Steph (sherlock2040) wrote in gears_and_steam,

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First Steampunk Costume: Feedback/Help?

I'm trying to sort out my first ever steampunk costume, I'm going with an Arctic explorer theme (of sorts). I've managed to get hold of a WW2 dispatch riders jacket and my plan is to modify a gas mask case with an altitude & temperature gauge and some piping so that it looks like a sort of heating unit.

I'm not too sure what to wear under the coat, I have an old Royal Navy oil jumper knocking around (it's fantastic in the winter!), I think a submarine jumper would look better but I've never been able to find one under £60 (or a decent cheap alternative) so I was thinking maybe more of an airman look but not quite sure. A lot of the photos I've found on the 'net seem to be going for the brown shirt/leather waistcoat look but I kinda want something a bit more 'Arctic explorer' (not entirely sure what that looks like, I have a sort of idea in my head but that's not particularly helpful ).

I decided that a weapon is beyond my skill range so I'm going to make a (non-working) radio, starting with an old binocular case and adding dials + gauges. I've managed to find an old pair of 1920s wireless operators headphones and my plan is once I've assembled my 'radio', I'm going to drill a small hole in the top and feed the headphone cable in and attach it that way.

Apart from the obvious (hat, gloves, snow googles) I'm not sure what other accessories would work or what I should go for footwear-wise (I have very small feet, a little tempted to adapt an old pair of steel toe cap boots but they aren't the most comfortable thing to wear!)

Any suggestions and feedback would be most welcome
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Don't dress as an arctic explorer if you're going to an event in the summer. You may be the first recorded case of arctic heatstroke!

Your costume idea sounds like a great start. How about letting the theme drive itself "bottom up" for a bit, doing some scrounging and shopping and seeing what shows up. It's much easier this way - far less work to find a bag/box/case and adapt that to a theme, rather than to have a theme and then have to make your case from scratch.

A black turtleneck (modern, cheap) under a jumper can give you the roll-neck look of the submarine jumper, without the cost (apart from looking like Steve Jobs). Certainly bare neck flesh wouldn't quite tie with the polar explorer idea.

Weapons are a pain. Bags on straps are good, as they leave your hands free. Having to carry something though is just a nuisance. If you must, try and arrange a Sam Browne / carabiner arrangement so that it can at least dangle.

Some cheap snow boots would be to wear any boots you already have, but to make simple felt (carpet underfelt) or seal fur gaiters to go over them.

You should probably also try to grow a beard and have some snow caught in it 8-)
I decided that wearing a wool jumper under a heavy coat might be a bit of a bad idea, thinking a grand-dad type shirt (masquerading as a thermal shirt!) with braces under the coat - then in the winter I could add the wool jumper. Like the idea of gaiters.

Thanks :)