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Reviving The Steampunk Fashion Aesthetic - Trendy Sunglasses Styles

Long-haired trendy girl wearing STEAMPUNK inspired sunglassses from Giant Vintage

Similar style shown in photo: STEAMPUNK

Subculture is a vital source of fashion inspiration. From punk to goth, we've all immersed ourselves or at least taken ideas from one of these communities now and then. One of the most brilliant examples of small communities with unique fashion styles has to be the steampunk movement.

A Brief History of Steampunk Style

Steampunk fashion comes from the science fiction subgenre that takes an "alternate history" look at the Victorian era. The Industrial Revolution still took place, only in this fantasy world, the technology of the time has continued into the future. The term was coined in the '80s to cover stories that were inspired by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and other writers incorporating unusual and often steam-powered machines into their stories. Inspired by the imagery within this genre, and later films and TV, fans started to wear clothing that matched the fantasy world.

Creating Steampunk Fashion Communities

It took a few more years before there were good opportunities to get together and show off steampunk jackets, suits, and other aspects of this fashion movement. In 2006, the first steampunk convention, SalonCon, took place. This allowed independent steampunk designers to showcase their wares. Today, there are Steampunk events all over the world, from London to Florida.

Some steampunk fashion fans approach the concept with Victorian-era costumes and dresses modified with retrofuturistic hats, goggles, makeup, and glasses. Others mix some aspects of this style, such as a corset or a modified jacket, with post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" style add-ons.

Steampunk Fashion Hits the Mainstream

While fashion with a post-apocalyptic feel might seem niche, it's actually been embraced by many top designers. Chanel, Dior, and Prada are just a few of the big names rocking the steampunk style on the catwalk. Sometimes these outfits have subtle additions like steampunk sunglasses or brass highlights. Other times, they can be bold and outlandish.

Stylish girl rocking her ALTITUDE sunglasses from Giant Vintage

Style shown in photo: ALTITUDE

Officially, the first steampunk clothing company was Steampunk Couture by Kato. Today, there are dozens of outlets embracing the steampunk philosophy.

A steampunk outfit may include steampunk masks, top hats, corsets, a bodice, suits, Victorian-era skirts, and plenty of handmade items. Materials like cotton, metal, and leather feature heavily, and outfits are often created with a lot of imagination.

Giant Vintage's Steampunk Clothing-Inspired Collection

One thing many steampunk outfits have in common is they combine clothes with accessories, including head-turning eyewear.

Here are a few styles you can use to complete any steampunk outfit. If you need some help pairing these eyewear accessories with the right outfit, check out the online steampunk fashion guide here.

Round Lenses

Echoing the styling of goggles, round lenses are a common look in steampunk culture. They're similar to many Victorian eyeglasses, and they come in a range of frame style options, from heavy to light.

These RILEY Round Classic Sunglasses are ideal for any steampunk convention. The dark lenses help you maintain an air of mystery and make them ideal accessories for any faux-industrialist.

Top Heavy Frames

Another goggle-inspired look, sunglasses or clear lenses suspended from a thick upper frame are ideal for steampunk fashion.

Check out the TWIN PEAKS Steampunk 90s Sunglasses with their sharply defined, black top frame, and suspended metallic rims. A truly unique look to add to a retrofuturistic style.

Colorful Lenses

Many steampunk outfits have details of color — it's not all about black. Dark lenses are great but how about something more unusual like red or purple?

Embrace your inner Victorian mad scientist with these FINERY black sunglasses. The lenses are a cool blue-purple to help you stand out among your peers.

Victorian-Era Fashion For the Future

Gentleman with a curved mustache sporting his WILDER frames from Giant Vintage

Style worn in photo: WILDER

If you've enjoyed our steampunk fashion guide to sunglasses and want to see more steampunk items, head to our online store to discover more. Alternatively, if there's something you want that you can't see, send us a message.

Steampunk enthusiasts, look no further than Giant Vintage to complete your look. After all, what's more suited to this movement than true vintage eyewear?