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Author Topic: the "where did you start" costuming thread  (Read 2266 times)
Caledonian
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Scotland Scotland


Caledon MacHinery


« on: January 25, 2018, 02:49:29 pm »

steampunk costuming is quite overwhelming if you are just starting out.
at least to me it was.
where do you start, will the outfit you worked on be appreciated?
I struggled with a constant feeling of "my clothes will never be as cool as theirs"

so here is a thread idea to try and encourage people to start!
if you can, would you post an old costuming photo (preferably from when you started out) and a recent picture, for comparison and to see the progress!

I am, for one, curious too see where you all started!
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Caledonian
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Scotland Scotland


Caledon MacHinery


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 02:52:17 pm »

to start off my own thread:

various years ago (about 5 I think)


recently:
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Corroded Alloy
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Wales Wales


JacobTheunissen
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 09:59:59 pm »

Hi Caledonian, As far as I'm concerned my everday attire was "steampunk" quite a long time before I was even aware of the concept. I was already dressing in waistcoats tweed jackets and frockcoats and the like.

When I met up with some local steampunks, shortly after discovering steampunk, I felt like the only one who wasn't dressed up simply because I was wearing the same clothes I wear everyday.

I started to sew my own clothes after finding this forum. My first garment was a frockcoat made from corduroy. I found the advice, guidance and encouragement of the people of this forum most usefull at that time. Wearing clothes one has created one's self brings its own kind of joy. 
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Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 08:39:35 am »

steampunk costuming is quite overwhelming if you are just starting out.
...
I struggled with a constant feeling of "my clothes will never be as cool as theirs"
...
I am, for one, curious too see where you all started!

Thanks for the invitation, Caledonian. I hope I don't make you regret it Cheesy
Well, I can't really give you "now and then" pics because I've only started developing s steampunk wardrobe. I have a small history of costuming up. Some friends, maybe 40 years ago, started a club, intended mainly as an excuse for us and our partners to dress up for dinner, and based it loosely on colonial military folk. It was called the "1st Foot in Mouth Reg't" aka "The Queen's Own Deserters". I went to dinner in what was effectively suitable dress to defend Rorke's Drift.
Got into wargaming, then roleplaying games, and sometimes, as an umpire, I'd improvise atmospheric attire to suit the game. I recall about 30 years ago we did an aircraft hijack which the players had to break. I don't dare publish the pic of me in a keffiyeh with sub-machine gun and grenade (neither real!), not in the present climate.
Of my adult kids, my oldest daughter enjoys themed costume nights at a skating club. She, I and her two boys have dressed up for showings of "Rocky Horror" and Star Wars. both fairly recently. I no longer do the suspender belt and stockings. Dressing up's fun. I don't mind eschewing dignity and decorum.
Okay, me and my daughter... sorry about going off topic. Well, not really. It serves to show that I've enjoyed costuming up, before choosing steam.



