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FAQ: What is Steampunk?

what is steampunk

This has been the summer of the steampunk wedding here at Venus & Mars.  We’ve had so many awesome couples looking for outfits or accessories to steampunk their wedding.  We’ve also had a lot of wedding guest looking for ensembles and answers.  So many people want to know, what exactly is steampunk?

I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that I’m not sure there is a totally definitive answer to that question.  Some people know it involves goggles and gears.  Other people is say it’s when goths wear brown. I like to think of it as a sci fi fantasy world where steam is the main power source.  Basically think Jules Vern, H.G. Wells, time travel, Victorian Fashion and goggles. Do you know what the good news is? If there’s no definitive answer to what steampunk is then you are only limited by your imagination.

Do you know what else is awesome about Steampunk? It’s so inclusive.  You could wear brown pants, a white dress shirt, suspenders, and GOGGLES and be steampunk. Or you can go all out and build your own steam powered motorcycle, convert your keyboard into a typewriter and dress Victorian 24/7.  It’s all good in the steampunk hood and you can participate in whatever capacity you choose.

what is steampunkStill not convinced steampunk is amazing? Listen to this, you can create a character with your wardrobe. Are you an adventurer finding new lands and exploring unknown kingdoms?  Then you probably want to wear something easy to move in like a pair of black cotton bondage pants, a Queen Anne corsetlet and a steampunk pocket belt (for your map, compass and gadgets). Are you a high end watchmaker/ repair person who has discovered a magic secret in a patron’s watch?  You should probably dress the part in a poet shirt, military frock coat and some round glasses. Are you socialite by day and cat burglar by night? You’ should get used to wearing a corset and skirt but make sure you have your bustle pocket belt to hold your lock picking tools.

You can make just about anything steampunk.  Your only limitation is your imagination. Don’t believe me?  Google Steampunk (insert your favorite superhero, character, person here) cosplay you’ll find tons of pictures to draw inspiration to create your own steampunk character.

Do you think I got it right? What’s your definition of steampunk? Let us know in the comments below.

Spread the gospel of Steampunk! Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.



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Where Do I Wear This?

where do i wear this?

One of our most frequently asked question is “where do you wear this?”. It’s a question that comes in many forms.  Some people ask “who wears this stuff” and others ask “how would you describe what you’re selling”. The bottom line is that we do not carry what H&M carries and it confuses people. I think what they are really trying to ask is “Is there a market for alternative clothing?”.  And the answer is hell yes.

Where Do I Wear This?

lace up crop shrugI wear Venus & Mars stuff everyday.  I know that I may seem like the exception because I work at the shop but it’s actually really easy to integrate pieces into your wardrobe without looking super goth. For example the sleeves crop, shrugs, lace-up hoodie or lace up crop shrug are all really well crafted, handmade, quality pieces of clothing that can be worn anywhere. Throw your crop sleeves over a tank top with some jeans and you’re ready to walk your dog at the park. Add a shrug to a tank top or a tube top and you can easily hide your bra straps for work or school. The lace-up hoodie with any top and jeans or a skirt is an awesome outfit to wear to coffee.  Add a lace-up crop shrug to a body con dress and you’ve taken your look from basic to a little be edgy (on a side note, I’m totally rocking that outfit at the time of writing this). So the short answer is that we have quality pieces that can be worn everyday in any situation.

We do also provide many pieces to the film industry. Supernatural, Van Helsing, Once Upon a Time and Arrow are just a few shows currently using some of our products.  We also have a great selection of pieces that you could mix and match for costumes. Vampires, Steampunk, and Victorian costumes are our speciality. Many cosplayers also find items to complete costumes here such as fangs, ears, horns and contacts. In the past few years, we have seen an increase in people shopping for festival wear or Burning Man attire.  Many of the products we make have function in mind so you can find all kinds of things with pockets like harness, holsters and belts.

Who Wears This Stuff

As I mentioned previous we get a lot of festival goers, cosplayers and people from the film industry but steampunk gentlemanwe also get brides, grooms and grads. Wait, what? Really?  You may be thinking, but it’s true! We have been in business for 24 years.  In the past our main focus was gowns for bridal, grad and formal events.  Although our collection has expanded to include a lot more separates, we are still one of Vancouver’s top choices for alternative formal wear. We still have a decent selection of gowns but we now offer other options such as corsets, skirts, Queen Anne Corsetlets and more as an alternative.  We also have one of Vancouver’s largest alternative clothing selection for men.  Which means, guys, that you do not have to get married or graduate in a tux if you don’t want to.  We have kilts, military frock coats, vests and poet shirts that you could rock instead.

