Steampunk Fashion for Women Over 40 or 50
by Christina Gregoire
What is Steampunk and why will you wear it? I know you’re probably over 40, 50, or 60. Hey, I’m almost 60 myself. So, why am I talking to you about Steampunk fashions when you and I “know” you’re never going to wear anything as silly as a Victorian-style outfit unless you’re invited to a fancy dress (masquerade) ball?
Well, I happen to know that playful, little Steampunky things will sneak into your closet when you aren’t looking. Hey, once you know what you're looking for, you will notice inconspicuous elements of the Steampunk trend all around you. So, let us brave the new world and find out how older women can incorporate details of this indie trend into their fashionable wardrobes.
What the Funk is Steampunk?
Steampunk can be a lifestyle, but in your case, you can think of it as a fashion trend. Steampunk style developed from an obsession that many younger people, usually from England or Japan, had (and continue to have) with the Victorian Era and its dapper styles.
But, Steampunkers took the Victorian-goth trend a step further by incorporating many of the fantastical, science-fiction ideas from the Victorian period. Highlights of this include the Jules Verne’s novels, A Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, along with H.G. Well’s The Time Machine.
Steampunk for Seniors
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself what a bunch of punky kids in London have to do with a mom, from Kansas, like you. Well, that depends. If you wear a Chairman Mao Suit, a jogging suit, or a Nun’s habit every day, Steampunk will affect you only in a subliminal way. However, if you are one of the few sensible women in the U.S., who sometimes wears shoes that do not say NIKE on the side, you might begin to notice the Steampunk trend and you will probably like some aspects of it.
Sgt Pepper’s Meets Mary Poppins
I’m going to try to simplify Steampunk fashion for older people using imagery from my generation, so all of you purists out there can correct me in the comment box below. To start with, there is more than one type of Steampunk, but many fashionable Steampunk outfits include elements of one (or more) of these baby-boomer memories:
- Sgt Pepper’s: Remember Carnaby Street in the 60's? Well, this time the military jacket is for both men and women (unisex).
- Mary Poppins: Even though "formal" Steampunkwear is from the Victorian and Edwardian Eras (around the time of Mary Poppins), the Steampunk "era" sometimes includes other time periods, such as the First or Second World War. However, you are not designing a period piece for a movie, so feel free to mix and match whatever looks good on you.
- Around the World in 80 Days: Steampunk aesthetics often involve references to spectacular inventions and the art of the possible, so anything related to hot-air balloons, dirigibles, steam engines, gears, and sci-fi rayguns are apropos. (article continues)
Keep reading about steampunk fashion for women on page two - if you find this interesting.