It's really only been the last several months that I have begun looking at steampunk seriously. I like Victorian and some Regency styles anyway, and a bit of fun on top of that attracts me.
I have made my purchases in a cold, calculating manner. I pick "levels" of clothing.
Level 1 - More or less ordinary things which I can wear with regular clothes - shoes, belts, some "generic" shirts, trousers which could fit most periods (and sometimes my gut) etc.
Level 2 - Stuff with a little style. Nice waistcoats, interesting but not too extreme hats, a frock coat. All innocuous if you just wear one such item with regular clothes, which gets my social circle acclimatised. Wink
Level 3 - Quirkier stuff. A fob watch, a cravat or ribbon tie, a high collar, a top hat. Unusual on its own, and definitely completing a period look worn with a few other items.
Level 4 - The whole hog. Maybe a frock coat over a waistcoat over a high-collared shirt, an Inverness cape, a topper with feathers, leather wrist braces, a liquor flask with a contents gauge, ammunition belts etc. Goggles, of course.
All I can offer so far, then, is some "early" photos which don't go past Level 2.5.
Level 1 - my last birthday dinner. The vest and watch are from a steampunk shop. The shirt, with fine blue stripes, came from local menswear, and for a price, the collar was removed to a "grandpa" style. The hat is a hat. Perfectly acceptable, dressing my age! I went out to dinner with friends wearing most of the stuff in the second pic, which without the hat and belt I'd call Level 2. I suggested we dress, and everyone else looked like they were in gardening gear. Afterwards I took a little bit of cheek from them, so I went to my room and came back with the hat and gun belt. So sue me! But I'd switch the tie for a cravat, the hat for a topper, and wear a cape and some accessories, and I think it'd work. This is what I mean about items accumulating for an effect - I think some people call it 'layering'. The waistcoat is the same in the first two pictures, but the style has become less conservative.
The third pic is as you'd know me from my avatar.  This is passing Level 2 into Level 3; The "Young Winston" style. I'd just got the Sam Brown belt and wanted to see how it fitted. I believe with a little effort I could slip on a flying helmet and pass as Porco Rosso. Finally, it is possible for me to overshoot into Gothic. I promise not to do it too often. I was wearing an Inverness cape, but the rest is cheating with a rubber mask and gloves.



With a little luck I'll have another addition at the end of this week.








« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:52:57 am by Melrose » Logged
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 04:11:21 pm »

steampunk costuming is quite overwhelming if you are just starting out.
...
I struggled with a constant feeling of "my clothes will never be as cool as theirs"
...
I am, for one, curious too see where you all started!

Thanks for the invitation, Caledonian. I hope I don't make you regret it Cheesy
Well, I can't really give you "now and then" pics because I've only started developing s steampunk wardrobe. I have a small history of costuming up. Some friends, maybe 40 years ago, started a club, intended mainly as an excuse for us and our partners to dress up for dinner, and based it loosely on colonial military folk. It was called the "1st Foot in Mouth Reg't" aka "The Queen's Own Deserters". I went to dinner in what was effectively suitable dress to defend Rorke's Drift.
Got into wargaming, then roleplaying games, and sometimes, as an umpire, I'd improvise atmospheric attire to suit the game. I recall about 30 years ago we did an aircraft hijack which the players had to break. I don't dare publish the pic of me in a keffiyeh with sub-machine gun and grenade (neither real!), not in the present climate.
Of my adult kids, my oldest daughter enjoys themed costume nights at a skating club. She, I and her two boys have dressed up for showings of "Rocky Horror" and Star Wars. both fairly recently. I no longer do the suspender belt and stockings. Dressing up's fun. I don't mind eschewing dignity and decorum.
Okay, me and my daughter... sorry about going off topic. Well, not really. It serves to show that I've enjoyed costuming up, before choosing steam.



It's really only been the last several months that I have begun looking at steampunk seriously. I like Victorian and some Regency styles anyway, and a bit of fun on top of that attracts me.
I have made my purchases in a cold, calculating manner. I pick "levels" of clothing.
Level 1 - More or less ordinary things which I can wear with regular clothes - shoes, belts, some "generic" shirts, trousers which could fit most periods (and sometimes my gut) etc.
Level 2 - Stuff with a little style. Nice waistcoats, interesting but not too extreme hats, a frock coat. All innocuous if you just wear one such item with regular clothes, which gets my social circle acclimatised. Wink
Level 3 - Quirkier stuff. A fob watch, a cravat or ribbon tie, a high collar, a top hat. Unusual on its own, and definitely completing a period look worn with a few other items.
Level 4 - The whole hog. Maybe a frock coat over a waistcoat over a high-collared shirt, an Inverness cape, a topper with feathers, leather wrist braces, a liquor flask with a contents gauge, ammunition belts etc. Goggles, of course.
All I can offer so far, then, is some "early" photos which don't go past Level 2.5.
Level 1 - my last birthday dinner. The vest and watch are from a steampunk shop. The shirt, with fine blue stripes, came from local menswear, and for a price, the collar was removed to a "grandpa" style. The hat is a hat. Perfectly acceptable, dressing my age! I went out to dinner with friends wearing most of the stuff in the second pic, which without the hat and belt I'd call Level 2. I suggested we dress, and everyone else looked like they were in gardening gear. Afterwards I took a little bit of cheek from them, so I went to my room and came back with the hat and gun belt. So sue me! But I'd switch the tie for a cravat, the hat for a topper, and wear a cape and some accessories, and I think it'd work. This is what I mean about items accumulating for an effect - I think some people call it 'layering'. The waistcoat is the same in the first two pictures, but the style has become less conservative.
The third pic is as you'd know me from my avatar.  This is passing Level 2 into Level 3; The "Young Winston" style. I'd just got the Sam Brown belt and wanted to see how it fitted. I believe with a little effort I could slip on a flying helmet and pass as Porco Rosso. Finally, it is possible for me to overshoot into Gothic. I promise not to do it too often. I was wearing an Inverness cape, but the rest is cheating with a rubber mask and gloves.



