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The History of Burlesque

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A breath-taking costume, stage, and passion. Naughty; but just the right amount. Enticing and complexly mesmerizing? Absolutely. That’s right; I’m talking about burlesque.

The risqué art form has seen quite the resurgence over the past few years. Stars like Dita von Teese and the Pussy Cat Dolls put the art back on the map. There is even a popular burlesque version of the nutcracker. Which begs the question, just what is the sexy- dance and tease combo all about, and how did it begin? This post is all about the history of burlesque. Get ready to learn.

"Bon-Ton Burlesquers2" by H.C. Miner Litho. Co. - Library of Congress[1]. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

It All Started With Vaudeville

Described as a “theatrical genre of entertainment,” but that description doesn’t come close to painting the exciting world it contained. Back in the early 1880’s through the 1930’s the vaudeville scene was hot!

Just imagine attending a show where each act is totally unrelated but equally awesome. Performers were so eloquently referred to as, “Vaudevillian’s.” Musicians, magicians, acrobats, jugglers…the list goes on and on. Not to mention the famous “freak shows,” and of course – burlesque dancers.

The Early Years

The art was not a bunch of women stripping, but it was an outlet of comedy, music, and one of America’s favorite sources of entertainment. And of course, there was the enormous sex appeal.

Back in the 19th Century, a burlesque performance might have been referring to a comedic play, or even a performance without any music. It was not until the mid-1800’s that it became a household beloved form of entertainment in America and Great Brittan.

The word itself comes from the Italian word, burla; meaning to mock or make a joke of. Which makes sense if you were to see the original performances. Serious subjects could be tackled with easy when they were approached as a parody. 

Lady Power

The sexy, scantily clad nature of burlesque made a huge dent for the positive, in the women’s place on the stage. Suddenly women were being respected even when not buttoned up from head to toe. Gender stereotypes broken down – full force.

As you can tell by the photo below, not everyone has been a fan of the art. Here in 1953 a local civic group in Long Branch, NJ, is seen protesting the opening of a burlesque show.

 

                    (Photo: AP Press)

The Cabaret

The shows we presently think of, with sexy strip tease and corsets galore, really took off in the Cabarets.

Cabaret’s were performance venues where the patrons sat at tables (maybe eating, or perhaps sipping cocktails,) while they enjoyed a full evening of being entertained by the stage in front of them.

France had the Moulin Rouge, not only inspiration for the beloved film, but birthplace of the Cancan dance. Here in America, the cabaret was all about jazz. Think; smokey night clubs, crooning starlets and a little bit of shake and shimmy burlesque dancing all the way.

This history lesson would not be complete without recognizing the classic Diva, Liza Minelli for her work in the Broadway stage turned-to-classic movie, called, what else? Cabaret!

                                (Photo: Christopher Isherwood)

In 1972, Ms. Minelli basically took over the world as Sallie Bowles. The homage to the scene also took over the Oscars that year; winning Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and 5 behind the scenes awards. Pretty impressive.

Classic American Starlets

The 1940’s through the 1960’s still had a distinct strip-tease dancing flare, as the art was strong and alive here in the clubs. Two of the most prominent stars to emerge from the scene were Gypsy Lee Rose and Josephine Baker.

(AP Photo)

                   (Photo: Margie Hart, Lili St. Cyr, and Gypsy Rose Lee, AP Photo)

Gypsy Lee Rose

Gypsy was certainly a pioneer in the art of the strip tease. Ms. Von Teese often references her as the main source of her own inspiration. Always a saucy one, Gypsy incorporated a strong, witty, banter into her strip tease routines. Here is one of her famous statements showing off the sexy flare she had for teasing her audience;

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly…very slowly.”

Josephine Baker

Josephine rose to fame, after a life of hardships and growing up in poverty, during the Harlem Renaissance. Known for her impressive comedic timing and spellbinding stage presence, she basically took over the world with her iconic moves. After a long spell in France and a mega successful career there, she returned to the states to join the performance at the famous Ziegfield Follies.

The divine Ms. Baker may have solidified her place in history as a world class performer, but it was her work as a civil rights activist and humanitarian who adopted 12 children of different backgrounds that made her a true legend.

