Steampunk is a genre of writing that comes under the umbrella of fiction (historical fiction to be more precise) and features stories set in a historical background with steam powered machines instead of advanced technology. In simpler words, steampunk is modern technology reimagined in earlier times as powered by steam. This includes robots, planes, trains etc.; almost all devices from today’s world can be reimagined as a more archaic yet functional device in the steampunk world. If H.G Wells or Jules Verne were to be writing novels today they would be considered to be steampunk.
What is steampunk fashion?
Steampunk has become so popular that now it also refers to the fashion of combining the romantic view of the Victorian era with elements of the revolution that happened in the 1800’s. This style is designed keeping in mind a post-apocalyptic era. There are no limits to what is considered steampunk, you can wear any colour you want and there would be a steampunk justification behind it (although one would consider drawing the line at neon colours). What everyone needs to understand is that steampunk is a colourful mix of adventures, romance, action and much more; therefore you could pair up anything together and chances are it would have a steampunk explanation in any of the numerous books written under this genre.
Steampunk fashion draws heavily from the 19th century Victorian dresses and the like. Women would wear long and flowing dresses with tight bodices and fancy jackets. Later on, dresses that were flared out at the hems became popular. Steampunk essentials for women would include corsets, goggles, jackets, bustled skirts etc. The lace and ruffles lend to it the Victorian essence while the leather and brass highlight the industrial elements. While steampunk fashion for men would consist of a darker twist on generic Victorian clothing; this would include striped pants, brocade vests, top hats and shades etc.
Essentially it is a mix of trends from various historical eras; it brings together the fashions of lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, soldiers and even prostitutes with the contemporary looks of goths, vampires, fetishes, burlesque and frills.
Honestly you cannot go wrong with steampunk clothing as it is a portrayal of your creativity with a little history mixed in between.