What Dress Can I Call Steampunk?
When you’re shopping for a dress to wear for your latest steampunk outfit, do you ever stop and find yourself asking: “is this steampunk?”
It can be hard to know what counts as steampunk when you see the variety of options the trends cultivate, but this might just be the very reason you don’t have to ask: what is steampunk?
The issue with defining steampunk is that the second you start trying to define the genre, you are creating boundaries, which is the opposite of what steampunk is about.
Steampunk is about creativity and the intersection at which history, science and imagination collide. It’s a constantly evolving scene that remains young and vibrant, which is why it’s so hard to define what constitutes as steampunk fashion.
While traditionally set in Victorian times, steampunk is a trend that embraces many sub-genres and is more like the Victorian times of another, parallel dimension, than the true historical Victorian era.
For this reason, steampunk doesn’t usually have vicious critics pointing out historical inaccuracies.
When first building a costume, many people new to steampunk are afraid that they are not creating steampunk costumes that are “steampunk enough”. A basic costume is quite simple, usually consisting of Victorian inspired, blouses, skirts and steampunk dresses and then accessorized with a variety of gadgets.
But your steampunk outfit doesn’t need goggles and clock gears to be authentic. If your costume looks feasibly like you could be someone living in an alternate Victorian age, whether tinker, pilot, scientist, or aristocrat, then you are steampunk enough.
That being said, there are a couple of no-nos.
Tennis shoes, or other undeniably modern items of clothing will seem out of place in a costume that is supposed to draw from the Victorian ages. Try to stick with items that could feasibly be from another era, such as leather loafers or boots.
You can get most of your steampunk outfits from thrift shops or make it yourself, if you’re creative and good with a needle and thread. You don’t need to drop a ton of money on every outfit you make, and you really shouldn’t. Since there are no boundaries to what we can define as steampunk, then you don’t need to only buy overpriced merchandise to make your costumes. Instead, consider investing in a few key pieces you can use over and over to build on.