With a little luck I'll have another addition at the end of this week.


Oh, some fine consuming there! I agree wholeheartedly with your comment on 'layering'; it is all the small details that add to a costume and differentiate a base outfit between generic formal dress, period Victorian or Edwardian, Steampunk, Western, Steam-Western, etc. And nothing wrong with the occasional swerve into Gothic (although this is coming from someone who has to work hard to pull away from that mode; I have far too many black clothes in my wardrobe  Roll Eyes ).

Yours,
Miranda.
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Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 04:18:57 am »

I've still to wear "Level 4" in public, Miranda! Friday (the 13th) the crowd at the coffee shop intend having a "hat and cane" day, any odd hat plus a walking aid. I intend to go in my Victorian rig (if it's cool enough), I am still accumulating a few accessories to turn it steampunk.

EDIT: Friday 13th, and the hat and walking aid day, which I accept wholeheartedly except I wear a hat and carry a stick most days. So here I am at level 3.5. I intended to wear the frock coat but it looked too much like a day out at the races, so I switched for the Inverness. I had a nice bergundy waistcoat but it had no fob pocket (I ask you, no fob pocket?)
Got tradies working in my yard at present. They were good enough to take the pics. Jolly sporting, and all that.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 12:53:58 am by Melrose » Logged
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 06:53:46 pm »

I've still to wear "Level 4" in public, Miranda! Friday (the 13th) the crowd at the coffee shop intend having a "hat and cane" day, any odd hat plus a walking aid. I intend to go in my Victorian rig (if it's cool enough), I am still accumulating a few accessories to turn it steampunk.

EDIT: Friday 13th, and the hat and walking aid day, which I accept wholeheartedly except I wear a hat and carry a stick most days. So here I am at level 3.5. I intended to wear the frock coat but it looked too much like a day out at the races, so I switched for the Inverness. I had a nice bergundy waistcoat but it had no fob pocket (I ask you, no fob pocket?)
Got tradies working in my yard at present. They were good enough to take the pics. Jolly sporting, and all that.



Looking very smart! Yes, just a few accessories would take it to '4.0'.

I think I've already posted up my first Steampunk/Victorian efforts on BrassGoggles, but here's a very early costume I made up (in fact this is from so long ago I had to scan a paper photograph...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

It's in a spoiler as it's not Steampunk; for it I was trying to reproduce the look from a Chris Achilleos picture painting. The unfortunate thing is I was considering reprising it a few years ago for a ComiCom but, after getting it down from the costume trunk in the loft, I discovered that over the years it must have shrunk somewhat...  Roll Eyes

Yours,
Miranda.
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Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 03:04:56 am »

Hey Miranda, that works! Can I borrow your feathers for my Baron Samedi outfit?  Grin
Apparently our coffee shop dressup yesterday was a hit. The shop posted pics on their Facebook page and drew good comments and a hundred likes in the first two hours. One little girl asked her mum if we were wizards. Damn, my cover is blown!
I guess by next time I will have a few suitable Level 4 accessories, with luck.
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Amelia Harper
Deck Hand
*
Wales Wales


