I like the goggles thing. I have a pair. But why, in so many things, does almost every single character have to wear goggles? I mean, why? Surely you wear goggles 'cause you need them: for riding, or flying, or welding or skiing. Otherwise it doesn't make much sense and reduces the credibility of the work. Having every single character wearing the things all the time turns something into, at best, a pastiche, and, at worst, a parody.
It's just an opinion but like any device, overuse robs it of potency..
I was thinking of having some kind of plot point in a story to explain why Steampunk characters started to wear goggles. I have created a character that has some kind of problem with his eye sight and therefore like Steampunk characters getting prosthetic limbs (assuming its not done just for cool factor) he needs goggles to help him correct this problem.
Being of the Steampunk genre we must at all times be prepared to take to the sky.Either by airship or on the wings of a steam powered owl we need to be able to navigate through clouds,steam or even coal smoke.Hence the goggles:)
Still, Id like to come up with a specific reason
The only characters in my setting who wear goggles either work on an airship, or live in a horrible desert where sandstorms are frequent.
None of my characters wear goggles unless they're about to drive or fly. I however, occasionally do for no reason whatsoever. :D
As do I! But excellent for frying bacon or cutting onions too.