There’s something to be said about burlesque that truly makes it a rich and exciting art form. It fuses comedy, dance, parody, and variety into an interesting conglomeration that captures the eyes of would-be audiences. As something that was once considered taboo in the early 1900s, burlesque has become a celebrated form of art, one that many people see as an empowerment of the female body. But there’s more to burlesque than just being a glorified form of stripping. Above all, it’s a theatrical masterpiece that places an emphasis on teasing rather than the gratification of revealing skin.
More and more women are becoming interested in incorporating burlesque style into their own wardrobes because, why not? Here’s how you can achieve a look that echoes the red-lit, velveted and sleek style of burlesque.
How the burlesque style looks today
The modern style of burlesque fuses many different elements that defined eras of its own popularity. The mixture of Victorian corsets along with pinup and rockabilly influences is what defines the look of burlesque today. Categorizing burlesque style as one thing can prove quite difficult as there are no predetermined styles for you to choose from. The great thing about burlesque is that its styles are diverse, allowing you to create your own unique look by piecing together trends from different eras.
Modern burlesque is often referred to as ‘neo-burlesque’ since it differs slightly from previous styles. It encompasses a wider range of acts such as modern drama and dance but still manages to stay true to its roots where sexy is the goal and not sexual. The art of the tease is very much alive in modern burlesque. It’s about self-expression and art rather than just sexual gratification. Just take a look at Dita Von Teese, one of the most popular neo-burlesque performers that introduced vintage glamour into the mainstream.
Creating your own burlesque-inspired look
So the question is, how do you create a burlesque-inspired look that fits your wardrobe perfectly? The good news is that you have plenty of different styles to choose from and most of them have been around for decades. There are certain burlesque staples you need to have regardless of which era you try to draw inspiration from and these are the essentials you should start off with.
1. Burlesque corset
The burlesque corset is definitely a staple of the burlesque style. The hourglass figure, the pin-up girl appeal, and the slim waist tick all the boxes of burlesque genre. Basically, it’s up to you on how you style a burlesque corset. You can wear a full corset and pair it with a pencil skirt, or you can wear an underbust corset beneath your clothing to complete your look. Either way, the end result is a sexy hourglass figure that is synonymous with burlesque style.
2. Sexy lingerie
Nothing oozes more sex appeal than sexy lingerie. It encapsulates the elements of burlesque style that elevates the look of your burlesque outfit, even if you don’t plan on revealing it. Some great examples are embellished over-the-knee socks or hidden suspenders paired with suspender belts and pencil-lined tights.
3. Bright red lipstick
Wearing bold makeup is a huge nod to the burlesque genre and a bright red lipstick certainly achieves that daring look. Compliment that with a dramatic dash of eyeliner, and you’ve just basically skyrocketed your sex appeal up to tenfold. Use liquid eyeliner to create a bold wing and don’t hesitate to fill in those eyebrows as well. Gone are the days where overplucked eyebrows are a thing and burlesque-inspired makeup today is all about the thick, defined brows.
4. Rockabilly dresses
If you want to recreate a look that fuses modern vintage with a pinup slant, then a rockabilly dress should find itself in your wardrobe. Retro, brightly coloured dresses make your burlesque outfit pop along with vibrant prints and tones. Or, you could opt with more subtle tones such as black or navy blue to complement your beautiful red lipstick.
5. High heels
The higher the heels, the higher the sex appeal. Very high heels are a mainstay in burlesque style like chunky platform shoes paired with flesh-coloured tights. You can’t go wrong with wearing your favourite high heels, but if you truly want to replicate that 1920s look, we recommend going with dark-coloured Louboutins for that classic touch.
The burlesque style has undoubtedly withstood the test of time. It’s a valid genre that strikes interest, temptation, and sexual interpretation. It’s no surprise that many women are drawn to this showing of naked skin because it’s bold, it’s exciting, and most of all, scintillating. Use these tips to incorporate burlesque style into your own wardrobe unleash your inner sexiness.