Dangerous Curves: A Steampunk Feminist Perspective

Aleta Pardalis

Aleta Pardalis

Once upon a time, not that many years ago, I was considered too thin. These days, I would consider myself rather voluptuous for my height. The great thing about Steampunk cosplay is that it can be adapted to any shape or size or age of womankind. Not every cosplay genre can be worn by a mature woman.

Ivy Doomkitty - cosplay queen

Ivy Doomkitty – cosplay queen

You can be elegant in a Steampunk-inspired outfit, or sexy, serious, adventurous, or dainty … whatever you want. The best part is experimenting to see what works best for you. It isn’t had to throw together an outfit if you want to try the Steampunk Aesthetic out, particularly if you are unsure if you want to make a big commitment in money or time.

Dorothy Winterman's Asian-influenced Steampunk outfit by Luisa Ana Fuentes

Dorothy Winterman’s Asian-influenced Steampunk outfit by Luisa Ana Fuentes

Start off with a fairly full skirt, and put another full skirt over the top. Pull the top skirt up to reveal the skirt underneath, and pin it with a brooch or kilt pins (easily available at most Haberdashery stores). For your blouse, pick something with long sleeves and a high collar. Put another brooch at your throat. Loop a few different types of necklaces around your neck, chains with Victorian charms, pearls, black beads. Put you hair back into a bun and wear dangling earrings. Borrow a pair of goggles, or buy a cheap pair at the hardware store. Slip on gloves. Slip on boots. Slip on stockings. Belt your waist with a wide belt or sash, and add suspenders if you have them. Scrounge a few gadgets from the garage or your camping gear, or even the toybox! And there, with a minimal outlay, you have your first Steampunk outfit.

Steam Fashion II from Pinterest

Now, how do you think you look? Are you having fun playing dress ups? Do you want to take it further? Do you want to go all feminine or masculine?

Masculine suits for women.

Your most expensive items to purchase will be your hats, your corsets, and your footwear. You can generally find most of your clothing items in second-hand shops, or online. If you are prepared to do your own sewing, your outfits can get quite elaborate. The minimum wardrobe would be:

  • a full length skirt
  • a Victorian-style blouse
  • boots or shoes
  • a corset or vest
  • gloves
  • hat
  • matching stockings or long socks

But you can add so much to this basic outfit. Fans, parasols, canes, utility belts, bustles … you are only limited by your imagination.

Purple and Cream dress from the front Purple and Cream dress from behind



Filed under Alternative Subculture, Personal experience, Steampunk Cosplay, Steampunk Feminist

9 responses to “Dangerous Curves: A Steampunk Feminist Perspective

  1. Really like this post! Some good ideas here!! Thanks 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on chrispavesic and commented:
    This has some great ideas about how to put together steampunk inspired outfits for different body shapes.

  3. Grateful Geek

    Steampunk is one of my favorite things! Such an expensive passion though! I’m working on improving my seamstress skills though 🙂

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