The revival of burlesque as an art form and fashion trend has been around for several years, but the ubiquity of the Internet has led to an explosion of options for people looking for the ideal outfit for their parties, acts or even for everyday wear. Although it is often associated with performers of the adult variety, its general trends reflect a much wider range, and can easily be worn as part of an everyday look that is confident and feminine. And, of course, the more radical outfits are ideal for parties!
Main features of the trend are impeccable and bold make-up, shiny, well-styled hair, and of course, fabulous clothes that display an hourglass figure with cheeky glimpses (or at least hints!) of stunning underwear.
A lot of this can be obtained from modern ranges, but specialist retailers that also stock burlesque vintage clothing, or base their outfits on vintage styles, will provide you with the most authentic effect. Some retailers even use authentic period fabrics to create new pieces, giving their work a wonderful mix of tradition and relevance.
Wearing burlesque styles as everyday clothing is an attractive way to make a style statement, but it can require a large dash of self-confidence. Just remember, burlesque is about imagination, not the amount of flesh on display, so don’t feel that you have to wear your underwear on the outside! Vintage clothing is particularly suited to this purpose, as older styles tend to be at the more modest and “teasing” end of the range.
A word of warning, though. Most true vintage pieces can be very small in size, so when sourcing burlesque vintage clothing, especially on-line, do be careful to check your exact measurements against the posted measurements of the piece. Don’t be afraid to contact your chosen retailer if you have any questions about their outfits, or concerns about fitting or appropriate underwear (e.g., the right corset to choose for under a particular piece).
For people with more modern figures, or those who need a larger size, a range based on vintage pieces, but styled for current body shapes may be more appropriate, as well as being easier to care for.
1950’s Glam with Burlesque Pin-Up Clothing
Return to the feminine glamour of the 1950’s, but inject an empowered modern twist with burlesque pin up clothing. The pin-up look is all about the combination of cute and sexy, traditional and deeply cool.
Think the classic, sexy, figure accentuating items of burlesque, with a 1950’s pop culture twist. The sailor’s sweetheart look is totally pin-up. Combine a frilly blue mini skirt with Union-Jack or Stars and Stripes Bordello shoes to add a sexy, modern twist to an old-fashioned-gal look. For a more every day burlesque pin-up clothing, there are countless amazing 1950’s inspired frocks.
A full skirt dress looks incredible whatever your figure. This is by far one of the greatest assets of the pin-up stye. You can work it whether you are a size 4 or a size 24, because it’s all about subtle accentuation and teasing cover ups.
For slimmer ladies with small busts, a simple A-Line dress, with a high square neck line can look effortlessly feminine and can be accessorised with a statement necklace (try oversized pearls) and over the top curly hair to create an outfit that really stands out.
Women with an hour-glass figure or fuller bust could try a strappy swing dress. Often tastefully low cut, with piping or seams around the bust, these dresses really flatter a lady-like figure. Sleeveless or strappy, girls who rock tattoos on their arms can really work the pin-up look by showing off their awesome ink.
For nights out, there is nothing sexier than silk. Whatever your figure, a sleek Marilyn Monroe black silk dress will look simply stunning. Combine with platform heels for an edgy look and, if you’re feeling a bit naughty, hide suspenders and stockings underneath. Birdy dresses, with their lapel-style necklines and full, layered skirts are totally Hollywood and so in keeping with burlesque pin up clothing.
For a simpler look that can be customised for formal occasions and every day try a simple figure hugging dress in black or red. Like the A-Line dress, this can be made strikingly burlesque with the right shoes and accessories, or stripped down to become more conventional.
Burlesque pin up clothing is all about taking pride in your sexy, loveable figure and creating a glamorous feminine look that stops traffic. Pin-up takes you back to the birth of feminism, so get some florals and get involved!
Burlesque outfits offer a sassy approach to indulging in freeing yourself from inhibitions, and can be a wonderful way to acknowledge the glamorous styles of yesteryear. Burlesque shops can provide you with the costume and all the necessary accessories to make your outfit the one to win you the ‘best dressed’ award at any fancy dress event. The distinctive style is growing evermore popular and consequently there are countless burlesque shops offering wide ranges of choice, making it easier than ever to dip your toe into the enchanting pool of the burlesque world.
The assortment of costumes available can vary from the widely recognised flamboyance of the Moulin Rouge dancing girls to Wild West saloon girl outfits, and from saucy Ringleader get ups to classic pin-up girl styles. There are plenty of accessories to enhance your outfit of choice. The endless selection of wigs and feather fans available in burlesque shops can provide an element of mystery for your stage performance; add in other adornments such as a feather boa, a lace parasol or some long line silky gloves for that extra touch.
Many accessories and garments can be worn as separates or mixed and matched so you can pick exactly which items you are comfortable with. This enables you to create an original look by putting together as many items as you wish at once in order to either fashion yourself a full costume or by carefully positioning a couple of pieces to enhance your style without feeling over the top.
Retro inspired underwear is a fantastic way to discreetly try out the style. With girdles to flatter your figure; either underneath form hugging dresses for those special occasions, or to boost your confidence by way of sculpting your individual shape into the much sought after hourglass silhouette. There are unlimited hosiery styles ranging from effortlessly alluring plain black or nude hold up stockings, paired with a suspender belt for a timeless look, to fancy fishnets, faux tattoo print tights and any other finish imaginable.
There are so many ways to approach burlesque fashion, as it is such an interchangeable and creative style. The good news is that it is no matter if you are currently only comfortable with the idea of purchasing a small themed decoration, as it is a scene that has made a terrific comeback and is certainly here to stay.