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The weather here is finally cool enough that I’m comfortable wearing layers again, so I’m trying to bring back my steampunk wardrobe again. Except that, as I was informed several time, this isn’t really steampunk, it’s more neo-Victorian. Funny, when a man wears new takes on Victorian fashions, but doesn’t make it grungy or have cogs or goggles or whatever the hell else we’re using this week to signal “steampunk” instead of “neo-Victorian,” a lot fewer people try to tell him it’s not steampunk.

Also, it apparently freaks people out that I do steampunk with OMG COLOURS, as if the Victorians actually lived in the sepia-tone of the old daguerreotypes, and color wasn’t invented until color film was.

Yes, I have All The Opinions about this. I do also have actual photos, though.


Dress from Recollections; “petticoat” is actually extra-full palazzo pants from Holy Clothing, which make terrific divided skirts, are way comfy, and come sized up to a 70″ waist (warning: site keeps using the racial slur g*psy); various bits and bobs off Etsy, eBay, or created by friends.

A few of my favorite details from this outfit:

What is actually a very restrained and sedate lace jabot, with a pin made from a stack of buttons. I think both of these are off Etsy, but the jabot might have been made by a friend instead. I can’t remember.

Skirt lifter off Etsy. Really just a decorative pin with about 4″ of ribbon. You pin it to the skirt, loop the ribbon around, and run the pin through the ribbon, too. Brilliant.

That thing dangling from my waist above is called a chatelaine, and here’s a kind of crappy detail, but I love these things and am going to tell you all about them.

Most Victorian women’s clothes didn’t have pockets. Boo! (This dress does, which is awesome.) So many of them wore brooches or belt clips with chains or ribbons hanging off them to hold stuff that today we’d just stick in our pockets. (When the fashion industry deigns to give us pockets.) Keys, scissors, match safes, mirrors, perfume bottles, all kinds of things. People who sew still occasionally wear chatelaines with pincushions, scissors, tape measures, thimbles, and other notions.

This one is a brooch I picked up somewhere random and hung some chains off of. Hanging from it, I have a telescoping pen, a high-intensity mini-flashlight, a USB drive (that’s the pink pig), and a pocketknife. I’ve got a whole jewelry case of other chatelaines and things to hang from them, including compasses, a pocket microscope in a little purse, little notebooks, a card case for my calling cards, an antique match safe, and other toys.

And Mary Janes (brand Demonia), which are, please note, brown, and have cog-shaped buckled and grommets. So NYEAAAH!