It’s currently November, which, in Texas means I can pretty much walk around in shorts without so much as a chill, but as the holidays roll around, that won’t be the case. Unfortunately, for many burlesque dancers, the time for skimpy apparel has long since passed the point of comfort. So, here’s the problem many of us face – how in the heck do we stay warm, while getting ready to take it all off?
The art of burlesque can be very strenuous, but sometimes a frenetic jiggle just isn’t enough to keep the circulation going! Here are some tips on how to maintain the illusion of the tease, without complete exposure to the elements.
Layers – A great way to keep the heat on is to start with heavy layers. Think opulent velvets, or furs (faux fur tends to be cheaper AND warmer). Cashmeres and wool overcoats can make for a dramatic reveal, and by the time you’re done dancing in all those heavy layers, you’ll definitely have worked up a sweat. Pair a floor sweeping velvet or wool coat with a satin and lace chemise, or a bra and panty set in icy tones for a glamorous (and cozy) finale.
Take a Cue from Figure Skaters – Dancing on ice is certainly a challenge for temperature regulation, but figure skaters have got it down! Many figure skating costumes give the illusion of bare skin, without really revealing a thing. A nude bodysuit, or even nude hose covered with fishnets and topped with a burlesque corset will give the impression of bare skin from afar. If you aren’t going for a full reveal, don’t be afraid to choose a bodysuit studded with crystals. You can also take advantage of a warm nude colored bodysuit for dances like a fan dance, or you can sew pasties or tassels right onto a burlesque teddy for some added excitement that won’t leave your teeth chattering.
Know Your Venue – Before you choose your burlesque costumes, try to spend some time on the stage in your chosen venue with the lights on, and the climate control set for a show. This will let you know exactly how much cold you need to plan for. If that’s not possible, plan several versions of your burlesque costume, so you have options when it’s time to perform. While putting together your burlesque outfit, also plan for what you’ll be wearing to mingle before and after the show. A wrap or voluminous shawl is a great way to turn a plunging neckline into a comfortably elegant ensemble.
Themed parties are so much fun. Our whole business is about burlesque, burlesque outfits and costumes, so when it comes to related party themes, we have all sorts of ideas to make it work.
There are a few risque party themes that come up all the time and that get everyone excited because they offer the girls a chance to be kinda sexy and naughty, and the guys can step out of the modern day shlubbiness that is so normal today and dress up a bit. So it works for everybody! Here are a few favorites and some costume ideas.
Burlesque - Moulin Rouge Era
A classic burlesque era that offers a lot of burlesque costume options to choose from (if you’re a girl). The look of the day involved lots of lace, petticoats, and wild color combinations. This is your chance to get that corset you’ve always wanted, since a corset is a foundation garment of this time period. Pair your corset with cute ruffle panties, a garter belt and striped stockings, and you’ve pretty much got the look. You can also wear long opera length gloves and lots of sparkly jewelry to make the outfit pop.
Read our tutorial on burlesque and pinup hairstyles
For the guys, well your best bet is to look refined and dapper, but with furry Edwardian facial hair. You’re in luck though, since beards and mustache wax is back in style with a vengeance. Just wear a suit and a some sort of hat and you’re all set.
Burlesque - Roaring 20s Era or Gangsters and Flappers
The 1920s was entirely different, although burlesque has always maintained a lot of it’s 19th century audaciousness. This era was much more streamlined and sleek, so for a burlesque costume for a 20s party, skip the corset and gloves, and go for a sleek dress (with a drop waist if you can find one) with more subdued hosiery. Concentrate on the hair and makeup, and also wear heels that are lower with a block heel, instead of stilettos. They didn’t have those yet!
For the guys, your party costume can be either the refined gentleman wearing a slightly oversized suit (zoot suit) with pinstripes, or you can take it casual and wear a simple white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a short fat tie, a pair of high waisted trousers and a hat. It works.
