Steampunk costumes involve certain aesthetics that were inspired by 19th century steam technology. An imagined sub-culture of the Victorian era, Steampunk was culturally influenced by the American “Wild West”, the British Empire, and Asia.
Steampunk also got its roots from post-apocolyptic, fantasy, science fiction, and horror literature. Some of the fictional characters that influenced Steampunk fashion include posh lords and countesses, as well as edgier vampires, harlots, burlesque performers, and punks.
Some common Steampunk features, for women, are long billowing dresses, corsets, and off-the-shoulder necklines. Fringe, beads, and metallic accents are also typical of Steampunk fashion, as shown in the red and black women’s outfit, featured here.
For men, traditional Victorian suits are worn, for the more traditional characters. So are more imaginative suits, made of leather and brocade, like the ones below.
Accessories, like top hats, aviator goggles, bowler hats, utilitarian belts, brass jewelry, telescopes, and binoculars, are also commonly featured in Steampunk costumes.
Black men’s Steampunk frock coat.
Custom-fitted brocade steampunk coat, for Burning Man.
This Steampunk costume was designed by my customer. The many curved lines of the piping made it an interesting design challenge!