Halloween Costume How To-Vintage Tattooed Circus Lady

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How to dress like a tattooed circus lady

I love, love, love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. And since I’m often too busy to sew  a whole costume from scratch, I often look for something to put together that is not going to be too time consuming. I also don’t like to buy one of those costumes in a bag either.

Recently I came across an intriguing 1920s image of  a tattooed woman that sparked my imagination for a Halloween costume. Tattooed ladies performed in circuses and carnival sideshows at the turn of the century.   Back then tattoos on women were very controversial and considered quite racy. And if a woman was completely covered in them, then she was actually looked upon as a freak. My how things have changed!

The public, being curious and fascinated by these “freakish” women in skimpy clothing, would actually pay money to gawk at them.

So being as Halloween is approaching, I was thinking a vintage tattooed sideshow performer would be a fun idea for a costume and wouldn’t take forever to put together!  So I started a search for the “main ingredients” you would need to put this together. Here is what I came up with.


vintage tattooed circus lady costume

Row 1. Black Satin bustier top.  Black stretch high waist shorts.  Stretch Tattoo shirt.
Row 2. Tattoo print tights. T strap heels . Ruffle ankle socks. Parasol. Marabou trim gloves.

To complete the look above, pick up some sequined appliques or glittery trim at your nearest fabric or craft store and sew it on the bustier and/or shorts to glam it up.  Add a flapper style wig and a headband and, voila, you’re the 20s Tattooed Lady!

Love the mesh tattoo print top and tights to give you the look of being fully tattooed. Also, instead of the shorts and bustier, you could wear a short ruffled dress like in the photo below. Lace up Victorian style boots instead of the shoes.  Here are more images for inspiration.



 And if you have a significant other who wants to dress up too, have them go as a carnival barker.

Have a glamorous day!


#SaturdayShareLinkUP  with Catherine at Not Dressed as  Lamb Blog

By | 2017-10-14T12:57:29+00:00 October 9th, 2015|Fashion|Comments Off on Halloween Costume How To-Vintage Tattooed Circus Lady

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.