Once you’ve chosen a burlesque costume, it’s time to put the finishing touches on it by choosing some accessories. Burlesque accessories can turn a good costume into a great one. Properly used, they can also add to a performance.
Some accessories are so much a part of the performance tradition that whole styles have evolved around them. Just as with costumes, these accessories blend retro styles with modern sensibilities to create a new and striking look.
Feather fans are the classic performer’s accessory. Unlike normal hand fans, these fans are large, sometimes over a metre in length. Skilled performers use these as part of a routine. Paradoxically, by covering the body, large fans give the impression that the performer is wearing even less than she is.
Hats and other headgear are a vital part of the burlesque tradition. These are so varied that they almost form their own category. Small, decorative top hats are often worn, echoing a style in which female appropriation of male clothing was considered racy and transgressive.
Flowers worn in the hair add a note of innocence or a Latin touch; like all burlesque accessories, these are often large and brightly-coloured. Gemstones and feathers adorn other types of headdress, evoking colourful Brazilian carnival costumes or the showgirls of Las Vegas.
Feather boas are another classic accessory. Boas are available in a wide range of colours and styles, making them easy to match with a particular ensemble. Like fans, boas can be held and controlled with the hands during performance. Unlike fans, however, they can also simply be draped around the shoulders, making them very versatile accessories.
In addition to these common accessories, many burlesque artists use other props to add visual interest to their work. These props are tailored to the individual performance; creative use of props adds variety and often humour to a piece.
Burlesque accessories can be as simple as a feather boa or as spectacular as a tall headdress covered in jewels and plumes. Whichever you choose, the right accessory can turn a simple costume into an unforgettable one and add excitement to any performance.
Burlesque Hats & Fascinators
Compliment your outfit and get the look from top to toe with a fabulous burlesque fascinator or hat.
The most classic design is the miniature top hat, either plain or adorned with feathers, ribbons, net or jewels. However, there is huge range available: from relatively sober hair clips that would not look out of place at a wedding, to cancan headpieces, to sophisticated teardrop shapes, to truly outrageous designs that will be a talking point for everyone.
Choose your colour or colours carefully. It is usually best to opt for something that co-ordinates with the other parts of your outfit. It can be possible to pull off a contrast, but you have to be very careful that your hat or fascinator doesn’t end up looking like an afterthought. If in doubt, make sure it matches.
On the other hand, burlesque hats and fascinators can be a great way to make a single outfit more versatile. If you can’t afford to buy a new corset or skirt for every event you attend in burlesque costume, then consider adding variety with your accessories.
Pick relatively plain outfit, and buy a number of different fascinators that can change the effect depending on your mood and the event. A small and stylish combination of flowers and feathers, for example, can be a great low key look for a more casual evening; a miniature top hat without too much adornment will make you look chic and sophisticated; and then go wild with the butterflies, birds and whatever else takes your fancy when you want to be the centre of attention.
One important thing to bear in mind is how the hat or fascinator is fastened to your head. The most common methods are a comb, an alice band, or elastic. As long as your hair is long enough to hold it, then a comb usually looks the neatest, and is often the most comfortable as well.
However, as long as its incorporated into the main design, and doesn’t just stick out at the bottom, an alice band can look good too. Elastic is generally best avoided, though if you can hide it in an elaborate hairstyle it can be made to work.
Express your own personal style through burlesque hats and fascinators.
Burlesque is a comically exaggerated imitation of something, usually a literary, dramatic or musical work. It has also become a line of fashion and it is considered very modern and chic to dress up in a similar fashion to those who play parts in these.
This fashion has risen in popularity over the past years due to the increase of shows such as Moulin Rouge. There are many shows to visit and admire.
Although when thinking of burlesque it is usually women that spring to mind, there are also many male costumes available which play on its comic side.
It is very easy to stay in today’s standard fashions just wearing the normal everyday outfits. What Burlesque gives you the opportunity to do is to go back decades ago and dress in the more flamboyant fashions of those days, but with a modern twist. A very important part of the look comes from the Burlesque jewellery and vast range of accessories. It is a unique style of jewellery with a vast range of sizes and colours available.
The main thing that comes out of this fashion is that it is sexy and suggestive but achieving this in a manner that leaves a lot to the imagination rather than revealing everything. Another advantage is that an idea of the fashion is to highlight and promote the femininity and curves of the female body which means that it is suitable for women of all sizes and builds.
