The aristocratic aesthetic is quite probably one of the most representative of the fashion aspect of this movement.
Neo-Victorian ladies and gentlemen are present at every steampunk gathering and event. To a lesser extent, however, is it known that not only the Victorian era lends itself well to steampunk, but that also the Edwardian, Belle Époque and even Regency periods are fantastic to gather inspiration and garments for your wardrobe.
The aristocrat takes care of his or her looks and is refined to the smallest detail. They dress impeccably, in garments and matching accessories that reveal their higher standing.
Gentlemen wear high-quality (dress) shirts, ties or ascots (preferably with cravat pin), waistcoats from the time of their preference, suit trousers and matching shoes, often accessorized with spats.
Monocles and top or bowler hats, as well as leather belts and walking canes, are excellent accessories for the gentlemen of standing.
In cooler weather, one can add a tail or frock coat, a long suit jacket or a long stylish coat.
And let’s not forget the elegant black umbrella for rainy days and the pocket watch to keep track of time.
Ladies wear shirts from the era of their preference, waistcoats or corsets, beautiful skirts of the preferred length and lovely matching boots, preferably of the button up and/or Victorian variety, but boots covered up with spats work just as well. Some even wear ties or ascots with their shirts, but that is more of a personal choice.
Other accessories to finish up this look are refined belts and ditto jewelry (a combination of gears, metals, charms/pendants and pearls is quite popular), a lovely umbrella (the Edwardian or pagoda umbrella is an excellent choice) or lace parasols, a pocket watch, so you shan’t be late at appointments, and, if you choose to, a dignified hat of your choice.
Those who choose not to wear hats more often than not wear elaborate hairstyles reminiscent of the Gibson Girls or a more contemporary coif.
This story first appeared in Gatehouse Gazette #2 (September 2008), p. 12, with the headline “Steampunk Wardrobe: The Steampunk Aristocrat”.