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Today’s blog is a guest post by Amy from steampunker.co.uk. She talks about the origins of steampunk and how to embrace steampunk fashion.

Steampunk fashion is on the rise in the UK and several steampunk days out and festivals are emerging to allow people to express themselves and embrace the steampunk trend. But what is steampunk? How how do you dress steampunk?

Woman dressed in Steampunk fashion clothing

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Individual steampunk works may emphasize either the futuristic science fictional elements or the historical era; however, even the latter are often informed by anachronistic technology, as in the alternate history Victorian fantasy series “The Parasol Protectorate” by Gail Carriger. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of “the path not taken” of such technology as dirigibles, analogue computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine).

Steampunk and Cyberpunk

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares some visual styles and themes; however, unlike cyberpunk, steampunk culture is deliberately nostalgic. Many examples of steampunk contain various anachronistic technologies or futuristic innovations as Victorians might have envisioned them, based on a scientific principle of “suspension of disbelief”.

Steampunk Steel Boned Corset Dress.

Influences from Literature

Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technologies include those from the later Victorian era such as those that are found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or creations of Nikola Tesla/Thomas Edison, or fashion and architecture inspired by the works of Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley. Other examples include the films “Ghost in the Shell” (1995), “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (2004) and “The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (2003).

How to dress steampunk

A large part of steampunk fashion is expressed in a combination of Victorian-era clothing and punk rock fashions. Some accessories that are used include corsets, parasols, top hats, bowler hats, goggles, leather coats, vests for men and bustles for women.

Gears, Gadgets and Gizmos!

Imaginary technologies are also prominent in the fashion, with a large variety of gears and gizmos being used as ornamentation for steampunk clothing. This means that there is a large DIY element to steampunk fashion. People decorate their hats, ‘steampunkify’ nerf guns and embellish their own clothing.

Multifunctional Steampunk Waist Bag, Cross-Body Bag, Shoulder Bag.

Fitting and Fastenings

The clothing also usually has brass fittings and fastenings. Anachronistic materials like leather or silk are featured among the synthetic fibres—all of which attempt to hark back to a past era while maintaining modern comfort.

Want to go Steampunk? There are no rules!

There are no rules in this subculture and many embrace the idea that steampunk fashion should be unique, so it is very much an individual statement of style. Be as creative as you want to be!

Ultra Steampunk Goggles Cyber Glasses for Men and Women.

Don’t forget your Goggles!

Goggles are often used to indicate participation in Steampunk culture, either to show an affinity with its ideals or simply because they look damn cool. Don’t forget your goggles!

Enjoy going steampunk in 2021 and if you have any questions, please drop them in the comments on this blog.

What is steampunk? How how do you dress steampunk?

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