Author Topic: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?  (Read 115453 times)

SteamLoli

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #100 on: October 10, 2010, 05:26:28 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?
I say, just take your own clothes, some thread and needle (or even just a pair of scissors!!) stick your clotheds together, modify them, cut, tie, add some little shiny things, and VOILA!! something completely different than what you started with!
That's the only way I get any steamy stuff myself, ha.
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Philocrates Jones

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #101 on: October 13, 2010, 08:34:58 am »
I am looking for a coachman's hat, can I find one?

You might try auctions.  In fact they are a good source for almost everything.  I purchased a formal Beaver top hat at one for 10 bucks. It is in fantastic shape.

Also a gem for old vintage clothes either to wear or make a pattern off.  Purchased a lovely 1900 lawn dress for my niece for 30 dollars. She's a small size 6 but had to buy a corset to fit in around the waist.  The key to auctions is simply if there is no other collector there, you simply have to outbid the dealers and always remember a dealer can't pay full price or they lose money.  We have a full formal dress with matching cape and hat in our Houser bedroom [all antiques]  Not sure how much the other half paid for that dress.

As to the topic of second hand and wondering about the safety of such items.  If you are worried there is a spray that the state of PA must license you for using.  After you pay the 10 bucks you can buy all you want.  Simply spray it on the material and it will kill anything that might be in it.  They use it for mattresses and the like.  When you see the second hand tag on something, by law at least in PA they must have sprayed it.  If they didn't, call the cops.  How to check?  Use a black light.  It should glow.  I can't think of the name right now.  If I can I"ll post it.  I'm sure other states have it also.  A place like Goodwill or other second hand shop should be able to tell you.

ladyraygun

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2010, 07:03:57 pm »
I am surprised that no-one has mentioned the greatest source of all things steam punk: CAR BOOT SALES! Forgive me if I missed a prior reference to this. We pick up all sorts of magical items at car boot sales for silly money. In fact my stripy black and white dress that needed no 'punking except the addition of accesories was £5 from one. My favourite trousers were £2 (see the saxy asylum photos) and I have found all sorts of brooches, keyrings and other wonders for pennies - or even free! Charity shops a can be expensive and there are bargains to be had on eBay but I search for 'Victorian' rather than 'steampunk' as prices are better. You can also get cheap bits of machine, old phones and toy rayguns which can be modded. I must admit that I buy shoes and hats new as I am a little squeamish about those tems. But one good steampunk hat can go with many different outfits. And my favourite antique welding goggles? They were a gift from a young gentleman admirer when they were left in his public house by a visiting musical combo. Result! (My other were about £8 from Hong Kong via ebay, but they do look good on a topper!)
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Vivian Ward Renehan

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #103 on: October 20, 2010, 04:09:02 am »
Aren't we trying to re-create the historical time when a man would wake up, don his goggles and fly his airship off to fight Martian invaders with a ray gun?

There must be tonnes of documentation to study on that period..

I wasn't planning on commenting at all on this thread, and then got to this response and nearly snorted club soda up my nose.

I'm still quite the amateur but I think the idea of a capsule wardrobe works wonderfully for steampunk, the idea being that you establish a basic and plain wardrobe (pants, shirts, skirts) in a neutral color palette where you can interchange various items to make a new outfit, and then you focus/splurge on accessories that actually MAKE each outfit. If you stop and think about steampunk outfits, a lot of times its the smaller accessories that make them seem pulled together. Focus on getting/making those smaller pieces and adding them to the more neutral and simple base outfit and you're on the right track.

Major Dickie Woodruff

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #104 on: October 21, 2010, 08:50:08 am »
Hear Hear
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Madame Curatrix

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #105 on: October 21, 2010, 04:53:18 pm »
Not quite sure what particular look the OP is trying to achieve, but I'll add a couple (hopefully!) useful observations.

