What Is Steampunk Style?

Most of us generally have an idea of what steampunk is, especially if you have been in the alternative style group of people. We tend to picture gears, goggles, clocks, metal, and top hats. 

However, we picture all this yet most of us have very little knowledge of what steampunk is all about, why it came about, and what drives it. 

What Is Steampunk Style?

Well, it is something of a fantasy and imagination-driven mash-up of the industrial revolution and the Victorian period. It is a wild league all on its own. 

Steampunk was only really recognized properly late on in the 80s, so it is still a fairly fresh concept, and in the fashion world, it is even newer in its recognition there too. 

Steampunk is on the rise again, with some retailers being exclusively steampunk. 

However, before you get carried away with a vision of what steampunk should be, or what you think it is, let’s give you a brief idea of its history, then we will tell you how to build up your very own steampunk outfit! 

A Brief History Of Steampunk Style

The term ‘steampunk’ was only coined in 1987 by the author KW Jeter when he wrote his novel Morlock Night.

While the concept had been around long enough, the coining of this term started to see it rise, and with Sci-fi booming, it gave it even more fuel. 

Steampunk is like a mash-up of old meets new, with an almost post-apocalyptic vibe and a romance around revolution and dramatics, which make the style feel absolutely magical. 

Steampunk became popular in the 80s thanks to KW Jeter, but it did not take off full throttle until the 00s, when in 2006 the first Steampunk convention happened.

Which allowed steampunk enthusiasts to gather together their outfits and show off their intricate and often hand-made designs. 

It applies not only to clothing but to accessories, hairstyles and makeup too! 

As steampunk started to grow, it gained attention and the fashion industry gained interest. All of a sudden there were steampunk inspired aesthetics going down catwalk runways from Versace, Dior, Chanel, and even Prada! 

By the 2010s steampunk had kicked off and everyone was fascinated, and it shortly became a part of mainstream retail as well. What is even more amazing is that its popularity is still on the rise today! 

What Makes Steampunk?

Part of what fuels the Steampunk fashion is the Steampunk themed stories that are now told in movies, and books.

Many of these stories are set in dystopian futures, or re imagined pasts, and this gives Steampunk a familiar but somehow almost alien quality. 

You will often find metal gears which accent clothing, and leathers or velvets incorporated into the style. Corsets and waistcoats are very often present as well, as they enhance the style and bring out that Victorian era aspect to the attire. 

Amazingly you can actually get some Steampunk costumes from places such as Spirit Halloween, however, it is best to buy a high quality get-up from an official Steampunk store, or if you are a creative type, consider making your own. 

Metals, such as chains, velvet, leather, and pleather often make appearances in these outfits. Consider gears and cogs, top hats and metal (gold and bronze are often ideal colors) hairpins, with dark makeup (read here to find out how to make your very own top hat)

What Are Some Good Steampunk Accessories?

What Are Some Good Steampunk Accessories?

You could already have a good idea for an outfit, but perhaps it’s the accessories that have you a bit stumped. 

Steampunk is far from being a minimalist fashion style. Thick goggles, like the style you would see a motorcyclist wearing in an old 80s movie, or a mad scientist, perhaps. 

Metal gear earrings, or even gears attached to corsets, waistcoats, or even a choker. Leather gloves with metallic detailing, and a styled up walking cane can all help you to achieve the look you are after. 

When you are making up your steampunk outfit, consider your accessories a lot more than with other styles. As it is often the accessories which scream out Steampunk the most. 

However, a lot of Steampunk fashion is about being individual and unique, so your outfit should be tailored to you, with quirks that make it iconic to your own style of Steampunk. 

Putting Together A Steampunk Outfit

You could have the best idea in the world, with some epic materials, but sometimes putting it all together is tricky. 

As we have said, a lot of Steampunk’s inspiration comes from the Victorian era and also the industrial revolution, however, it is also inspired by individuality and uniqueness. Remember that even though the style itself is very niche, incorporate aspects of yourself into it as well. 

Steampunk is a way to express yourself, and create an aesthetic that you enjoy, like and is all yours as well. Never worry that you are doing too much, if it feels right, run with it. 

All About Steampunk

Steampunk, as a style could be summarized as being gray scale and brown scale gothic mixed in with an adoration of metal and industry.

Use colors such as whites, beige, browns, gray, and blacks. Dark blues and greens are often used as well. 

Metals with gold, silver, and rust styled aesthetics are also often common. As a style steampunk is not traditionally a bright style, it is often quite dark colors, but no one says that you cannot do otherwise when making your own Steampunk outfit.

If you do not know where to start with your outfit, you could always pop down to somewhere like Spirit Halloween and get some basic Steampunk outfit and some accessories, and start playing with the materials. 

Otherwise, you could look at Steampunk stores and see what kind of things really jump out at you. 

Remember it is about individuality, and being unique, this is part of what spurred it off to begin with in the late 80s, and made it continue.

In some aspects it is a fashion style which had people becoming their own fashion designers, to show who they were within.

Willa Price
Latest posts by Willa Price (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *