I was in a thrift store looking for shirts for Pirate Faire and found an awesome olive green velvet jacket. It screamed steampunk. So I found a houndstooth skirt and a lacy shirt. But now I need accessories - especially a hat.
The oldest style hat I have (not counting my stuff for Faire) is a cloche hat. I know steampunk is supposed to be Victorian and cloche hats are younger than that, but I’m thinking maybe it’ll pass? I don’t want to do the whole fedora or top hat thing everybody does.
I’ve got a ton of jewelry and a pair of boots that’ll work.
I need to get / make bloomers. I’ve got a bunch of ideas and sketches of what I want to do (which I’ll share later), but I don’t know how much I’ll get done before Halloween.
I’ve also got this crazy idea of combining steampunk & kimono, but I think I’d have to make a kimono for that (I’ve got to research what would be appropriate Meiji era wafuku)
My friend Ay-Leen the Peacemaker has a metric tonne of insights into non-Euorpean Steampunk. Asia is her special area of interest. Her blog is http://beyondvictoriana.com/
Personally I wouldn’t worry to much about the hat. Deliberate anachronism is at the heart of Steampunk. Besides, we have had time travel since 1895 – you may well have picked up a hat you like while visiting the far-flung future world of 1932.
Well, 1) I still want to use it for Faire, 2) one had kitty ears which doesn’t go with the steampunk character I’m building, 3) the other one is bright red which would clash horribly with the rest of the outfit.
If you can get hold of some pewter, copper and/or brass crafting foil, some metal roses/other flowers would set the cloche off nicely. Especially if you throw in a geartooth petal edge here and there.
If I was to ever do a steampunk anything, I wouldn’t cling to the Victorian era, so much as imagine what life would be like if the internal combustion engine, and therefore the airplane was never invented, and WWI and WWII never happened, what would our culture and technology be like now? It would still have heavy Victorian overtones, while having steam- and electricity-based technology.
Having said that, I’d go with a flatcap and goggles, a greatcoat, and cables and tubes dangling off my belt.
What I really want to do for shoes is some lace up Victorian style boots (also will work for when I want to do a Meiji era kimono outfit). I saw some at a thrift store, let them pass, and then they weren’t there when I went back.
I’m totally adding a flower to the cloche and that’s a great idea.
The outfit I’m doing is for a restaurant proprietor / mad biologist / possible anthropophagus. I need to get some white gloves that I’m going to stain with ‘blood’ (probably crimson watercolors). I want to make up a satchel ‘refrigerator’ that’ll hold some food and two place settings. At some point I’m going to get two similarly sized stuffed animals and sew half of each together.
Anybody got some other ideas for that sort of character? Or cool things to do with the satchel? (I want to have some sort of bubbling liquid, I just haven’t figured out how exactly to do it yet).
Oh and I’ve got a cool brown bottle that I’m going to seal and put a label on. Can anybody think of something to drop in the liquid that’ll look cool and not disintegrate? I’m probably going to fill it with half water and half alcohol (so it won’t mold) and it’s going to be sealed with a cork and wax. The label is going to be something like ‘Vivifying Elixir’.
I meant to get pictures last night but ended up curling up with a good book.
Tonic water (as in “gin & tonic”) glows blue under blacklight. You can often get a UV LED penlight at museum shops, toyshops or the like, often in some sort of “secret writing” kit along with a UV-visible pen. Such shops are also a good place to get test tubes, which would look cool on the side of a satchel in some sort of “bullet loop” arrangement (which, quite frankly, either some duct tape or else some bias tape and a stapler could make).
Bubbling liquid - one variant involves a little acid (lemon juice, vinegar), some liquid detergent (for more persistent bubbles - or just glycerine if you want it even vaguely drinkable) and antacid tablets/baking soda.
Good accessories to go with a Steampunk outfit are pocket watches (which do come in some brassy/gear-visible styles) and goggles. You can get some plastic welding goggles on eBay which are the right style, if the wrong material, and presumably you could find some paint to give them that brass-and-iron appearance.
My wife and I went to A-Kon last year in a very basic version of what we envision to be “Steampunk Military Engineers”. Coveralls (well, she had an old flight suit, I had a heavier something more like what you’d expect a mechanic of some sort to wear), the goggles, dog tags, and US Air Force Civil Engineer badges. Seriously, just look at them. Tell me that’s not already the most steampunk thing you’ve ever seen. I get to wear that to work every day.
Sadly, it’s about an inch and a half across and made of some silver-looking material (could be silver for all I know, but probably not for how cheap they sell for), rather than three inches across and made of brass like I’d prefer.
On our to-do list for the costumes is painting the welders goggles so they’re no longer green, figuring out how to make us some big brass-looking CE badges, and getting some tool belts to hang stuff from.
I’ve been doing the granny boot thing my whole life, and right now it seems to be a fairly popular style; I would suggest looking around, and definitely look online.
Oh, and thanks a lot: you made me browse through DSW and now I want these…(Edit)…apparantly DSW links only last a minute then reroute you, so never mind.
But they were cool! Like steampunk lumberjack boots.