Burlesque Fashion Ideas

Dita Von Teese sparkles at a 2011 New York cocktail party.

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Burlesque fashion covers diverse territory, from the retro fashion of Dita Von Teese to the flashy looks from the film "Moulin Rouge." Give a nod to sexy styles by sporting a bustier-inspired blouse and patent leather stiletto heels, or go full-out burlesque with a revealing gown, burlesque dance accessories, bold makeup and a luscious hairstyle. Your styling choices make the difference between vamp and va va voom.

Show Some Skin

Lingerie-inspired fashion rules in the world of burlesque style. The go-to look involves bustiers or corsets on top. If you want a more subtle reference to slinky undergarments, wear a lace-up fitted blouse or a top with a built-in push-up bra. Plunging necklines and peek-a-boo cutouts are not your only options. Consider a sheer, lacy top with a silk camisole beneath, or a full-length dress in a translucent fabric. Show some leg with a high slit on your skirt, or go with a more modest cut that hugs your curves.

Vintage Looks

Vintage dresses with details such as boning, tucked waists and tight bodices create a burlesque-inspired look. Look for separates in sleek or revealing fabrics such as silk, satin, lace, chiffon and charmeuse. Complement your retro ensemble with a Hollywood glam makeover of powdered cover-up, matte red lips and pin curls spritzed with shine serum.

Underneath It All

A black lace bra and matching panties are standard underwear for vintage fashion. Fit matters, so take the time to try on several styles to hit upon one with non-slip straps, a band that doesn't bind and cups that lift. If you want a little support in creating that perfect hourglass shape, invest in some shapewear. These tuck in your waist, boost your bust and trim your thighs. However, some of them are too long or high-cut to wear with skimpy clothes.

Finishing Touches

The details make the difference in burlesque fashion. Go glam with glittery rhinestone clips in your hair, long satin party gloves and a black velvet clutch. For a kitschy cool look, accessorize with a feather boa or a fitted jacket trimmed in faux fur. If you plan to dance, your accessories should allow for movement and stability. Wear shoes with a wider heel and place an adhesive strip on the sole to reduce skidding. Keep fishnet stockings in place with elastic garters.

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