Neo-Burlesque

In 1990 the first Exotic Miss World brought a resurgence of interest in the beloved performing art. Stars like Catherine D’Lish were born and suddenly women were looking for classes and venues to learn how to shake it and provocatively tease.

Miss Dirty Martini

No neo-burlesque story would be complete without Miss Dirty Martini. Known for her reinvention of the fan-dance, she was the final Exotic Miss World Queen to be crowned in 2004.

"Miss Dirty Martini Show Musto Party 2011 David Shankbone 2" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons -

"Miss Dirty Martini Show Musto Party 2011 David Shankbone 2" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons 

Miss Martini still proves to women today, that you can be incredibly sexy and not to shy away from burlesque if you worry you might be a tad too curvaceous. Her adoring fans line up to see her regular performances in a number of venues in NYC, from leather bars to Carnegie Hall.

In 2010, Cher and Christina Aguilera teamed up for a movie called, that’s right, you knew it, Burlesque. In it, Christina goes to work at a Neo-Burlesque club and naturally lots of sexy dancing and powerful diva-esque singing ensued.

The film was inspired by no other than Cabaret and while it received bad reviews (Rotten Tomatoes said it was, “campy and clichéd,” before giving it a lousy 36%,) it still managed to make over $110 million dollars; so it seems a few people still managed to enjoy it.

Everyday Sexy

You don't have to be a performer to take advantage of this sexy look. Burlesque corsets can be incorporated, quite inconspicuously into your everyday fashion. Take a look at this Oscar statue inspired piece. 


This outfit is perfect for a black-tie party, night of clubbing - the gold-black-white combo is all glitz and class. 

Those ruffles and feathers can be hard to resist, and I complexly understand needing a piece that speaks to your inner burlesque-tease needs. So we put together this outfit. 


 

Want some help putting together your own burlesque outfit? We would love to hear your thoughts and help you create the perfect look. Leave us a comment or send an email to support@atomicjaneclothing.com.

What to Wear on Special Occasions

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It's that time of the year again. Tis the season for parties happening every weekend, and you can't find a thing to wear. Even if you are partied out- what about other times when you need to look oh-so-alluring but have no idea where to start? Never fear, corsets are here!


In this post, we will give you some great ideas on what to wear on special occasions. But not only holidays; girls night out, black- tie affairs. It's all happening, here at Atomic Jane. Let's get started!


The Company Party


You know the drill. The significant other has a company shin-dig coming up, and you need to look hotter than all the other dates. What's a girl to do? Don't worry. We've got a corset for that. This piece is classy, but the perfect amount of sexy to let you stand out in a crowd. 

Pair this with a shawl, a dress jacket or sweater. For the bottom half- its your choice. Skirt as long or short as your like. Add a statement necklace and you have a complete look. 

 

Once the party is over- don't go stuffing this one in the back of the closet. Corsets are easily re-purposed for everyday wear. Grab your favorite pair of skinny jeans, a cardigan and go out and enjoy yet another fabulous ensemble. 


New Years Eve


Unless you are shivering outside in Times Square, there's a pretty good chance you are going out to celebrate New Years. One of my favorite parts of New Year's Eve (besides that romantic kiss at midnight) is checking out what everyone wears. Start your new calendar off with a bang in something like this. 

 

Or you can create your own look with a classic lace-up overbust corset that can be worn with any combination you could imagine. 

This black steel boned corset paired with a ruched skirt, like the one above- is sure to please. We aren't the only ones who think a corset should be your go-to New Year Outfit. Take a look at who else agrees with us. 

 

If there is one person who always knows exactly what to wear, it's Beyonce. The Queen Bee could look good in a paper bag, but she still chooses her outfits as carefully as the rest of us.

Known for her show-stopping curves, she knows how important it is to find a look that's body-flattering. Her looks have ranged from Gaga-outrageous to "OMG I can't even". Well ladies, I'm here to tell you. Yes, you can.


Take a look at Beyonce's New Years Eve outfit a few years ago. Here we see how she found a way to exaggerate those dangerous curves. With a corset, of course. 

