Femme steampunk: embracing the industrial beauty of steampunk while still loving your femininity
We love steampunk, but we’ll be the first to admit that steampunk styles can definitely lean towards a more traditionally masculine vibe. The colors, fabrics and general style often favor a darker, more masculine appeal. Steampunk has a lot of leniency with its character structures and clothing, so if you’re a femme who just loves to embrace your femininity but don’t want to lose out of the chance to explore some of the fun characters, you’re in luck!
One thing we’ve always loved about steampunk is how it plays with gender norms. Gender and sexuality are loaded concepts in steampunk, since its basis is in Victorian times where the concepts of femininity and masculinity are quite rigid. But in modern times, people have played with those concepts to mold Victorian-era aesthetics to their preferred style.
Since steampunk doesn’t have any real “rules”, the way you embrace your gender in your characters is pretty much up to you. While people in the Victorian ages were real sticklers for who wore what, steampunk has broken away from those concepts and let’s people get pretty playful in their characters gender and clothing styles.
For example, if your character is an adventurer, you can wear the usual cargo pants, bandolier and vest, or you could opt for a khaki jacket over an A-line skirt with a leather utility belt and a safari hat. This is just as canon as pants and a vest, if not more so.
You can also go full, traditional femme in your costume as well. Steampunk dresses are wildly popular and real things of beauty. They can draw inspiration from several places and make use of corsets, gathered skirts, and several other unique details that embrace the gear-junky aesthetic of steampunk. Steampunk dresses can be purchased ready-to-wear from websites, or you can make your own using patterns or thrifted items. As always, make your dress all the more steampunk by adding in gadgetry and unique details wherever they make sense for your character.
Being femme and loving steampunk means you have access to a wide world of different options and no one can tell you that your costume is any less (or more) steampunk than another. Whatever your version of steampunk is, you’ll find members of the community who will embrace and encourage you.