Pimps and Hookers
Alright, I mention this costume party theme because it comes up all the time. If you wanna get kinda trashy, this would be the one. It’s the roaring 20s era combined with the 1970s. You’re on your own here! But our advice for all the wannabe hookers, a little tease is a lot hotter than letting it all hang out everywhere. Maybe go as a “call girl” from the mid century and wear some seamed stockings, a tight minidress and long gloves.
Circus and Carnival
The revival of the 1890s is in full swing today in Austin and every other major city. Men are forming facial hair clubs, circus performance groups and vaudeville style acts are popping up all over the place. Our burlesque costume boutique really fits with this theme well and offers a lot of ideas for a party with this theme. If you’re a girl, you can pretty much try any style from corset to minidress. The look mainly involves a lot of stripes, vibrant colors, and hosiery. Add a really tall feather in your hair & you’re golden! Consider wearing a cute two piece or corset with ruffle panties and stockings with garters. If it’s a little cold out, break out that vintage full length coat and amaze the crowd when it comes off at the party!
For the guys, you can go with just about anything, from refined gentleman to hobo. Brown trousers, rolled up shirtsleeves and suspenders, combined with a stylish, worn-in hat will do the trick. Or if you’re feeling feisty, be the circus strongman or a lion tamer! Your options are pretty much endless.
Looking for a simple Halloween costume you can make with pieces of your burlesque outfits? A few easy-to-incorporate accessories can turn just about any outfit into a quick costume for a party or a show. Here are some quick ideas for creating a fabulous burlesque costume for Halloween:
The Obvious Burlesque Costume Ideas
First, let’s get a few obvious solutions out of the way. Devil horns, angel wings, and cat ears are cheap and easy ways to turn any burlesque costume into something you can wear at Halloween. True, they’ve been done, but they’re an old standby for a reason, so don’t discount them. Even a common costume can look amazing if you really put some effort into it. Try some twists on these basic looks. Pair red glitter lipstick, smoky eye makeup, and flame inspired body paint for a truly devilish demon. Amp up your angel costume with colors like pastel blues or a shock of yellow. Take your black cat beyond basic by adding sharp nails to your long gloves, and fang caps on your teeth.
Unique Burlesque Costumes for Halloween
There are quite a few accessories that can turn an outfit into a costume easily, and may not be so commonly used. Here are a few to try:
A mini hat headband – A mini hat headband can be used to communicate a variety of burlesque costume ideas. Use this accessory combined with a bustle skirt for a steampunk burlesque outfit. Add a few clock gears or a pocket watch fob to complete the look.
A cape – A good cape can open up a ton of burlesque costume options. A cape can turn you into a super hero, or turn you into a gender bent Phantom of the Opera. A cape can make a vampire, or even a Renaissance festival inspired costume.
A feather fascinator – A feather fascinator can be used to create several different looks. A simple single feather fascinator can be paired with a fringed mini skirt to create a burlesque flapper look. Feather fascinators can be used to create can-can burlesque costumes, too. For a truly Rococo look, pair an elaborate feather fascinator with a big hairstyle and light blue or Rococo style corset for a Marie Antoinette inspired burlesque costume.
A Mask – A mask is almost an entire costume by itself. A good mask can turn nearly any look into a burlesque costume. For interesting masks, try something you can’t get at your local costume shop. Look for real Venetian or Mardis Gras masks, handmade lace masks, or even leather masks from adult leather shops. You’d be surprised at the range and variety of wicked Halloween costume options available.
We all do it. Sometime in September, we start thinking about Halloween costumes, and we think, “I wanna do something totally unique this year!” If you’re like me, you end up just kinda figuring it out at the last minute sometime on October 30th. Boo. So here are a few amazing, unique Halloween costumes for inspiration and to show you just how creative some people are.
Look at this photo! I mean the time involved to apply all those dots to look like a newspaper graphic is quite an investment, but these ladies look amazing. Besides the dot makeup effect, the costume clothing you choose is important, but you can wear just about any style. Just consider the hair carefully, because the look really works when your hair has a blocky illustrative style.
