Jeff Vandermeer in his book The Steampunk Bible says, "Fashion is the window into the Steampunk subculture...the physical proof of transformation for the makers and artists who decide to invent a persona (or "steamsona")...the outward expression of an inner narrative."
Part of the fun of Steampunk is the creative outlet it provides. Many Steampunkers are DIY-ers who enjoy creating their own persona and designing the fashion and gadgetry to go along with it. Costumes don't have to be expensive; many websites are devoted to showing how to repurpose modern-day clothing and accessories into Steampunk inspired fashions for little or no cost.
Here are some ideas to pique your interest and get your creative juices flowing:
An adventurer is generally a person of means who has decided to explore the world and bring back souvenirs and stories to wow their friends. Khaki clothing, pith helmets, a gear belt, compass, rugged boots, pouches for holding found objects along the way, and definitely some sort of hunting rifle or side arm. Ladies may choose to simply carry a cane or parasol.
Aviators take to the skies in leather flight helmets with goggles, military style jackets, and belts with navigational tools and sidearms. Some Aviators are self-contained flying objects themselves with retractable canvas wings. Don't forget binoculars!
Aristocrats live a life of leisure and generally can do whatever they'd like; some are involved in philanthropy, some are involved in philandering to get what they want. Outfits can be very stylish and tasteful or, in the other extreme, purposefully outlandish and over-the-top. Deeply saturated colors, fine materials, and well-accessorized. Fabulous hats, gloves, parasols or walking sticks, fine jewelry, spats, and generally anything refined and impressive.
Military uniforms are wonderful and give you the chance to be quite creative. So many armies have designed creative looks throughout the ages that there are many to choose from. Fancy medals, epaulets, piping, and wonderful hats are standard issue.
In Steampunk, pirates are usually Airship Pirates, although many take to the high seas, as well. Pirates usually have outfits featuring pieces they've "picked up" along their journeys (read: "stolen"). Some Pirates are good-hearted rogues, some are dirty rotten scoundrels. Swords, small pistols, telescopes, and wonderful hats are the necessary accoutrements.
Big River Steampunk Festival
is Presented By:
Hannibal History Museum Foundation
200 N. Main Street
Hannibal, MO 63401
a 501(c)(3) Missouri non-profit corporation
Federal ID (EIN): 46-4772316
IRS DLN# 17053062337044
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