Cabaret style

Cabaret is one of my favourite movies of all time. The first time I saw it, I was blown away by the costumes, particularly those worn by Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles. There have been a number of times when I have attempted to recreate Sally’s unique style, with some success. Sally is a fun character to take inspiration from, and her style is not for the faint-hearted. Sally is a flamboyant, shocking young woman, and her clothes are designed to draw every eye in the room to her.



The most striking part of Sally’s look is her haircut. Her sleek, black bowl cut is the perfect mixture of impish pixie and sexy minx. If you aren’t blessed with a crop of raven hair, pull on a dark wig.



Sally’s makeup is complex and bright. She wears a lot of eye makeup, usually blending a coloured eyes shadow (which perfectly matches her outfit) with black shadow to create a smoky, mysterious air. If you really want to make an impact, glue on a pair of luscious false eyelashes, to accentuate your eyes. Sally commonly wears a little beauty spot near her eye. The beauty spot is usually a little sequin that is stuck on, but you can paint yours on if you feel like it. Sally wears emerald green nail polish at all times, and her nails are perfectly shaped. I have already done a post on Sally Bowles’ makeup, which you can find here.


Sally’s clothes are sexy, decadent and dramatic. They are intended to shock and amaze. For the best effect, combine the following items into a show-stopping outfit:

– halter-neck dresses and blouses

– dark colours, like black and navy and jewel tones, like emerald, amethyst and ruby red.

– Beaded and jewelled choker necklaces.

– Faux fur coats

– Beaded details on dresses and blouses

– Billowy pants that are fitted at the waist and flare out from the hip.

– Short shorts

– Huge hats, festooned with flowers and scarves

– Plunging necklines. If you don’t have the guts to try a deep plunge in front, try wearing your plunge at the back of your dress, to accentuate your back.

– Pussy bow blouses

– Dresses with billowy sleeves and fitted bodices.

– Black shoes

– Good quality garter stockings.

To properly recreate Sally’s look, you should try and stick to items from the 1940’s. If you can find vintage items from this era, wear them with gay abandon. If not, many modern stores sell garments that are inspired by bygone fashion ages, and so it is possible to find items that are suitable in most stores. The key is to be creative, and mix vintage and modern items together to capture the sexy flavour of Sally Bowles.

For Sally, there is no different between day wear and evening attire. Her wardrobe consists entirely of dark, decadent garments that look as though they belong in an exotic club. Her clothing is made of luxe fabrics such as silk, fur and brocade. Sally thinks nothing of wearing a liberal dose of jewellery with every outfit, whether during the day or late at night.



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