Choosing Your First Belly Dance Costume

Choosing Your First Belly Dance Costume


Admit it: the costumes are the best part about belly dance! And buying a costume will make you keener to practice and all those jingles and fringe will let you know you’re doing it right! It’s never too early to buy your first costume and you are never too young, too old, too skinny, or too fat – it’s all about choosing the right one. 


Who is your audience?


Do you plan on wearing this costume for a family event, in a posh restaurant, or just for a romantic partner? Obviously this will change the amount of coverage, and also, the amount of money that you are going to spend. If you are planning on dancing at a family event, consider an Indian choli top, a full skirt, and a coin belt – easily found for between $10 and $50 each. If you are going to be dancing in a restaurant, you will want to invest at least a few hundred dollars in a professional costume. Just dancing for your sweety? Wear what you feel sexy in. When in doubt, cover more. You want your audience to be talking about your dancing, not a nip-slip.


What moves do you love doing?


If you love spinning, a full skirt is a must. Do you love to Shimmy? Coins will accent that. If you are all about about the bumps and accents, look for something with a big fringe. Do you like floor-work or high kicks? Remember to wear full coverage dance shorts or a bathing suit bottom under your costume.


What is your dance level?


I’m sorry to say, often beginning dancers have terrible foot and leg control.  If you think you this might be you, wear a long skirt. Are you confident that your toes are pointed and knees in sync? By all means, go for a skirt with slits.


Exaggerating your shape


So much of belly dancing is about exaggerating the female form. Don’t be afraid of a padded belly dance bra! It’s not deceit, it exaggerates those chest circles and shoulder shimmies. Do you have small hips?  Try tucking a scarf in at the sides of your belt to exaggerate your hips. Is your tummy a little too big for you to feel comfortable in front of an audience? Black netting will make it seem smaller and exaggerate the hour glass.


Remember to do a dress-rehearsal


Never. Never dance in a costume that you haven’t rehearsed in. A bra might fit perfectly standing still but pop open with the first big arm movement. You don’t want any surprises so always do a dress rehearsal.


Most importantly choose something that you love and feel comfortable.


For more ideas on costuming, check out our quiz “What kind of Belly Dance Costume Suits You?”