There are plenty of gorgeous belly dance costumes out there to take inspiration from… but what about the not-so-nice ones? Often we might look at a costume and say “wow – that’s gorgeous!” and then our friend/troupe member will say “Ugh. It looks like it’s looking at me!” and then all you see when looking at that particular costume are the “eyes”! So I thought that I’d give you some of my wisdom collected & picked up on over the years (haha – a whole 3!) for tips & hints when it comes to costuming!
If you are making a bra – COVER it first! Nothing is worse than a belly dancer up on stage in what looks to be a lingerie bra. Cover the underwire (and not just with sequins or a strip of decorations!), you won’t regret putting in that extra bit of effort that can really make a difference.
SAFETY PINS! They should become your new best friend. Get yourself to a cheap R5 store and buy a whole box full (they’re cheap, I promise!) Don’t rely on them to hold your costume up – ever – but use them for extra protection – you never know when you might feel that belt slipping off!
When you see a costume you like at a vendor, try it on! Don’t look at it and think that it might fit, you don’t want to waste your money. Check your desired costume all over! Look for missing sequins, loose threads, broken clasps, everything. I know it’s horrible to be cynical like that, but you’re the customer, and you have a right to quality in a costume (esp for the price some of them cost 0_o)
Once you have tried your costume on, find a mirror (or a friend) and stand FAR away from them. (as far as the store will allow) Look at the costume from a distance – does it still look gorgeous, or does it look strange? Often we can see something we really like and don’t think about what it will look like on a stage – it’s important to check this!
Ask friends, family & troupe members to help you decide on a colour. Not everybody can pull of a white costume with pink fringing – no matter how good it looks on Susan from the other dance school. 🙂
Buy something that fits properly… please! Don’t buy a B cup bra when you’re actually a D cup – it does NOT look good!
Don’t buy a costume to “fix up” if you can’t sew! A lot of work goes into costumes, and if you can’t sew, then it wouldn’t be an investment to buy a broken costume – but a loss.
If you’re one of those people who tend to grow and shrink often, put some elastic in your skirts/pants!
If you have a skirt with a slit, don’t make it TOO high… nobody wants to see your panties (or lack thereof!) when you’re twirling around!
If you’re doing floorwork, please, (PLEASE) wear pants! Not only will it prevent your legs from hurting on the floor, but it’s just much prettier!
Be on the lookout for nipple tassels, eyes, crassels (crotch tassels) and weird crotch embellishments! (examples below!)
Check out the Bellydance Forum’s “Thought Provoking Bellydance Costumes” to get an idea of what not to do! (I’m Azrael on the forum, btw!)
And lastly, I’d like to repeat my biggest peeve – Please cover your bra’s ladies! 🙂
For those of you weary of online stores – I know how you feel! You don’t know whether you’ll get your things, or if it’ll even fit! But I’d like to point you in the direction of my friend, Amy, who runs The Gypsy Kiss store on Etsy (go have a look!) she’s reliable, and although she doesn’t cover her bra’s – she DOES do custom designs for them! So you tell her your size and what you want, and she’ll do it! 🙂 Her hair pieces & bindi’s are AMAZING! So have a look and treat yourself. 🙂 You never know what you’ll find!
I hope that you enjoyed this costuming advice!