jlanzer : Is steam punk more of an anime genre or a real world fashion statement? As far as I can tell there are very few animes that fit into the steam punk genre (steam boy, desert punk, letter bee, last exhile) and there is more of an impact on fashion modernizing early 1900's aviation wear. Along that note, do you see any other anime fashion leaking into the real world outside of anime conventions?
Even though I’d probably add FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST to that list, I do need to explain that steampunk isn’t a genre specific to anime. It actually started in science fiction novels in the late 70s, early 80s, with novels like William Gibson's THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE. The name was a pun on the cyberpunk stories he's so known for pioneering. Then again, it obviously had some ancestors in the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, which were basically, I suppose, "regular" science fiction. fiction at the time. I actually answered a question similar to this on Comic Vine, which goes to show you, again, how it isn’t specific to anime.
It's definitely a genre, but nobody's going to dispute that a lot of the appeal has to do with the fashion. Few can accessorize like that anymore - - you really can't get away with wearing monocles and petticoats these days - - so it’s a natural choice for cosplay. Hell, I even see cosplayers who aren’t even dressing up as specific characters at conventions, they just wanted to throw on some aviator goggles and a top hat.
As for anime fashion leaking into the real world? Do hipsters wearing snarky t-shirts with anime logos and characters on them count? I've seen plenty of people with huge, wildly-colored hair in LA, but I don't think they're modeling themselves after anybody from DBZ. That's just how they want to dress. I do remember there being a banner ad for some men’s health website with a picture of a girl dressed like everybody’s favorite loli goth Misa. They didn’t seem to get what she was dressed as, so there you go. Leakage into the real world.
Still, we’ve got a broader pool of perspectives here. Have you lunatics seen any examples of anime fashion in every day life? More importantly - - should said fashion stay in that anime, for the love of good taste?