It’s finally happening. You’re all geared up and excited to attend your first steampunk event. But then reality hits and you’re not sure just how you should dress. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Steampunk comes from the looks of the Victorian era with a dark twist. And this, of course, is what makes it so much fun to recreate. It’s always new and always exciting. Are you ready to find out how you should dress for your upcoming SteamPunk event? Let’s get started.

Where Did Steampunk Come From?

When you’re preparing to recreate certain looks, it can be super helpful to look into the history of the type of costume you’re going for. Plus, you’ll have trivia knowledge that other Steampunk fans might not know!

Long before Steampunk became what it is today, it was a science fiction sub-culture in the early 1970s. The inspiration comes from the 19th centurysteampunk costume Victorian writers, like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, whose tales of steam-powered airships and machines in the Victorian-age settings motivated the beginnings of the Steampunk culture, in which there is an alternative history that was and is driven by technology of the Victorian age, which supposedly reigns over even that of the modern era. So when preparing to take on the part of a man or woman from centuries past, don’t forget that you’re not dressing up as is was then, but rather in an alternate Universe in which imagination runs wild and technology is the lifeblood of the world.

Where To Begin

Before you can begin creating your costume and working towards the ultimate steampunk Costume that’ll have everyone drooling, first you need a character with a backstory. Are you a pirate sailing in the sky on your skyship? A technologically advanced detective? An aristocratic adventurer? A peasant? Whatever it is, the costume will change depending on the story you create, so don’t be afraid to think out of the box and have fun!

The Basics

Every steampunk costume consists of very similar pieces arranged differently with different accessories and overall looks and colors.  A few of these items might be a corset for women, a top hat for men, belts, leather boots, play knives, swords, buckles, goggles, etc. It’s very possible to create several looks using the same basic ingredients, so when you see accessories that you like, pick them up. You never know when a whole different look can be spun off with one skirt or a pair of trousers.

For Men:

To create your look, there are a few basic necessities that are a must-have. This would include a plain Victorian-type white shirt, a vest or waistcoat, Steampunk pants or trousers, boots, a hat, (think top hat or Sherlock-Holmes style) an overcoat or cloak, depending on what you’re going for, and last but not least, the accessories you’ll need to pull of your specific look.

For Women:

When you’re creating your look, just like for the men there are things you’ll need to look and play a part of the Steampunk culture. These items will include: a billowy blouse, typically with sleeves that balloon out from the shoulder to the wrist, a corset, {though there are still ways you can make it work without one if you’re totally against wearing one or need a more maternity-friendly look) a Steampunk skirt, which typically has a lot of gathered fabric and lace, but it also depends on what you’re going for. Boots, stockings and/or leggings, an overcoat and a Steampunk inspired hat. The look can be changed depending entirely upon what part you are playing in the Steampunk universe, so dress yourself up!

Where Can I Find Costume Pieces?

From time to time, you will see very Steampunk-looking outfits, accessories and jewelry in retail stores, so keeping your eyes peeled for special pieces is a must. Otherwise, Ebay, Amazon and lots of online Cosplay stores will have exactly what you need when it comes to Cosplay.

Keeping an eye out and checking locally owned shops is also a very good idea. This is the best way to find original pieces that you can be certain no one else it wearing. Etsy has fun and affordable jewelry that makes for wonderful accents and finishing touches to your Steampunk costume, as well.

What About My Hair?

Having a perfect Steampunk hairstyle can certainly make your costume look that much more realistic and awesome. So when it comes to your hair, you’ll want to make sure it encompasses the tradition of Steampunk, but also the occupation and lifestyle of the character you’re playing.

For instance, if you have shorter hair, purposely making it look messy and giving it a spray or using hair gel will give you the perfect “mad scientist” look. And it doesn’t take but a second!

For longer hair, braids and buns are a spectacular option. However, do try to stay away from the classic “Ballerina” bun, because it doesn’t fit very well into the Steampunk look. Instead, try braiding your hair and wrapping it up against your head. You can also curl your hair and tie a ribbon in it, if you’re going for something easier. Men with longer hair get it off a little easier. They can give their hair a brush, put a Steampunk-themed hat on and call it done. Of course, for some looks, women can get away with this too, so don’t feel discouraged if you never learned to braid your hair and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to a bun. That’s the beauty of Steampunk. It’s really up to you!

More is Better and Better is More

When it comes to Steampunk accessories, you really can’t ever have enough. Jewelry made of lace is always elegant and a great accessory that won’t add a lot of weight. Brass jewelry with motifs of gears, clocks, trains, birds, insects, keys, globes, locks, hot air balloons, etc make for elegant and beautiful pieces that also show of your personality, likes and loves. You can find a lot of great custom jewelry on that’s not too expensive, but there’s also fantastic pieces to be found in jewelry stores and even at the supermarket! So don’t rule anything out until you’ve tried. Amazon also has things like change purses, satchels, swords, shields, pocket watches and more, so if you’re looking for something to add that’s not “too much”, this is a good place to start.

Creating your epic SteamPunk costume doesn’t have to be complicated at all. In fact, it’s quite fun when you get going. Just remember to enjoy the whole process and don’t stress out if your costume isn’t everything you wanted it to be the first time around. There’s always more Steampunk events that’ll let you show off your costume skills!