Burlesque Costume Ideas

Burlesque Costume, Cancan Costume, Saloon girl costume, which ever term you may use, these are all fun choices  for your next costume party or Halloween party.

Burlesque costumes Inspiration

Cancan dresses were colorful, lavishly embellished and considered to be risque for the times.  

These costumes is fun to sew, it's not terribly  difficult to make, as well as, it's a fun sassy option to your costume tickle trunk.

Use your  imagination and embellish your costume to feel just like you're in a time warp, entertaining an audience the way they did in 18th and 19th centuries.

A little History

Burlesque, Cancan, or Saloon Girls, are all a similar form of entertainment.

Either way, the art of burlesque has a deep history that spans the globe. Its origins may not be what we know or think of this art form today. 

I found some interesting web sites that give insight to this profession.

The Saloon Girl Costume

  • I made three of these burlesque costumes for the theater production "Oklahoma" and they were all slightly different.
  • This is a photo of one of the costumes completed using Simplicity pattern 2851.

 Finished Saloon Girl Costume

burlesque costume
burlesque costume
  • The Simplicity pattern I used was easy to read. I would stress looking closely at the photo of whichever style you choose. It helps to understand the instructions when you’re putting it together.
  • I did omit some steps, for instance the boning I didn't find necessary and I was in a time crunch. Some of the embellishments were also omitted. The pattern calls for you to make your own piping, and sew the piping into the front seams, because I had limited time to make these costumes I used a ribbon instead.
  • Sewing trims and embellishments are very important to incorporate into this costume. Use the ideas you see in the pattern or look online at the sites above to get ideas for how to embellish your costume. Here are some examples of different costumes. You can use them as inspiration for color and ideas of how your costume should look.
  • What is great about this costume is you can embellish it the way you like, just use your imagination.
  • The fabric is green satin for the top and the skirt is black crepe backed satin. You used either the shiny satin side or the matt side. I used the satin shiny side of the fabric.

Embelishment Ideas

More Burlesque Costume Patterns

The Accessories

  • Typically, the skirt would have a crinoline/petticoat worn under it.
  • The theatre group had their own crinoline skirts however, so I wasn't able to show the costume with them underneath the skirt.
  • The crinoline to the right would be a good example of an easy crinoline.
  • Stockings and frilly pants are a nice touch.
  • Stockings and burlesque under garments, are really a big part of this costume.
  • Burlesque was about showing off what was considered taboo.
  • The Simplicity pattern featured does give instructions for gloves.
  • A number of headdress styles were worn the Simplicity pattern featured does provide instructions for making a headdress. 
  • The photo to the left, is just one more style idea.

More Interesting Burlesque Websites

I found some interesting web sites that give insight to this profession.

www.legendsofamerica.com/WE-PaintedLady .



For more costume ideas leave Burlesque Costume and go to homemade costumes page..