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I know what to wear to the theater.....
March 1, 2012 11:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to a burlesque show tomorrow night. Help me figure out what to wear.

Pretty self-explanatory. I have never been to a burlesque show, and therefore have absolutely no clue what is considered appropriate or common attire for such a thing. A quick Google search turned up sparse suggestions varying from "1940s cocktail attire" to "jeans and a tee shirt." Help me! I'd really like to have fun with this without looking like an idiot!

Setting: it's a professional show, being held at a major city theater, not an amateur thing. I'm going with a couple other women all in our late 20s. Only one girl is a close friend, and she is dressing pretty conservatively (dressy jeans and simple black blouse). She is, however, a generally more conservative person than I.

I'd like to not buy anything new - first, I don't really have time, secondly I'm pretty broke and already paid a decent chunk for my ticket.

What I've got:
- Skinny jeans in black or dark blue
- black mesh zip-front top with satin collar (kinda punk looking)
- see-through tight black lace tee shirt
- short black velvet dress, sleeveless
- above-knee dark red knit wrap dress
- knee lenth black pencil skirt
- skanky-ish red corset with black lace
- various tank tops/camisoles/etc
- various tights, seamed stockings, fishnets, etc
- various sexy heels (leaning towered the black lace peep-toes)
- various jewelry

So I'm basically debating whether to go skinny-jeans-and-lace-or-mesh-tee, or something funkier with a corset or dress and stockings or.... Or? Will I just look like a goof? Do people acually do this?

If it's relevant, I'm fairly tall and thin with pale skin and (currently) shoulder length dark auburn hair.

Help!!
posted by celtalitha to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would dress like you're going to see a show, rather than like you're going to be in it.
posted by vasi at 11:46 PM on March 1, 2012 [20 favorites]


I've gone to a couple professional burlesque shows. People usually dress in all sorts of ways. People on dates dress up, people going casually go casually. Some people go fancy sexy some people don't. It's really up to you. Go in something that you feel happy and confident and will be comfortable sitting in for a couple hours.
posted by HMSSM at 11:51 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've done burlesque, and it really doesn't matter what you wear as an audience member. You're just there to have fun. Wear what you're most comfortable in for a night on the town. No one's expecting the audience to be in period costume, even if people are doing traditional burlesque.
posted by loriginedumonde at 12:26 AM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wear whatever makes you feel good. You're not the show, the performers are. If you feel that wearing something sexy will make you feel good, do it. If you feel that wearing jeans and a tee will make you feel good, do it.
posted by inturnaround at 5:29 AM on March 2, 2012


This is the assumption it's a seated show -- so I'd go a bit dressy but not costumey. I'd personally wear the pencil skirt, cute tights (maybe not the fishnets) and whatever top works with that and heels/appropriate jewelry, or the wrap dress with the tights/heels/jewelry. If it's a show where you're standing, I'd probably do jeans/top instead.

I'd echo it really doesn't matter and you should wear what you're comfortable wearing. I think it's OK to be a bit dressier than your friends, but I'd likely avoid the corset.

(I'm totally someone who overthinks her outfits for nearly every occasion. I can relate. I also like dressing up so it's sometimes a balance.)
posted by darksong at 5:33 AM on March 2, 2012


The shows I've seen have had very varied dress styles. I probably wore khakis and a polo, but there were definitely corsets and pin-up styles and sexy clothes all around. It's a hip crowd that goes to this sort of thing, so there's a big retro/hipster vibe going on. Lots of raver/burner wear, too. Very eclectic, so this is a situation where you really can whatever you want; people say that all the time, but it's really true at the shows I've been to.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:32 AM on March 2, 2012


Thanks everyone! To clarify, I have no intention of dressing like the performers. I was more trying to figure the audience culture of this kind of thing; you know - is it more like going to the club or going to a ballet? A concert?

I've got some good answers to that here though. I know I'm totally overthinking it, but I love to dress up and as a single mom with a toddler I don't get many chances to do so these days!
posted by celtalitha at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2012


If you really wanna dress up I'd do one of the two dresses with some fun accessories. I mean, heck, I know friends who when they go to burlesque shows go full on steampunk, so I'm sure you won't be the only person there having fun!
posted by spunweb at 12:49 PM on March 2, 2012


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