How to Decorate a Bra


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As a vintage dance troupe we get gigs and decide what to perform based on the kind of event it is. Because of this, our original fan dance, Tears, is a very popular routine for 1920s/1930s events. It was originally performed in 2012 at 505 Stomp in Albuquerque. It has been a staple of our repertoire ever since. It has been recast multiple times and taught to every new member. After the original debut, we made troupe costumes for an Art Deco Japan gig, and those have been the costumes we’ve used since. But for our most recent performance of the routine we needed a different number of costumes. So three of us made our own unique tops. Since the routine is a fan dance we decided something bra-like was needed. Monique worked on decorating a traditional bra, I worked on decorating one of those adhesive bras that stick only to the front of you, and Eva took two bra top cups and covered them to create her own top. So based on our experiences, we bring you, “How to decorate a bra.”

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Here are some of the supplies we used:

  • Bra, adhesive bra, or bra cups (last two were found at a fabric/craft store)
  • Fabric Glue (I found some that was washable so my top could be cleaned later)
  • Ribbon
  • Lace
  • Beads or Pearls
  • Rhinestones
  • Beaded trim
  • Any other decorations (I used a broken earring as a final touch to my top)

Here’s the general process:

  1. Cover the base layer (for me this was a nude colored bra). I used three layers of lace stretched over the bra cups to achieve a base layer.
  2. Plan your trim. An edge of hanging beads did the job for me because I wanted my top to have a little bit of movement.
  3. Cover the center. I strung rows of pearls and only attached them at the sides so again they would move. Monique did rows of pearls and then added a rhinestone polka dot look. Eva used ¬†wide wired ribbon so her ribbon would keep it’s structure and folded it in a fan like pattern.
  4. Make sure it stays on! Our routine is not a true burlesque number, meaning no clothing comes off. So by using tops that only glue to the front of you, you want to make sure they’ll stay on! (Unless of course you are doing true burlesque and removing the bra.) My adhesive top stayed pretty well on its own during dress rehearsal but after a few run throughs (and a little perspiration) the sticky started to stop working. Eva used spirit gum to adhere her entire top and I ended up using some as well for the final performance just to keep the edges in place.

Individual views of the bras:

Happy Crafting!

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