Saturday 26 October 2013


Last week I went to a Burlesque themed party. Burlesque is by far my favourite fancy dress theme and if it's done right it can look decadent, elegant and also incredibly sexy. Ideally, you want to look more Dita Von Tease than Hen Party chic so this week's blog post aims to help you get the look just right.

First, you want to start with the underwear. Every girl knows that when you're wearing gorgeous underwear under your outfit you automatically feel a million dollars, and most importantly, you feel confident. Dark colours are best for a burlesque theme - think dark purples, reds or black. It doesn't need to be trashy, ideally something in a 1940's or 50's style. Here's a few collections I've found which you can use for inspiration; most good underwear stores will stock a more classic style nowadays, I just bought a gorgeous navy blue and nude set from Primark for £10!

So, after you've found a nice underwear set you'll need to consider hosiery. To be honest, I don't think you can go wrong with a good set of black seamed tights or stockings. They're classic and can be used again, worn with a simple pencil skirt for work or a glitzy A-line dress for a party. They will add a classy edge to your outfit and make your legs looks super long and skinny! Remember if you're planning on stockings as opposed to tights you may need a suspender belt ;-)

Next, you'll need to think about what you're going to wear on top. I would recommend a corset or a Basque. You can go safe with black or go a little softer with a cream/ dusty pink. I think the latter can look really lovely and feminine but it's a little harder to match and really difficult to find!

For the bottom I feel you only really have 2 options; shorts or a skirt. If you're choosing shorts then I'd recommend a more androgynous look - Think Velma and Roxie in Chicago and their suit jackets with bowler hats and fish nets. If it's a skirt you're going for then go for something A-line and add a petticoat underneath. You can get a petticoat for next to nothing on eBay - they have loads of different colours but try and stay with red or black to get the look right.

So now it's the shoes! Unfortunately we don't all have a huge collection of burlesque style skyscrapers just knocking around the house BUT help is at hand down the high-street! With its array of affordable shoe shops there's plenty of places to go for those glitzy heals. If you can get some ribbon on there or some flowers then great! But a simple pair of black satin closed toe platform heals will do the job just as well. If you're struggling, here's some inspiration!

Next we need to look at make-up. To be honest, burlesque make up is pretty simple - Ensure that your skin is pale and any foundation is held firm with some translucent powder. Chose a dark colour for your lips such as red (it's the safest colour as it goes well with blonde and brunette hair colour) or a dark purple. Chose a light, shimmery colour for your eyes - you don't want anything too overpowering as you're clothes and the bold lip colour are making the strongest statement. Use some black liquid eyeliner to draw a defined yet understated line across the eyelash line - add in a simple flick at the ends if you're feeling bold! And then use some black mascara on your lashes. You want them quite heavy but not clumpy so a few layers should do. I use Benefit's Bad Lash mascara. It's absolutely amazing and gives great length and definition to your lashes. When you're done with the make-up add a beauty spot to your cheek bone for a maximum burlesque statement!

Finally, it's hair and accessories! If you've got enough time to get your hair in pin curls or rollers then brilliant! But if you're running late (like I am most evening I'm getting ready to go out!) then I have a really simple up do style for you that'll look brilliant with your burlesque outfit!

1 - Give yourself a side parting. Whichever side feels best for you.

2 - Take the "fringe" part (the part of your hair at the front that feels like it's going to keep falling over your face while you're styling it) and section it from the parting all the way down to the top of your ear. Pin it up so it's out of the way, we'll be dealing with that bit later!

3 - Concentrate on the side that has the least amount of hair - if you have a middle parting then this will be the side you've TAKEN hair from and moved over. You need to smooth this back behind your ear and pin it with a butterfly clip.

4 - Now you want to take a section of the hair that's been pushed over to the side (you're going to separating it into 3 or 4 even parts) and back comb it a little from the end to the mid length. I would recommend starting from the back and working your way round to the front behind your ear. Twist the section as if you're going to turn it into a pin curl but just before you do, push the end through the middle, like a little knot! Pin it to your head with as many butterfly pins as required - try and keep the pins hidden if you can. Continue until you reach the last section behind your ear.

5 - Now you want to do something with that fringe bit you've left pinned up on top of your head! You have a few options here - you can do the same thing with this as you have done with the rest of your hair but on a smaller scale, you can use some curling tongs and make a little curl and then pin the end OR you can do what I did and do a little quiff type thing. I pinched the hair together just by my temple and then pushed it up and pinned it. I then pinned the rest of it in with the curls I'd made on the side of my hair. The final result looked like this...

Finish of the style with some art deco style hair clips and some feathered hair accessories if you have them. Matched with a black jet beaded necklace and some simple earrings you're good to go!

Here's how I looked in my complete outfit - I hope you like it!

 Lots of Love,



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