4 Outfit Ideas to Dress Steampunk Style Like a Retrofuturist

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

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.

Dress Steampunk fashion style

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

Adventure Steampunk style

Ruffle Trim Flounce Sleeve Button Front Shirt Charmian Women's Steampunk Gothic Jacquard Overbust Corset Waist Cincher Bustier
Tall Women's Pleated Pu Leather Trousers
Women's Knee High Boots
Unisex  Retro British Gentlemen Jazz Magic Top Hat ntique Gold Walking Cane Elegant Vintage Prop Stick

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.

Ruth Wilson and Jane Seymour in High Neck Blouses
Ruth Wilson and Jane Seymour in High Neck Blouses

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.

Steampunk Adventurer expample

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

Romantic Steampunk style

Charmian Women's Renaissance Lace Up Vintage Boned Bustier Corset with Garters
Privé Women's Stand Collar Ruffle Hem Lace Blouse With Lantern Sleeves Solid PU Leather Pleated Mini Skirt
Women's Knee High Boots, British Style Knight Boots, Thick Heel High Heeled Boots With Single Boot, Spring And Autumn Studded Decor Western Buckle Belt
Daisy Lace Ribbon Hairband, Headscarf & Neck Scarf For Daily Wear

The Romantic Steampunk outfit blends Victorian refinement with a touch of romantic charm and the imaginative spirit of the Steampunk style.

Romantic Steampunk examples

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.

Diane Kruger and Hailey Bieber in Lace Blouses
Diane Kruger and Hailey Bieber in Lace Blouses

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

Equestrian Steampunk style outfit

Frenchy Frill Trim Lantern Sleeve Shirt Women'S Striped Suit Vest Women'S Elastic Waist Loose-Fit Long Pants
Elegant Black Solid Color Folded Wrinkle Ankle Booties Slip-on Casual Boots
 Industrial Retro Style Dome Party Top Hat

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.

Equestrian Steampunk example

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

Gothic Steampunk style outfit

Women Black Gothic Victorian Dress Halloween Cosplay Costume Renaissance Dark Queen Dress Ball Gown
Charmian Women's Gothic Punk Satin Boned Zipper Overbust Corset Top with Buckles
Knee High Boots Women, Pull On Zipper Chunky Valentine's Day Heel Pointed Toe Embroidered Western Cowgirl Cowboy Boots
Charmian Unisex Steampunk Top Hat Goggles Gears Chain Deluxe Costume Accessory
Wrist Guard Set, Pu Leather Vintage Medieval Armor Cuff

This Gothic Steampunk outfit merges the dark elegance of Gothic fashion with the inventive vibe of Steampunk style.

Gothic Steampunk example

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.

MyAnna Buring and Keira Knightley in Full Skirt Rokoko Dresses
MyAnna Buring and Keira Knightley in Full Skirt Rokoko Dresses

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.

Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn in Topper Hats
Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn in Topper Hats

Similar Styles to Steampunk

Victorian | Victorian Goth | Goth | Cyberpunk

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!

Style Like a Pro!

Are you looking to improve your fashion style and unsure where to start?

Contact The VOU’s style experts to receive your free and personalized styling advice based on your current way of dressing, preferred outfits, colors, aesthetics, age, gender, body shape, location, and event you seek to attend.

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.

Similar Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.