How to make a burlesque costume with feathers

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to make a burlesque costume with feathers
Use feathers in a burlesque-style hat. (Getty Creative)

Burlesque originated in the mid-19th century, with theatre troupes that spoofed traditional shows and featured women playing men's roles while wearing skimpy outfits. Burlesque acts have since evolved through music hall, minstrel and cabaret shows as well as the follies of the '20s and '30s and girlie shows of the '40s and '50s, leading up to the modern strip club. Burlesque blends comedy with sex and has featured women in every bustier, tassel and corset imaginable. Create your own version of a burlesque costume with feathers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Corset
  • Tapered bustle skirt
  • Supply of feathers
  • Needle and thread or hot glue
  • Fishnet tights
  • High-heeled pumps
  • Long satin gloves

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  1. 1

    Sew a bustle skirt that tapers into a V shape in the back to a corset of your choice. Purchasing a corset with a bustle skirt already attached is also an option.

  2. 2

    Glue or sew feathers to the bustle skirt. Match the feathers based on your bustle and corset colours -- for example, pair black feathers with a red and black corset and bustle. Sew or hot glue as many feathers as desired -- cover the entire bustle with feathers, create a pattern, use feathers around the bottom of the skirt only or on the back portion of the skirt only. If using hot glue, allow 5 to 10 minutes for the feathers to dry.

  3. 3

    Place additional feathers on the costume where desired, such as in the cleavage section of the corset. Use hot glue or sew the feathers on, or simply stick them in the corset if desired.

  4. 4

    Wear fishnet tights, long black satin gloves and high-heeled pumps to complete your burlesque feather costume.

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