This past weekend I made a trip to Galveston, TX and one of my goals was to visit the famous Col. Bubbie's Military Surplus store. The store claims to have the widest selection of military surplus ANYWHERE. Unfortunately the Colonel has passed on and the store is closing (I heard probably in late September). This does mean there is a huge Going Out of Business sale going on. One of my steampunk friends encouraged me to go while I still can, so I did.
So what kind of items can you find for steampunk in a well-stocked military surplus store? Well first of all you can find lots and lots of military uniforms. Col Bubbie's has an amazing supply of uniform pieces from all over the world and all eras. If you're not concerned with trying to accurately reproduce a certain uniform, a world of possibilities opens. Combine a Russian jacket with French trousers and a German hat, who cares? Modern pants, 1950s jacket, Civil War reproduction hat? SURE? Damn, I love steampunk sometimes.
|A nice coat I didn't buy|
So although a lot of the really good stuff with some age to it was pretty picked over by the time I made it to Col Bubbie's I still got some nice stuff. Plus there was a ton of nice stuff I didn't get because it I wasn't sure how popular it would be in my specific market. For example I have a hard time selling coats to people in Texas, and heavy wool military coats would not be flying off my racks most of the year. But in other places, those might be exactly what you want! I also was limited by the money I felt I could spend at the time, otherwise, yeah I'd have gotten more.
|13 button trousers|
|It says Made in Germany|
One item to definitely look for is leggings/spats/gaiters. You know, whatever you want to call those things that go over your boots to keep the mud off. I found three styles at Bubbie's. Some awesome white vinyl spats that my friend was wearing last time I saw her, but when I got there the only ones left were REALLY dirty and gross. They had a few of the
|Spats with a cat|
Finally, one thing you can't forget to shop for is pouches. I love military pouches, whether leather or cloth, and they are so versatile and useful. Anytime we have these for sale at our booth, they go VERY fast. So we picked up the coolest ones we could find. Which meant a lot of these little round leather pouches. I have no idea what they are, but they are perfect for a steampunk outfit.
Here are a few more pics of things we bought:
|A nice pair of sturdy cargo pants|
|The back of the 13 button pants showing the rear lacing!|
|A neat bag we bought for fun|