Tuesday, March 27

Steampunk on eBay--for Today

I have never searched for Steampunk women's clothing on eBay; I figured whatever I found would be cheaply made mass-produced "fantasy" costume clothing made in China by exploited workers.  But today, after searching a few specific things and getting some decent results, I decided to dive in and see what there was to see.  I started by searching for simply the word "peplum."  Then I tried "bustle."  For each of these searches, I did not narrow the search any further, just wanting to see everything that was out there under those key words.  When I had exhausted those two words, I tried "steampunk," and had a lot of the cheap-looking goth/pirate/lolita/tribal/steampunk costume-y clothing I had expected.  But I also found some brand name, "real" clothes, quite a few of which have excellent Steampunk potential:

New RALPH LAUREN Striped Cotton Peplum Jacket Blazer 14/16

Oh, how I wish that jacket was in my size--SO CUTE.  Steampunk, with a little extra punk and a tad of circus sideshow thrown in. 

Another striped jacket--more hobo/carney, but still loads of Steampunk potential.  Also not my size, of course.

Gotta love the way this person did not bother to upload the photo properly.  And the title of the item--simply "steam-punk"--does not inspire either.  However, it's a cute jacket, and at $5.99 (plus shipping) it is worth consideration.

RIVER ISLAND FITTED TWEED PEPLUM JACKET UK 8 10 Steampunk Victorian 40's Bustle 

The back of this one is really cute, with a little peplum detail, and I like the neckline.

Free People Lightweight Corduroy Brown Vest Ribbon Tie Steampunk Small

Now THIS one is my size--and I am seriously considering bidding on it.  After I contact the seller to make sure those subtle pinkish spots are just from the camera glare and are not on the fabric itself!

Banana Republic Heritage Ruffle Peplum Jacket Sz 8 $198


$49 Steampunk Western Desert Cotton Victorian Riding Walking Long Maxi Skirt S

This skirt is from one of the sellers that was a little hard to place--lots of mass-produced things, most of it looking fairly sloppy quality, and seeming to be of cheaper fabrics.  But this skirt stood out--the detail in the close-ups looks well-done, and it is cotton.  And it is ADORABLE.  This skirt may be headed for my closet. . . .

*UPDATE.  I did bid on it, and when reading the details, found that this same skirt is on sale at Clockwork Couture, but for a slightly higher price.  Lo and behold, it is!  This makes me trust the quality of the skirt a lot more. Score!  

STEAMPUNK Aviator Pilot Aviatrix Flight Military Faux Leather fp Jacket S

This faux-leather jacket is by the same seller as the skirt above.  And so again, you have the more mass-produced, potential cheap materials thing going on.  But it is really a cute jacket, so I had to share anyway.  I love the distressed look, and the original cut, and can even forgive that it is not real leather.

Wet Seal Women's Military Style Jacket Olive sz Small STEAMPUNK

Very cute.  I would be very tempted by this jacket, except I have a new Ann Taylor jacket that is just similar enough that I don't really need it.  Although the longer I look at it, the more tempted I am. . . .


I'm telling you--Ann Taylor had the cutest Steampunk fodder in jackets this past year.  The one I bought last Fall was similar to this, with a little peplum in the back, but had regular buttons/holes and a tie belt.  I love the buttons on this one!  


Bustle Back Ruffle Riding mod Jacket Small designer classic victorian punk rock

It is hard to tell from this poor photo what the fabric of this jacket is really like, but it has really cute detail on the sleeves and shoulders and back--might be a VERY cute Steampunk piece!

Elevenses is a typically well-made brand, and I love the simple styling of this top/jacket.  It would be nice in navy, which the listing says it is, but I would like it even better if it were purple, like the image shows.  While such a deep and  vibrant color is not one that most people associate with Steampunk, there is absolutely no reason why it couldn't be.  The Victorians loved color!


Nice fabric, love the color--I'm thinking just pull off the uninspiring buttons and swap them out for some textured black Victorian glass buttons. . . . In fact, changing buttons is a really easy way to add a little extra vintage or specifically Steampunk appeal to any jacket with a neo-Victorian shape.

Steampunk Jacket VTG Victorian Ruffle Trim Lined Coat Crackle Charcoal Gray NW L

I hesitated sharing this jacket; I am not crazy about the pattern of the fabric, and yet I love the detail.  And it looks well-made.  And, heck, a real-life Victorian lady probably would have loved the pattern, so, there's no reason why it could not be part of a beautiful and practical Steampunk outfit.

And, finally, here is a listing I came upon that I HAVE to share with you all--and trust that you will share with all your fellow Steampunk ladies:

Renaissance Gothic Steampunk Punk Velvet Coat Dress Ball Gown C002 L

This beautiful dress/coat is currently listed at $0.01.  

It is nowhere NEAR my size, or I would SO be bidding.  (Oh, wait. . . they do have one similar in my size.  Click!) If you visit the seller's store, there are lots of other gorgeous dresses for the same starting price. I have no idea where these items are made, but even the full-price dresses are so reasonable (at least compared to similar things on Etsy) that I can't be sure these are not also the product of slave labor.  At least the store is here in the US (and not in LA), which is a little less suspicious.  But seriously, go and check out this eBay store--very good to know about if you are ever wanting a ready-made full-blown Victorian look!

