What is Steampunk Fashion?
By Steampunk Origins | Updated Oct 09, 2019
Steampunk fashion is a popular new trend that you may have come across a few times. However, many people often find themselves asking, what is steampunk fashion?Steampunk fashion is a fashion genre that has been influenced by the Victorian era, steam technology and science fiction.
What is Steampunk Fashion?
Steampunk fashion has distinct outfits for men and women. Essential steampunk wear for women include bustled skirts, Victorian lace up boots, goggles, jackets, corset tops and mini top hats. The most popular steampunk colors for women are black and brown with accents of green, ivory or red.
To achieve the unique antique Victorian look, consider adding accessories made of leather or brass. This will help highlight the aspect of the industrial age fashion.
On the other hand, steampunk wear for men include traditional Victorian clothing with dark accents such as striped pants, military boots, sunglasses, top hats, holster with faux gun, brocade vest, and leather suspenders.
Who Coined the Term Steampunk?
The term steampunk was first used by Kevin Jeter to describe his fiction novels and distinguish him from other sci-fi authors. From its Victorian era roots, steampunk has grown into its own unique style and philosophy.
Basically, steampunk fashion is a blend of the new and the old. It fuses the practicality of modern technology and the aesthetic designs of the Victorian age.
From a personal point of view, it is more like giving the modern look a Goth makeover. In a deeper sense, steampunk fashion is a completely new way of living and looking colorful against the advances of technology itself.
This fashion trend has pervaded many sectors of life including film, interior design and even video games.
What Influenced Steampunk Fashion?
Many people argue that the steampunk look predated the term steampunk fashion. Steampunk fashion can be seen in various works of art and literature including films and novels. It is a common theme in Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days”.
Recently, artists like Tim Burton, Alan Moore and Terry Gilliam have adopted the style in their films including “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Alice in Wonderland”.
The influence of steampunk fashion is also seen in product design. This fashion has taken people back to a time when brass, copper, wood, glass and ornate engravings were in style. It has turned people’s attention into products that have been recycled, repaired or reworked.
What Are Some of the Elements of Steampunk Fashion?
Steampunk fashion incorporates some of the best looks of the Victorian era and today’s street styles. It includes typical outfits worn by explorers, prostitutes and lords of the Victorian age as well as the lace and leather of pirates.
Common steampunk elements in today’s fashion include spiked clothes and jewelry and rolled up trousers without socks. Fashion trends that have been influenced by steampunk fashion include fetish, dressing up and glamour.
Popular TV shows and films including Sherlock Holmes, Warehouse 13 and Harry Potter films owe a debt to steampunk fashion. This style is also a common feature in video games such as Bioshock, which features a world of diving bells and steampunk gears.
The popularity of steampunk fashion has also led to the growth of service industry around it. People can now put on steampunk gowns and dresses at various occasions including weddings and parties.
What Makes Steampunk Fashion So Popular in Today's World?
Although it may seem a bit counter intuitive, many young people today are drawn into steampunk fashion. Many young people live in a world where the line between freedom and boundaries are increasingly blurred, which can be quite disorienting.
Steampunk fashion is becoming increasingly popular with the youth of today as the black and white attitude of the Victorian era has rules and boundaries. In addition, steampunk fashion is captivating and full of mystery, hence its natural appeal.
One thing that makes steampunk fashion particularly appealing is that its retro-style is not confined to the Victorian era. It incorporate styles all the way back to the 19th century, which is quite broad.
Your steampunk look could be inspired by the Edwardian era with Downton Abbey inspired clothes or back to the future when post-apocalyptic societies are forced to make do with retro-fitted technology.
Whatever the era you prefer, steampunk fashion shares common interests; they all feature retro-looking technology, science fiction and the good old days of romanticism.
Where is a Good Place to Start?
An important consideration when going steampunk is to simply select a period in time to start with and then add on ideas from there. One of the best things about steampunk fashion is that it is inspired by the Victorian era, which saw the birth of photography and cinema film.
These inventions left us memories of what people from different classes and backgrounds wore during the Victorian era. Photos and video footage of this era provide great reference material for people looking for fashion ideas and character inspirations for their steampunk look.
All you need to do is to add or modify the found depictions to suit your taste. It is important to know that most aspects of steampunk fashion remain indistinguishable from the period that inspired them.
One of the most interesting features of steampunk fashion is how it incorporates other subcultures. Many offshoots belong to this fashion genre. People in the steampunk community who are into sciences such as chemistry and doctors tend to lean towards fashion items that depict their way of life.
On the other hand, there are steampunk fashion accessories and outfits that lean more towards the western world with influences from saloon girls and cowboys. Still, others draw from darker and gothic themes. There are many influences in steampunk fashion, if you just look.
So What Exactly is Steampunk Fashion?
Steampunk fashion is a blend of Victorian era clothing styles with elements of the industrial revolution. It is inspired by science fiction and literature of the industrial revolution era. This fashion genre consists of hairstyling, jewelry, makeup, and plenty of accessories for the finer details.