4 Genres of Steampunk Fashion
August 10, 2018
By: Audrey W.
Steampunk fashion emerged as a result of the popularization of the Steampunk literature, which was in return influenced by the scientific fantasies of the 19th century British and American populations. Since Steampunk is based in the era when steam engines had newly gained hype, the style which stemmed out of it borrowed greatly from them. It later birthed many other genres out of it, which paved their ways into the contemporary world.
Steampunk fashion can be divided into four subcategories, namely the Victorian, Nautical, Diesel and Cyborg punk. Each category in itself is complete and independent, and is representative of some era or legend. The article which follows sheds light on these styles individually, and presents ideas on how to accessorize oneself with the perfect outfit and jewelry to match to the desired look.
- Victorian Steampunk Style
- Pirate / Nautical Steampunk Genre
- Apocalyptic/ Diesel / Diesel Punk Genre
- Cyborg Punk Style
4 Genres of Steampunk Fashion Summarized
1.Victorian Steampunk Style:
The Victorians are marked as the first people who exploited steam engine related technology to the fullest; hence, most of the Steampunk literature was generated in the Great Britain. With this information in mind, it is not hard to accept the fact that a whole class of fashion was designed specific to the Industrial revolution and the style of that time.
Lords of the House: The typical style for elite gentleman usually included knee length leather riding boots and mid-thigh form fitted jackets with extravagant silks, embroidered patterns and velvets. Don’t forget their fanciful top and bowman hats, silk ascots and elegantly tied cravats!
Did you know cravats were actually created by the Croatians, which during a 30 year war the French began calling them Croate, later becoming what we know today as the cravat. A really spicy gent is most likely sporting a wicked cane as well!
Ladies Style: The Victorians can be considered kinda prim and proper with their whale bone corsets, large hooped skirts and bustles. However, I think this is one of the first genres we begin to see the sparks of couture and outrageously extravagant accessories and makeup, creating the Lady Gagas’ of their day such as Elizabeth I.
Did you know the queen never wore makeup until she came down with smallpox which literally pocketed her face. Copious amounts of makeup became an essential part of her style to cover them up. I bet she had no idea it would be all the rage in the British court!
Hi I’m Audrey W. the owner of Piping Hot Art Works & creator of Steampunk Love & Blog. I began this site because I wanted a more complete steampunk experience where I could find interesting articles, more diversity in a steampunk store & to have fun! I hope you enjoy the site & blog 🙂
Nerd | Entrepreneur | Blogger
2. Pirate / Nautical Steampunk:
I like to think of this genre as an edgier, sexier version of the Victorian Style for the lower classes of Precariat and emergent service sector, which comprised of the lowest 34% of income within the British Class system. Think bar maidens, English privateers and Swanky Jack Sparrows with plenty of booty and eager to display their wears!
Wench Style: In this genre the ladies necklines get A LOT lower, the corsets remain, the bustles are small and the lengths are shorter. The famous stockings of the Moulin Rouge Can Can girls become an affordable and daring accessory underneath their high leather buckle bound high heeled boots.
Buccaneer Style: I like to think this style as composed of 60% thrift store mentality and 40% bare chest and long hair. Oversized captain hats adorned with beads and feathers become the pirate hat we recognize today. Tall leather boots with extra large buckles that can stomp fear into the eyes of the government naval captains attempting to protect their booty. Lastly the famous Cutlass pirate sword – a short thick sometimes curved sabre perfect for maintenance of ship equipment and slashing into the hearts of traitors and naval agents alike.
3. Apocalyptic/ Diesel Punk Genre:
This genre is a mix of the Walking Dead meets Divergent 2. The world has gone into the crapper, the only thing to help your survival is your ability to be an innovative poacher – by repurposing the materials you can easily find and augment them to create an advantage. This style is a mixture of tight and willowy loose fit clothing designed more for defense against strange tribes and the exposure to the elements while wandering deserted lands.
Dauntless Males: Typically geared up with leather pants and jackets as an armor or barrier for crude weapons. Buttons, straps and buckles adorn these outfits along with hoods to remain hidden in the shadows of any unfortunate zombies or rebel tribesman.
Mad Max Females: These evolved Amazon Goddesses can make a trash bag, dreadlocks and arm/thigh weapon bands sexy. Powerfully shaped and aren’t afraid to showcase their hard earned muscles from roughing it in the “new untamed world”.
4. Cyborg Punk:
What came first the chicken or the egg? Cyborg punk or Iron Man? My bet is on cyborg punk as it is has historical references throughout time in a variety of ways, sorry Robert Downey Junior YOU LOSE!
This style incorporates technology and robotics to augment the natural strength of any man or women. Imagine inspector gadget but waaay cooler!
This genre is composed mostly of heavy dark leather clothing. Metal arm bracers and shin guards. Most likely a mechanical hand and X-Ray vision eye enhancement.
I hope you enjoyed a taste of the 4 Steampunk Fashion Genres. Tune in for more info about each style in our upcoming blogs.
Nerd | Entrepreneur | Blogger
**Special thanks to Bard & Jester, Atom Fashion, Crisis Wear, Majestic Velvets, Silver Leaf Costumes, Diesel Punk Ro & Unique Nightmares for allowing us to include their items within our blog and site 🙂