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Alternative Lifestyle & Fashion Blog

How To Style A Burlesque Corset

Emily Grace August 11, 2015
How To Style A Burlesque Corset

Burlesque is a fashion style that has been around for decades, but has recently seen quite a resurgence. With stars like Dita von Teese and Dirty Martini bringing back the allure of predecessors Bettie Page, Tempest Storm (who performed regularly until the age of 67!), and Gypsy Rose, the classic beauty of Burlesque seems to be here to stay.

 

Burlesque legends Dita von Teese, Tempest Storm, and Gypsy Rose Lee

Left to right: Dita von Teese, Tempest Storm, and Gypsy Rose Lee

 

A mainstay of the Burlesque kit is the corset. An invaluable piece that can be worn as lingerie or as an accessory in an everyday outfit, can be visible or an underpinning, the corset is key if styled correctly. It's important to remember that while most Burlesque fashion is intended to be stripped off (from the performer's original influence) that we're taking the entire society that spawned the golden days of Burlesque as influence- it's not always advisable to head out on a date with the intention of losing most of your clothing on the way there!
 
 
Wearing a corset under clothing
 
 

As a Foundation Piece

The first application of cheap corset is to use it as a garment worn under clothing, similar to a pair of Spanx on steroids. If you're looking for a slim, lean hourglass silhouette, this is where it's at. Wearing a corset (in this application, an underbust style is preferable) underneath clothing gives not only a tiny waist but a confident, upright posture, and a bit of swagger to your walk. This look is best achieved when we keep in mind the style of the 1940's. A slim pencil skirt looks perfect when paired with a blouse and a wide belt, all concealing the secret to that tiny waistline. If the cincher has garter straps, that's even better- adding in some stockings with a backseam and some nice platform heels pulls the whole look together. As further accessories, cats eye sunglasses, elegant hats, and gloves were always fashionable, and that holds true today. The same effect can be obtained by wearing a waist cincher under a breezy sundress, then putting a belt over the top (otherwise the material may conceal your efforts)

 

Selena Gomez shows the versatility of corset fashion

Selena Gomez

 

As an Accent Piece

Sometimes sexy bustier tops are just too lovely to hide. Some are meant to be shown off, and we'll certainly oblige. Some pairing options remain the same- a pencil skirt is still a great option, and the corset (either over or underbust) can be worn either over the skirt or under, giving a tucked-in look. Paired with a cheeky cardigan, the look is very versatile. Alternately, skinny jeans or sexy leggings go great as well, and paired with a matching bandanna hair wrap and ballet flats, it's a cheeky-yet-casual look for a great Saturday afternoon spent out.

 

Corsets are perfect for the bedroom

 

As Lingerie

Always a classic lingerie piece, the fun thing about corsets is that they can make up most of your outfit in this application. Find the right cincher, and the rest of the outfit can fall into place easily. Sometimes all it takes is the right pair of stockings and the perfect undies- but sometimes we like to get a little fancy. Burlesque onstage is all about being big, showy, and flashy, so an appropriately sparkly necklace is certainly a welcome touch. Heels are always appreciated, onstage and in the bedroom, so find a pair that really speaks to you and makes you feel amazing. At the end of the day, that's what all of this is really about- unleashing your inner pinup girl! 

 

What style are you dying to try? Let us know in the comments!

 

Just getting started in the world of corsets? Check out our definitive guide and brush up on the basics here.

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