Steampunk Saturdays: Riding Hat
After I posted my first Steampunk Saturdays post, Mandy from Natty Titfers contacted me and asked if I'd like to borrow some of her Steampunk hats to use for blog photos. My answer was of course an enthusiastic yes! Hats are a big part of the Steampunk aesthetic and something that makes an outfit instantly recognisable as being Steampunk (and for some reason I apparently feel like I have to touch the brim in every shot haha). That said, I must admit that I didn't wear the hat all day - only for the photos.
As a full time vintage wearer, I have what some people would probably consider a skewed idea of what constitutes a "wearable" style, and I'm not usually shy about wearing things that are a bit alternative or unusual. However, I do wonder about the overall "wearability" of Steampunk style (I use that phrase with caution as of course anything can be "wearable" if you the right attitude). It seems to me as though many members of the Steampunk community only dress in a Steampunk style for special occasions such as conventions or other such events, and, if they wear Steampunk at all in their day-to-day lives, it's much more toned down (any Steampunks out there who can confirm or deny?). While I'm comfortable wearing a vintage style on a daily basis - sometimes including vintage hats - I'd be much less likely to go all out with a Steampunk style unless I was going to an event. I do enjoy Steampunk looks whether casual or full-on (and I would dress as a Victorian everyday given half a chance - it's part of what I like about dressing vintage!), but I think it's harder to make it work on an everyday basis than a vintage style. This Tumblr page has some ideas for casual Steampunk outfits, so I'd like to incorporate some of these elements into my wardrobe.
With this outfit, of course, I also have the corset - which is another popular element of Steampunk styles, but which also makes the outfit feel overall less appropriate for everday. (The corset is new and I'm still in the process of seasoning it). I'm new to corsets but I do believe this one is a bit long for me; you can see in the above photos how it squashes my bust a bit despite being an underbust corset. I'll have a play about with this one for a while then hopefully swap to a higher quality and possibly shorter one when I have the money.
Whether Steampunk is considered "wearable" or not might also depend on the area you live in. With vintage styles, there are definitely hotspots where you're more likely to see people dressed in that style. Perhaps people are more likely to dress Steampunk day to day in certain places - London, maybe? Or for any Americans out there, I understand Portland is a bit of a hub for those of a more offbeat persuasion...
What do you think? Is Steampunk "wearable" or not? What casual elements would you suggest? Is this hat from Natty Titfers not the hat ever? (I have 7 more hats, so don't make a decision too soon!)