When thinking about Steampunk, “simple” isn’t a word that always comes to mind. In most cases, what makes an outfit steampunk are the accessories.
Rocking out the Steampunk look in public will tend to get some head turns. Now the the above cartoon is more of an over statement of what is means to be dressed steampunk for a man, but if you were to do a Google search of “Steampunk Clothing” you would see that it’s really not that far off.
Now there is nothing wrong with this image of steampunk fashion/clothing, but this is about being a “Steampunk Minimalist” in your choice of clothing and accoutrement.
When thinking about this topic, I believe a good way to go about choosing what to wear is to ask the following questions about your attire:
Q1. Do I look like a time traveler?
Q2. Will people ask me, “What are you dressed up for?”
Q3. Will people possibly stop and want to take pictures with me?
Q4. Do I really need to be wearing goggles?
Q5. Do any of my accessories lack real world application?
Q6. Do I stand out at all?
Now here is how I feel you should be answering these questions if you are attempting to be a Steampunk Minimalist:
A1. You should be answering this with a “No.” I’m sorry, but you really shouldn’t look like you just stepped out of a Charlies Dickens novel. Yes, you look awesome… but looking awesome isn’t the point here.
A2. If people are asking you why you are dressed up… you’ve gone too far.
A3. Here, you’ve really really gone too far. This is on par with showing up to the local mall dressed like Superman, Batman, etc.
A4. Steampunk Airships are a work of fiction, and unless you rode your motorbike to the location you shouldn’t be wearing goggles.
A5. That Modified Nerf Steampunk Gun is a toy, leave it at home. Also like I said in A4, goggles need a real world reason to be on your body. Same goes for monocles and top hats. Though some people can pull of the top hat without going too overboard, but that really does depend on the rest of what you are wearing.
A6. If you don’t stand out at least a little bit, you aren’t steampunk enough. Part of the point is to express who you are and what you like.
I know it’s easy to say a bunch of words that don’t mean much, so let me show some examples of what I am talking about. Chances are you skipped right to this area anyway, I know I would have. :)
Examples of “just took it too far” (though still awesome)
Examples of “not far enough” (Good examples of starting-off points if you are struggling for ideas)
Examples of “just about right” (some break the rules I listed above, but not to any extremes. Besides, they are more like guidelines anyway).
I’m 100% that a lot of you (if you even made it this far) will disagree with my thoughts on Steampunk Minimalism in regards to Fashion. Remember this: if you like it, wear it. I’m not judging. Like a lot of you I tend to take it over the top more than my fair share of times.
Thanks for reading,
PS> if you made it this far also consider reading Steampunk Minimalism: Part II (Home Decor)