How Would You Describe What You’re Selling

I would describe what we sell as beautiful, quality, handmade clothing. But I also think that we fit into the category of Goth, Steampunk, Victorian, Cosplay and Festival Fashion. The truth is that like many people, we’re not just one thing. We are many things and different people put us into different categories. Some of the items we carry are integratable into any wardrobe for any occasion.  Other items are more appropriate for formal events. And other items work best for costumes. At the end of the day, you get to decide what you want to wear, how you want to wear it and whether or not you’re comfortable.  So rock a cape at the library if it makes you happy or wear a gown to your Victorian Lit class. There are no rules. We have something for everyone for any event.

Where will you wear your Venus & Mars gear? Let us know in the comments below!

Do you know someone who would love our store? Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.


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Make It Vancouver is less than One Month Away!

Grey Long Kilt Skirt - mirror outfit

Sanne Making thingsHoly smokes, Make It Vancouver is less than one month away.  We are so excited to be participating in the Make It show for the first time ever.  Sanne has been super busy making all kinds of new things and restocking sold out things.  What kind of things?  How about underbust holster vests, tails pocket belts and ladies tails vests to name a few.

The show runs Friday April 21 (11am – 9pm), Saturday April 22 (10am – 6pm) and Sunday April 23 (11am – 5pm) at the PNE forum. It will feature over 200 exhibitors selling gorgeous handmade items.  Unlike our other shows will we only be carrying handmade items at Make It Vancouver which means that all our amazing Venus & Mars steampunkery will be in the spotlight. As always, our vending prices will include tax and we will be accepting debit and credit as well as cash so if you’ve been saving your pennies for a new cloak Make It Vancouver would be an excellent time to get one.

Tickets are only $5 at the door, however if you want to pick them up now click here to get $2 off. What an excellent deal!  Did we mention that there will be a beer garden, food trucks and live music?  What are you waiting for?  Buy your tickets now so you don’t miss out on this great party!

Are you planning on coming out to Make It Vancouver?  Let us know all about it in the comments below.

Do you want the inside scoop on other events that we will be attending?  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest news on what we’re up to.  Want to find out Goth life hacks and super secret deals?  Sign up for the Steampunk Tempest and you’ll give you all the VIP insider information.


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Holy Smokes I forgot tomorrow is Valentines Day!


Get out your glitter, cardboard and ribbon, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  I don’t know about you but this year VD NINJAED itself out of nowhere.  Wasn’t Christmas like last week?  If you’re anything like me you’re probably scrambling to come up with a treat to give your sweetie to show them that you care. Here are my suggestions on how to make it look like you totally didn’t forget that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

Relationship Status:  Married or Long Term Relationship

Okay here’s how to wow your partner.  If you have kids send them off to grandma’s house.  Step one, clean up your bedroom.  Shove all the dirty laundry in the closet. Put clean sheets and bedding on the bed.  Now for the outfit.  Nudity is the end goal, but don’t start out that way.  I suggest a Venus&Mars waist cincher, a garter belt, and some pretty panties.  You can wear an outfit over top and go to dinner without your partner knowing that you have a sexy adventure waiting for them.  Then when you get home, do a little strip tease and reveal the awesome that you have on underneath and  I’ll let you take it from there.

RelationValentines Day 2017ship Status:  Brand New Relationship

Okay so you are probably still looking at your pumpkin with rose coloured glasses.  There’s a good chance you haven’t even heard them fart yet.  You might be tempted to go for flowers or chocolates but that’s just so generic.  Why not get them a cloak instead?  Nothing makes you feel more badass and mysterious than wearing a cloak.  Cloaks are great gifts: there’s a good chance your partner doesn’t have already,  they always fit, and you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll always be remembered as ‘the one who gave me a cloak’  even if the relationship doesn’t work out.

Relationship Status: Single with someone in mind

Valentine’s Day can be difficult when you’re single. It’s even harder when you single but you have a crush from afar.  It might be tempting to get your love interest a little something but I think your money is better spent getting yourself an outfit that you feel sexy and confident in.  The object of your desire might notice you, but if they don’t you have a new kickass outfit to console yourself with.  May I suggest a crinoline with a corset and a pair of sleeves for maximum noticeability?

Relationship Status: Single and hate Valentines

Alright, time to watch horror movies.  If you want to get yourself a little treat (I mean aside from all the chocolate you’ll be buying at a discount price of February 15th)  may I suggest a pair of stompy boots?  Stomp the fat cat capitalist holiday in a pair of 5 inch platform boots.  They’re stylish and practical.

How will you be celebrating Valentines this year?  Let us know in the comments below.

PULLEASE  be our Valentine and like us on like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to.  You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

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