The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

(I'm still somewhat new so please bare with me.)

What is your steam punk style? Do you go for a diy with victorian flair or do you prefer true high victorian garb?

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Part of the reason I gravitated to the Steampunk world is the Victoriana clothing esthetic. I'm big on corsets and fluffy skirts with fitted jackets and lace trims,in strong colors with fun and funky hats.

I like the challenge of creating a steampunk costume out of what I can find in a thrifts store, with some basic alterations (hems, trims and waistbands if necessary) and I've had some decent success, though I've had to build my own corsets since I am on the curvy side and require more support than thin plastic boning can supply.

I rely on others for my brass accessories and jewelry - but I love adding to my character wardrobe.


Suzy Q,
I can certainly empathize when it comes to the lamentable quality of many off the rack corsets. I have found that superior quality underpinnings are worth the investment as they improve the look of all of my ensembles. Personally, I look for corsets with flat steel bones in the front and back to help garments lay flat at the waist and help everything else achieve antigravity status ;-)
But I look for steel spring stays at the sides since they have some give and accent my waist :-)
I have managed to snag Meschantes corsets (amazing quality, appropriate for tight lacing and waist training) for as little as $79 on eBay. Not much more than the cheap ones, and it makes thrift store garb look like couture.

I tended to be very Goth/Punk in the past but love the whole Victorian/Edwardian look. DIY is more my thing as I have a hard time finding anything that fits. I started sewing my own clothes in high school because we couldn't afford new clothes. Now I find I like to mix altering store bought items with making my own from interesting fabrics. I am presently working on my first corset but I can't find any boning locally. (You are right Suzy Q, the thin stuff you can get in stores only works if you have nothing to hold in. Curvy is beautiful but most things out there are for the waifs.)

I would love to learn how to work with leather. I made some vests and belts from plether. They looked great but not sure they will hold up for everyday wear.

Also looking for ways to Steampunk my outfits up. Metal looks great but is also hard to work with. I have the vision in my head of what I want, I am just not sure how to get it done. Ideas anyone?

Let me work on a sketch. I will post it. Thanks

If you want an inexpensive option for boning try the long plastic cable ties. Easy to cut to length and they offer a decent amount of support. Not as heavy duty as the metal boning but far better than the think, bendy crap they sell as boning.

I have a large supply of those cable ties :-)  I work in a costume shop and I passed the trick on to my boss, so now it's all we use for our costume corsets and bodices!

My style is both Victorian and punk. I have a couple of outfits that reflect both sides. I like the details and the accessories of both styles. What I like most about this genre is that you can go so many ways with your clothing and persona's.

if I could afford it I would love at least one full dress up Victorian (or even Edwardian) era outfit.

other than that I have been putting together a diy outfit. in my own head I want to aim for items that together look really Steampunk, but could broken down into its various parts and worn out and about with my regular clothing.

i want more of a punk aesthetic and that's the bit I'm mentally rummaging about with. I've seen quite a few females pull it off I think there are options just haven't found too many for males.

what do you think?

I love the idea of having peices that you can fit into your every day wardrobe. Because of my rather uptight office, the only peices that I have that can do double duty are jewely.

I also agree that women have has greater success in the punk aesthetic than men. I would love to see if you have success in creating a punk look for yourself.

I think a very basic Dickies work shirt would make a great base for steampunk/punk clothing. They are built to last from a nice heavy cotton. You could easily add things to "Steam" it up. I have been insired recently to start working on a corset made of old jeans! Planning on adding some buckles and perhaps an old leather belt. It would be easy to die the fabric a little darker. 

You can never go wrong with a basic Chino as well or black dress pant. It is all about the accessories! Add a pocket watch or a brocaid vest and a necktie.

Good luck Marx. I can't wait to see your vision!! 

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas, much appreciated. Once I've made some progress beyond deconstructing I will certainly post some pics.

Please feel free to proffer any links or other ideas that come to mind.

These topics always make me feel as if I were an inadequate Steampunk. Almost. Or maybe I just feel as if they should.

I do not have a "Steampunk Style." My everyday clothes have long been somewhat fusty and old-fashioned. I like tweed, vests and pocketwatches. I have several nice hats. I prefer suspenders to belts.

My entire "Steampunk" wardrobe was in my closet before I ever heard of the Steampunk community. I do turn it up to 11 when going to an event, and I have purchased goggles to differentiate between when I am dressed up as opposed to just dressed, but I have trouble recognizing a "Steampunk Style" as separate from my normal daily lack of fashionablilty.

That being said, I presume this is because I approached steampunk from the literature direction, from the stories, and not as a fashion statement or philosophy of life. I am greatly entertained by and appreciative of the effort displayed by folks who create outrageous costumes, but steampunk, to me, is more about what is in your mind than what is on your back.


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