For Men - The Mono goggle.
Thought I am not a big fan of the traditional Steampunk Goggles, this high breed of goggle and eye patch I think is a keeper.
Now there are always problems with cohesiveness between a person’s outfit and persona. The mono goggle is easier to wear then real goggles. While most people will agree 8-10 personae don’t need goggles, even if you are not dealing with explosives or flying in the air you can wear a mono goggle. According to my sources they are also much easier to wear then an eye patch. While you still get that rough and tumble look of living on the edge of the law, you can still see with both of your eyes.
Now there are some downsides, nothing too major, one problem is that mono goggles look really weird on a top hat. (Which makes me happy, no goggles on top hats or any hat), but to be honest one of the problems with hats is that it is very hard to wear one of these devices with a hat. You have to make sure that your hat fits over the straps of the goggle and that the brim does not hit the goggle itself. Another down side is that instead of this headwear resting on the bridge of your nose like traditional goggles the mono goggles will rest more on the bone around your eye and across your eyebrow so if you have a tendency to get migraines this is not the look for you. If you can overlook these problems then this might be the look for you.
For Women - Simplicity Pattern 2172 (Neo-Victorian)
I might be somewhat biased, as the day after I draped a similar pattern this pattern came out but there are some other problems with this pattern. The first that comes to mind is how is this outfit Neo-Victorian? Looking at books that are compilations of fashion plates from the Victorian Era you can soon see that the Victorians never had anything that looked like this. The good part about this coat is never having to worry if you look a little too Victorian for a Steampunk event. The reverse side is that if your friend were to be wearing this pattern, you might not be able to find them in a room of steampunks. Why? Because most women that like to sew and like Steampunk wear this pattern, and some vendors even sell finished jackets at events.
This is not a bad pattern; it is a great place to START when you want to learn how to create an outfit. I would suggest that as you build it though; try to work in some other aspects that might differentiate it from the others you will see. Part of steampunk is about freethinking. Use the pattern as a base; don’t make the pattern the way it looks on the package. Add straps, don’t put on the sleeves, add lace, don’t use the tails, or don’t put on the lace-up back. Give it boning and a contrast lining or something, to truly make it your own.