- Yes, absolutely haunt your local thrift/charity/secondhand shops on a regular basis.
- If you're a male, don't be afraid to look in the ladies' section of a thrift store. The Salvation Army I haunt tends to have a large selection of  waistcoasts and vests, some with fancier designs, in the ladies' section - and these can be easily modified, or even worn as is, to fit a male physique.
- Look for possible ways to modify the garment. Something as simple as replacing the buttons on a jacket can really change up its appearance
- On the reverse side, some pieces of clothing may be awful-looking, but have good buttons or trim or other ornamentation that can be cut off, salvaged, and reused to update another piece.
- Watch for special weekly or tag-color sales at these places. Salvation Army stores tend to have 50% off all clothing on Wednesdays except for the newest color tag.

And I agree, forget about buying commercially mass marketed steampunk clothing unless you 1) have a ton of money to burn, and/or 2) see something you really think you can't make yourself/live without. :)

Mr. Hatchett

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #106 on: October 27, 2010, 02:50:58 pm »
Specific to America,

College students tend to cast off high quality stuff because they bought it with money someone else earned and can't be arsed to pack it up and take it home, so if you're in a college town, the end of the spring semester is a good time to browse the thrift stores.  The end of the calendar year is another good time for salvage, as people make an effort to donate enough to file for a better tax return. 
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Zuzu

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #107 on: October 27, 2010, 08:36:54 pm »
Excelent thread as i was just about to come and ask ( pauper here) but really want to do the whole dressy uppy thing ( and i told my husband he does to and he seems to believe me)

so far i have nothing...  ( well actually i have  two of the best items possible .. two pairs of vintage goggles ;D

but other than that nothing
I want to start going to events and meetings and make a bit of an effort.. ( if your going to take part in something you may as well do it with enthusiasm right)

anyway.. thanks for al the advise  everyone. even though it wasnt aimed at me its helped loads..

Z x
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Mnemoria

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #108 on: October 27, 2010, 08:45:43 pm »
Specific to America,

College students tend to cast off high quality stuff because they bought it with money someone else earned and can't be arsed to pack it up and take it home, so if you're in a college town, the end of the spring semester is a good time to browse the thrift stores.  The end of the calendar year is another good time for salvage, as people make an effort to donate enough to file for a better tax return. 

Mr Hatchett, I've seen a similar phenomenon in parts of the UK.
Mainly at the end of the academic year, large quantities of students seem to discard just about everything. Prize finds by one friend have included rolled gold pen sets, a 24 inch flat screen monitor and a year old desktop PC and a 6 month old Mac laptop. Along side boxes of mainly hippy style clothing.
Approx 2-3 weeks later many of the student landlords will completely refurbish the student lets; beds, sofas, chairs even carpets often in good condition or better.

Anastacia Spinnenheim

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #109 on: November 16, 2010, 03:06:11 am »
I have hit the thrift stores in the past and may I say that if you seek raw materials for maybe creating clothes from scratch that I have found on many occasions bundles of fabric yardages for pennies.  And never underestimate old bedding, curtains, and other fabric decor items for repurposing into clothing and accessories.
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Secundinius

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #110 on: November 18, 2010, 08:38:26 pm »
learning to sew is helpful and you don't need to make clothing from scratch either. repurposing clothes can work fine too. sometimes a subtle change to a collar and changing out buttons make all the difference in the world.

Couldn't agree more. I'm making my pants with a few items purchased off of ebay and a pair of Dickie cargo pants and in the process of finding a full length, non-leather, trench and a waist coat to sew some final touches onto. My boots will be about $130, unless I can find them elsewhere.

I have also noticed on a recent purchase of vintage keys that those labeled with "Steampunk" run between 3-10 TIMES more expensive per key as those just labeled simply "vintage" or "skeleton."

I am finding, with my limited ability and time to craft, the money I am saving by getting used or sale items goes towards the rest of the items I cannot craft myself, such as my boots, goggles and pocket watch.
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ValancyJane

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #111 on: November 23, 2010, 02:49:43 pm »
I thought it might be helpful to add what to look for at thrift stores/garage sales/estate sales/etc.  This is geared toward the US where one is far less likely to find something truly antique/vintage.

