Steampunk style is a way of dressing rooted in the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, depicting an imaginative aesthetic of industrial steam-powered machinery of the 19th-century Victorian era.
Characterized by an affinity for antiquity and a penchant for mechanical innovation, Steampunk fashion emerged during the late 1980s with the steampunk fiction movement driven by authors like K.W. Jeter, William Gibson, and Bruce Sterling.
The main silhouettes and motifs include gears, cogs, and timepieces woven into tailored vests, coats, bustles, petticoats, tailcoats, corseted waists, or as pieces of jewelry reimagined to depict the functional aesthetic of industrial machinery.
Through earthen colors of the industrial age, such as bronze, brown, sepia, and brass, with accents of burgundy and navy, reflecting the smoke of the era’s factories and the rich fabrics of Victorian high society, the visual message of Steampunk fashion is one of exploration and innovation.
1. Steampunk Adventurer
The Steampunk Adventurer outfit captures the genre’s fascination with Victorian-era exploration and steam-powered machinery.
Start with an Anne Fontaine white high-collar blouse with lace frills at the cuffs and neck, suggesting Victorian modesty and readiness for adventure.
Pair with a Victorian silhouette espresso leather corset with brass fastenings that mirror the gears and valves of steampunk machinery from Corset Story and Balmain leather trousers in a similar hue.
Wear Stuart Weitzman knee-high boots in jet-black leather with lace-up details and stacked heels to encapsulate the courageous spirit, and accessorize with a mahogany and brass stick from The Royal Wood Shop.
2. Romantic Steampunk
The Romantic Steampunk outfit blends Victorian refinement with a touch of romantic charm and the imaginative spirit of the Steampunk style.
Start with a high-neck white lace blouse from Isabel Marant and a brown leather mini-skirt corset with brass buckles from Alexander McQueen, a designer renowned for blending historical design with current trends.
Mix in a broad brown leather belt from Tanner Goods in stark contrast to the intricate blouse and corset dress, equestrian-style brown leather knee-high boots from Givenchy, and finish with a lace bonnet hat from Philip Treacy.
3. Equestrian Steampunk
This Equestrian Steampunk outfit infuses classic riding wear with Steampunk flair.
Start with a high-collared, puff-sleeved white blouse, which channels the iconic Gibson Girl aesthetic, and a Ralph Lauren fitted brown waistcoat for a traditional equestrian vibe.
Continue with brown jodhpurs, essential for a Victorian-inspired theme from Burberry, a brand with outdoor and equestrian heritage, and accessorize with lace wrist cuffs for a touch of femininity.
Complete the look with black leather knee-high riding boots from Frye and a black riding hat from Lock & Co. as the final accessory to tie the equestrian and Steampunk themes.
4. Gothic Steampunk
This Gothic Steampunk outfit merges the dark elegance of Gothic fashion with the inventive vibe of Steampunk style.
Start with a black Rococo dress, reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s lavish court, sourced from a designer like Simone Rocha, known for voluminous and dramatic silhouettes.
Add a brown leather corset with brass hardware from Dark Garden for a touch of the Industrial Revolution’s aesthetic, Victorian-style John Fluevog boots.
Complete the outfit with wrist cuffs from Alchemy England or Crimson Chain for a touch of Gothic flair and a Goren Brothers black topper hat with goggles, a quintessential Steampunk accessory.
Similar Styles to Steampunk
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After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.