Belly dance costumes are worn by belly dancing performers. Belly dancing is one of the most well known forms of dances and originates from the Middle East. In terms of technique, this form of dance allows for free style movement where the stomach, chest and pelvis are gyrated in different movements to create different effects. This form of dance is also considered to be quite seductive and has been incorporated in many other countries as well including Australia, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey. The costumes worn by the dancers are so unique in their aesthetics that they have inspired quite a few fashion trends all over the world. More and more women use elements that have been derived or inspired from the costumes along with other western wear or Indian garments to create a unique look that reflects their individual personalities. Belly dance clothing is also one of the most easily identifiable forms of clothes as they have been depicted so often in the media, either on shows about dance or on shows about traveling and lifestyle norms. This is one of the reasons why belly dance clothes are so famous throughout the world.
Belly dance costume patterns incorporate the use of sequins on an extremely large scale as these garments were originally intended to be seen off a stage as opposed to being worn casually. This is why most garments that are inspired by these costumes tend to be slightly shimmery in nature in order to stay true to the roots. Baladi dresses are one of the most popular traditional belly dance costumes that are found in or shipped in international markets. These are a slightly more conservative version of other forms of this costume and are made to suit all body types. This sheath style outfit covers women till their ankles, either with heavy cloth or with layers of lace that can be used to create some mystique. These are considered to be far more ethnic and folksy forms of these costumes as opposed to the sparkly versions that are usually popularized by the media and used to bare the midriff and arms. They are slightly form fitting, although not too tight, which allows free movement.
Cabaret outfits fall under the category of modern belly dance costumes and are the shimmering garments that are so popularized by the media. There are two, and sometimes three, main components of this outfit. The first is the top which comes in the form of a choli that bares the midriff or, at times, a sequined bra that only covers the bust. The latter sometimes has little strings with beads hanging off them as they create an interesting effect when the dancer moves her stomach. The second component of this outfit is the skirt, which is usually extremely long and reaches the floor. At times, the skirt is ankle length as well. Circle skirts are also a common type of skirt that is used as they tend to flare up when the dancer spins. One can also find similar skirts when looking for kids belly dance costumes.
A more modern interpretation of this costume includes the use of harem pants along with the choli as they are also meant to look great while the dance is being performed. Harem pants are one of the elements inspired by belly dance costumes as they not only look quite exotic but can also be very easily incorporated into an outfit that has western or Indian garments in it. These pants are extremely loose and tend to create a balloon like effect on the legs, which is why they are also known as balloon pants.
Styling belly dance costumes
In order to style belly dance costumes successfully, adding ethnic forms of jewelry is extremely important. These garments look their best when worn with elegant yet chunky junk jewelry especially those that are either colored silver or made with real silver. To add an Indian touch to this, women sometimes pair these costumes with silver payals that tinkle when they walk, creating their versions of Indian belly dance costumes. As the belly dance cloth is usually light, pairing it with heavier jewelry creates an interesting visual.
When wearing harem pants or balloon pants women tend to pair them with well fitting spaghetti tops or well designed indo western tunics. Embroidered harem pants look great with plain tops and the same holds true for the other way around. Some women also pair these pants with short kurtis in order to create a garment that is both, exotic and traditional at the same time. Worn with high heeled shoes such as stilettos, these garments look fabulous although some women also pair them with flat V shaped footwear as well.