Las Vegas Show Girl Costume and Headdress DIY

Every year my family hosts an Old Years costume themed party. Past themes have been 70s disco, White Trash, and James Bond. This year’s theme was Las Vegas. I’m not always home to celebrate the holidays and the last two times I came I was pregnant…and not very much in the whole costume mood. Even this year I was toying with flaking out…except my brother called me a few weeks earlier and asked if I could make him and a friend Siegfried and Roy costumes.  And since I was making them costumes I thought I should get in on the fun as well.

For my showgirl costume I used a 80s prom dress that I had purchased many years ago as a costume, but never used. It was truly hideous.
I mean, hideous in a glorious way…how could someone have possibly thought this was flattering? It was like Charro meets Dallas! Don’t know who Charro is…what? You never watched the Love Boat? Sad.

I took the dress, cut away the front ruffles, and all the back ruffles except the top one…leaving a bustle of sorts behind. Yeah, it almost seems wrong to chop up a dress like that, but it’s not like I was ever going to wear it…I bought it off of eBay a few years ago, and if this was your dress once back in the day, I’m sorry I’m destroying your awful dress…but you would probably too!

I hemmed the edges using some leftover fusible webbing…my new best friend!

I sewed some awesome fringe trim to the front.

Cut off the awful cha-cha sleeves and sewed halter like straps such that they would exactly cover the straps of my halter top bra. I made the straps out of fabric I cut from the skirt of the dress that I had just cut off. Totally upcycling here, people! The white tulle isn’t visible when being worn, as it is hidden under the bustle in the back.

I found an awesome tutorial for making your own serious belly baring top seen here:


…but I wasn’t that brave…
Then in was on to the headdress…now this was simply spectacular. This is what took the costume from over-enthusiastic dancer all the way to show girl…I mean, there was no question about what my costume was once I put on that headdress.

I got a cheap black visor, ordered loads of feathers from There are a lot of online feather sources, but I chose amazon since I was in a hurry and wanted to make sure the fathers were delivered in a timely way. And used my trusty glue gun. Now, this isn’t my idea of course…I found a few online tutorials using a visor, including the one I linked to above.

This is what my headdress consisted of:

The pricing on Amazon seems to have changed since I ordered…for example, the 13-15 inch black feather were shipping under amazon Prime, so I didn’t have to pay shipping on those. I ended up paying just under $35 for all the feathers. Pretty pricey, but I felt like the splurge was worth it, since I was hardly spending anything on the dress. At first I was just gluing them straight up, but the headdress was starting to look very much like an Indian headdress. So I realized the trick to the Vegas Show Girl Headdress was gluing the edge feathers at more than a 45 degree angle outwards, so as to let the plume from the feathers fall down. Here’s a shot from the back of the visor:I covered the bottoms of the feathers with some sequined trim and the rest of the fringe trim (I had purchased a total of ¾ of a yard), so that it fell covering my forehead.Here’s a shot including the tall peacock feathers:

And I finished the look with some feather eyelashes. By the way, the secret to perfect eyelash application according to my bff and eyelash guru is good quality eyelash glue. Duo is what she recommends and what I use. Oooh la la. My daughter called them butterfly lashes!

And for all of you fake eyelash newbies…the big secret to fake eyelash application? You stick them to your lashes…NOT your eyelid…yeah, might seem elementary to many eyelash Sherlocks reading this…but for me it was a revelation. There are many awesome YouTube eyelash application videos. Watch them…

I wore some fishnet stockings and some black bikini bottoms which weren’t visible, since the costume covered them. Here’s a picture of me and Siegfried and Roy (I’ll write a post about making their costumes in a few days):I’d never really made a costume before…it was a lot easier than I would have thought, especially since I was able to use the bodice from an existing dress. I think I’ll also make more of an effort for my kids Halloween costumes in the future.

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