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2018, 06:43:19 pm »

No pictures, I'm afraid, but I started dressing up for Star Trek conventions back in the 1980s.  It wasn't even called cosplay then.
  One of my first costumes was a long black skirt with a slit up the side, blouse, length of star patterned cloth over one shoulder, and antennae made of pipe cleaners wrapped in pale blue wool.  Oh, and blue make up.  I was supposed to be an Andorian.  It was very basic - but nobody minded.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2018, 08:16:23 pm »

Hey Miranda, that works! Can I borrow your feathers for my Baron Samedi outfit?  Grin
Apparently our coffee shop dressup yesterday was a hit. The shop posted pics on their Facebook page and drew good comments and a hundred likes in the first two hours. One little girl asked her mum if we were wizards. Damn, my cover is blown!
I guess by next time I will have a few suitable Level 4 accessories, with luck.

Baron Samedi - that's a great idea for an outfit; for Halloween? I'm very pleased to hear your efforts were appreciated.

No pictures, I'm afraid, but I started dressing up for Star Trek conventions back in the 1980s.  It wasn't even called cosplay then.
  One of my first costumes was a long black skirt with a slit up the side, blouse, length of star patterned cloth over one shoulder, and antennae made of pipe cleaners wrapped in pale blue wool.  Oh, and blue make up.  I was supposed to be an Andorian.  It was very basic - but nobody minded.

I'd imagine the whole cosplay thing originated with people dressing up for those Star Trek conventions.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 05:16:48 pm »

No pictures, I'm afraid, but I started dressing up for Star Trek conventions back in the 1980s.  It wasn't even called cosplay then.
  One of my first costumes was a long black skirt with a slit up the side, blouse, length of star patterned cloth over one shoulder, and antennae made of pipe cleaners wrapped in pale blue wool.  Oh, and blue make up.  I was supposed to be an Andorian.  It was very basic - but nobody minded.

Gosh, I'd forgotten that I also dressed up for Star Trek cons (also in the '80's).  Maybe the reason I find making steampunk clothes relatively easy is because I made a Next Gen Starfleet uniform ... which had obviously been designed by the Klingons to bring down the Federation; it was so complicated you'd never get as far as a starship before you gave up!
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J. Wilhelm
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Board Moderator
Immortal
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United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 08:58:19 pm »

Mine started out of necessity when I joined the now defunct "Seaholm Steam & Diesel" Steampunk club (eventually became the Texas Steampunk Group). I also needed a look for my computer business. A Western look is always an easy default theme in these parts of the world, given that the attire is still worn in some modified form or another.

I had no money for costuming back then, and no sartorial skills, so I just improvised an Edwardian Era mechanic's attire. lack baggy denim, leather work boots, flat cap and white collarless shirt with black braces (trouser suspenders). All purchased. I joined the local club around 2009, and at some point by 2010 we were taking professional photos of the club members. We used to go on a Steampunk Stroll downtown, every once in a while. In one such ocassion, we took photos at a circus themed candy shop downtown (I'm not sure if the place still exists), when a local photo studio became interested. I also took the attire the following year (2011) to the Steampunk Bible Release party in Austin where I was briefly invited to speak publicly with Sci-Fi author Michael Moorcock.


The Seaholm Steam and Diesel club having fun in Downtown Austin
All photos by Sam Marx, 3rd Space Photo, Copyright 2010(?). Taken at "Big Top" candy shop.



Our own BG member, Mr. Arvis (he's been AWOL for years now- but is still active), sporting a very US Civil War look,
wearing a truly work of art , hand made brass telescoping goggles (sadly the photo is too small to show details).




