For new dancers as well as more experienced belly dancers who perform tribal fusion, Goth, and goddess styles, or any dancer who is looking for a costume for a themed dance show, costume pieces can be found in a variety of place. The only necessity is a willingness to hunt around for women’s clothing and fashion accessories. However, this may become so fun, that the dancer ends up creating a dress-up box full of stuff that can embellish any costume.
Belly Dance Accessories
Party Stores – Throughout the year dancers can find fingerless gloves, feathered boas, tiaras, and an assortment of hats that can add an amusing element to a costume when dancing to non-Middle Eastern music. Mardi Gras-like beads and garlands can usually be cut apart and hot glued onto costuming without the need to restring the beads.
These stores are also great resources for battery-operated candles that can be used on balancing trays and worked into other dancers where an open-flame wouldn’t be permitted.
Halloween Shops – This includes specialty Halloween stores as well as party stores and even the Halloween department at the local Wal-Mart. In most cases, the costumes won’t hold up to the rigors of dancing and the last thing you want is to split a seam during a performance. However, the accessories can add interesting details to a costume.
Belly Dance Costumes
Thrift Stores – At thrift stores you’ll find fashions from the previous years at prices that are so inexpensive that if you buy an item for a themed show you won’t regret the expense. Look for sequined and beaded tops. You may need to tuck the bottom of top into your bra or cut off excess fabric and add an elastic casing to fit the top.
Look for very full gypsy skirts as well as satin evening skirts. Purchase satiny lounge pants a size or two larger than your normal size and add an elastic casing around the ankles for inexpensive harem pants. Check out the jewelry counter for vintage and ethnic pieces that are more interesting that mass-produced belly dance jewelry. Old curtains could become a panel skirt or a hip accent.
Trendy Shop – Even if you aren’t a teenager, check out these stores or websites for cropped tops, short vests, jewelry, and other fashion accessories. You might never want to wear this stuff in public, but it makes great costuming. If it falls out of style in a few months, it doesn’t matter because you’re using it as a costume.
Import Stores – Inexpensive clothing, often with interesting multi-cultural elements can be found at these stores usually located in cities.
Street Vendors – Whether you’re in the city or at a local fair, look at what the vendors have to offer. Don’t pay a lot for an item because you won’t be able to return it. Clothing and accessories from the Middle East, Africa, and Indian can work into many belly dance costumes.
When you see something that catches your eye, buy it. In the majority of cases, you won’t find the item later. If you can’t return an item that proves to be shoddily-make or not what you want, don’t pay more for it than you’re willing to lose. However, do be willing to buy items that are a great price even if you aren’t certain what you’d do with it. If you don’t use it in the next five years, look for local belly dance swap meets and exchange items for new stuff.