For guys:  You luck out because suit styles have changed very little over the years.  Look for classically cut suits, jackets, and vests.  Look for dark colors (blacks, navys, browns, greys).  Also keep an eye out for military items as well, in particular dress uniforms.  Also though not modern, you still can find the occasional top hat or bowler.  Easier to find are flat caps (also called golf caps or newsboy hats). 

For gals:  You can look for all of the above.  Other things to look for are formal/prom/wedding dresses from the 70's and 80's in the neo victorian style.  They'll have labels from Gunne Sax or Jessica McClintock.  They may need some work to look steampunk but they are an excellent starting base.  Wedding dresses can be dyed (depending on the fabric) and trains can be sewn up into a bustle.  Also look for clothes from the "man" look that comes around every so often.  These will be suits, vests, slacks, and blouses that have a suit like quality to them, often in tweeds or pinstripes.  Finally, I keep seeing the "military" look is big right now so look for khaki pants and jackets with lovely brass accents.
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andrew craven

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #112 on: November 25, 2010, 12:29:51 am »
 Its a gradual build up when it comes to one's wardrobe. Always remember the wording in Steampunk...especially the punk part as that signifies DIY...Do It Yourself....or Destroy It Yourself.
 Its easy to be sidetacked and found wanting by those steampunkers who have a fabulous and complete outfit. But do not despair as I am sure it took them a while to piece together their rags. Even your inspiration can have you feel stuck in the mood when money does not permit the dreams of your wardrobe. Its important to think humble and minimal and make do with what you have got and enter a bit of the old creative magic into your garments as that does break barriers of the steampunk aesthetic. That is to say do not be affraid to get your fingers a little pricked by the textilian's sewing set. Its a wonder what one can do without sewing training, you could even use safety pins or staples to piece fabrics together.... afterall..its DIY..and if it looks cockeyed and rough do not be concerned about it, it adds to the flavour of your unique subcultural wardrobe.
 Its certainly a question of patience when it comes to the shopping bit. Time will see you adventuring in the many second hand/junk/charity shops to flea markets and carboot sales and even ebay, etsy and other webbys you may find; places where you will stumble across clothing and accessory that will catch your eye and for dirt cheap prices too. It will gradually build up your steampunk outfit and it doesnt just end there. You begin to add stuff to it and change things and soon that will give you the flexibility to come up with an array of outfits from what you have already got.
 The most important thing of all in your little steampunk outfit adventure is...have fun...dont worry if it doesnt seem right, atleast you have experimented and explored a possibility in an idea you have had. I must impart my own experiences here. I have worn stuff to events and regretted it. But then I remind myself it was just an experiment afterall. To see what works and what doesnt.

Be cool
Andy ;)
 

Miles (a sailor)Martin

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #113 on: December 13, 2010, 12:10:00 pm »
IF ,big if here ,if you still have living grand parents that still live in the family home ask ,very politely to raid the attic,or other storage places, i got my vest/waistcoat that way,also two pair of 1920's vintage military dress slacks. also a pair of overalls that are in too poor a condition to wear but will be disassembled for pattern making. and a ww2 issue back pack. it is strange and wonderful what can show up out of the family closet of curiosity.       
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Cubinoid

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #114 on: December 19, 2010, 12:12:07 am »
1) Get rid of any jeans or teeshirts.
2) Work in a charity shop!

Just those two things should set you on your path.
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HerrMojo

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2010, 01:39:56 am »
Howdy-do,

         I can't add much that these good folks haven't already illuminated you on.  But I can give a couple examples from today when I went buzzing about second-hand stores in my burg:

         Suspenders (metal clip type) $1
         Canvas and leather shoulder satchel $2
         Cologne bottle (looks like a Pepperbox Revolver) Four bits, er, $.50
        
       And since I too have no capital to speak of, this for me is a passable start on a more Steampunkish look.  Other things I look for, but rarely find as I am large from head to toe, are:

           Leather shoes or boots (plain leather soles, but hobnails and heelplates are good)
           Vest (Two pockets and fabric that makes me look like a couch ;)
           Jackets (Dark and earth-tone colors are my friend)
           Overalls or Coveralls (Common work outfits in the USA after 1890, in duck canvas or denim)

      I hope this has assisted some.

