When my daughter's senior prom was approaching I found myself spending a lot of time looking at prom dresses. There are so many styles, fabrics and colors to choose from.
You can go with the cutesy pastels that remind me of proms in the late 70s and early 80s. Then you have the bolder colors that came in the late 80s and 90s.
I like that this generation doesn't seem to want to be pigeon-holed into one certain style. It really is "anything goes". There doesn't seem to be an expectation to fit in and dress like everyone else.
One style that I've fallen in love with that makes me wish I was back in school getting ready for prom is the Steampunk fashion style. The Steampunk style seems to incorporate a bit of the turn of the century steam era with a bit of Gothic, Victorian, sci-fi, and old West styles into one truly unique style. There is a certain romance and adventure that comes with this style. It incorporates an artistic element that gives you a lot of freedom to create. There is so much I could do with that. In fact, I wish my daughter would let me totally steampunk her prom dress this year. She loves the look, but I think she's a bit hesitant to go all out. She'll probably settle on something more traditional, I'm afraid.
How to Steampunk Your Prom for Guys and Girls
Steampunk fashion seems to be about layering using vests, corsets, hats, and bustles for women and vests, goggles, and topcoats for men. It's all about the accessories. You can take any ordinary outfit and add items to it and transform it into a Steampunk outfit.
Steampunk styles include a lot of earth tones like tans, browns, copper, rust, burgundy and blacks. However, you can take any color and pair it with any of these colors and achieve the same overall look.
Materials you can use to create the Steampunk look:
- Rolls of tulle and lace-opt for the earthtones or any dark color
- Taffeta or satin-great for women's skirts and look nice gathered or bunched. I would choose tans or off-whites if you want contrast, otherwise choose dark or earth tones
- Leather or faux leather-any shades are perfect. Irregular pieces work well too.
- Suede or faux suede-any shades will work.
- Gadgets-anything brass, copper or shiny will work. Gears, watch parts, and anything mechanical that you can attach works well. Skeleton keys are also very common.
- Goggles-you can find a lot of styles of goggles and eye wear online or you can make your own. Tinted round glasses are common, as well as monocles.
- Hats-a hat is a must for men and women. For men, a top hat is perfect. You can add accessories to it as well. It can even be a place to hold your goggles if you don't want to wear them. For women, almost anything goes. You can buy ready-made hats online or you can create your own. A picture of one I made is shown below. Individual feathers or boas and netting can be cut to create beautiful hats.
- Jewelry-for women this would be bib necklaces and chokers. Many of these incorporate cameos, gadgets, locks, skeleton keys and watch parts. You can find all sorts of parts online to make your own. For men, a tricked-out pocket watch is pretty standard.
- Gloves-For women, they're usually lacy or frilly, 3/4 length open fingers. For guys, they're strappy and leather with open fingers as well. You can easily make these or find these online as well.
- Belts, buckles and brass buttons-Big belts in various shades of brown with brass buckles work great. Big brass or brass-colored buttons are common.
- Shoes-any Victorian lace-up boots or vintage shoes or boots work well.
At the bottom of this page I'll provide some Amazon links for some of these products to help you get started in creating your own Steampunk outfit.
Introduction to the Steampunk Style
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