Who am I?
In the steampunk world, I am Lucretia Strange, the Baroness Strange. I run the Promethean Society, and do a variety of presentations at steampunk conventions.

In the real world, I am Cassie Beyer and a historian with a blog, History, Interrupted, devoted to history, steampunk, costuming, popular culture and other eclectic interests.

You can best reach me through the Promethean Society or through Cassie@AlterEgoDesign.netAlterEgo is my freelance web design endeavor focused on small businesses, individuals and organizations.


Costume Basics for Women

steampunk women

Women arguably have more costuming options than men, in part because it's acceptable for women to wear men's clothes in steampunk: after all, it's hard to fit into a cockpit or work on a massive engine while wearing a bustle and petticoats. This page will focus on more feminine approaches. Those looking to have a more masculine costume may wish to check out Costume Basics for Men.

The basic woman's outfit consists of a blouse, skirt, and shoes, with lots of potential accessories.


Blouses come in a wide variety of suitable styles. People often look for something made out of lace and/or involving ruffles. High-necked blouses help convey neatness, professionalism and high class, unless you're making formal wear (such as for a formal dinner or a ball), in which case necklines are much lower.

Every single one of my steampunk blouses come from thrift stores. It's amazing what people donate...and bought in the first place.


Ankle-length and almost-ankle-length skirts are the historically correct choice, although they can be difficult to move in and simply are not suitable for some steampunk concepts. Steampunk skirts can reach mid-calf, knee, or even shorter, particularly if you're going for a burlesque or apocalyptic-punk look.

Whatever the length, steampunk skirts are full, flowing affairs, even when short. They are often layered over crinolines, hoops or bustles for added fullness and shape.

Skirts are frequently layered. The underskirt is the skirt that covers you, while the overskirt is pinned, pleated, folded, and/or ruched into a visible, decorative article of clothing.

Read more: How to Build a Bustle (among other things) (offsite)

Read more: How to Build a Burlesque Skirt (offsite)


If you're wearing a full, ankle-length skirt, you can get away with just about any shoe because they generally won't be visible. (My very first event happened seven days after abdominal surgery, and no one noticed I was wearing athletic shoes.)  If the feet are going to be visible, a variety of dress shoes, flat or heeled, work well enough. You might also invest in a pair of ankle boots or even taller boots, particularly as skirts get shorter.

Basic Accessories

Corset - Not a requirement but highly popular. Corsets are most often worn outside of clothing in steampunk rather than inside, as was historically done.

Read more: Corsets: A Tight Fit

Belt - These can either be worn decoratively over a corset, or can be used without a corset to hide the waistband where blouse and skirt meet.

Hat - Hats are found widely in steampunk, as it was customary for just about everyone to wear a hat while outside.

Coat/Jacket - These items come in a wide variety of different styles. They can be short or long, with or without decorated cuffs, made from a variety of fabrics, and decorated with an assortment of accoutrements. The choice of coat is determined very much by the appearance one is attempting to portray.

Jewelry - What fine steampunk lady would be caught without her jewelry? Designs generally look antique and/or steampunk-tech. Gears are popular elements. Avoid items that have a plastic look to them.

For more, unisex accessories, check out Accessories for Men and Women


Dress instead of Blouse and Skirt - If you're looking for a dress, you'll probably have to buy one online or sew it yourself. Most modern dresses simply do not fit the steampunk aesthetic.