So what's with the top hats, goggles, corsets, and waistcoats?
Good, God, man! Get with the times (i.e. the faux Victorian Era), and up to snuff with one of the fastest-growing subcultures of geek chic. More than mere dress-up fandom, Steampunk encompasses literature, music, retro science, history and politics, as well as design, fashion, art, and crafts.
The Steampunk Bible is a ripping good overview, filled with most excellent picto-graphics, for the novice as well as the veteran mad inventor/explorer/airship-traveler.