How to Be a Steampunk Lady for Halloween

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.

You might be martially inclined, or even inclined to march:

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.

DIY Two-Toned Cowboy Shirt

August 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

DIY Two-Toned Cowboy Shirt

Presto, chango: fancy western.  Thank you to Emma B. on Cut Out + Keep craft tutorials.  Great idea for a cowboy costume at Halloween!  More cowboy shirts available from Vintrowear, both plain and fancy.

Hop on Pop Shop! Keith Haring Magnets!

July 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Amazing!  Puffy!  We have this week a rare and unique item – Keith Haring puffy magnets in their original packaging.  This is a virtually unblemished set, purchased in the heyday of the 1980’s, straight from the Pop Shop.  You must see.

Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear from Vintrowear

Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear

Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear

Keith Haring Puffy Magnets from Vintrowear


March 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Finding redemption at Roy Vaccaro’s New York Old Iron in Brooklyn.

NY Old Iron

NY Old Iron

NY Old Iron

NY Old Iron

Smitten by a mitten, and a slice of Memphis with the Bo-Keys

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lebowski and hand knits

Many thanks to our good friend JKE for sewing the upcycled fleece lining into the mittens on her fancy sewing machine.

In other news, last Monday we were “Just Chillin'” at Joe’s Pub with the Bo-Keys, featuring a good friend of Cousin Craig’s, Scott Bomar.

The Bo-Keys

Finally, what week wouldn’t be complete without an up-skirts shot of the most famous lady in America:

Statue of Liberty

Thank you to Mr. Vintrowear for that inspired photograph.

And in case you’re wondering how the Etsy store is going, well, it’s hopping!  Don’t forget to check out vintage cowboy shirts at the Vintrowear Etsy store.  And the full selection is also available at

Ode to Western Wear Ken

October 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Giddy up, Ken!

Western Wear Ken

1980 Western Ken

Western Wear Ken

1982 Horse Lovin’ Ken

Western Wear Ken

Western Ken from Lynne’s Lovables, in red leather and fringe.  Yee haw!


Want to look fashionable, just like Ken?  Vintage western shirts from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s on sale now at


Are you in the market for a pair of used antlers? How about a polyester rhinestone gown? Thrift stores of Ronan, MT

July 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Along US Highway 93 heading from Charlo to Polson there’s an edifice of peeling white paint with an array of used appliances glimmering out front.  This is home of the “White Elephant 2nd Hand Store” in Ronan, MT.  Having always wanted to see what its inner sanctum held (and harboring a longtime dream to own a junk store just like it), I popped in to browse while my relations dropped off a broken screen at the Hanson & Granley hardware store (across from the Ace, which no self-respecting local frequents, to hear tell.)  I had envisioned the While Elephant carrying row after row of pristine fancy cowboy shirts embroidered with cows, horseshoes, eagles, dice, or, I dunno, blue herons or something.  What I found instead was a giant selection of animal pelts, antlers, farm implements, and combat boots.

Antlers, farm tools at White Elephant 2nd Hand Store in Ronan, MT

Animal pelts! at White Elephant 2nd Hand Store in Ronan, MT

Over on the other side of the store, they did sport the traditional inventory of vintage glass, musical instruments, and oddly, ziplock bags full of quilting fabric scraps.

Vintage glass at White Elephant 2nd Hand Store in Ronan, MT

And while they had a nice selection of beaded Native American jewelry (the whole area is smack dab in the middle of the Salish Kootenai reservation), they carried not a single cowboy shirt.  Among other things, White Elephant is also a pawn shop, and it seems to do a fairly brisk business despite its remote rural location.  While browsing, I witnessed not a few customers swapping stuff for cash and vice versa.

Heading into town yielded a gem of a shop called Twice But Nice Discount Store.  They had a sizable vintage collection, dresses going for $8-9, on sale for 50% off!  I found some groovy selections, such as this plaid maxi dress with a yarn-fringe slit up the front:

R&K Originals vintage plaid maxi dress at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT R&K Originals vintage plaid maxi dress at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT R&K Originals vintage plaid maxi dress at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT R&K Originals vintage plaid maxi dress at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT

And this glamorous gown in turquoise polyester with cowl-style mock turtleneck and rhinestone-studded eyelet along the collar-bones:

JC Penney Fashions turquoise rhinestone gown at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT JC Penney Fashions turquoise rhinestone gown at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT JC Penney Fashions turquoise rhinestone gown at Twice But Nice in Ronan, MT

I did pick up for myself an Emma Peel-style blue wool dress.  As soon as the NYC temp dips back below 90, I might actually try it on to see if it fits.

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