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How to Create a Steampunk Costume for Women

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Photo Credit LuftFlotte Steampunk…

Steampunk costumes fascinate me.

Maybe it’s because steampunk reminds me of those old fashioned photo booths in theme parks where you are instantly transformed a hundred years back… The photo is printed in sepia on tin type.   I loved pausing to watch the transformations, but didn’t want to shell out the cash for that experience.

My lucky day came at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri years ago when my parents footed the bill for the extended family to get all dressed up.  Maybe if I get enough requests in the comments, I’d be brave enough to post that picture…:)

Maybe it’s also because of all the cool hats from that time period for both men and women.  Hats look so proper. A hat is the finishing touch on a costume from this time period.

I think I also like steampunk for the multitude of textures including the mix up of leather, metal, lace, net, velvet, and taffeta.  Often there are some unexpected twists in the costume.  The goggles, a little French Moulin Rouge mixed in, uneven hems, the funky revolvers…Tons of room for creativity.

Steampunk even mixes time periods.  While steampunk is heavily influenced by the Victorian Era (mid 1840s-1900s), it is often mixed in with modern or militaristic styles.

Key elements in steampunk costumes for women may include:

 -Bustles

 -Corsets

-Gowns

-Petticoats

-Hats

-Belts

-Ruffles,

-Lace up boots

Steampunk costumes are often accessorized with technological and period pieces including parasols, flying/driving goggles, ray guns, canes, and time pieces. “Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-made objects.” (Wikipedia)

The color palette in steampunk is predominantly dark rich tones of deep reds, burgundy, navy, dark teal, deep purple, gold, mustard, hunter green, olive green, copper, brown, gunmetal grey, silver, bronze, and PLENTY of black.

If you do not want to make a costume, there are plenty of interesting steampunk costumes for women available. Click on the pictures below for more information.  When I costume, I like to purchase one or two important aspects of the costume like the hat or an accessory that seems like a beast to make (like those corsets or petticoat), but then I source the rest from thrift stores finds that I refashion or simple sewing and crafty projects.  Just depends on what’s already in my costume closet and how much time/money I have.

If I happen to already have a dress that would work with a little draping and some ruffles and lace added, then I would find an inexpensive hat, deck it out with fabric or trim, and then splurge on the boots that I know I can’t make.  Watch for more posts on steampunk accessory ideas and other ideas for making your own steampunk costume.

Here’s a few ideas to get your steampunk costume started…

steam punk dress_ velvet jacketsteampunk corsetturq steam punk dress     

 

fishtail skirtcorset jacketsteampunk outfit

 

 

black white boots gears mini top hat knee high bootsshoes steampunk hat with feather steampunk shoes

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