From left to right, Couple, Jazmine and Wolf, J.J. Folderol (all formerly on BG) and yours truly
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 09:27:23 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Melrose
Gunner
**
Australia Australia



« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 12:31:11 pm »

Well, folks, moving on from my earlier epic posts, I was at the SA Steampunk Fest at the Port Adelaide Railway Museum today. It's a two day event, so local folk - it's on tomorrow too! Got together my Samuel Melrose, Loss Adjustor outfit (I keep the loss adjusting stuff holstered though). I think I was underdressed! Wink I was also able to help out a friend who came along to see what it was about, with a duster, leggings and a shirt, so between the two of us you see half my steampunk wardrobe.
Here we are then. Before leaving home. You may notice a feather in my bowler hat (three feathers in fact). They disappeared very rapidly, and I hope they found a good home. Next is my mate, a Bolshie motorman. Et cetera.



Had a great day, friendly crowd, and some real design and crafting talent was on show.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 12:32:51 pm by Melrose » Logged
Kensington Locke
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2018, 08:23:48 pm »

Pictures are hard, I'm a word guy. 

I've been a Rennie for a few decades, so working from period costuming is old hat.

I got my trousers first, ran into the right shop (at renfair).

Dress shirt and oxfords were easy modern apparel to use.

My old Australian suede hat worked for a wierd west vibe, especially mixed with the aeronaut waistcoat I got at the next year's Renfair.

For me, there are key pieces that determine what a costume will be.  Either you hunt  or make exactly what you wanted (ex. a soliders uniform), or you find/buy something that strikes your fancy and it sets the direction.

The aeronaut long tailed waistcoat pretty much said adventurer or air-pirate or something.  Can't really add a dressy morning coat and change it to a gentlemanly look.

The hat also sets the character.  A flat cap vs. a bowler vs a stove pipe are all different social classes and societal roles.

So while I aimed for something specific, what I had formed the character and decisions for other pieces that would fit with what I had.

Maybe other people are more rigid in their quest to create outfit X and only X.
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2018, 05:43:48 pm »

Mine started out of necessity when I joined the now defunct "Seaholm Steam & Diesel" Steampunk club (eventually became the Texas Steampunk Group). I also needed a look for my computer business. A Western look is always an easy default theme in these parts of the world, given that the attire is still worn in some modified form or another.

I had no money for costuming back then, and no sartorial skills, so I just improvised an Edwardian Era mechanic's attire. lack baggy denim, leather work boots, flat cap and white collarless shirt with black braces (trouser suspenders). All purchased. I joined the local club around 2009, and at some point by 2010 we were taking professional photos of the club members. We used to go on a Steampunk Stroll downtown, every once in a while. In one such ocassion, we took photos at a circus themed candy shop downtown (I'm not sure if the place still exists), when a local photo studio became interested. I also took the attire the following year (2011) to the Steampunk Bible Release party in Austin where I was briefly invited to speak publicly with Sci-Fi author Michael Moorcock.


The Seaholm Steam and Diesel club having fun in Downtown Austin
All photos by Sam Marx, 3rd Space Photo, Copyright 2010(?). Taken at "Big Top" candy shop.



Our own BG member, Mr. Arvis (he's been AWOL for years now- but is still active), sporting a very US Civil War look,
wearing a truly work of art , hand made brass telescoping goggles (sadly the photo is too small to show details).




From left to right, Couple, Jazmine and Wolf, J.J. Folderol (all formerly on BG) and yours truly

 Marvelous shots and a wonderful back drop.
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2018, 05:44:54 pm »

Well, folks, moving on from my earlier epic posts, I was at the SA Steampunk Fest at the Port Adelaide Railway Museum today. It's a two day event, so local folk - it's on tomorrow too! Got together my Samuel Melrose, Loss Adjustor outfit (I keep the loss adjusting stuff holstered though). I think I was underdressed! Wink I was also able to help out a friend who came along to see what it was about, with a duster, leggings and a shirt, so between the two of us you see half my steampunk wardrobe.
Here we are then. Before leaving home. You may notice a feather in my bowler hat (three feathers in fact). They disappeared very rapidly, and I hope they found a good home. Next is my mate, a Bolshie motorman. Et cetera.



Had a great day, friendly crowd, and some real design and crafting talent was on show.



 A distinguished pair
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