I don’t know what’s going on in the city right now but I’ve had a tone of people coming in for steampunk costumes. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to give a little bit of a refresher on steampunk essentials/ steampunk outfit ideas. And I decided to include some of my favourite steampunk pictures for reference.
You cannot go wrong with an underblouse and corset or waist cincher combo. It’s the perfect base for your outfit and immediately conjures up Victorian imagery. Alternatively, a waistcoat in place of a corset or cincher is also a good option if you’re not a fan of being laced in. Then all you need to do is add a princess skirt if you’re a fancy lady or a pair of velvet capris if you’re more of an adventurer. If you feel like you’re somewhere in between fancy and adventure then I suggest a long asymmetrical skirt.
My ideal men’s steampunk outfit is steampunk bondage pants, a poet shirt, a waistcoat and a steampunk frock coat. That can get a little bit expensive if you’re just starting out. I usually recommend guys start with a pair of brown or black dress pants and a white dress shirt then you can add one of waistcoats or a frock coat and immediately elevated the look.
Accessories are the best part and there is no limit on what you can add to your outfit. A pocket belt is probably a good start. You’re going to need somewhere to put all your time travel gadgets (not to mention your wallet and phone). Pocket watches are also pretty standard for steampunk. Suspenders will give any outfit a little something extra. Oh and goggles! How could I forget goggles! Steampunk and goggles are almost synominous.
What does your ideal steampunk outfit look like? Let us know in the comments below!
One of our most frequently asked questions is: do you do custom and/or alterations? It’s a totally reasonable question. If everything with the Venus & Mars label is handmade in store then it only seems logical that we would be set up to do custom but the truth is we’re not. Back in the day we used to do custom but a steady increase in business and customers has made it impossible to continue. The following is why.
Custom is expensive
Custom work is expensive. In the time that it takes to make one custom jacket, we could probably make two dozen steampunk frock coats (more on that below). From an accounting standpoint, it’s difficult to justify charging the same amount for one custom jacket as it would be for one regular jacket that we could produce in a small production run. We don’t think it’s fair to charge $1,000 or more for just one jacket but we wouldn’t be able to survive if we charged the same amount for custom as we do for off the rack.
It is time consuming
Everything we make is made in small production runs. That means that Sanne uses a pattern (of her own design) to cut multiple items at the same time. She then bundles everything together for our sewer and we get shiny new awesome products once they are all put together. If it is a brand new design then Sanne will cut one and sew a sample for our sewer. Depending on what we are making, we generally have a turn around time of a week for multiple items in a size run. Custom work requires a lot more time.We have to set up a consultation, make a new pattern, construct the garment, provide a fitting, and make any necessary alterations. In the time that it takes to do a consultation alone, Sanne could have cut 6 black wool cloaks.
Bonus: Putting together a cosplay? Check out What is cosplay for suggestions on how to put something together off the rack.
We don’t want to
Sanne started Venus & Mars in 1993 because she wanted to make her own designs. People come to us with excellent suggestions and incredibly creative ideas that we love to hear about. Sometimes these ideas even inspire us to make new things (for example the ladies tails vest) but that’s on our own terms and in our own designs. What has made the store successful for a quarter century is Sanne’s unique designs and we would like to continue in that vein.
We totally want to make your vision a reality. If you bring in a picture of what your trying to recreate, we can offer suggestions and help you come up with at least a base for your outfit. We’ll try to recommend other places too that might have what you’re looking for. If you do end up getting custom work done then make sure to do your homework. Look up reviews from other customers and shop around for a price that fits your budget.
What has your experience been with getting custom clothing made? Let us know in the comments below.