Steaming it up in Sultry Weather: Cosplay in a Brisbane Summer

Where I live, it is going to be 43 degrees Celsius today, which is 109 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you who still live by the old scale. No matter how you measure it, it is going to be hot, hot, hot.

Women's Fashions 1880.

Imagine having to wear layers and layers of clothing in an era with no air conditioning (Oh, may blessings rain down on the inventors of air conditioning.) Both Vicwardian men and women wore ten times as much clothing as their great grandchildren, though I think the women with their corsets had it worse. Think of the poor laundry maids, having to wash summer clothes rancid with sweat, in rooms heated with boiling coppers. I wonder how many laundry maids expired from heat prostration? They would have had to have been strong, strapping girls, because wet clothes weigh a ton.

Ipswich Open House visit 2014 164Ipswich Open House visit 2014 166

I am not at all strapping, so I can’t cosplay a laundry maid. But it does give you an insight into why Jenny Flint from Doctor Who was so athletic. Being a maid wasn’t for the weak or faint of heart. (This should be the topic for another day.) A Steampunk maid would be a formidable woman.

But I digress. Cosplaying in this sort of heat means using lots of cotton and cool fabrics, and favouring ‘tropical’ dress like safari suits. Having both a hat and a parasol suddenly makes a lot of sense. No metal … unless you want to be scalded as it heats up in the sun. Or you can do what my friend Linda does, and cavort in Steampunk Swimming Costumes – cool and stylish.


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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Cosplay, Personal experience, Steampunk

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