Bringing Back the Hat

The hat is one of those garments that seems to be going the way of corsets and stockings, onward to slow extinction. Wearing anything other than a baseball cap or a beanie is almost sure to turn heads and garner compliments. Paired with an anachronistic wardrobe, it’s sure to make a statement and set the wearer apart.

The case of men’s hats is a particularly interesting case. Many women still don hats for special occasions, but men have been largely ruled out of the hat scene. This wasn’t always the case. Back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a proper gentleman would not go anywhere without his hat.

Can you spot the guy who left his hat at home? Because I can't.

Thanks to our friends at The Art of Manliness, this no longer has to be the case. They’ve come up with a great article giving a comprehensive view of the gentleman’s option when it comes to head wear. Bringing Back the Hat is all about the reintroduction of the hat into today’s anachronistic gentlemen. There’s a wonderful overview of the different kinds of hats along with some illuminating history that will help the discerning man choose precisely the hat for him.

Most of these hats are more likely to appeal to Dieselpunks, but there’s plenty of opportunity for creativity when considering your next hat purchase!

SteamCon II Couture

Ah! All this talk about conventions has gotten me incredibly excited for the next convention on my circuit, SteamCon II. I’ve already booked my flight and hotel for what will certainly be a thrilling week of Steampunk misadventure. In browsing through their site once again, I discovered that the Couture section of SteamCon’s website had been updated!

This year, there are going to be two teas and fashion shows. According to the website:

One tea will be a classic high tea with the fashion show focused on elegant evening wear and formal frocks. The other tea party will be more akin to the convention’s theme of The Weird, Weird West. This tea will be a leisurely and informal style. The accompanying fashion show will feature the rough and tumble edge of steampunk with a focus on men’s wear and utilitarian looks.

I’m more inclined to go to the high tea because 1) I don’t really care for American West Steampunk 2) I am not a man and 3) I’m always interested to see how people decide to enmesh the Steam and Punk aspects into formal wear. For me, Steampunk fashion is a combination of the two aspects, not just Steam, and not just Punk. Both are equally important to create our unique look and make us stand out from the Neo-Victorians. But that’s just me.

Anyway! The applications for both designers and models to be showcased in SteamCon II’s fashion shows are now online.

Designers, click here for your application. Models, click here. Please be sure to visit the Couture section of SteamCon’s website for the full listing of the their rules and expectations regarding your application and submissions. I do hope to see some of my reader’s and/or designs on the SteamCon II catwalk, so let me be the first to wish you all good luck!

Steampunk Wedding Tuxedo

A dear friend of mine is soon to be wed was talking about the relative ease her groom had in selecting his wedding attire when compared to herself. This conversation started me thinking about what a Steampunk gentleman might wear to his wedding. There’s only so much one can theoretically do with a tuxedo, right?

Squee!

Alright, gentlemen. Allow me to tell you something. This tux is hot, and that’s saying something from me because I generally don’t care for light colored formal wear. I’m sure that this dapper coat would make all the ladies who witnessed you wearing it swoon.

The gorgeous tuxedo coat is a one of a kind creation by ManicManx, who specializes mostly in frock coats with a Victorian edge. As this coat is already made, not something on commission, do make sure to check your personal measurements before ordering this garment. It also might be a good idea to ask ManicManx if she has any left over fabric that the coat was cut from to see if she might make you matching tux slacks… I don’t know if she has any or not… it’s just an idea!

You can learn more about ManicManx though her website and blog. For more pictures of her previous work, visit her Flickr account here.

Utilikilt

In summer, it is unfortunately true that the Steampunk gentleman has few options in leg-wear when compared to his female counterparts. The lady has the option of a dress, a skirt, pants, or even Capri/pedal pusher pants to stylize her wardrobe. The gentleman, however, has been stuck with pants, as shorts on a Steampunk gentleman looks, in my book, almost always ridiculous.

But no more! For tonight, I present to all you gentleman out there, a liberating alternative to the traditional pantaloon and the ultimate in manly-man fashion, the Utilikilt.

Pictured above is their Survival kilt which features detachable belt bags, deep internal pockets, and a modesty enclosure. I love this kilt because it is at the point of Utilikilt’s line where fashion meets function. And the fact that the kilt can carry 20 bottles of beer is plenty of assurance that it will be able to hold whatever tools an airship mechanic might need to keep close at hand.

But the Survival kilt is hardly the only notable garment in Utilikilt’s line. One could hardly go wrong with the Mocker for a workplace kilt, and the Tuxedo kilt is a fabulous and striking option for more formal events.  I have never met a man who, upon receiving his Utilikilt, did not absolutely love it, and at current count, I do believe that number stands at three individuals.

So, gentlemen, this summer, break from the norm (like all good punks should) and consider adding a Utilikilt to your wardrobe.

Steampunk Sunglasses

Today, I’m featuring eye-wear that is sufficiently Steampunk, but not the typical goggles we all know and love. Sometimes, goggles just won’t do, but what should take its place?

Ah, yes, that looks about right.

This and many other amazing designs are the work of Alexander Tasou, a famous designer who has been crafting accessories namely for science fiction films since the 1980’s. You can bet that with all that experience, Alexander knows a thing or two about making a pair of outstanding sunglasses. These sunglasses are sure to turn heads and garner many an honest compliment on your fashion sense.

You can see the whole line of Alexander’s Steampunk sunglasses here, but while you are at his site, be sure to check out his other designs on things like bags, watches, and head-wear.  I love his briefcase designs, and some of those masks would be excellent options for someone looking to make a statement at a masquerade.

Steampunk Attire

A while back, I told you all about the wonders of Etsy and why I am absolutely in love with it. It’s ability to connect you with artisans making unique, handcrafted goods is totally in line with the Steampunk “maker” ethic which focuses on the inventor or artist as a prime economic power. I have more reasons to love Etsy, which I promise I will explore later, but today, I want to focus on another website which will invariably help you in your search to complete your Steampunk wardrobe: Ebay.

And, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Ebay. I don’t like that I’m often not assured the item I want because of the bidding system. I also find navigating Ebay somewhat clunky.

But, I’ve found a website for you all which considerably streamlines the process of buying Steampunk accessories through Ebay: Steampunk Attire.

This site is wonderful for consolidating all of a certain accessory tagged as Steampunk on to a single website so you can effortlessly recall and watch items.

This isn’t the first place to look if you are looking to build an outfit from its foundations, but for the accessories that add a level of polish to the entire ensemble, this website cannot be beat!

Happy bidding, everyone!

Gentleman’s Emporium

Some of my gentlemen Steampunk cohorts have recently lamented their position in the Steampunk fashion world. They have told me that the felt as if their Steampunk attire was not as impressive or attention grabbing as ladies fashion. There is, unfortunately, an element of truth to this. Men’s clothing has changed very little over the course of the past two centuries, making it a bit more difficult for the Steampunk gentleman to find clothes that are distinctly Victorian influenced.

Gentleman’s Emporium is an excellent place to start for those seeking to build a solid wardrobe for both men and women, but their men’s selection is positively outstanding.

I’ve had personal experience with this company. I once bought a tailcoat from them which continues to please me. It arrived well packed so as to ensure the garment was not damaged in transit to my residence. It is well constructed from excellent materials and fit precisely to specifications. Five years after my purchase of this tailcoat, I’m still very pleased with it.

They’ve recently added a “Steampunk” section to their homepage, but I really can’t see much of a difference between the products listed on the Steampunk section as to their regular line. I’d encourage you to look through all of the departments which strike your fancy.

Gents, don’t pass this merchant up when building your Steampunk wardrobe!