September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Obtain a gown. Let us assume for the moment that you live in a cold clime, and will need to be modestly-clad.
Add an Asian influence.
You could also accessorize with a shawl, fan, etc.
Say what you will about corsets (such as, you can’t swing a dead cat on Halloween, or on Etsy, without hitting one), it’s tough to get a real steampunk look going without at least one corset, or more if circumstances require. But that doesn’t mean you automatically have to gravitate to the slutty ones that are really just boob-accentuators. Think of your corset as a protective apron. Gird your loins against gamma rays and whatnot that you may encounter on your adventure. The steampunkiest-looking corsets, ironically, are those originally intended to be underwear, but in reality look like something that got put through a time machine and then landed in outerspace. Be that as it may, your classic girdle makes an industrial-strength corset, worn on the outside of the clothing, of course.
There’s no need to limit oneself to only one corset, and the base layer of the traditional girdle will need to be jazzed up with something more modern, or reinforced with something flame-retardant. Think layering. Your outfit will thank you. Your hourglass figure will thank you. Please be careful how much you eat for lunch, and don’t forget your smelling salts.
And now top that whole sandwich off with a belt. The belt is important, and here’s why. The belt might be where you store your magic amulet. Or, it serves a productive purpose and allows you to hang gear, ammunition, or weapons off of it within easy reach. Don’t underestimate the importance of the belt.
If you have a few extra leather belts laying around, we recommend randomly strapping them to your person in various places (arms, thighs, collar bones, etc.), hinting at purposes only you understand.
Some form of headgear is now in order. You could go with the good old fashioned top hat or fascinator:
Or the military / marching band / majorette look:
Or indulge your whimsy and go for the fantastical:
If you’re of the more practical persuasion, you might want wear a helmet instead. There’s aviator, fencing, motorcycle, Viking, pith, football, scuba, riding, and air raid, to name a few.
Now that we’ve got the basic outfit, accessorize accessorize accessorize. Let’s start with some protective eyewear. You have a huge range to choose from. Vintage motorcycle goggles are perfect, as are anything else that looks perfectly ridiculous and goes over your eyes. Don’t be afraid to choose something absurd. Absurd goggles are arguably the most important element of a good steampunk get-up.
A lady always wears gloves. And/or gauntlets.
And carries a reticule. Industrial strength, in case of accidents, or if it’s from the future.
Hands-free options can be particularly useful.
What about footgear, you ask? Depending on where you’re treading, you could go pretty or practical. Again, now is a good time to bring in that Asian influence. Steel-toe ass-kickers or Japanese geta, your choice, but consider the elements, comfort, and your own particular fetish.
And now a word about safety. We’ve already girded our loins, so now you might want to concentrate on covering some other vulnerable areas with body armour. Supplement as needed. You don’t want to go all medieval, but depending on your adventure, you could be getting into some dangerous territory, and worse case scenario you can always refer to it as the Cyberman look. Not sure how butch you want to go, but the 19th-century-prostitute look is just lame and isn’t really steampunk per se, it’s just a prostitute from another era. Real steampunk girls range from can-take-care-of-herself to total-badass. But even the badest-ass needs to protect her tender bits. So let’s be careful out there.
A gas mask is a creepy yet effective accessory.
Extremely important. Do not venture forth un-armed. Make sure your packin’ heat. Your weapons choices are as varied as are aliens to shoot them with. Do not, I repeat, do not underestimate the power of a cookie dough dispenser.
And finally, no steampunk rig is complete without a parasol. No one’s sure why. But it’s a requirement.
Last step, strap one of these to your back …
… and attach it to your person with one of these, and you’re good to go!
Don’t forget the requisite randomly-placed gauges, gears, clocks, tubes, guns, buckles, valves, and dials, that should protrude from your outfit in convenient spots, preferably connecting to different spots somewhere on down the line.
September 28, 2013 § 1 Comment
Step 1: Do your research. An infallible and encyclopedic resource is The Look of the Old West by William Foster-Harris. You should also consult I See by Your Outfit: Historic Cowboy Gear of the Northern Plains by Tom Lindmier and of course Vintrowear’s own Get Your Old West On: Real Cowboys and the Shirts They Wore.
Step 2: Get in the mood. I find that Cowboys & Longhorns: A Portrait of the Long Drive by Jerry Stanley will do the trick. As will Hillbilly Hollywood by Debby Bull for the bling quotient. Also anything on Wild Bill Hickok.
Step 3: Start building your costume. Refer to your Foster-Harris frequenty. To whit, the big picture:
And don’t forget the details:
Step 4: Get yourself a good shirt.
Step 5: Party down like these people.
Happy almost Halloween month!
October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
Live out your cowboy fantasies this Halloween.
October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
We at Vintrowear have been purveyors of fine western shirts for over a century. Select from an enormous variety of Vintrowear vintage western shirts.
October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
A Brit extols the virtues of his favorite singing cowboy.
The fringe of his yoke suffers nary a stir as he gallops with perfect poise.
August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Each photograph features a rancher whose family has been working the land since statehood or longer. They are there in Baxter’s pictures, their weathered faces reflecting long lives of hard work on the land. They are there in sweat-stained cowboy hats, snap-button work shirts and Wranglers cinched with fist-sized belt buckles.”
Case in point this grizzled statesman in a weather-beaten Wrangler pearl snap, with the trademark W stitching on flap pockets, only its well-worn collar points betraying its age and status as a rancher’s work-horse wardrobe staple.
Watch an interview with Scott Baxter:
The exhibit is definitely worth a look, for fans of Arizona, ranchers, and cowboy shirts alike. A donation to the project is tax deductible. This exhibit is a moving preservation of the Old West way of life that still perseveres.
Vintage Wrangler snap-button work shirts from Vintrowear.com:
August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
I came across this neat site today: High Noon.
High Noon is the world’s most powerful window to the art, the crafts and cultural legacy of the Native American Indian, the Cowboy, the Vaquero and the Old American West.
They feature western antique shows and auctions, provide appraisals and consultations on americana and western realia collections, offer a bookstore of western history coffee table books and guides, and publish a newsletter called Smoke Signals.
Smoke Signals encompasses a wide range of topics including profiles of historical figures and customs, practical guides for modern day cowboys and cowgirls, and discussions about the art and artists of the Old (and New) West.
It’s also got recipes (“The Feedbag”!) and a special section on “women artisans working in the traditionally male world of the Western Lifestyle” called “Our Inner Cowgirl.”
And the photography is beautiful: