Steampunk Fashions for Mature Gentlewomen

By Lynne Lumsden Green

One of the great pleasures for me, as a Steampunk Enthusiast, is that Steampunk cosplay seems to attract people of every age. Personally, I would rather not be mutton dressed in Lolita cosplay, and I am a little too old to be a ‘Magic Girl’, but the Steampunk Aesthetic suits – nay, embraces – every age group from tiny babies to the Grey Foxes and Vixens. I can look forward to being eighty, ninety, or even a hundred, and still being able to find Steampunk fashions suitable for me.

lynne_greenPortrait by James Niland

So, what looks can be adapted for a middle-aged woman who likes to cosplay in the Steampunk Aesthetic? Steampunk clothing is based on Victorian and Edwardian clothing. This covers a lot of styles and era, and it makes it easier to find a look that flatters both your body shape and your colouring. Best of all, if you don’t like to be femme, you can always adapt masculine Victorian clothing into a Steampunk outfit; I like to dress as a Mad Scientist in trews, because a skirt & high heels would make it difficult to run away fast enough from an experiment fizzing and about to explode. I’m still a female Scientist … but I am eccentric and all, you know.

You can go completely nuts once you have picked your look. Your hat, bustle, boots, corset, belts, and handbag can all be hiding gadgets. You go wild with the colours, as all the new dyes were being discovered in the Victorian ever!

My only major drawback is that I live in a sub-tropical climate. This means I can’t go ‘all out’ in the hottest seasons of the year, and it never snows wear I live so I can’t get too enthusiastic with my winter fashions. This is where I get inspiration from other Steampunk communities from around the world. My community isn’t the only Steampunk community with this problem, and so I get very excited when I see the cosplay from other tropical and sub-tropical Steampunk communities.

I look forward to the day when I can visit these communities rather than just admire them online.

 

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Published in: on February 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm  Comments (10)  
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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love Steampunk and I’m up in age too. You keep on!

  2. Yeah, that’s really a nice thing about Steampunk, it suits all ages. I’ve seen grandparents and toddlers in Steampunk fashion, it was just great. And I hope that when I’m old, Steampunk will still be around 😉

  3. hi there I am 62 years of age and trying to put together a steampunk ouffit to wear to DragonCon this year when I attend with my 2 daughters…any great ideas suggestions ?

  4. Steampunk isn’t age-specific. There are lots of looks suitable for a mature woman. The simplest would be adding goggles to a hat and wearing a long shirt and a vest or corset. I suggest a long skirt with a homemade tie-on bustle, and a vest. If this is a one off, it is up to you if you want to invest in a corset.

  5. Steampunk isn’t age-specific. There are lots of looks suitable for a mature woman. The simplest would be adding goggles to a hat and wearing a long shirt and a vest or corset. I suggest a long skirt with a homemade tie-on bustle, and a vest. If this is a one off, it is up to you if you want to invest in a corset.

  6. Visible corsets can be argued about, So can all the cogwheel jewelry. One possible inspiration is the traditional English riding outfit. One tool for the mad scientist: a slide-rule, perhaps in a belt-pouch where others might carry a revolver or bayonet. And ex-military leather map-cases are still to be found at fairly low prices, just the thing to carry something such as an iPad without being obvious.

    And everything was being turned topsy-turvy a hundred years ago as the men went off to war and women moved into industry to replace them. Steampunk has a bit of that shift in clothing in it.

    So a woman as Mad Scientist? The visible base could be jodphur boots and pants, a shirt with a frilly front, and some sort of long coat (a duster?) with pockets. A derby hat (bowler in the UK) with goggles actually makes sense as protection. Maybe something more like a vest/waistcoat with an obvious lace-up front, rather than a corset. Accessories would include a pocket-watch, and whatever fits your concept of mad science.


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