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Author Topic: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?  (Read 68804 times)
Gavin
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« on: June 26, 2010, 01:30:10 am »

Eh...I'm seventeen years old, and all the steampunk clothes I've seen are quite expensive. I supposed I could get a job or something. Where can I get *cheap* steampunk clothes?
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 01:35:27 am »

I cannot recommend second hand/thrift/charity shops enough.

Dachary
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 01:56:37 am »

I supposed I could get a job or something.
I approve of this plan.  Wink
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CorneliaCarton
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 01:56:59 am »

I second the above post.
Also, another simple answer: Make them!  Cheesy
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arcwelder
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 02:12:58 am »

Also, another simple answer: Make them!  Cheesy

Hardly simple, but certainly effective.
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 02:40:11 am »

Also army/navy stores- have found some really cool OLD belts, leather pouches, and even a canteen there.  Never paid over $9 for any one item.  And you don't have to distress it!
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arcwelder
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 02:46:30 am »

I should mention - if you happen to have the mixed fortune to live in a place where thrift and surplus stores have become trendy, most of them will be much less useful than might otherwise be the case.
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RaasAlHayya
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 07:02:28 pm »

If you're on LiveJournal, check out the new Budget Steam community

http://community.livejournal.com/budget_steam/

Good luck!

--Leslie
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RoseOak
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 07:51:37 pm »

I've been thinking for a while that we need a new sticky thread about making/getting clothes on a low budget. Simple things like suggestions for getting clothes from charity/thift/ secondhand shops and easy ways to modify them.  Everyone here has advice and it would help everyone, especially newbies if there was a thread to go to that helped you start out and saved having to post a new thread.
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2010, 08:01:42 pm »

Browse Etsy religiously.. many items are ridiculously overpriced, but there are gems there to be picked up for spare change! Grin
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2010, 08:16:50 pm »

Often overlooked is the repurposing/rethinking of modern items in a retro way.

Cargo pants, come to mind.
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Nikola Tesla
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2010, 08:48:46 pm »

With the proper addition of some combination of things like "dungaree buttons" (in the U.S. these are not usually sold as such and you have to ask the staff for a recommendation off of the giant any-kind-of-button shelf) with braces/suspenders, a little patch pocket for my watch, and occasionally loops and little leather things to carry accessories - plus designer-label removal - God help me I have managed to make Dockers look steampunk!  I saw how stereotypically frat-boy bland they are and I relish a challenge.  Big hint - it's also about what they're with.  A hat and a waistcoat (especially if you don't use the braces) are non-negotiable necessities to go with these.

For budgety stuff I like to select the blandest style of base clothing I can and steam them up with additions.  A dress shirt, a waistcoat in a plain color sold as a "vest" from a budget outlet, the neck cloth idea (which is great and I am bookmarking that site...for fall), altered trousers, and the right hat, and you've your base outfit.  If your waistcoat is patterned instead of plain color, choose the right type of print and don't make anything else on your body print unless it's an exact match to the waistcoat print.

In my experience footwear is kind of anything goes; pick a comfortable formal shoe or a fanciful boot (especially for the air pirate or the Western thing).  Avoid any kind of "athletic" shoe or anything canvas with laces.  I have little doubt someone, some day, will find a way to steam Converse All-Stars but it probably won't be me.  However, since a lot of steampunk dressed-up activity seems to include hanging around standing up in museums, parks, clubs, conventions, and expos, comfort aces out historical accuracy in my opinion.

Most of my own clothes accessories for steampunk come in three categories:  stuff I made, stuff I bought in thrifty stores, and stuff I found on the ground.  I mean it.  A sharp eye and a clever hand can get you a free steampunk accessory of one or another kind if you're lucky.

Since the "look" has gotten popular I have found a few more expensive ready-made things on the Internet and yeah, I've picked up one or two of these, since they're there and it won't be popular forever.  But please folks.  If you do want to spend more money, please don't go to the Hot Topic collection or whatever.  Rather, browse something like our own trader forum here, or the right Etsy, and support a real steampunk artisan who could better use your cash.  Keep it in the community is what I'm saying!  If we are a community then it should count there, yes?
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 03:31:11 am »

I do not understand why one must dress in a "steampunk" manner. It is quite possible to embrace this genre without resorting to "dress-up."
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Nikola Tesla
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 03:46:24 am »

I do not understand why one must dress in a "steampunk" manner. It is quite possible to embrace this genre without resorting to "dress-up."

Quite true, but one would assume that if the fellow asked, it's because he's interested in dressing in a steampunk manner, and not because he was told to...Gavin, if there's a gun to your head, you need the police, not us. Wink
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arcwelder
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 03:49:59 am »

I do not understand why one must dress in a "steampunk" manner.

To get girls, duh.

Oh, wait, I wasn't supposed to say that. Um, forget I said that, okay?
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2010, 05:08:44 pm »

I do not understand why one must dress in a "steampunk" manner.

