Although there are many styles of belly dance costuming - from Egyptian to Tribal Fusion - a few basic guidelines will help you create a beautiful costume.


Unless you are belly dancing as part of a troupe, a dancer has a many options available to her when it comes to dance costuming. Some of what a belly dancer wears has to do with her dance style and the music to which she is performing. However, whether a dancer’s style is Egyptian, Turkish, American, Tribal Fusion, Gothic, or any other construct of this dance form, a few guidelines will allow you the dancer to put together a dynamic belly dance costume.

Selecting a Belly Dancer Outfit

First, understand the different styles of music and belly dance. This is particularly important to someone new to the dance, someone who has taken classes for a while and is purchasing a costume for a student show. For example, a piece of Tribal Electronica would contrast with a sequined Egyptian belt and bra.

If you’re not certain whether or not your music and belly dance costume will clash, ask your teacher or call that Internet site you plan to order from and ask for advice. Go to a few belly dance shows to see what other dancers wear. Many belly dance videos include performances as special features – these too can give you a better sense of costuming.

Choosing Colors for a Belly Dancing Costume

Whatever your style, one key feature of any belly dance costume is its color. For example, black and neutral colors can disappear on stage. Some shows may use room lighting while others take advantage of professional stage lighting. A dancer usually goes into a performance unaware of the lighting and the background setting where she’ll be performing.

To counter the possibility of disappearing into the background, include a second or third color into a costume, particularly when wearing a black or neutral color costume. A costume with three shades or colors also helps to keep the costume from an unvarying look – imagine the monotony of a top, hip belt, skirt, and accessories all in royal blue.

Use the color wheel, complementary and analogous colors, if you are uncertain about combining bright colors. Consider that color combinations too bold for everyday clothing (bright pink and orange, lime green and teal) can make for a striking dance costume.


If you dance for groups for whom belly dance is part of their culture, avoid prints or costume components that include animal prints, flowers, or other realistic representations of people and nature that the group may find inappropriate because of their religion.

Miscellaneous Details for Belly Dance Clothing

Try on different elements of costuming to figure out what looks good on your body. Will you look best dancing in a bra top, a short-sleeved crop top (choli), or a long-sleeved top? If you dance in a bra top, decide whether narrow or wide straps are most flattering.

Consider if a triangular or rectangular hip scarf is more becoming or comfortable. Decide if you are more comfortable with a layered chiffon skirt or an opaque silk or satin skirt. Although a particular piece may call to you, knowing what looks best on your body means that you will get the most wear from the items in your belly dance wardrobe.

The keys to putting together a great belly dance costume is to go with pieces that flatter your body and your coloring. Bring at least three colors or shades into your costume (metallic colors do count) to create a dynamic, eye-catching look.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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