This is the first article in a new series I'm calling: Becoming Burlesque, all about the sass and sexy of burlesque. Whether you're on stage, in the bedroom or the boardroom, knowing you have a little secret is a great way to boost your confidence and have a little fun. We'll talk about style, inspiration and moves. If you're a dancer or admirer (you know who you are!) and would like to contribute, please let me know! I'd love to have as many takes on this art form as I can.
We'll get into the history and reasons why showing off your goods in public is a fantastic idea later, but for this dreary hump day, let's just get into some sexy looks for the rest of your week.
High Heels: Last year one of my new year's resolutions was to wear more heels. At all of 5'3" I'm the girl struggling to reach the top shelf and looking childish in dresses with flats. What I learned on my year long odyssey of shoes is first, I awakened a latent shoe fetishist. Second, that once I invested in some great pumps, I loved wearing heels. Cheap heels will inevitably hurt your feet unless you have magic feet invulnerable to cheap materials. Invest in good shoes and you'll feel and look like a million bucks. If you're not a lover of heels, try some kitten heel shoes that have just a little lift and still look vintage secretary sexy.
Pasties: Pasties are one of the most quintessential things about burlesque for me. You could be performing a death metal rendition dressed in the most hardcore punk clothes, but take it off, and you've likely got some sort of shiny on those nips. It's amazing and wonderful. There are several amazing designers on Etsy that range from outrageous and feathered, to simple sequined hearts. Get a pair and just wear them with a sheer or white shirt dancing, or just peeking out of a fantastic bra for a hint of glimmer and glitter. Use a good wig tape or spirit gum to apply.
Naughty Underdrawers: So much of the time, our sexy lingerie is put away in drawers for special occasions. I say down with that! What's wrong with wearing crotchless panties on a Monday? Spice things up a bit. Wear nothing but high heels and your best lingerie set to vacuum on your day off. Or slide on a negligee or slip under your business suit. Never underestimate the power of a great bra, whether it's a push-up, lacy nothing, or covered in sequins. The point isn't to be slutty, but to make you feel sexy and confident. No one has to know why 🙂
Stockings: Stockings are sort of an antiquated fashion, so they immediate bring pin-ups to mind for me. A great pair of thigh highs can transform any outfit into a burlesque routine waiting to happen. Find a good garter belt (vintage or Target and Victoria's Secret have decent ones), and go to town. If the tops are too tight, as they tend to be for full thigh-ed ladies like myself, cut off the top elastic. You'll feel more comfortable, and your garter belt will still keep them up. I prefer nude fishnets or nude stockings with the black line up the back, but play around and see what you like.
Hairdo: Your hairdo can really set off an otherwise contemporary outfit to vintage bombshell. Try victory rolls or simple poufs. If you're not too hair-handy, get some gorgeous fascinators off Etsy, and just clip them in. There are several Youtube tutorials for vintage hair, or this Livejournal group also has plenty of inspiration.
Details: Burlesque is all about careful details. Paint your nails. Wear falsies. Give yourself a beauty mark. Make sure when you walk with that sass it is in every fiber of your being, the long legs, sleek outline, and playful eyes. It's about being a total package, even if you're in a t-shirt and jeans.
Next on Becoming Burlesque, how to perfect The Shimmy.
For more tips and tricks on burlesque fashion, check out these lovely ladies' posts: