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Accessorizing Gothic, Victorian, and Steampunk Fashion: A Guide to Vintage-Inspired Looks for Women

January 30, 2024

As people who love vintage fashion, we know how important it is to have a unique personal style! We also know that creating a perfect Gothic, Victorian and Steampunk look isn’t just about wearing different clothes. You also need to pair those clothes with carefully chosen accessories if you want to create an authentic, vintage-inspired look. The right accessories can bring your outfit to life, make it pop, and make you shine!

In this article, we’ll talk about how to accessorize GothicVictorian and Steampunk styles in ways that flatter all body types, from petite to plus-size. Old-timey, vintage looks are glamorous and romantic, but also can be a little intimidating, because they tend to simultaneously be delicate and dramatic. Not to worry! We've got lots of useful tips and ideas to help you put together complete, head-to-toe outfits and make these fashion genres more accessible and enjoyable. Let’s dive in!


Choosing the Right Accessory Pieces

When it comes to accessorizing GothicVictorian and Steampunk outfits, the possibilities really are endless. You can dress them up or you can dress them down. You can go for a dramatic and edgy vibe or a more delicate and elegant look, depending on your mood. The key is to pick accessories that match the look and use them wisely to elevate your outfit and give it a little extra oomph. Here are some accessory ideas to get you started:

Gothic: If you love the darkness and mystery, go for pieces with pentagrams, skulls, crosses, vampires, coffins & other macabre elements. Layered chains, intricate lace and chokers are all good necklace options. For your hands, try bold statement rings, cuff bracelets and gloves with cool embellishments.

Victorian: For a more traditional and elegant vibe, look for accessories with ornate details. Cameo jewelry, lace gloves, and brooches are all good choices. Corsets and faux-corsets were the shapewear of the period; they’ll improve both your outfit and your silhouette! You can also add a lace fan or parasol to give your outfit a touch of refinement.

Steampunk: Imagine if modern technology was powered by steam… now set that against a backdrop of Victorian England or America’s Wild West. That’s the concept of Steampunk. Think metal gears, clockwork accents, and brass and copper materials. Leather wrist cuffs, pocket watches, pith helmets and googles can help round out your outfit and create that old-timey, adventurous feel.

Color Coordination and Material Consistency

To create a vintage-inspired outfit that really stands out, it's important to make sure everything matches. That means choosing accessories that go well with the colors and materials in your clothes. Try to stay within the same color palette unless you’re deliberately trying to highlight a single accessory or clothing item. Here are some tips to help you create a cohesive look:

For Gothic outfits, you'll often see black, dark reds, and purples. Materials like lace, velvet, latex and silk are popular choices. Of course, there are many different types of Goths, which may influence your color and material choices. For instance, Cyber Goths may choose a more colorful palette, and add some neon fishnets. When choosing accessories, just look for complementary colors and materials that will balance out your outfit. And remember, black is always a great choice!

Victorian fashion for women tends to revolve around soft pastels and creams, with lots of lace and delicate embroidery. Wool, silk, cotton & velvet were popular in those times. To keep your outfit looking polished, stick to accessories that match these tones and materials. Think top hats, tails and canes for the fellas; bonnets, bustles, ruffles & petticoats for the ladies.

Steampunk fashion is all about earthy colors like browns, deep reds, and dark greens. A celebrated fantasy fiction author once said, “Steampunk is what happens when Goths discover brown.” Accessories made of leather, brass, and copper are perfect for this style as are metal grommets and D-ring lace-ups.

Layering and Combining Accessories

Accessorizing is all about finding your own unique style and trying out new things. There’s a lot of crossover between GothicVictorian and Steampunk styles – for example a corset top or dress and a choker necklace can be appropriate for any of these genres. So don’t be afraid to experiment and HAVE FUN!

One great way to make your GothicVictorian and Steampunk outfit stand out is by layering accessories. Start with a statement piece, like a cool choker or pendant necklace, and then add other pieces that complement it, like layered chains or vintage brooches.

Experimenting with cool headwear like fascinators, top hats (or tiny hats), and hairpins is another great way to add some personality to your outfit. Just remember to keep things balanced and not go too crazy with the accessories – your goal is to achieve a polished, well-curated appearance. If you feel like you’re a little too cluttered, remove your least-favorite accessory from the outfit. You might find that fixes everything! 

Embracing Your Personal Style

When it comes to accessorizing your outfit, it's important to remember that what really matters is that you feel confident and true to yourself. Sure, it's fun to follow trends, but ultimately you want to create a look that reflects your own personality and taste. Take some time to figure out what you love about  Gothic, Victorian and  Steampunk fashion, and choose accessories that highlight your best features and show off the style that is uniquely YOU!

Also, as you explore the world of vintage-inspired fashion, don't be afraid to let your style evolve and change. Keep experimenting with different accessories to find out what works best for you, whether you're petite or plus-size. The most important thing is to have fun and feel amazing in whatever you wear. As we often say, “The most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile!”


Accessorizing your GothicVictorian and Steampunk outfit is all about expressing yourself and having fun. With the right accessories, you can create a killer, vintage-inspired look that really shows off your style. So, get out there and show off your vintage-inspired fashion sense!

Remember, the key to successful accessorizing lies in attention to detail, balance, and an unwavering dedication to showcasing your individuality. Don't be afraid to take risks and think outside the box when it comes to selecting accessories for your vintage-inspired wardrobe! Elevate your wardrobe with daring, figure-flattering, and distinctive pieces from our US-made clothes collection at Dare Fashion. And browse our Accessories collection for genre-appropriate pieces that complement those looks.

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