For me, the costume-y nature of most Steampunk get-ups goes against a very subtle underlying element of Steampunk itself, which is imagining that the alternate history is real. Imagining the what if as if it came to be. So the very best bits of Steampunk culture have verisimilitude, a wonderful word I learned way back during my film studies days that means, to quote Dictionary.com, "The appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood, probability." This means that the Steampunk looks I enjoy the most are the ones with the most realism--that look like they are real clothing, which might be worn by real characters, in the alternative reality of this re-imagined Victorianism.
And in this same vein, the Steampunk looks that really get me excited are those worn by normal, 21st century people going about their everyday business. Real-world Steampunk Style--a continuing series I have been meaning to write about ever since I started this blog. And yet, that is what I have been writing about all this time, when I share boots you can buy, or jackets, or jewelry. They are all pieces that are subtly Steampunk, that one could wear any day of the week, to work and out in the evenings, that manage to fashionably marry the Victorian era and the modern day. The people who dress up in Steampunk gear for occasional themed events are indulging their creative fantasies, and good for them; the people who work Steampunk into their everyday clothes are living their creative fantasies.
It is much harder to do the latter!
Think about it--depending upon your own personal life, to go about your day as a teacher, a banker, a mom, all in clothing that nods to Steampunk and nourishes your creative spirit, but which does not seem out of place to everyone around you. To wear clothes that are comfortable and practical for whatever activities that will come in your day, that are easy to care for and you will enjoy wearing--but make you feel just a tad daring and deviant. This is my personal fashion fantasy.
So starting last year, I decided I needed some new clothes, and by golly, if I could find vaguely Victorian pieces, so much the better! The hunt was on. And to be honest, maybe the hunt is half of the fun. I don't know which is tinier, my closet or my clothing budget; either way, I have no desire to collect clothes that don't meet my real-world needs, that might look cool but I wouldn't really end up wearing. So the process of steaming up my wardrobe is slow, but the few things I have found and bought already make me happy.
And that's really the point. Clothes that make us happy, that make us feel fully like ourselves.
So as I assemble these real-world pseudo-Steampunk outfits, I'll share them with you here. I know your tastes and mine won't necessarily be the same, but those of you who have a craving for more Steampunk in your everyday wardrobe might enjoy seeing what I've come up with.
And most of these Sunday Pseudo-Steam looks will likely be things I just wore to church! Tee-hee! If you can wear your Steampunk to church, you can wear it anywhere.
This Sunday's ensemble:
~ Jacket by Ann Taylor LOFT
~ Cocoa-nuts Skirt by Clockwork Couture
~ Pikolinos Moraira sandals
~ Earrings by Elaina Louise Studios
Subtle, for sure. But super comfortable, practical, and most of all, me.
If any of you readers have blogs or Flicker sites or any other online photo collection of your own real-world Steampunk style, please do share in the comments!