How Do I Choose the Best Vintage Burlesque Clothing?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 29 January 2020
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Choosing the best vintage burlesque clothing depends on the condition of the clothing, your style, and your budget. This type of clothing is a style characterized by high heels, corsets, full flowing skirts, and details like lace and feathering. In its way, it is very lady-like and elegant. Your best choices will include these characteristics in high quality pieces that fit well and make you feel beautiful and confident.

Vintage clothing is available in a variety of retailers. Second hand shops like thrift stores sometimes have good quality vintage clothing, but you will have to search for a long time before finding the right piece. There are also brick-and-mortar and online boutiques that specialize in high end vintage. Although the prices may be higher, the quality and selection of any vintage burlesque clothing that you find will probably be better than at the average thrift store.

When you are shopping, it is important to inspect the state of the vintage piece. Check zippers, buckles, buttons, and other embellishments for damage. The seams of the piece should be sewn with snug stitching and should not be fraying. The garment should also be free of stains and offensive odors.


Since vintage burlesque clothing typically has delicate details, like lace, silk, and satin, pay special attention to these areas. Lace tears easily and silk, if not cared for properly, can shrink. Older clothing is subject to damage from sweat, humidity, dryness, and insects. Vintage clothing can be very expensive to repair, so be careful of purchasing a piece that might require restoration.

If the piece seems to be in good condition, try it on. Corsets are somewhat adjustable, but the overall shape should match your body. If you are long or short waisted, you may have trouble finding a corset that fits your body exactly. There is no simple way to elongate a corset, so if it doesn't fit, keep looking. Long skirts are easier to fit, and you can add length by layering a longer skirt or petticoat underneath.

Finding vintage burlesque lingerie can also be difficult because of the wide range bust sizes. It can be especially hard to find vintage lingerie if you have a larger than average bust. You may consider altering a piece by having bra support sewn in if you cannot find lingerie to fit your size.

Be careful when you are shopping that you don't get carried away in the moment. It is easy to get wrapped up in the beauty of a piece of vintage burlesque clothing and forget that you have to wear it. Make sure each piece you purchase is the right color, style, and size for you. Try to imagine one or two outfits that you could build using this piece. If you find that you probably wouldn't use it, leave it for someone else to enjoy.


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