If you’re like me, then Steampunk Cosplay is a lifestyle. All year round we show off our latest and greatest creations to our adoring fans (mostly ourselves) while sporting trademark turn of the century costumes and props. But the summer months can make wearing leather, copper and other layered clothes extremely difficult. This article aims to help you make costumes better using materials that function for a purpose rather than holding you back.
They say that beauty is a real pain, and I think that anyone who has ever worn a steam-powered jet pack attached with a leather holster in 85 degree weather knows that very well. But sometimes you have to be really hot to look really cool. Sacrifices aside, there are ways to beat the heat and achieve an authentic Steampunk look all at the same time. I'm not saying that you won't be sweating underneath all your gear, but there are a few ways to help you sweat less. Starting with the most obvious, we have a change in materials used in your costume. Depending on your desired look, lighter and more breathable material are an easy alternative.
But if your more on the metallic end of the spectrum; this won't be an easy fix for you. Not only is metal heavy, it also conducts heat, and often times there can be a glare from the sun that makes you feel like there is literal steam escaping your pores. (How's that for authentic?). To escape the fate of a lobster, there are lighter materials out there than simulate the look and feel of metal. When the temperature starts to rise, use plastic based material coated in a metallic paint. It won't last as long, but it will look just as good with the added benefit of more comfort. This technique is perfect for armor and accessories, but not so much for moving parts. In general, when it comes to lowering body temperature, the focus should be on your head and your feet.
Unfortunately, leather boots are the name of the game for Steampunk Cosplay. Sorry guys, not many options here other than wearing athletic socks to reduce heat. But the ladies can be a bit more creative with their footwear. There are lots of cool examples online of toe-less boots and sandals that still capture that Steampunk feel. For headgear, goggles are a smart choice. I know how tempting that top hat or flight helmet goggle combo might be, but sometimes less is more. Besides nobody is going to see your costume if you pass out from heat stroke. Whenever I can, I try to include all these tips, but I admit that I do feel lacking in attire sometimes. That's when l utilize more accessories. I know that l just said that less is more, but an extra piece of armor plating or a few more weapons holsters can really transform a costume.
Overall it's up to you and what you deem comfortable. Some people like to sweat, while others hate it. For me, Steampunk cosplay is all about choice and I believe that nobody can judge you for how much or how little you wear when it comes to your costume design.