Originally Posted by Mehdia
I'm drawn to the creative side of steampunk, so I don't like when people start saying something is or isn't steampunk. It's a genre that is what you make of it.
Exactly! I think saying "Well, you can't do X or Y... and whatever you do, don't do Z" really hampers creativity. I love seeing how inventive people can be with steampunk, and I think creativity really flourishes best when you can say, "start with X and see where it takes you". It makes the whole genre more fun when it's more open-ended, rather than restrictive.
I also honestly have no real problem with people just sticking gears on things either, but I know that's a sticking point for a lot of people, too. I figure we add plenty of non-functional items to our clothing nowadays purely for aesthetic value (hello rhinestones, studs, non-functioning buttons, and superfluous zippers). So why not gears, if you like the look of them? If it were Fleur-de-Lis shaped buttons, would it be an issue? It's intriguing when people really do take into account actual mechanics and make functioning gears, but I don't think it should be a requirement.
Anyway... yeah, I'm always for just doing what appeals to you. If that's a lime-green and hot pink ensemble using Victorian silhouettes and fabric types as an inspiration, power to you! (The Nerfpunk group at last year's D*C really made me smile). I love seeing things I haven't seen before, and I'm a big fan of bright/rich colors in general. Brown hues do evoke a specific "old-timey feeling", but I'll admit I'm getting bored with a sepia steampunk wardrobe and I'm really starting to play more with color, even if it is outside the box.