Like so many fashion related things, burlesque outfits and costumes are so much about the accessories. The typical burlesque look is really a combination of burlesque-style lingerie and various accentuating pieces that pull the whole look together.
If you’re simply looking for a burlesque-style costume, the sky’s the limit since you won’t have to consider how your burlesque accessories will behave during a performance. Burlesque dancers always have to pay closer attention to the look and suitability of their costume for a performance.
Here are a few types of burlesque accessories to keep in mind when you’re putting together your look:
There are a million styles of hats from fedora to mini top hat, that when carefully chosen will really make your outfit pop. For a performer, the hat will be carefully considered with some thought put into its appropriateness for particular choreography. If it’s just a burlesque costume you’re putting together, just pick the style hat that best shows off the rest of your outfit.
If you’ve been to a burlesque show, you’ve definitely seen more than a few numbers that feature costume gloves. Satin and silk gloves are an instantly elegant throwback to bygone eras and are such a core piece of burlesque and neo-burlesque. Dancers put a lot of time into perfecting the “glove tease” routine, and can really make the gloves a focal point of their number. I think that a burlesque outfit is not complete without a pair of sexy gloves.
Makeup and Glitter
Sure, makeup is not technically an accessory, but what an important aspect of burlesque. Makeup is such an art, whose careful application will accent features, create a mood, dazzle viewers and transform a performer. Burlesque performers become bombshells and divas with makeup, and so can you! Bold lipstick, eye shadow and dark (or even dramatically colored and unnaturally shaped, if you go with one of the many amazing faux varieties available today) lashes, as well as glittery highlights on the lips and eyes, are a very important part of the burlesque look. For some inspiration, check out Blood and Glitter, the website of our friend, makeup artist and performer Ginger Snaps, for some great ideas.
Hosiery and Shoes
Every burlesque performer loves hosiery and shoes. These burlesque accessories are so easy to change up everytime you dress up, to create a fresh new look. Of course burlesque dancers will carefully choose the type of hosiery and shoe to go with the rigors of their choreography. The stockings and shoes have to be easy to manage and remove! For the non-performer who is looking to create a burlesque costume, your options are endless. Be bold, select stripes, patterns and retro inspired shoe styles like the one pictured here. We also recommend that you learn a bit about hosiery to help you make a good choice for you.
Jewelry can be worn to add a little vavoom to your burlesque outfit. Just as with hats and other accessories, jewelry can be a little tricky for performers who must think about their choreography going smoothly. To fit in with the burlesque look, retro, goth, and steampunk chokers work well, as do all sorts of flashy rings. And don’t forget about earrings. Remember that your burlesque outfit is one that should draw a lot of attention, so sparkly, showy jewelry can really make it unforgettable.
Masquerade and Mardi Gras masks are IN right now. Nothing creates more mystique than a beautiful and seductive mask. Whether you’re performing or just putting together a burlesque costume for a party, definitely try on a few masks. Styles to look for are ones with long feathers, shiny beads or interesting painted details. Masks really help you escape into a different persona and create a little mystery. They create such a strong style, that some people have put together an entire outfit starting from an amazing mask that they found in a shop and couldn’t pass up.