Cheap Isnt Always Wrong In Costume - Khandie Khisses - Burlesque, Fire Breather, Underwater Mermaid and more...

Cheap Isnt Always Wrong In Costume

Cheap Isnt Always Wrong In Costume

We all wish we could spunk endless amounts of money on our costumes. We want to emulate those dizzy heights of fame with swarovski rhinestones dripping off our bodies, douse ourselves in the finest of champagnes and wear Louboutins heels as we sashay across those lime lit stages. Fact of matter is given the current state of burlesque pay scales we cant always afford it. Some performers are fortunate enough to have enough of a slush fund from other jobs to help pay for that amount of awesome, some are bank rolled by others and some save everything to pay for it. EVERYTHING. Burlesque costuming however is pricey to create and maintain. Every performance, rehearsal and packing away takes it’s toll on our garments and we find ourselves always repairing, altering and mending.

Now I am not about to discount approaching a costumier like Beau Rocks or Odelia Opium or Daisy Cutter to help make you something swanky but if funds really are tight here are some money saving ideas to help you out.

  1. Really plan how to want to remove garments. Why waste money on tricky garment changes if you are only unclipping it to slink off? Look how the garment works with your routine and plan it effectively.
  2. Look out for sales. I dont mean at the haberdashery either. High street shops, particularly after New Year often have a lot of sparkly items in the sale racks which can be repurposed. I have a great chest harness piece I made from a dress neckline.
  3. Iridescent glitter/rhinestones go with almost every single colour combination and are often the more readily available of rhinestones. They are a mix of colours and can really reflect that light.
  4. Christmas decorations are not just for…well..Christmas. I love popping into the shops to grab garlands and such like to put on my costumes.
  5. Shops like Primark often have a load of broken jewellery pieces they sling in a box to be thrown out. Approach about buying them. I have a great relationship with my local store, that they keep all that stuff for me to buy. I pay about £10 for a massive box every few months. Those pieces can be reused. Necklaces can be come parts of skirts, headdresses and so much more.
  6. Ebay and other online sites can be your friend but try not to buy without purpose. Only really buy what really works or fits. Also be sure to customise it. A headliner doesnt wear off the peg as seen. Make your costume as unique as you the performer should be.
  7. Build up. Start with a good base and slowly add/replace as you earn from the costume. As a rule I tend to put 25% of my earnings for the act back into the costuming to build it up. Dont forget you can reuse pieces from other costumes to help you out until you have the funds to buy separates.
  8. Wedding resale! I kid not I pick up oodles of awesome finds on wedding resale groups on places like Facebook. Also join groups where performers resale their items. Barter.
  9. Dont buy for ‘later’. I know that seems odd but if you buy for future use but REALLY dont have a specific plan for it, put it back. Dont bother wasting money.
  10. Reimagine products. Tassel fringe curtains can make skirts, body harnesses and so much more. Really look at your wardrobe and try to see what else it can be…

Here is a video I made a while ago of a very quick and easily made costume…


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