Last night I found myself on Regretsy, the "fail blog of hand crafts." While browsing this amusing site I noticed an entire category dedicated to ll hand-crafted things that are "Not Remotely Steampunk."
How does an item make the "Not Remotely Steampunk" category? By being tagged or listed as steampunk when, in actuality, it is not.
Like this fanny-pack:
And if this counts as "steampunk," then I should start shopping at American Eagle more often for my steampunk goodies:
I've noticed this problem of items that are not obviously "steampunk" being labeled as such on eBay, Amazon, and other websites. Once in a while a friend will send me links to perfectly normal Mary Janes and fashion trenchcoats that are labeled as steampunk, thinking that I can write about it on my blog. Then I have to explain why the item is not noticeably steampunk and, therefore, probably not steampunk at all. The trenchcoat I linked to could be steampunk with a lot of customizing on the part of the buyer, but is, of itself, not a steampunk item.
FYI: Just because steampunk is not all that clearly defined doesn't make it a catch-all category for every vintage, Goth, or subcultural item out there. It really just means that the seller is too lazy or not knowledgeable enough about his or her own product to pick a good tag description that is actually true to the product.
Kudos to Regretsy for displaying the wide world of "Not Remotely Steampunk" for our viewing pleasure.