Jeff Vandermeer in his book The Steampunk Bible says, "Fashion is the window into the Steampunk subculture...the physical proof of transformation for the makers and artists who decide to invent a persona (or "steamsona")...the outward expression of an inner narrative."


Part of the fun of Steampunk is the creative outlet it provides. Many Steampunkers are DIY-ers who enjoy creating their own persona and designing the fashion and gadgetry to go along with it. Costumes don't have to be expensive; many websites are devoted to showing how to repurpose modern-day clothing and accessories into Steampunk inspired fashions for little or no cost.


Here are some ideas to pique your interest and get your creative juices flowing:

An adventurer is generally a person of means who has decided to explore the world and bring back souvenirs and stories to wow their friends. Khaki clothing, pith helmets, a gear belt, compass, rugged boots, pouches for holding found objects along the way, and definitely some sort of hunting rifle or side arm. Ladies may choose to simply carry a cane or parasol.

Aviators take to the skies in leather flight helmets with goggles, military style jackets, and belts with navigational tools and sidearms. Some Aviators are self-contained flying objects themselves with retractable canvas wings. Don't forget binoculars!

Aristocrats live a life of leisure and generally can do whatever they'd like; some are involved in philanthropy, some are involved in philandering to get what they want. Outfits can be very stylish and tasteful or, in the other extreme, purposefully outlandish and over-the-top. Deeply saturated colors, fine materials, and well-accessorized. Fabulous hats, gloves, parasols or walking sticks, fine jewelry, spats, and generally anything refined and impressive.

Military uniforms are wonderful and give you the chance to be quite creative. So many armies have designed creative looks throughout the ages that there are many to choose from. Fancy medals, epaulets, piping, and wonderful hats are standard issue.

In Steampunk, pirates are usually Airship Pirates, although many take to the high seas, as well. Pirates usually have outfits featuring pieces they've "picked up" along their journeys (read: "stolen"). Some Pirates are good-hearted rogues, some are dirty rotten scoundrels. Swords, small pistols, telescopes, and wonderful hats are the necessary accoutrements.


Snow White


Big River Steampunk Festival

is Presented By:

Ken and Lisa Marks

Co-Founders, Hannibal History Museum

200 N. Main Street

Hannibal, MO 63401

(573) 248-1819

a 501(c)(3) Missouri non-profit corporation

Federal ID (EIN): 46-4772316

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Big River Steampunk Festival, the Big River Steampunk Festival logo, and other names, logos, icons and marks identifying Big River Steampunk Festival products and services are trademarks of Ken and Lisa Marks, co-founders of the Hannibal History Museum, and may not be used without the acquisition of prior written permission.  All rights not expressly granted in this agreement are reserved to the Ken and Lisa Marks. You may not post, distribute, reproduce, or sell in any way, any copyrighted material, trademarks, or other proprietary information that you do not have legal authorization to use. Although not anticipated, necessary changes to the Schedule of Events, products offered, and any other advertised offerings may be made without prior notice. A portion of the proceeds from the Big River Steampunk Festival benefit the Hannibal History Museum Foundation, a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.