The Allure of Showgirl Costumes in Las Vegas

When you think of Las Vegas, images of bright lights, bustling casinos, and grand performances come to mind. Central to the glitz and glamour of this entertainment capital are the iconic showgirl costumes. These dazzling outfits are not just clothing; they are symbols of the city’s rich history and its commitment to over-the-top spectacle. In this article, we’ll explore the allure and evolution of the showgirl costume Vegas style, and why it remains a vital part of Sin City’s charm.

The Origin of Vegas Showgirl Costumes

The tradition of the Showgirl Costume dates back to the mid-20th century when Las Vegas was establishing itself as a premier entertainment destination. Inspired by the grandiose cabarets of Paris, like the Folies Bergère and the Moulin Rouge, Las Vegas adopted and adapted these elements to create something uniquely American. The showgirls, adorned in elaborate costumes featuring feathers, sequins, and rhinestones, became the epitome of Vegas glamour.

Key Elements of a Showgirl Costume

The design of a showgirl costume is both an art and a science. These outfits are designed to dazzle and captivate, ensuring that every movement is a spectacle. Key elements include:

  1. Headdresses: The most recognizable part of a showgirl costume is the headdress. These can be towering creations adorned with feathers, jewels, and sequins. The headdresses add height and drama, ensuring that the performer stands out even in a large ensemble.
  2. Corsets and Bodices: Showgirl costumes often feature fitted bodices or corsets that accentuate the performer’s figure. These pieces are heavily embellished with beads, sequins, and other sparkling elements to catch the stage lights.
  3. Feathers and Fringe: Feathers are a staple of showgirl costumes, often used in headdresses, skirts, and backpieces. They add movement and flair, creating a mesmerizing effect as the showgirls perform. Fringe and other flowing materials are also used to enhance the dynamic visuals.
  4. Accessories: No showgirl costume is complete without the right accessories. These can include gloves, fishnet stockings, high-heeled shoes, and sparkling jewelry. Each piece is carefully chosen to complement the overall design and enhance the performer’s presence on stage.

Evolution of the Showgirl Costume

Over the decades, the showgirl costume has evolved to reflect changes in fashion and performance art. In the 1960s and 1970s, costumes became more extravagant, with larger headdresses and more intricate designs. The 1980s and 1990s saw the incorporation of new materials and technology, such as LED lights and lighter, more flexible fabrics.

Today, showgirl costumes continue to evolve, blending traditional elements with modern trends. Designers are constantly innovating, creating costumes that are not only visually stunning but also comfortable and practical for performers. This evolution ensures that the showgirl costume remains relevant and captivating for contemporary audiences.

The Craftsmanship Behind the Glamour

Creating a showgirl costume is a meticulous process that requires skill and artistry. Designers work closely with performers to create custom pieces that fit perfectly and move gracefully. The process often begins with sketches and concept designs, which are then brought to life through careful construction.

Headdresses are crafted by skilled milliners who understand the balance needed to create a piece that is both dramatic and wearable. Seamstresses and costume makers painstakingly sew sequins, beads, and other embellishments by hand, ensuring that every detail is perfect. The result is a costume that is not only beautiful but also a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity of its makers.

The Cultural Impact of Showgirl Costumes

Showgirl costumes are more than just performance attire; they are cultural icons that represent the spirit of Las Vegas. These costumes have been featured in countless films, television shows, and advertisements, cementing their place in popular culture. The image of the showgirl, with her elaborate costume and confident presence, embodies the glamour and excitement of Las Vegas.

The impact of showgirl costumes extends beyond the stage. They have influenced fashion designers and artists worldwide, inspiring everything from haute couture collections to music video outfits. The legacy of the showgirl costume is a testament to its enduring appeal and its ability to capture the imagination of people around the globe.

Showgirl Costumes Today

While the traditional showgirl revue is less common than it once was, the iconic costume continues to thrive in various forms. Modern performances, including burlesque shows, themed events, and even high-fashion runways, often draw inspiration from the classic showgirl aesthetic. Additionally, showgirl costumes are popular choices for Halloween and other costume parties, allowing everyday people to indulge in a bit of Vegas glamour.

The continued popularity of the showgirl costume is a testament to its timeless appeal. As new generations discover the allure of Las Vegas, the showgirl costume remains a powerful symbol of the city’s enduring charm.


The showgirl costume Vegas style is a shining example of how tradition and innovation can come together to create something truly spectacular. From its origins in mid-20th-century cabarets to its modern-day incarnations, the showgirl costume continues to captivate audiences with its dazzling design and cultural significance. As a symbol of Las Vegas’ commitment to entertainment and excess, the showgirl costume will undoubtedly remain an integral part of the city’s identity for years to come.

Whether you’re a performer looking to embody the classic Vegas spirit or a visitor eager to experience the city’s unique charm, the showgirl costume is a quintessential part of the Las Vegas experience. Its glittering allure and timeless elegance make it a true icon of this vibrant city.