Burlesque Costumes

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Burlesque Costumes

Burlesque is not just about Nipple Tassels and Dita Von Tease

You’ve practiced your routine, your hair and makeup are perfect so when you step onto the stage all eyes will be on you but what about putting the wow factor into your burlesque clothing.

Swarovski and Preciosa crystals, aka Rhinestones, diamantes, stones and gems are the ideal choice to help you create that stunning burlesque outfit that will capture the audience’s undivided attention and leave a sparkling impression. 

It can be quite confusing choosing the suitable crystals, you will want to know which colour, which size, which brand, which shape, which method of application.

Here at Crystal Parade we often say that Swarovski are the Rolls Royce of crystals and Preciosa the BMW.

Swarovski crystals have 15 facets and Preciosa have 12 facets, they both sparkle on the stage, the Preciosa brand is approximately 30% less than Swarovski.  We have supplied Preciosa crystals to many West End Musicals, Xfactor contestants, Royal Opera House and even Emerdale love a little bit of Preciosa sparkle.  We many customers who have switched from Swarovski to Preciosa as their preferred choice.


Hotfix Rhinestones

You will need to be sure your fabric can handle the heat, and that you have the right tools to apply the crystals.  Hotfix crystals have a cold glue on the back of the crystal and when activated by heat the glue melts and the crystal can be applied to your chosen garment including your burlesque corset.  There are different options for applying hotfix rhinestones, including heat press, continuous fusing press, stone setting machine, applicator gun or an ordinary iron. We recommend the Kandi Kane Hotfix Applicator Wand.  

Non Hotfix Rhinestones

A good strong fabric glue is what is required when it comes to applying flatback no hotfix crystals to your dance and performance costumes.   We would recommend you use our Gem Tac Glue, it is the best glue on the market place for applying crystals to fabric as well as many other items including shoes and accessories, even your microphone and props.  Apply the Gem Tac to your surface and then using a crystal pick up tool, we offer the Crystal Katana or Jewellery Setter – these can be found in our tools and accessories section, touch the top of the crystal and place onto the bead of glue.


Beads and Sew on Stones

You may have heard the term beaded burlesque costumes.  Beaded is another terminology for crystallized.  If you are a fan of sewing then it is possible to embellish your burlesque costumes with beads and sew on stones.  Beads have a hole which runs through the body of the crystal, beads are very popular for making jewellery designs including bracelets and necklaces.   Sew on stones are flatbacked crystals with 2 holes either side to enable you to sew them onto your burlesque costumes.


The most popular size for a burlesque dancer costume is SS16 (4mm) and SS20 (5mm).  The smaller SS10 would work well on your gloves, headpieces and the tops of your hold ups.

Once you’ve choosen your brand, Swarovski or Preciosa, Hotfix or No Hotfix, size and colour you can now think about how you are going to create your design using the crystals.  The aim is for you and your costume to surprise your audience and make them sit up and take notice of your fabulous stage presence.

Planning is the key for the perfect costume, be sure you set aside time to create your perfect outfit, including your shoes, hold ups, corset, gloves, head piece and props, all of these items are screaming out for a touch of sparkle.

Don’t forget to factor in time for trying on your costume and accessories and practice your routine to make sure everything is perfect, you are comfortable and that your costume stands up to the rigors of performing.  If applied correctly, both no hotfix rhinestone and hotfix rhinestones will stay put but it is always best to check that everything stays nice and secure and this practice routine will give you the opportunity to fix and adjust any minor hitches ahead of stepping out on to the stage to give your sparkly performance.

Crystal Parade offer a colour matching service and we also provide samples free of charge.  We also offer a wide range of fabric and burlesque ostrich feathers including our very popular 6 ply luxury ostrich feather boas

If you have any questions on how to apply Swarovski and Preciosa crystals to your burlesque clothing please drop us a message to [email protected], we would be delighted to help you.