Her black and white glitterati-corset number might be a little too pant-less for some tastes. Doesn't mean we can't use her outfit as inspiration. Adding a pair of black shorts or skirt makes it a little less Beyonce, but just as fabulous.

 

Beyonce isn't the only starlet to choose corsets for the holidays. Arianna Grande has also opted to go full corset. Here we see the pint-sized pop star performing alongside Big Sean and Mac Miller at a Dick Clark's NYE Celebration.

Arianna went with a sequin black corset and silver skirt. All she needed was a bow and she would be as pretty as a Christmas present. 


You can recreate Arianna's look with this lovely little black number. Add a tutu skirt, a pleated skirt or something shiny. Don't forget the signature ponytail if you choose to go Full-Grande. 



Corsets have sort of become her "thing" these days. Her cute vintage corset style perfectly compliments her look. 


The Girls Night Out


Sometimes you just gotta get out, get seen, and maybe get into a little trouble with the girlfriends. The oh-so-essential Girls Night Out comes in many forms. There is the, "We are all home for the holidays" reunion of old high school friends night out. The "All the Mommy friends actually found a sitter" night out. The "college girls" get together, the "roommates actually hanging out not in kitchen" night…you get my drift.

When us ladies get together- we want to look good. Or at least as good as our friends. Wow your girlfriends, and make the husbands a bit nervous by leaving the house wearing one of these.

The above pink Pain-Poison-Love-Pleasure is a fashion corset. This comfortable overbust corset has a sweetheart neckline and looks great with jeans and stilettos. If pink isn't your color, how about red?

The Bachelorette Party


Your BFF is getting married. Horray!!! You know what that means? No, I'm not talking about bridesmaids dresses (although we have a great post on an alternative option over here). I'm talking about the Bachelorette Party!! Woohoo.


Whether it's a karaoke bar, a weekend in Vegas, or your local dive- this level of celebration demands looking good. 


Is your bridal party looking to match? No reason to wait for the wedding. These corset dresses come in 7 gorgeous colors and run sizes S-6XL.                               

                                                               

                                                         
The Black Tie Affair


We all think we want the coveted invite to a black tie affair. That is, until we get one. Then the excitement shifts from, "Oh yeah!" to "Oh No".

Mostly because, who has a closet full of evening gowns? Whether it's a wedding, a gala, or the ball – finding a perfect dress is no easy task.

Once you have found the perfect dress, the next level of freaking out begins. Am I going to look great? Like, red-carpet awesome when I'm wearing it?

Yes. Yes you are. We have just the secret weapon for you:

Waist Cincher

If you aren't familiar with the term waist cincher I'll give you a brief overview. A waist cincher is a corset designed to be worn under your garments. They can be worn everyday, or for a special occasion. By design, they are meant to keep you looking smooth, slim, and help you feel more confident.  Some cinchers, can also be used for waist training.

This waist cincher below, is an underbust cincher. It features wide straps for added support and a smooth complete backing. Because this cincher fits under your bust, you can choose to wear a bra for bust support or if your feeling saucy- let the girls out for the evening. 

This can be worn under any high-backed dress. Notice there are 3 different adjustable sizes, so you get to choose the level of support and tummy flattening. 

If you prefer a cincher that does not include straps, this blue latex piece might be for you. This underbust is also intended to be worn under your garment.  This cincher will hold in the tummy and waist area creating the perfect hour-glass silhouette. 

 

 

I hope we have been able to give you a few ideas on what to wear on special occasions. Whether its to ring in the new year, or just a night on the town- you deserve to look and feel your best. If you like anything we've showed you here- please, leave us a comment and let us know!

For any questions with sizes or ordering, we are always available. Send an email to support@atomicjaneclothing.com and we will get back to you right away. 

Burlesque Is Back! The Burlesque Corset Takes Center Stage

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Burlesque Fashion Burlesque Corset

 

Having retaken center stage in recent years, Burlesque is back, and one of the hottest it's ever been! This can be attributed to a myriad of reasons, (a star performance by Lady Christina above being arguably one of them), but its association with female empowerment and body positivity are huge factors in the resurgence of this beautifully seductive art form!

