Do Your Characters Wear Straight Up Victorian garb or do you Punk Them Up?

Are you sticking faithfully to Victorian fashion of a particular era?

If you're subverting Victorian fashion, do you have a practical reason for doing so, or did you just feel like doing it that way?

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Punk 'em up of course. Where's the fun in corsets?

I'm working on a timetravel gaslight/steampunk, so the idea of a heroine showing up in knee high combat boots and duster are part of the storyline. But this will also be a battle she will wage when she is transported to 1870's New York. It's going to depend on how deep within the social constrainst of the New York society I take her. Or, if it IS an deep alternate New York then the idea of her being uncorsetted and wearing bloomers won't be quite so particular. She may even be revered in a city that was working toward women's rights and social change (even if it was the beginning).

One of the later installments in my Other Earth series will feature a Nordic shaman who discovers parts of a crashed airship, becomes infatuated with the parts, and incorporates them into her clothing. It's integral to the story, but it's also a sort of homage to the modern steampunk movement within the story.

So far the only punking I've done is to have one of the female leads wear pants.  Nothing crazy...but shocking back then I'm sure.

 

On a related note:  Just how much clothing did women have to wear back then??  I'm trying to be true to Victorian dresses but goodness I don't know where to start...

Wikipedia to the rescue!

 

Wikipedia has a Victorian fashion page, as well as photos of different styles of dress from each decade!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_fashion

Trying to keep the day to day fashionwear reasonably Victorian. There's a good reason for this, even though the story is set in the future...

Their day to day dress is of the period.

But their superhero costumes??  Totally kick ass and punked up :) .

 

I tried to stay as Victorian as possible with some minor tweaks. My characters perform parkour, so the traditional clothes had to be modified. They are outrunning zombies after all.

I also added some weaponry in the form of brass forearm guards with protruding gears for smashing zombies up-close.

But I tried, I really did.

The main character of my WIP is a world traveler so he dresses a bit pirate/gypsy layered atop a base of 1870's American West.  He likes boots and work pants with either a suit vest or a canvas duck work vest.  If ever there's a movie version I'm going to design his wardrobe with Carhartt.  He rocks a hip belt and a brown leather harness that straps his Bowie knife to his side. It's fashion and function.  Most  of my non hero characters dress in a fairly historic Victorian manner but with some punked out twists here and there. Nobody has a skirt with gears on it.

Mine are mostly fantasy, so they wear from cowboy to pirate to knight to rogue to swashbuckler, all with sorts of different gizmos and gadgets.

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