For a Halloween costume that’s a little less involved but really cute, take a look at these beautiful dolls. People will be totally amazed if you pull off this look because it’s so arresting. The key to this look is of course the makeup. Notice the line art that defines the mouth, lips and nose. It totally works and is easy to copy. Another key aspect to this one is the over the top, sweet eyes. Big perfect eyelashes and makeup are a must. For the outfit, you can wear just about anything that’s girly, like a babydoll dress, or you can even go in a sexy direction.
Rockabilly Bride of Frankenstein
This one is amazing, too. Simply a 1950’s cute bobby socks style with a full circle skirt, a classic ponytail, and some fabulous green makeup. Tons of rockabilly girls could easily pull this one off and be a hit. I love the matching neck ribbon, too.
The dark harlequin shown here is just a starting point for all sorts of burlesque costume ideas and styles. Starting with the basic harlequin, black and white contrasting color scheme, you can add dark lips and eyes and even take the outfit in a more provocative and sexy direction. The sky is the limit on this one.
Other Rad Costumes
And we just have to share some other very cool Halloween costumes that we found. How about a cute DIY R2D2 costume for the nerdier girls? I love this one. Some socks, a tutu, and then just sew the graphic detail onto a white corset and hat, and you’re done. How freakin’ cute?
Ok this one is not very practical to put together, but if you’re up for a major challenge, how about the Cheshire Cat? The key here is finding just the right matching stripes and colors, and doing a lot of the costume yourself. Good luck!
I like costumes where the person is walking around with some sort of furniture surrounding them. If you’re creative (and you are because you’re reading this!) then you can use this idea to come up with a ton more. The gypsy fortune teller is so cool. You can work on this Halloween costume in two pieces. First the gypsy outfit, and then of course the booth, made out of cardboard.
Now that we got you thinking about costumes, get started on yours. Halloween is just around the corner. If you'd like to see more awesome costume and makeup ideas, check out our costume board on Pinterest. Also, if you're more of a ready-to-wear costume gal, we've got some great Halloween costumes!
From a Guy's Eye is a series of products reviews, seen from the guy's perspective. It's an opportunity to single out one of our outfits and talk about it in a little detail, mention some of the things that I like about it and why we chose to include it in our collection.
Read more From a Guy's Eye in the Study.
I thought I would review one of our Halloween costumes, the Queen of Darkness, since Halloween is coming up.
This hot little number has kind of a dark burlesque look to it, and living up to its name, a Halloween style and feel. It's a sexy vampiress costume that's pretty hot on its own, and with a little change of accessories and styling, could be turned into a straight up burlesque costume. Those layers of ruffles around the skirt remind me of the original Edwardian burlesque era.
What I like about this costume is that the simple grey and black colors keep it looking Halloween, but the skimpiness of the dress, and the tight bodice piece make it pretty damn sexy. I'm a guy, so when I got out to a Halloween party, I like to see costumes that are sexy, skimpy and a bit flirty. Sure the classic Halloween costumes aren't "supposed" to be sexy, but Halloween for an adult is just a little more interesting with some sex appeal. This costume has the nice traditional vampire theme, but also brings the tease.
Read our post about the Sexification of Halloween
One of the reasons we added this to our collection is that it really does fit in with the burlesque theme. If you just looked at the front of this costume and didn't think about the time of year, you might not think "vampiress", until your eyes wandered up to that batwing collar. If you're crafty and creative, you could change things up and really make this into all sorts of different costumes for burlesque or show girl themed Halloween events.
Finally, what I also like about this cute Halloween costume is that you get the basic dress and choker, but can pair it with a million different types of hosiery, shoes, gloves and accessories. Need to make it even more provocative? Add in a garter belt and stockings for a little under the skirt tease. Feeling a bit modest? Try a pair of solid opaque tights for a bit more cover up.
Is it weird that a guy knows this kind of information? Probably, but who cares, it's Halloween!