Although Burlesque has always been at the forefront of our hearts and minds here at Atomic Jane, its incredible comeback has welcomed a huge new crowd of enthusiasts to the movement.

To the curious and Burlesque-hungry newbies: Atomic Jane is here for you and we're incredibly excited to inspire you to dig deeper into your exploration of Burlesque fashion (just keep reading!)

Burlesque fashion is in a league entirely of its own and its most special elements can be applied and incorporated into various aspects of our lives, whether it be pulling together that perfect outfit for a costume party, spicing up your life in the bedroom, or adding a super-sexy element to day or nighttime wear!
Conveniently enough, we have loads of stunning Burlesque-inspired pieces on our website, with all of the most vital Burlesque fashion elements.
Get comfy and come with us on a journey through the history of Burlesque as we explore just what makes this art form so special and the three most important elements of Burlesque fashion to keep in mind as you take your obsession to the next level: your closet!
Let's go, Vixens!

 

Some Cool Burlesque History Tidbits That You Should Know...

 Burlesque Fashion Burlesque Corset

Victorian Age Burlesque

Though most often associated with the strip tease, Burlesque actually began in the Victorian age in London as a performance art form based solely around parody and humor.

Just like the parodies we know and love today (think SNL), Burlesque took the most popular themes in culture and poked fun at them while making them flashier, louder, and unbelievably entertaining.

This concept was wildly cutting-edge at the time and didn’t take long to catch fire across the pond in none other than NYC in the mid-1800s! Burlesque pushed boundaries, dropped jaws, and shook societal norms by questioning the traditional role of women and empowering them to be the strong, independent, and sensual beings that they are! (Amazing, right?)

It wasn’t until the 20th Century that Burlesque really transformed into the comedy/performance art/strip tease form that it is today, allowing the audience to tap into fantasy and to escape into the mesmerizing world of Burlesque during every stunning performance.

Burlesque has had a huge place in culture throughout every decade of the 20th Century with a notable resurgence in the 1990s, often referred to as the "Neo-Burlesque" that continues to shake us today!

 

 The 3 Most Important Burlesque Fashion Elements...

Burlesque Fashion Burlesque Corset
Burlesque Elements On The Runway

As we said before, Burlesque fashion doesn't need to be just this thing you fantasize and obsess over....incorporate it into your life!
With our rich inventory of jaw-dropping Burlesque-inspired pieces, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be living out every single one of your fantasies.
Before you take the plunge and add Burlesque fashion to your life in a big way, we have outlined a few of the major elements of Burlesque fashion that we think you should know, understand, and adore!
1. The Burlesque Corset
The absolute biggest staple in Burlesque fashion is the Burlesque Corset. As Burlesque first took center stage in the Victorian Age, it only makes sense that the corset, the biggest fashion element at that time, would have a huge part in shaping the aesthetic of the art form.
ATOMIC BLACK SATIN BURLESQUE OVERBUST CORSET

 

Say hello to one of our favorite Burlesque corsets, the Atomic Black Satin Burlesque Overbust Corset! All of the sexiest elements of Burlesque fashion are represented here and it is just oozing with femininity.

From the sweetheart top to the sexy black satin bodice and the bow embellishments, this piece is an absolute dream. Take this home as a perfect starter corset to your Burlesque corset collection for only $49 and in sizes S-2XL!

 

2. The Burlesque Set

The next Burlesque fashion element that's an absolute must to any Burlesque-obsessed vixen is the Burlesque Set!

This combines the magic of the corset with an equally as stunning corresponding piece and can come in many different shapes and sizes, leaving so much room for your personality and preferences to shine through.

We've highlighted a couple of our favorite styles here for you to drool over and be inspired by!

 ATOMIC BLACK BURLESQUE INSPIRED CORSET AND SKIRT SET

Let's start out with our Atomic Black Burlesque Inspired Corset and Skirt Set! This is an ode to the Victorian era and the tiered Hi-Lo design of the skirt is so incredibly flirty and tantalizing.

The black lace detail is carried throughout the skirt as well as the bodice and its lace-up front and loose, strappy shoulders are totally irresistible.

