Blog 1With the Iron Horse – Family Steampunk Carnivale coming to the Orange Empire Railway Museum on March 19th and 20th, we wanted to give you some fun, low-budget ideas for creating an amazing Steampunk costume.

But first thing first, what constitutes the Steampunk look? Well, Steampunk fashion is based on the Victorian style aesthetic and influenced by Edwardian science fiction. Attires are usually neutral in color (yet…occasionally red and blues can be found) and often tied together by at least one prominent accessory (i.e. goggles, top hats, parasols, or some mechanical gadget).

Steampunk Women’s Costume

Women usually, but not always, wear dresses with corsets, petticoats, and a small feminine top hat or floral pin. Women can also take it up a notch and go for an adventurous look by dressing up as a pilot, air pirate, or even engineer.

Steampunk Men’s Fashion

Men’s Steampunk attire can take on a variety of looks/characters as well. Men can be seen in suits with vests, top hats, Victorian coats, high leather boots, gloves, and goggles. Those trying to achieve the explorer look can wear billowy clothing, pantaloons, high waters, and possibly an outback hat. Aviators may dress in military aviation or bomber jackets. And air pirates can wear a combination of the above with added feathers.

Dressing Steampunk on a Dime

When putting your costume together, the first place to look is in yours and/or a close one’s closet. The next place is the thrift store. With thrift store finds, the trick is to figure out what days your local thrift store has special deals and shop then. For instance, Goodwill’s may have dollar days on Thursdays while another will have half-off days on Tuesdays.

The Steampunk outfit is mainly handmade and has a DIY element. So don’t be afraid to get creative in particular with the accessories. A few common accessories include pocket watches, goggles, lolitas, Steampunk style jewelry, and headwear (i.e. top hats, leather flight helmets, pirate style bandanas, newsboy caps, arctic hats, pith helmets, straw boaters, or bowler hats). Hair can also be worn in braids, leathers, dreadlocks, and anything with punk-like to Victorian elements

In addition to your home and thrift stores, with the accessories, you can find some great treasures in the toy aisles, dollar stores, garage sales, your garage, and even create it yourself. There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest for this one.

Do you know where you can find more ideas? The workshops at the Iron Horse – Family Steampunk Carnivale of course. The Iron Horse – Family Steampunk Carnivale will be here in a couple of weeks, so if you haven’t grabbed your tickets, grab them now.