Friday, October 26, 2012

Steampunk Hats

Steampunk clothing is generally thought to be modeled off Victorian clothing, with special features related to steam technology, like cogs, gears and goggles. It might seem a bit silly really - after all, we're a computer technology generation and we don't see people wandering around with computer chips stuck to their hats, but the thing with steampunk is that regardless of how realistic its clothing might be, it still manages to look amazing.

 Because each item of Victorian clothing was very class based, and steampunk gives it extra intricacies, I've decided to look at one type of clothing today: hats.

 I'll start with Victorian traditional headwear for men, but in steampunk gender clothing can be crossed, so while in Victorian times the below hats were reserved for men, in steampunk they can be used for both genders (with woman's hats often being adorned with slightly more feminine elements like feathers and lace). Hats back then were a status symbol - only the very poor went without one, and the richer you were the more elegant the hat. And in London (where steampunk stories are often - but not always - set), why wouldn't you wear a hat? You loose a large amount of heat from your head, so with London's weather they served a practical purpose.
Steampunk Top Hat
Top hats were all the rage, perhaps because they made a man look taller, or maybe it's the same reason men like large cars...
Steampunk Gibus Opera Hat
If one was to go to the opera, they could wear a gibus - a collapsable top hat - for easy storage under the seat.
Steampunk Bowler Hat
Bowler hats were also common amongst British civil servants, and in the American west. They had a practical element to them because they didn't blow off your head easily.

Steampunk Homburg Hat
For slightly less formal wear, Homburg hats were worn...
Steampunk Trilby Hat
As were trilby hats.

Steampunk fashion tends to favor the top hats, but it is important to remember that in the literary world of steampunk there are usually hierarchies in society, and the use of other hats should not be discounted. In steampunk the hats can be simple, as above, but they are often decked out, as mentioned before, to represent the steam technology that is such a huge part of this genre. Clockwork Couture has some amazing examples of hats:

Steampunk Hat Couture

Steampunk Ladies Tophat with Feather

Steampunk Tophat Compass

For women in Victorian society, bonnets were the main type of headwear, but they came in all shapes, sizes and with an incredible amount of different additions. They did become smaller in the second half of the 19th century, to show off the face and hair more. Riding hats also became popular during this time, and were once again adorned with a variety of different things.
Steampunk Riding Hat
Steampunk Bonnet

Because these hats were already adorned with so much, in order to make these more "steampunk" it's a simple replace job: replace some flowers with cogs and gears, and you have yourself a steampunk hat:

Steampunk Clock Tophat

So, there you go. Steampunk hats are traditionally Victorian, with a touch of industrialism, and the combo is a style that is absolutely gorgeous!

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