Does this style tickle your fancy? Click on the photo above to find this piece for $89, in sizes S-2XL, on our website!

ATOMIC TWO PIECE LEOPARD LOVER BURLESQUE CORSET WITH TUTU

Next up is one of our favorite style of sets, our Atomic Two Piece Leopard Lover Burlesque Corset With Tutu! This adorable, strapless, leopard corset has a soft, sweetheart bust line, three small bows in front for added detail, and a delicate, triple layered, ruffle lace trim over the bust. 

We absolutely love the flirty playfulness of the tutu and think that it's one of the most undeniably Burlesque styles that you can choose.

Pair with a sexy pair of heels and watch as you instantly channel your inner-most tease!

Click on the photo to have a closer look. Then take it home for $89 in sizes S-XL!

 

ATOMIC PURPLE BURLESQUE OVERBUST CORSET WITH PETTISKIRT

 

Although similar to the sassy leopard set, our Atomic Purple Burlesque Overbust Corset with Pettiskirt is too dang beautiful to not share! Drool over its soft layers of black ruffle tulle trim and its beautiful black satin accent bows in front.

This is one of our favorite colors of Burlesque fashion: deep, rich purple. Can you get any sexier than this?

Click on the stunner above and take it home with you for only $79 in sizes S-2XL!

 

4. The Burlesque Accessories

Last but absolutely not least, we can't emphasize enough the importance of accessories in creating true Burlesque fashion magic!

This is really where you get to have all of your sassy, sexy fun and the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to spicing up your ensemble.

Let's go through a few of the absolute sexiest Burlesque accessory options to get inspired!

 

 The Burlesque Topper

How fun is this accessory? Toppers are one of our favorite Burlesque fashion accessories, having the ability to instantly turn any outfit more playful, flirty, and sexy!

 BLUE FEATHER TOP CAP

Say hello to our Blue Feather Top Cap! All of these details and layered materials are to-die-for and by clicking on the sassy little piece above you can purchase it on our website for only $18.99. Take a look at all of our other adorable toppers here and explore the possibilities!

The Burlesque Petticoat

Maybe you already have that perfect corset in mind and are looking for its match? Or you're looking for the flexibility of styling that the Burlesque Set just doesn't give you? Sounds like the Burlesque Petticoat is the perfect purchase choice for you!

ATOMIC BLACK TIERED EMBELLISHED PETTICOAT

How sexy is our Atomic Black Tiered Embellished Petticoat? Filled to the brim with beautiful details, this Burlesque fashion statement features a small black bead embellishment, a five layered tiered back, and a super flirty short-skirted front.

This could be the final touch to your sexiest Burlesque fantasy! Click on the photo above to purchase for only $45 in S-2XL. 

The Burlesque Stockings

What is sexier than a pair of thigh-high stockings? Not much, is what. Stockings are arguably the sexiest element to the Burlesque ensemble and an element that's so fun to play with while building your Burlesque fashion wardrobe.

ATOMIC WHITE FISHNET THIGH HIGH STOCKINGS

 

Feast your eyes on our ridiculously sexy, Atomic White Fishnet Thigh High Stockings! Slip these on and give your look that final boost it needs to send your flirtiness through the roof. This is one of our favorite pairs and you can click on the image above to be taken to our website to purchase for only $15!

Interested in more options? Click here to see all of the playfulness that we have in store!

 

Time To Live Out Your Wildest Burlesque Fantasies... 

There you have it, ladies! A little taste of all of the magic that went into making Burlesque and Burlesque fashion all that they are today as well as a solid foundation for you to build your Burlesque wardrobe around!

Burlesque is all about fun, individuality, and self-empowerment, so enjoy every part of making this fantasy a reality and make it completely your own!

You are a powerhouse and a goddess and your Burlesque attire should reflect all of these beautiful parts of you.

Head over to our website www.atomicjaneclothing.com and see all that we have in store for you and your Burlesque dreams.

As always, please contact us at support@atomicjaneclothing.com for any comments or questions about this post or anything in general!

Until next time, happy shopping Atomic Babes!

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