One of my favorite childhood games would have to be dress-up. Halloween would’ve been my favorite holiday, if my community celebrated and dressed up for it. Sadly for me, people in the community I live in never did celebrate Halloween so the only costumes I ever wore were the crappy ones we had to wear for Elementary School Field Demonstrations.
Enter 5Over5 (inside joke), a group of musicians, actors, graphic designers and stand up comedians and all around sabaw yet fun folks. Unusual ideas and random acts of weirdness are common occurrences with them, which I wholeheartedly participate in when they do happen.
So when one of them started planning his birthday, and suggested to have a Steampunk themed party, you can only imagine my resounding “YES!”
I define steampunk as a mix of fantasy and science fiction set during the Victorian age, when technology is just starting to surface. As a subgenre of sci-fi, steampunk usually have themes of rebellion and historical what-if scenarios. I can go on about this subject, but this post isn’t really about that.
Anyhoot. I am no expert on steampunk fashion (not even fashion in general), but when I think steampunk, I think of the frills of Victorian garb like corsets, petticoats, and full skirts (top hats and tailcoats for the dudes) mixed with leather boots, grungy vests, pistols, brass gears and roughly hewn metal objects. Two words: Totally badass.
The party was in two weeks, and I live on an 8k monthly salary. Needless to say, I had no intentions of spending my hard-earned cash on a custom-made outfit, no matter how much I wanted to go all out on the costume. What I did? Improv.
Here’s our take on Steampunk:
Improvising a steampunk outfit for ladies is pretty easy. All you have to do is mix basic pieces like vests and collared shirts (both preferably in solid, earthy colors) and jeans, with the right accessories.
Here are some suggestions that can steampunk-ify your ensemble:
1. Corset Belts – Corsets are almost staples in steampunk, but a well-made corset would cost at least a thousand pesos. I am a huge fan of corsets, but they are rather impractical for me as I have very few opportunities to wear it. The next best thing would be the corset belt. I got mine on sale in Mariposa in Edmonton for only 10 Canadian dollars, which converts to roughly 400 to 500 pesos.
2. Choice footwear would have to be boots, whether it be knee high or ankle length, it doesn’t matter. They would go great with skinny jeans and even better with dresses. Think of it this way: You HAVE to wear a skirt but you want to be ready to run away (or travel on horseback) should the need ever arises…and look fabulous doing it. Haha yes, I do put myself in character when I have to dress up. :p
3. Brass (or brass-colored) accessories – Unlike gold and silver, brass has a dull shade to it that makes it seem like it has seen better days and that it has been through some rough times. Its vintage appeal makes it perfect for the steampunk genre.
These vintage looking necklaces sell for around 150-300 pesos in Greenhills (depending on the size of the pendant and bulk of your order), if you have the patience to look for them. But if you want less hassle, they’re available in online stores for about 400 to 500 pesos.
4. Others: Top hats, long gloves, long-barreled (toy) pistols and leather cuffs provide nice finishing touches.
What’s best about improvising (save for the fact that it’s less expensive) is that you can use the accessories separately to add more oomph other outfits.
And there you have it! My take on steampunk. Any other suggestions? Feel free to comment!