To get girls, duh.

Oh, wait, I wasn't supposed to say that. Um, forget I said that, okay?

Does it work?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 05:12:21 pm by Aleister Crow » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2010, 05:19:26 pm »

In my experience footwear is kind of anything goes; pick a comfortable formal shoe or a fanciful boot (especially for the air pirate or the Western thing).  Avoid any kind of "athletic" shoe or anything canvas with laces.  I have little doubt someone, some day, will find a way to steam Converse All-Stars but it probably won't be me.  However, since a lot of steampunk dressed-up activity seems to include hanging around standing up in museums, parks, clubs, conventions, and expos, comfort aces out historical accuracy in my opinion.


Converse All Stars were first sold in 1917 making them rather steampunk in their own right. Of course the ones with pink flowers or purple skulls would be right out, but a classic black or white pair would be more appropriate.

Actually the original converse all stars were very steamy looking, check out the first picture on the link.

http://chucksconnection.com/history1.html
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 05:23:24 pm by bittersweet » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2010, 07:24:49 pm »

Eh...I'm seventeen years old, and all the steampunk clothes I've seen are quite expensive. I supposed I could get a job or something. Where can I get *cheap* steampunk clothes?

Anywhere.
Just practice to shout as loud as you can "I'm steampunk and bug anyone who dares to tell me different!"

For myself I could have done with a visit at my grandparents who dressed steampunkish all the same.
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2010, 07:50:29 pm »

Quote
Anywhere.
Just practice to shout as loud as you can "I'm steampunk and bug anyone who dares to tell me different!"

For myself I could have done with a visit at my grandparents who dressed steampunkish all the same.

?? Agenda much??

Anyhow.... my best suggestion?? Start going to your local thrift & salvation army stores religiously. Like, at least once a week. I've gotten a lot of my best stuff from stores like this. Most recently, a pair of wintip oxfords for 8$, a seersucker jacket for 6$, a leatehr satchel for 12$, a cravat for 2$... you'll find a lot of stuff that will work, or that you can mod to make it work if you keep an eye out.

Happy Hunting!!
~H
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2010, 10:00:30 pm »

Get a job at a thrift shop.  You have first pick of incoming items, and get an employee discount.
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Cpt. Tobias Warde
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2010, 10:21:32 pm »

Get a job at a thrift shop.  You have first pick of incoming items, and get an employee discount.

Rather cunning!

Might I suggest being wary of clothing labelled as 'Steampunk' on aethernet stores - there seems to be more popping up here and there, sections labelled as 'Steampunk' where they just stick a few gears/clockparts on a top/trousers/corset/skirt/waistcoat...etc. From my experience of 'Goth' clothing, I'd be careful not only due to the appearance of these garments but also the quality of craftsmanship. Not to say they are all bad, and you can find some marvellous things out there, but it can pay to be wary.

If you are low on money then second-hand clothing shops, army surplus shops, and charity shops are your best choice. eBay can also be worth a look.
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2010, 11:56:29 pm »

Eh...I'm seventeen years old, and all the steampunk clothes I've seen are quite expensive. I supposed I could get a job or something. Where can I get *cheap* steampunk clothes?

Anywhere.
Just practice to shout as loud as you can "I'm steampunk and bug anyone who dares to tell me different!"

For myself I could have done with a visit at my grandparents who dressed steampunkish all the same.

Damn me, but I must agree.  Bugger anyone who tries to tell you that you can't be "steampunk" because you don't wear the right items.  Steampunk is an attitude and an aesthetic, not a shelf at the local Hot Topic.
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« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2010, 10:02:09 pm »



Converse All Stars were first sold in 1917 making them rather steampunk in their own right. Of course the ones with pink flowers or purple skulls would be right out, but a classic black or white pair would be more appropriate.

Actually the original converse all stars were very steamy looking, check out the first picture on the link.

<link removed in quote>

Too bad they don't still make them that way!  My own first pair, were, of course, bright red.  Child of the '70s and all that. Wink
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mécanisme
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Oh?


« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2010, 01:25:02 am »

Ah, well, new clothing wise, I find a lot of stuff at H&M.
They have so many blouses with frills!  And so maybe of them are 5 dollars because nobody else wants them!
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Maj. Clive Hathaway
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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2010, 09:37:49 pm »

Quote
Ah, well, new clothing wise, I find a lot of stuff at H&M.
They have so many blouses with frills!  And so maybe of them are 5 dollars because nobody else wants them!

Funny enough, this is true!! They have a lot of waistcoats, a lot of henley shirts as well as band collar shirts and slim leg trousers... i actually get a lot of Steampunk-ey feeling items here that i can combine with other things to achieve the look i want. Also Top Shop, if your lucky enough to have one in your town. I have to go to New York for that. Though Top Shop is debilitatingly expensive, H&M is pretty moderately priced, and the sale section there has things that are dirt cheap.
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