Of course, this story doesn’t end here: the community didn’t simply add this product as it was to their clothing options; they had to also incorporate the fantasy vibe that’s so characteristic of this genre.
That’s why most goggles you see are so intrinsically crafted and/or enormously flamboyant. An even simpler answer? Fans use goggles to make a statement.
⦁ What are these practical reasons, then?
Keeping dirt, oil, sparks, wind and steam out of your eyes seems like a very good reason to wear goggles. We talked thoroughly in this article about the different professions that wore goggles for safety reasons.
We will also want to add that welding and woodworking were also pretty popular populations among goggle wearers, and that’s because specific manipulation of dangerous materials in order to create weapons or art is not an excuse to not protect your eyes.
Train workers (specially if they worked with rotary engines, like in the Victorian era) also needed to wear them to avoid being blinded during their extenuating job.
⦁ Did we mention creative reasons?
The roots of Steampunk in literature inspired fans to wear goggles, exactly like the industrial genre and the cyberpunk aesthetic. They are also a pretty big deal in anime (look at Alucard from Hellsing!). As we said before, it’s common among crafters to insert modifications in their accessories. Essentially, a normal pair of goggles is just a white canvas that allows them to pour all their creative energy into a very big and visual piece.
So, did you enjoy our article?
Hopefully, we gave you a pretty good idea about Steampunk goggles and everything that concerns them. We are aware that this guide is pretty long and that there are a lot of points to consider. Now, it’s your time to do your part: go, craft your goggles, and most importantly, have fun!