Springingtiger's Blog

Fezzes are Cool!


20160905_221540-01On the last Glasgow Ubiquitous E Steampunk Society walking workshop I picked up a very nice fez. I had been wearing a cap with frock coat, waistcoat, and Ascot producing a suggestion of paddle-steamer captain, however the substitution of the fez totally transformed the effect into that of a Turkish Ambassador in the closing days of the Ottoman Empire. It occurs to me that often one’s headgear is the key to any Steampunk look, or indeed any costume.


It is no accident that people coming into Steampunkery tend to start at the head. I have noticed at Comic Cons people swaggering away from the Victoriana for Voluptuous Vixen‘s fb_img_1467495332850-01.jpegstall having added a top hat and goggles to their tee shirt and jeans. At the Asylum I saw the same phenomenon at the markets, people inspired by the costumes around them, adding a hat and goggles to their everyday clothes. You may say Steampunk begins in the head, but perhaps on the head may be as accurate. Indeed when at Lincoln the organisers were trying to set up a record for the most Steampunks in one place a suitable hat and or goggles was considered sufficient to identify one as a Steampunk.


I have found that carrying a cap can quickly enable a change of character. I like to wear my white German naval jacket with a Sam Browne and pith helmet to give it a military look, but the moment I remove the Sam Browne and pith helmet and replace it with a white cap wpid-20140306_174255_1.jpgit changes the whole appearance and feel of the outfit, I used the jacket twice in Lincoln in exactly this way. For a small investment in weight, space, and cost a few hats and caps can extend one’s wardrobe greatly. Even just opening ones jacket to expose a waistcoat beneath it can have a transformative effect. It is easy to be overawed by the intricacy of the Steampunk outfits one sees around one, however once you have a few basics the rest is really just window dressing. Okay, I admit I know very few Steampunks who appear to 20160905_221929-01accept the truth of the saying that less is more, I think the real truth is that a little can be enough, a little worn with style.


People associate top hats with Steampunk, but attend any gathering of Steampunks and it quickly becomes apparent that while most wear hats, the variety of headgear is enormous: Pickle helmets and pith helmets, junior top hats, bowlers, boaters, homburgs and fedoras, flying helmets and fascinators, the choice is yours, but remember these immortal words of wisdom, “Fezzes are cool!”.


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