Here is twist on the original subject...how often do you see patterned material in steampunk? The more complex the better and how about plaid? I know Victoria made plaid fashionable before she made black fashionable. And Victorias were mad for patterns just as much as color. Around the time of the American Civil War, just after I think they introduced a new look, Polka Dots.
Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs had better get used to it.