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burlesque style

burlesque-corset-outfitAttending a burlesque show means you have a great reason to go mad and get totally dressed up! The majority of people attending a burlesque show put in a lot of effort when it comes to planning their outfits. To look the look the part any clothing you choose must always have some kind of historical styling.

Burlesque entertainers became popular in Victorian times when corsets were a must-have element of every woman’s outfit. Burlesque performers are often seen unlacing their beautiful corsets on stage. A corset gives you the most divinely gorgeous feminine hourglass figure!

Dress etiquette in Victorian times also dictated that you should not be seen dead outside your house without a hat! The prefect burlesque outfit might include a fascinator, which is a small hat or hair clip often pinned to one side of your head.

When you attend a burlesque show you’ll find that the dress code is always formal so you’ll need to polish your best pair of shoes and make sure that you look that part.

50s style dress

If you’d rather not wear a restrictive corset then you could opt for a softer 40’s or 50’s style dress. When matched with a fascinator hat this really looks the part! Pinup shoes and short gloves are great finishing touches to make you look amazing at any burlesque show. .

Men can also look the part in quite a variety of different styles too, but again styles must always have an historical flavour. I love the Victorian Steampunk look which transforms a gentleman by adding flavours of futuristic elements such as brass cogs and watches fastened to parts of your hat or sleeves. Hard to imagine but these look really very dashing. Check out our article burlesque clothing for men.

PHOTO CREDITS: Copyright of photographer Kate Robson
Models: Bethany and Jessy
Clothing and Styling:  Nina Young, Bite Me Couture

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1920s chorus girls

thalia-barbarova-1920sLadies 1920s Fashions

Vintage inspired 1920’s flapper dresses look great on all figures as they can be slimming for larger ladies and nipped in a bit at the waist for those with a more slender figure. The release of The Great Gatsby film saw a surge in Gatsby-inspired parties and weddings, with a selection of delightful flapper dresses and accessories to be found in even high street fashion stores.

Sue Wong is one of the top designers inspired by 1920’s beaded, sequined couture featuring pastel colours and ostrich feather trims. Her delightful dresses are perfect for the modern day 20’s flapper and will give you a great deal of that Gatsby glamour that everyone loves. Sue Wong designs 20s dresses in short modern lengths and also floor length gowns perfect for a chic, roaring 1920s party.

flappers dancers 1920s

Burlesque in the 1920s

Burlesque was probably more popular in the 1920s than it is today, so what better era to choose as the style of a burlesque party. Get to wear vintage inspired 1920’s flapper dresses which are embellished with  intricate beading and sequins. Flapper outfit accessories could be t-strap shoes, headbands with beading and feathers, long beaded jewellery and flapper hats.

Sublime Boudoir hosted a 1920’s inspired burlesque event at the Old Vic Tunnels in 2013. With lusciously decorated 20’s inspired sets the party looked and felt lavishly luxurious. Take a peek at the video below.

1920’s Makeup and Hair Style

Dark smouldering eyes, dark luscious lips and tight pincurls? Just how do you achieve a 1920’s look? Click the 1920’s Make-up & Beauty Guide below.

1920's make-up Guides

1920s glamour

Men’s 1920’s Fashions

I don’t know about all the other ladies out there but I love a man in a hat! and my favourite has to be a smart, sophisticated Fedora hat. We’re in the right era for one of those and they look amazing with a smart, striking 1920’s suit.

1920s suits for men


For some really great guides on what to wear I found a couple of inspiring guides:  How To Gatsby and Great Gatsby Style Guide.

1920s hats for men

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Get some inspiration for burlesque outfits for men: whatever outfit you decide to wear for a burlesque event, in order to fit in and look the part you’ll need to find an outfit which has some kind of historical reference. Here are some great ideas of what men can wear to a burlesque event.

1. The Steampunk



What is steampunk? Read about it here: about steampunk.

2. The Victorian


3. The Rockabilly

rockabilly look for men

4. The Roaring 20’s Dashing Gent


1920s suits for men

For more 20’s dressing style ideas check out our article Dressing in 20s Style.

5. The Regency Dandy

By Karl Lagerfeld

Looking for some inspiration for your lady’s outfit? Check out our burlesque styling article.