Apparently, I am procrastinating from packing, but I had another thought for a quick post.
One of the things I would recommend for anyone new (or old) to steampunk, is to scour the internet looking at pictures of other people's creations, outfits, etc. When I was first thinking of putting a costume together I went on Flickr and searched "steampunk costume." And then I saved all the pictures I liked and showed them to my husband, to give him an idea of what I even meant by "steampunk."
Now I don't specifically go looking for pictures most of the time, but I do come across a lot of them. Whether it's from the Steamfashion community on Livejournal, the Ravelry group Steamy Stitches, the CorsetMakers group on Livejournal, or one of the many steampunk friends I have on facebook, I see a lot of pictures of people's creations.
And when I see something I absolutely LOVE and moreover might want to incorporate some aspect of it into a creation of my own one day, I right-click and save to my Inspirations folder. So I have a convenient little folder on my computer that I can look at to remind myself of various projects I might want to start, or study how someone made something that is particularly cool, or just show to other people to convey a better idea about what I am describing. And this way, when I want to think about making a hat(or whatever), I can go look at all the pictures of cool hats I've saved.
Some of the pictures in my inspiration folder are antique photos, some are products that are for sale, and some are one-of-a-kind creations made by others. I don't especially bother with identifying where I got the photo or who created it, because these pictures are just for my own use. If there's something I want to be able to find again to buy, then I save the link elsewhere.
Here are a few of the pictures in my inspiration folder.
Keeping a folder to save inspiring pictures is a simple recommendation, but it's one that I suggest everyone follow. If you think you'll just "remember" an item or be able to find it later...well, I recommend you just save the pictures.