29 Jan 2010

Satins and stockings; basques and bows; gloves and gorgeous things

We're often asked where to buy the kind of lovely items that will make up a good burlesque outfit. Now, What Katy Did and Agent Provocateur sell beautiful things, but they tend to cost a lot and they may be a bit restrictive when you're dancing. Remember, you'll want to be able to bend ALL the way over so you can sweep a hand back up your leg. You'll also want to bend forward and shimmy without anything escaping from the top of your corset! What follows is our hit list of local shops where you can get pretty things at a very good price. When we say local, our class is based in Herne Bay, so we're talking about East Kent.

TK Maxx and Peacocks often have underwear that is both sexy and capable of being worn for dancing. TK Maxx and Matalan often have superb high heeled shoes - not the kind of thing you might want for walking the dog, I grant you, but perfect for strutting your stuff on the dance floor. Long evening gloves can be bought really cheaply at Debenhams, or at Funky Monk in Canterbury High Street, or online (see earlier post). Charity shops are superb sources of cheap little tops covered in sequins and sparkles. Some of the girls have ordered stuff from Corsets UK - none of the three of us has done that yet so we can't speak from experience. Little sequin shorts appear sometimes in Bay Trading and in Top Shop. Alternatively, buy some practical black knickers and add a fringe...or pin a double length of boa to the back as a tail. Gorgeous.

All you really need to think about is "do I like it? Do I feel good in it? Can I move in it without bits of me popping out? Can I breathe in it if I try to bend?" There are surprise downsides in many outfits (sequins that catch on your boa or gloves; fringes that catch beads) so it's worth building up a few cheap outfits first and finding out what kind of look works for you before investing serious money in something. There are only two things that really matter. Firstly, enjoy what you buy - burlesque is about having fun, dressing up and feeling great. Secondly, decide what your burlesque style is and shop with that in mind. You're your kind of showgirl - you don't need to stick to anyone else's rules!

Yours, haunting the clothes rails...,

Burlicious xx

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