Monday, February 18, 2013

Steampunk on a Budget

Entering the steampunk genre can be both overwhelming and expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Here a few tips to creating your steampunk look on a budget.

#1 Find Inspiration
                Before you start shopping take some time to decide what type of character you want to become. Remember to keep it reasonable, looks with lots of leather, or a custom corset will require custom ordering and a higher price tag.

               Once you have decided which look you want surf the internet and find several pictures similar to what you want. Print these pictures and write next to each what you like about the look, and what pieces you think are needed to get that look. If you don’t like something in one of the pictures make a note of that as well. This step will help when you get to the store and all the skirts start to look the same.

#2 Check Your Closet
                Many people are amazed by the pieces of their own wardrobe that work well with a steampunk look. Before you shop at the store, shop in your own closet, you’ll be amazed by what you find.

#3 Make a List
                The best way to spend too much and get too little is to not make a list. Before you leave make a list of the items you will need and include a brief description of each item. It is easy to get confused and distracted once you are in the store.

#4 Make a Budget
                Decide how much you want to spend. Setting a budget helps you not over spend and to stay focused on what you need.

#5 Where to Shop
                Great steampunk pieces can be found at your local thrift stores, or vintage clothing shops. Hot Topic can also be a good place to find more main stream pieces, including corsets but the prices are higher.

#6 Shopping
               When shopping here are a few tips to remember:

Don’t get stuck on the color: Your inspiration may have colors or fabrics that are not available, if you find something you love in another color, don’t shy away.

Don’t plan to modify: Don’t fall into the trap of buying something that needs a lot of modifications unless you have the ability to modify it yourself.

***** Tip: For no sewing required hems try Stitch Witchery from your local craft store. *****

Think outside the box: Your inspirations are just that inspiration. Don’t get hung up on recreating it exactly. Think outside the box, or in this case the picture and find what you love.

Thrift shopping can be a fun experience, especially with friends. So invite a friend and remember to have some fun.

#7 Don’t Forget The Accessories
              A great steampunk look is more than just the clothes it’s the accessories. A great pair of boots, or goggles can turn a simple outfit steampunk. The great thing is that many of these items are easy and inexpensive to make. Here are just a few:

Goggles:  Goggles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. has several great tutorials for making your own.
Guns:  A great accessory is steampunk inspired gun. These can be as simple as a painted nerf or squirt gun. Below is one example clicking the creators name will take you to the tutorial.

Created By: Susan Dennard

Hats: A variety of hats are available at costume shops and thrift stores. Adding a few steamy pieces can make them unique and fantastic.

Canes:  A straight cane in black or brown will dress up any outfit and give it a Victorian look.

Jewelry and Watches: Watches are a necessity for steampunk. All cogs, clocks, and gears are great! For jewelry check your local craft store for supplies or Etsy for ready made items.

Glasses and Monocles:  Uniquely shaped glasses and monocles are also popular steampunk accessories. Your local costume shop or will have a selection of these.

#8 Bring it All Together
                Once your shopping is complete try it all on together and make changes as needed. Keep in mind that this is the base you build your look from. Many of the detailed looks seen at conventions and online are developed over years of collecting different pieces. Don’t be afraid to make changes and update your look as you find things you love. You might just be amazed by where it goes and what you become.

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