So, that was how I spent my afternoon tea time today.  Not a complete waste of time, right?  (Esp. if I win that incredibly low bid on that last dress. . . ; )

Happy hunting to all of my fellow Steampunk treasure hunters.  Please feel free to leave links in the comments if you have anything exciting to share!

Saturday, March 24

Gorgeous Steampunk Earrings!

Thanks to Jen's Saturday Steam post today at Epbot, I found a new favorite etsy seller:

These and all the following beauties are by Elaina Louise Studios.

These are the earrings Jen featured--adorable, elegant, whimsical, and one of the most effortlessly Steampunk styles I have ever seen.  Usually the harder a jeweler has to work to make a particular piece "steampunk," the less likely I am to like it.  The most perfect Steampunk pieces are those that are the most logical in design, and have an almost organic nature to their construction.

That does not mean Steampunk can't be fancy (that's for another post!); I'm trying to describe an aesthetic that my eyes quite easily catch, but my tongue does not seem to have the right words for.  My favorite Steampunk pieces are subtle, but ingenious--like the genre itself--and simple or fancy doesn't matter as much as a certain rightness. . . . And if I can't describe it, at least I can show you what I mean:

Vaguely reminiscent of industrial bronze lanterns, with a little hint of an iridescent coppery patina--a gorgeous, subtly Steampunk accessory. 

Some of my favorite pieces by this artist are more blatantly Steampunk--but the beauty of the angular copper cogs juxtaposed with the antique shape and sheen of the beads is just so beautiful.  Earrings like this are simple enough to add a little Steam style to T-shirts and jackets, and yet elegant enough to be worn with dresser ensembles:

These last copper-hued earrings are a little Steampunk-Modern--a pairing that is harder to bring together, aesthetically, but this set demonstrates it can be done with grace.  

Of course, the root of Steampunk is Victorian, so any neo-Victorian earring will do--but only certain combinations of color and shape can make me swoon:

The copper and aubergine together are simply gorgeous!   

All of the earrings on this page I would buy in a heartbeat!  It's a good thing I have so much restraint. . . . 

Friday, March 9

more steampunk-y boots, from 6pm

So, when I started my last post on steampunk boots, I was only reporting what I found and liked from one site, Zappo's.  (And I don't get any kick-back from anybody for sharing such a collection with you all--I'm just doing it because it is fun to do it.)  So I decided to hop over to Zappo's sister site, 6pm, to see what was there to be found in the same genre.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a good selection--I would say even too many brown leather/straps/brass buckle boots, if you can believe that. My eyes started to glaze over, and I started to only save images of those that were in some way aesthetically outstanding.  So, as with the first post, I am not saying I like all these boots, but there is something to each of them that I do like very much, some juxtaposition of texture and trim, or some bit of imaginative design.  These boots all appeal to my eye, in some way, and that is all that it takes to get a spot on this blog.

Like these first boots, which have a nice placement of straps/buckles, and which are a nice shade of brown. With a little farmer/ranch feel, these would work well for the Steampunk Adventurer.  Or a Steampunk Pioneer!  (Little Dirgible Over the Prairie. . . now I can't wait to start looking for that mash-up on the web!)

I just love the antique feel of the leather texture and the appropriated men's look of the foot.  Not really Steampunk, but--like many of the boots I feature here--could be, with the right clothes and accessories.

Another fun twist on the gentlemen's shoes--spats!  The velvety texture adds a very feminine, elegant edge, and I really like the patterned fabric (elastic, I assume) on the back.  Very appropriate for an evening/dressy event.  If not paired with a long skirt ensemble they would have a goth/punk feel.

The toe design on these is a little too modern for my tastes, but I love the cut around the ankle and the brass buttons!

Here's the perfect boot for the Steampunk cowgirl!

Betsey Johnson really has a thing for ruffles on boots (see my last boot post), and I still can't decide if I really like it or loathe it.  I definitely find it creative and intriguing, two adjectives most Steampunk gals would love to work into their wardrobes, so the element has potential.

This one I shared because it is so utterly fascinating in its hideousness.  It can also be considered as proof that Steampunk style is starting to be noticed by designers, who want to work its aesthetics into their own lines for greater "relevancy" and therefore profit.  Good luck with them on that last part.  BUT, if you ever want a vaguely Victorian hi-top sneaker boot. . . well, here you go.

Another basic but stylistically versatile boot. I do like the more rounded toe on these.

Not my favorite, but a good option for a basic SP boot.

These, on the other hand, are basic, versatile, and sexy.

These, and some of the following styles, would be for your Steampunk biker gal. (Anyone seen that mash-up yet?)

Why does this pair remind me of something Princess Leia might have worn during her run-ins with the Ewoks on Endor?  Still, I can see steampunk potential.

I like the two sizes of buckles and the glossy leather.  Still more equestrian than anything else, but subtle enough to work with a steampunk ensemble.

Oooooh, these boots are sweet.  A little bit Victorian, a whole lot of vixen.  Elegant and stylish--my favorite of the bunch!

I started this second boot post a loooooooooong time ago, so don't remember now what else was there at 6pm that I am now forgetting.  But at least this is a glimpse of some interesting options for anyone like me sizing up potentially Steampunk boots!