What to Wear to a Burlesque Show?

Excited for the burlesque show? Get ready to enjoy a night of seduction, laughter, and dazzling performances! But one little detail can make or break your night: What to wear? Fear not, my fellow style seeker, because I’m here to guide you through the intricate art of dressing for a burlesque show.

In this fashion-packed journey, we’ll explore everything from the essential elements of burlesque style to practical tips for choosing the perfect outfit. You’ll learn how to turn heads, embrace your inner showgirl, and make a lasting impression. So, grab a seat (virtually, of course), and let’s dive into the glamorous world of burlesque attire.

The Allure of Burlesque Style

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a moment to appreciate the essence of burlesque style. Burlesque, with its roots in 19th-century vaudeville, is a tantalizing blend of sensuality, comedy, and theatricality. It’s about expressing your unique personality through extravagant and provocative fashion.

Imagine yourself as the star of your own burlesque performance. The stage is set, and all eyes are on you. Your outfit isn’t just clothing; it’s an extension of your character and confidence. So, let’s explore the elements that make up a quintessential burlesque look:

1. Corsets: The Heart of Burlesque Glamour

Think of a corset as the cornerstone of your burlesque ensemble. It cinches your waist, enhances your curves, and screams old-world charm. Choose a well-fitted corset that provides both support and style. Whether you opt for classic black satin or daring red lace, your corset should be comfortable enough to wear throughout the evening, regardless of Athleta sizes.

2. Stockings and Garters: Leggy Seduction

The allure of burlesque often lies in the art of tease. Show off your legs with thigh-high stockings and garters. The contrast between bare skin and silky fabric is a seductive sight to behold. Plus, it’s a nod to the vintage glamour of the burlesque era.

3. Feathers and Fringe: Flirty and Fun

Burlesque is all about playful extravagance. Consider adding a feather boa or fringe to your outfit. These elements create mesmerizing movements as you shimmy and sashay. You’ll feel like a burlesque queen in no time.

4. Gloves: Elegant Elegance

Long, satin gloves add a touch of elegance to your ensemble. They’re not only stylish but also a fantastic prop for your own sultry performance. Slip them off with a flourish, and you’ll have the audience eating out of your hand.

5. Sparkling Accessories: Shine Bright

glitzy accessories

Don’t shy away from glitzy accessories. Rhinestone-studded jewelry, chandelier earrings, and sparkling headpieces are your allies in the quest for show-stopping glamour. They catch the spotlight and make you dazzle.

6. Costume Inspiration: Characters and Themes

Many burlesque shows have themes or characters, so consider incorporating them into your outfit. Let your imagination run wild if you want to be a seductive spy, a vintage pin-up, or a mischievous flapper. Your costume can tell a story and create a memorable presence.

Now that you have a grasp of the essential elements, let’s move on to some practical tips for crafting your burlesque look.

Crafting Your Burlesque Look: Practical Tips

Creating a burlesque-inspired outfit is an art form in itself. It’s about embracing your unique style while paying homage to the enchanting world of burlesque. Here are some tips to help you craft the perfect look for your night out:

1. Research the Venue and Theme

Start by researching the venue and show theme. Is it a classic burlesque revue or a contemporary twist? Knowing the vibe will help you tailor your outfit appropriately. If there’s a theme, try to incorporate it into your costume for added fun.

2. Choose Colors Wisely

While red and black are classic burlesque colors, don’t be afraid to experiment with other shades that flatter your skin tone. Jewel tones like emerald green or sapphire blue can be just as captivating. Ultimately, the key is to feel confident in your chosen colors.

3. Mix and Match

You don’t have to buy a pre-made costume. Burlesque fashion is all about creativity, so mix and match pieces you already own with new additions. Pair a corset with a skirt you adore, or add a feathered accessory to your favorite little black dress.

4. Comfort Matters

Remember that you’ll be spending a few hours in your outfit, so prioritize comfort. Choose fabrics that allow you to move with ease and shoes you can dance in comfortably. There’s no glamour in hobbling around with sore feet!

5. Tailoring is Your Friend

If you’re investing in a corset or any custom pieces, consider getting them tailored. A well-fitted corset can make all the difference in how you carry yourself and feel throughout the evening.

6. Embrace Confidence

The most important accessory you can wear is confidence. Burlesque is all about self-expression and empowerment. Walk tall, own your look, and let your inner showgirl shine. Confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear!

7. Practice Your Routine (Optional)

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not create a short routine to perform for yourself in the mirror? It can be a fun way to embody the spirit of burlesque and boost your confidence.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to answer some of the burning questions you might have about dressing for a burlesque show.


  1. Can I wear pants to a burlesque show, or is a skirt/dress mandatory?

Absolutely, you can wear pants if that’s what makes you feel comfortable and confident. While skirts and dresses are common choices for a burlesque-inspired look, there are no strict rules. The key is to express your style and embrace the essence of burlesque.

  1. Do I need to wear heels to a burlesque show?

Heels are a classic choice for a burlesque look because they can elongate your legs and add a touch of sensuality. However, if heels aren’t your thing, you can opt for stylish flats or low-heeled shoes that allow you to move and enjoy the show without discomfort.

  1. Is it appropriate to wear lingerie as part of my burlesque outfit?

Absolutely! Lingerie can be a fantastic starting point for a burlesque-inspired look. To create a complete ensemble, you can layer it with other elements like a corset, stockings, and accessories. Just ensure you feel confident and comfortable in whatever you wear.

  1. What if I want to dress conservatively but still capture the burlesque spirit?

You can capture the essence of burlesque while maintaining a more conservative style. Consider incorporating elements like gloves, statement jewelry, or a vintage-inspired hairstyle to add a touch of burlesque glamour to your outfit without revealing too much skin.

  1. Can I wear makeup to match my burlesque outfit?

Certainly! Makeup is a powerful tool for enhancing your burlesque look. Experiment with bold red lips, dramatic eyeliner, and false lashes to create a sultry, glamorous appearance that complements your outfit. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with your makeup.

In conclusion

Dressing for a burlesque show is a delightful journey into glamour, sensuality, and self-expression. Whether you go all out with corsets, feathers, and fringe or take a more subtle approach, the key is to embrace your unique style and exude confidence. Remember, burlesque fashion has no strict rules, only endless possibilities for self-discovery and empowerment. So, unveil your inner showgirl – the stage is yours!

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