Author Sibelle Stone joined us a few weeks ago to talk about her latest release, the steampunk romance Prudence and the Professor, and educate us on exactly what the steampunk genre is. Today Sibelle is back to discuss another element of steampunk—fashion. Learn more about Sibelle and her books at her website.
Steampunk Fashion Inspiration
I came to the steampunk world via a local gathering—Steamcon—and discovered how much I loved the artistry of creating the fashions.
|Coat from cover photo shoot|
My first experience with dressing in steampunk style was five years ago, when a friend asked me if I wanted to attend the first Steamcon event. I really didn’t know much about steampunk, but the cost of the weekend was cheap, it sounded like fun, so I went along.
I searched my closet after looking at a few websites and assembled my own version of steampunk costuming. I had a full-length leather skirt, a lace shirt, some Victorian jewelry and a bowler hat. It must have been pretty close, because later my friends and I won a costume photo contest as “steampunk hussies.”
Since then I’ve broken out the sewing machine, found items at the Goodwill, created my own jewelry and discovered some great pieces at antique stores. The culture of steampunk is DIY and “modding” (this means to modify something to become steampunk.) For many of those who love the aesthetic of steampunk, it’s a good part of the fun!
While on vacation with my husband we always stop at antique stores, and when I climbed some stairs at a store and discovered a beaver top hat in a locked cabinet, I knew it was going home with me. But, the store owner didn’t have the key! I was very persuasive and he decided since the hat belonged to his sister, the sale was more important than the lock.
I’ve fallen back on my years of sewing to create several outfits. This was a painstaking project, a lined full-length coat, and my enthusiasm disappeared when I realized the finished project was too small. I hadn’t paid enough attention to the measurements on the pattern. The coat was part of the steampunk photo shoot for my book cover for Prudence and the Professor.
This past year, I created an outfit I refer to as “Pinkie Pie” in honor of my granddaughter’s favorite “My Little Pony.” I wanted to move away from the black/gray/brown color scheme, because Victorian’s loved color. There were new dyes in the late 1800’s, and for the first time people of all income levels could enjoy wearing colorful clothing.
What does it take to create a steampunk outfit? There are so many variations now, that you can let your imagination go wild. First you should think about your character, who do you want to be? Then create a list of things to collect or make. Long skirt or short? Bustle or petticoats? Pants? Vests? And while goggles are not mandated, they are a lot of fun. Search Google images and Pinterest for inspiration, then get creative.
Note: In honor of my recent release: Prudence and the Professor I’m offering my first Sibelle Stone book, Whistle Down the Wind, free on Amazon, February 21 - 24. Download it here.