Homemade Steampunk Costume Ideas
The History Of Steampunk
Steampunk is a fashion style that is based on 19th Century steam powered machinery with a sci-fi like Jules Verne or H.G. Wells feel to it. The word steampunk was first used in the 1980’s to describe a low tech variation of cyberpunk, although steampunk only became popular as a style of clothing in the early 21st century. In cyberpunk hi-tech gadgetry is added to the body to enhance its capabilities, whereas in steampunk low tech gadgets are worn attached to clothing.
Steampunk outfits have an old-fashioned post-apocalyptic feel to them, where many of the accessories look like they can help the wearer survive in a dry and dusty wasteland. Unlike cyborg costumes, few of the steampunk accessories look like they are physically attached to the body, and many of the items clearly have a purely decorative purpose. Steampunk costumes tend to be elegant in nature, particularly those worn by women, and apart from the standard Victorian fashion styling they are also commonly styled based on Wild West or pirate themes. Colors are almost always brown, black and white with gold or brass accents, giving the costumes a road warrior or wasteland survivor vibe.
The two most popular items of steampunk headwear are top hats and welding goggles. The goggles are typically not standard welding goggles, but rather ornate and elegant looking goggles made from brown leather and polished brass. They often have attachments added to them such as mini magnifying glasses and telescopic lenses, so that they look as though they serve additional purposes apart from just protecting the eyes from post-apocalyptic sand storms. For the post-apocalyptic style steampunk costumes you can also choose to add a mask that covers the mouth and nose, with or without tubes that look like they are there to aid breathing in a hostile environment. Alternatives to tops hats are cowboy hats, bowler hats or leather aviator caps that can be worn with vintage style aviator goggles.
Many steampunk top hats are either black or brown, but they may also feature various patterns and textures, each hat can be made to look unique by adding a variety of steampunk style ornaments such as cogs, wheels, or other metallic looking parts. It is also popular to add a couple of small feathers to the hat or other trinkets that look as though they may have been gathered while scavenging. The goggles can either be worn on the face or hung over the top hat so that they rest on the brim, this is often preferable and more comfortable than wearing large goggles for long periods of time.
Steampunk Clothing for Men
The basic components of steampunk costumes for men are quite simple, involving just dark trousers, a white shirt and typically a waist coat with or without a jacket. On top of these are added various leather straps that can be purely decorative our used to hold some of the numerous steampunk accessories that are available such as guns or knives. Most steampunk costumes for men have a warrior vibe to them, which is greatly enhanced through the addition fake hydraulics and pistons on the arms of the costume. It is also popular for men to wear large leather wrist straps that house various gadgets or a steampunk style timepiece. Steampunk costumes for men are extremely easy to put together at home since they are mostly just normal Victorian style clothes, and often don’t have the intricate detailing and embellishments that are typically seen on steampunk costumes for women.
Steampunk Clothing for Women
Steampunk clothing for women is usually elegant and ornate, often with a burlesque feel, particularly for the sexy steampunk costumes that feature corsets and thigh high boots. In keeping with the Victorian theme many steampunk costumes for women are quite conservative, with long dresses or trousers, but they often have sexiness added by the wearing of elegant bust enhancing corsets. To make steampunk clothing you simply need to purchase small packs of steampunk cogs and wheels then attach them to any suitable clothing. With most steampunk costumes the more detailed and intricate the design the better, by adding the wheels and cogs in strategic locations you can make parts of the clothing look like the inner workings of a fine watch. Steampunk costumes for women are a combination of cool, elegant and sexy, they are also fun and easy to put together because they can be as simple or as complex as you like.
Of all the costume types (including army) steampunk has the widest range of guns, from small pirate style flint lock pistols to giant multi-barreled machine guns. Although most steampunk guns are brown and gold in color they vary greatly in their look, many have exquisite details and multiple appendages that make them look as though they have been carefully pieced together from various pieces of scrap, and in many ways they resemble modern art pieces. Guns are the most popular accessory, however steampunk style swords and knives may also be worn, particularly for the pirate style of steampunk costume.
For women, various types of pewter jewelry can be worn on the arms, hands, ears and as necklaces, and small leather pouches can be attached anywhere on the outfit. For both sexes it is popular to hang pocket watches, small glass bottles, trinkets or binoculars on shoulder straps or on large leather belts worn around the waist. Women may wear leather or lace gloves while men often prefer heavy gloves or large gauntlets that have steampunk gadgetry attached to them. The accessories that are worn are usually either survival type objects or trinkets that have been gathered and could be used for trading in a barren land
For women basic brown leather boots can be worn for outfits that have long dresses, the boots are typically biker, Victorian or pirate style. If the boots are going to be visible it is best to attach small steampunk cogs to them for decoration, or to wear boots that already have lots of details on them such as intricate lacing or flaps and straps.
For sexy steampunk outfits women can wear high heels with pantyhose, ankle boots with socks, or thigh high boots with stockings. Men typically wear plain black boots with little decoration apart from straps, buckles or flaps. In fact it is common for men to wear normal shoes or boots and then cover the lower part of their leg with gaiters – protective sleeves that extends up to just below the knee. Gaiters typically have multiple straps or lacing down the side and are worn by both men and women, particularly for the classic Victorian style steampunk costumes.