Cheers,

Dan :)
 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 01:45:47 am by HerrMojo »

Mrs Pitt

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #116 on: January 05, 2011, 07:53:46 pm »
Make friends with your local charity shop(s).

The one that is local to where I work looks out for stuff for all of us.  I have had fur coats for a "donation" because they can't legally sell them and the rag man gives them very little.  Recently I asked for broken clocks/watches and was rewarded with 3 broken watches and 2 pictures made from clock parts that they couldn't sell.  Brilliant.  Charity shops will always prefer to hand on broken stuff for art projects because they still have to pay for rubbish to be taken away, and people will give stuff to charity shops that they can't bear to throw away themselves.

Trawl car boots ales and even skips.

If you're a little flush try wedding outfitters who sell off ex-hire suits, hats, shoes, waistcoats, cummerbunds etc.  You can always customise them with brass buttons, braid, prints, badges and so on.

Happy searching!

Dr Fidelius

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #117 on: January 05, 2011, 09:50:49 pm »
[...]
Trawl car boots ales and even skips.

[...]

Is that like bathtub gin, or bootleg liquor?
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Rosalia

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #118 on: January 22, 2011, 04:17:24 am »
I guess, for my budget, I could check places I already shop (and go through my closet again) to see what they have. I have this blue dress that I got at goodwill that I could totally spice up. I also got this really awesome coat at Forever 21. I was surprised at the awesomeness of it. Then again, I live in a town that's full of vintage stuff for really cheap.
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Cubinoid

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #119 on: January 23, 2011, 10:26:57 pm »
Or the other alternative: make some stuff!

Have you got a sewing machine? If not, you must know someone that has, but doesn't use it.
Ask to borrow it, and learn how to use.

Take your old clothes and a pair of scissors and make some new stuff the way you want it to look...for materials, use old clothes from charity shops - look for things with lots of material in them like long coats, curtains etc.

Rosalia

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #120 on: January 24, 2011, 02:48:19 am »
I do have a sewing machine.

Problem is I suck.

Stella Gaslight

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #121 on: January 24, 2011, 05:21:01 am »
I do have a sewing machine.

Problem is I suck.

Practice. None of us where born knowing how to stitch straight and even and there is so much info and help out there for beginners.  Look for local shops with classes if you are a hands on person or look at threadbangers on you tube if you need inspiration.  Try trimming a garment instead of making from scratch, it takes less time but it just as satisfying.  Start with one cool showpiece and build from there.     
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ajshackelford

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #122 on: February 07, 2011, 08:48:15 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?

newbie here. hey everyone.

i haven't actually purchased anything from here, but i've been thinking really hard about it. not everything is steamy but some might pass, and you can't beat $15 for a machine-washable vest!

http://www.sixstaruniforms.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=UV&Product_Code=317

Rosalia

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #123 on: February 08, 2011, 02:37:40 am »
This is geared toward the US where one is far less likely to find something truly antique/vintage.


What are you talking about? Far less likely? You're obviously not thinking about the south. I can't count how many antiques there are!

Cubinoid

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Re: How do I get Steampunk clothes when I have no money?
« Reply #124 on: February 09, 2011, 10:12:09 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?

newbie here. hey everyone.

i haven't actually purchased anything from here, but i've been thinking really hard about it. not everything is steamy but some might pass, and you can't beat $15 for a machine-washable vest!

http://www.sixstaruniforms.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=UV&Product_Code=317

The prices do look cheap, but I reckon you could find better quality second hand; and cheaper too! Just my opinion though. I like old stuff personally, I think it has a little more character.