There are now many specialist shops and websites that you can buy these from located throughout the world. There are many options such as Burlesque jewellery, dresses, lingerie, wigs, accessories, gloves and shoes.
Once you have some clothing to wear, there are many events and festivals to attend where you can enjoy the variety and excitement of this fashion.
Some wear these clothes on a daily basis, some add the odd piece of Burlesque jewellery to their normal clothing and some just buy a costume for the odd night out. But whatever way you chose to adorn this clothing, there is a lot of fun to be had with it!
Burlesque Shoes & Boots
Burlesque shoes come in many different styles. When you’re looking for a pair of shoes to complete your burlesque outfit, it’s important to consider how you will use them, as this will affect what type of shoe you buy. Will you be performing often in your costume, or will the shoes be used more for a fancy-dress or costume situation? If you plan to perform, then you will need a proper, sturdy shoe. If the outfit is largely for show, then it’s possible to purchase shoes that would be less practical for dancing.
What sort of outfit you’re wearing will also affect what sort of burlesque shoes you want to buy. If you lean towards a more ‘traditional’ look, complete with bustier, skirt, and stockings, then you may want to consider a pair of Victorian-inspired ankle boots. They usually feature a much lower, more rounded heel than most high heels that are sold in regular shops, and high quality pairs are made of leather or suede in almost any colour, and they do not have zippers.
Instead, they are laced up using grommets, or by used rounded hooks that the laces are wrapped around. If you don’t want to wear boots, but you still want to work with a traditional style, then try a T-strap shoe with a heel similar to those of ankle boots. These will still give you the look you want while lengthening the leg.
A more contemporary look might make use of platform heels. These can range in style and size, so it ultimately depends on your tastes. A good platform heel will provide support for your legs and feet even if the heel height is rather extreme.
Some platform shoes have their platform exposed, while in others the platform is concealed, which some people feel makes for a more streamlined look to the shoe. Others feature peep-toes. An advantage to platform heels is that unlike the more traditional shoes, they can use different fabrics and patterns, making your outfits easy to coordinate.
Ultimately, you should choose burlesque shoes that not only complement your burlesque ‘look’ but also make you feel comfortable and fabulous. If you think carefully about what you want out of your shoe and your outfit, then you can’t go wrong.
Burlesque clothing is becoming more and more popular for a very good reason. It allows you to express your personality and your fantasies in a range of clothing that inspires and fuels your imagination. No outfit can be complete, however, without a wig to complete the look. Since a woman’s hair is so important to the way she feels, the wigs created for the burlesque look can be the most important factor.
Burlesque wigs provide an easy and fun way to let your glamorous and sexy alter-egos come alive. You might need to wear your hair in a practical style in your daily life, but there is now such a wide variety and excellent quality of wigs available that you can instantly be anyone you want to be, from Marie Antoinette to Lana Turner.
You can indulge your imagination as a platinum blonde, exuding the frothy sexiness of Marilyn Monroe or the baby-doll pouting appeal of a young Brigitte Bardot. These amazing burlesque wigs bring to life an era when glamour was alive and an ultra-feminine style was the one men longed to see. They still do.
When you feel like a change of persona, the burlesque range gives you lots of opportunity. Jet black wigs provide an element of sensual mystery. Long, poker-straight, black hair with a solid fringe ending just above the eyebrows gives the youthful, playful look of a sixties dolly-bird, especially when teamed with long black false eyelashes.
Alternatively, silky, flowing waves gently falling over the face and neck provide a sensuous but sexily shy look. Wild gypsy curls indicate a passionate untamed temperament, whilst mid-length hair with neat rolls at the sides, pinned in 1940’s style, offers a more demure vintage appeal.
As well as the movie star, vamp or vintage look, these wigs can help you create an entirely fantasy persona. Amazing rainbow colours and out-of-this-world styles can take you on a unique journey. The range of wigs is as wild and as wide as your imagination.
The wigs you choose almost magically activate a hidden part of your personality. What’s more, they are so reasonably priced that you can afford to purchase more than one, so you can always match the mood of the moment. Once you have entered the world of burlesque wigs, you will never look back. You can be all the women you ever wanted to be.