Explore The Steampunk Fashion Style & Dress Steampunk To Perfection
Steampunk fashion refers to a particular style of clothing found in the Steampunk SCI-FI subgenre.
Accordingly, the steampunk fashion looks depict a unique blend of retro-futuristic alternate history aesthetics and 19th-century steam-powered technology.
While the core of steampunk fashion revolves around retro-futuristic steam-powered technology aesthetics, there are also hints of punk, goth, and alt aesthetics as well.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- Origin of Steampunk Fashion
- Evolution of the Steampunk Aesthetic in Fashion
- Coolest Steampunk Fashion Outfits for Men and Women
- Best Sources of Inspiration for Steampunk Fashion
The Origin of Steampunk Fashion
Although the term steampunk existed before, the concept was made famous by K.W. Jeter in his 1979 SCI-FI novel, Morlock Night.
One of the core elements of the steampunk aesthetic was the clothing style uniqueness.
Officially recognized as a style of its own in the late 80s fashion, steampunk fashion became a hot topic in the cinema and the fashion industry.
Nowadays, with an eclectic style that’s blending old and new, steampunk fashion thrives in the world of Cosplay.
However, many people wear steampunk outfits as their daily fashion style.
The Evolution of Steampunk Fashion
During the 20th century, steampunk fashion grew alongside goth clothing and punk movements as crucial genres of the fashion industry.
Nowadays, there’s an overlap between the gothic and steampunk aesthetics, with the two genres often interlinked, stylistically wise.
However, while both genres include bustiers, bodices, jackets, hats, and handmade leather items, gothic and steampunk fashion looks are pretty different and easy to recognize.
The first steampunk convention, called SalonCon, took place in 2006 and has seen steampunk enthusiasts dressed in costumes depicting a blend of Victorian romance and retro-futurist aesthetics.
In 2010, high designer brands like Prada, Versace, Chanel, and Christian Dior started introducing neo-Victorian-inspired steampunk fashion on their runways.
Over the last decade, steampunk fashion grew to accommodate gadgets and accouterments, costumes and hairstyles became more detailed, and make-up and jewelry closer to the depicted historical era.
Best Steampunk Fashion Outfits
A generic steampunk costume has to give a vibe and feel of posy, apocalyptic aesthetics and romantic allusions.
However, the ‘steam’ element is the essence that gives the steampunk attire a Victorian-style – a steampunk style with a retro look.
The start of the industrial era is when the steam engine came to life and the times from which the steampunk aesthetic pulls its origin.
Those days’ looks were as advanced and progressive as today; the only difference is that the technology of those times was powered by steam, while today’s technology is by electricity.
Similarly, just as a steam engine is more complex, large, and loud, steampunk fashion is also a statement look with extravagant details and unique accessories.
For women, steampunk fashion styles are dominated by long, flowing dresses and regal jacket bodices.
Skirt hoops had an elliptical shape with a fuller back and a narrower silhouette at the front.
In the 20th century, flared skirts and oversized dresses made to look ‘intimidating’ became quite popular.
Also part of the generic steampunk dress, corsets acted as a statement piece instead of a functional undergarment.
Victorian-era steampunk corsets came in brocade or leather with steel and metal details such as brass beads.
Over time, the embroidery and the details became more elusive, and the dresses featured sparkling beads, bangles, and other elaborate embroideries.
Nowadays, modern steampunk outfits combine streetwear fashion, gothic aesthetic, burlesque, and fetishistic details.
Men’s steampunk costumes include elements of alternative history and steam technology combined with modern technology steampunk watches and festival clothing aesthetics.
Steampunk Fashion Sources of Inspiration
The steampunk genre and aesthetics are found in past works such as The Brother’s Grimm, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Sucker Punch, depicting explorers, soldiers, countesses, harlots, and lords.
Alan Moore’s comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is also a great representation of steampunk aesthetics.
The story occurs in an imaginary Victorian age and features famous 19th-century characters like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, the invisible man, and more.
Hollywood also depicted several facets of steampunk fashion in world-famous movies like Sherlock Holmes, Van Helsing, Mad Max, and Wild Wild West.
Another source of great steampunk outfits and steampunk type of society is the crime show Castle, with an entire episode dedicated to steampunk fashion.
American reality television series America’s Next Top Model is also a great source of steampunk dresses, notably a 2013 episode where models competed in a steampunk-themed photoshoot.
You may not be familiar with the term steampunk fashion and the design elements of steampunk.
However, chances are you’ve seen and experienced steampunk styles and aesthetics many times before, without even realize.
Moreover, in the 21st century, steampunk elements are increasingly found in dedicated steampunk fiction books, movies, computer games, and fashion lines.
Now it’s your turn…
Which steampunk fashion style or aesthetic do you think we’ve missed and should include in our next article update?
Please leave your comments below; we always appreciate your comments and use them to learn, improve, and update these articles.