Who can forget Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at Superbowl XXXVIII?
Though Ms. Jackson's folly seemed seemed awfully calculated to be a mere accident-on national television, no less- there are times when dancers with absolutely no ulterior motives need a little help keeping their stage wear on!
Sometimes even the most well-constructed costume may not stand up to the amount of frenetic activity a dancer puts it through onstage, and even the tightest snaps, hooks and elastic needs a little bit of help.
Got a costume piece that won’t stay put?
Then it’s time to explore the wonderful world of fashion tape and body adhesives!
Not all too long ago, the only body adhesive available was spirit gum, which did the job well but was potentially very irritating to the skin, especially after repeated uses. Now, there are a number of products around which will help your costume stay in place.
Toupee tape can be purchased at wig shops and beauty supply stores, and was originally used for keeping hair pieces stable-hence it’s name. The tape usually comes in individual pieces from ¼” to 1 inch wide. Dancers have used toupee tape (the most popular brand being “Top-Stik”) for years to keep their wigs performance-proofed, and to keep costumes from gapping or drooping.
Recently, toupee tape has been reinvented- (and made much more chick-friendly) as fashion tape. There are several brands on the market, and they often come in cute, ultra girly, frou-frou packaging.
Double-sided fashion tape comes either in individual pieces or in rolls, and is very inexpensive. This stuff is what Hollywood stylists use on those fancy gowns for red carpet premieres, and also what many burlesque dancers use now (instead of spirit gum) to hold on their pasties.
Double-sided tape comes in many widths and lengths and can keep bra cups and straps from slipping, keep a headdress or upper arm bands where they're supposed to be, or it can even be cut into little pieces to secure smaller areas, or applied to body decorations like bindis.
Fashion tape has become indispensable and ubiquitous- you can find it almost anywhere- it’s sold at drugstores like Walgreen’s or CVS, and at large chains like Target and Wal-Mart, as well as lingerie, bridal and beauty supply stores. Or you can get it < hereHollywood Fashion Tape Double-Stick Strips-36 count
You may also want to experiment with surgical adhesives, the kind used to keep sterile dressings in place or to hold up non-elastic socks for diabetics.
My favorite kind is called “It Stays”, which is a hypo allergenic, water-soluble roll-on adhesive that will anchor anything to your skin, won't stain your costume or accessories, and then wash off quite easily-with no scrubbing at all-with plain soap and water!
I have used It Stays with great success to hold up all sorts of costume pieces, including thigh-high stockings, heavily beaded long Egyptian gauntlets and even to secure the belt of very heavy belly dance costumes to my hips.
Since it’s Latex-free, it’s very gentle on the skin, even to those who are sensitive to any type of adhesives. It is a non-irritating way to hold burlesque pasties on- and it also comes off easily. It Stays is even gentle enough to use to stick on false eyelashes! I’ve used it for that, and I know many others who do, too.
You can find It Stays here IT Stays Body Adhesive 2 oz.
Before you use any sort of adhesive on your body or on costume pieces, always do a spot-check first, to make sure it won’t irritate your skin or stain your costume.