The Gothic style includes Steampunk, as Steampunk is considered to be more of a sub genre. However, that doesn’t stop people in online marketing from distinguishing between the two, as Steampunk is currently trending and in some ways considered to be the new goth. There are certainly other Gothic styles as well, so again, it’s kind of moot to compare Goth with Steampunk. Yet, it is important to distinguish the defining characteristics of Steampunk in general.
Steampunk is very Victorian, especially when it comes to associated literature. However, it can also be very futuristic, and science fiction is also a major theme. Bronze, copper and dark aesthetics are part of the Steampunk appeal, and when it comes to music, think opera. It was mentioned that Steampunk has many Victorian themes, but it should also be mentioned that Victorian Goth is its own sub genre.
When looking at the Gothic style in general and thinking about the defining characteristics of Steampunk, it helps to know what other sub genres are out there. For example, there is Cyber Goth, Romantic Goth, Geek Goth, Fairy Goth and more. Some of them are merely viewed as extensions of the Gothic movement, whereas Steampunk is viewed by some as mentioned as more of a transition to a newer form of Goth.
Of course, it’s not like everyone plays by the rules of the sub genres when enjoying the Gothic style. They mix elements from different sub genres and express their individuality in different ways. Now, what might someone wear when dressing in this Gothic style? Top hats are an idea, as are suspenders, boots, large dresses and more. Just remember that it’s not just about how you dress, as Steampunk is an entire culture so to speak of Goth enthusiasts that are looking for the next big thing.