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  1. #1
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Hi Everyone,

    Since I only started back up into dancing last August, I never had to do a show in the summer before.

    We have one on June 24th and while it is inside, getting dressed and just having to be in costume is going to be Hot Hot Hot.

    So I decided I better make a new costume of more natural fabrics ( lighter cotton skirt, etc ) so I don't expire in the heat. I STILL have to wear a body stocking and front tie blouse over my bra cause I am not yet in suitable shape for exposing more than that. ( Getting there though! )

    What do you all do in the heat of summer so that you don't melt in your costumes??


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    rather than body stocking & vest/blouse, why not try a sheer fabric tunic- you know, the fold fabric in half & cut a head hole style-
    having the fabric loose & bloused is cooler than a tight body stocking, & if the fabric is sheer enough, you can still see the bra. Word to the wise, both coin bras & beaded bras get too hot to handle if left in the car!

    & my poly chiffon skirts are actually cooler than my cotton ones, but that's partly just the weight of cotton fabric & number of layers. if you found one light enough, it should be fine.


  3. #3
    Master BHUZzer Jennifer Bellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    i only make costumes now during the summer months that are out of light weight chiffon or silk. Silk is by far the best but it gets pricey.


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jordonezbellydance View Post
    i only make costumes now during the summer months that are out of light weight chiffon or silk. Silk is by far the best but it gets pricey.
    seriously? I always thought silk was super hot- & it show sweat stains like nobody's business! what are you using?


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer Jennifer Bellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    i do combi skirts with it where chiffon is under and then a light weight silk above to top it off. its just so light and pretty i love it:) i sweat a lot but when the two are put together it makes for a happy union.


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Donna -

    couple of questions: What style are you and if you are dancing with a group, have you talked to your troupe director?

    Personally, I the only thing I tend not to wear during the summer is velvet. Everything else is pretty standard. But I also don't spend much time in costume except when I am getting ready to go on stage.

    Oh, my style is American Cabaret.

    {{{HUGS}}}


  7. #7
    Official BHUZzer nitewindz's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    When it's going to be hot I wear few layers. Just pants or a single skirt. Hermes sandals (with cotton ties) or bare foot.

    I keep sleeves as short and loose as possible. If I don't want to go completely sleeveless, I'll add a flutter to the shoulder, just a diamond shape with the top point cut off & sewn at the shoulder seam

    I second Lara L's tunic suggestion to cover the tummy and shoulders. You could even add simple sleeves to cover the upper arms. If the fabric is not sheer, you can cut the front into a keyhole neckline that dips below the bra.

    Crinkle gauze "hippie tops" are cool and covering. Cut the neckline low to expose the bra cups.

    Stretch lace tummy covers are cooler than powermesh. A stretch lace body suit with a keyhole neck cut out covers both belly and shoulders, no need for an additional tie top. Go sleeveless and add a couple of small chiffon scarves at the shoulders for sleeve flutters

    Slits and cut outs provide ventilation. Harem pants slit from ankle to knee let in a bit of air but keep the legs well hidden. You could make a tie top feel a little cooler by cutting the back of the neck into a deep V, or adding a diamond shaped cut out.

    I avoid wigs, but do wear clip on pony tails, they keep the hair up off my neck. I put ice packs under turbans, and the small cool packs can sometimes be wrapped in beautiful fabric and tucked into a headpiece with silk flowers, scarves and feathers. Make the fabric wrapped pack easily removable, or be ready to put the whole headpiece in the freezer :)

    Natural fabrics are cooler than synthetic. Cotton and linen are probably the coolest. Real silk is a little warmer than cotton but much cooler than synthetics. Polyester silkies and satins are stiflingly hot, as are velvets.


  8. #8
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    rather than body stocking & vest/blouse, why not try a sheer fabric tunic- you know, the fold fabric in half & cut a head hole style-
    having the fabric loose & bloused is cooler than a tight body stocking, & if the fabric is sheer enough, you can still see the bra. Word to the wise, both coin bras & beaded bras get too hot to handle if left in the car!

    & my poly chiffon skirts are actually cooler than my cotton ones, but that's partly just the weight of cotton fabric & number of layers. if you found one light enough, it should be fine.
    I was going that route at first- wearing an entari ( style like you suggested ) but I found it made me look fatter due to the looseness of the fabric. I lost 13lbs and actually look better in a body stocking. I just ordered one yesterday in the SugarPetals style.

    So chiffon is actually cooler? Good to know. I always figured synthetics were hotter but I guess you are right, they are thinner.


  9. #9
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jordonezbellydance View Post
    i only make costumes now during the summer months that are out of light weight chiffon or silk. Silk is by far the best but it gets pricey.
    I fake the silk look with a fabric I buy at Joann Fabrics. It is called silkessence and it's very light-weigh for harem pants. Comes in lots of colors and is flowy and soft. That's my cheat "silk". ..g.:


  10. #10
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tahiradancer View Post
    Donna -

    couple of questions: What style are you and if you are dancing with a group, have you talked to your troupe director?

    Personally, I the only thing I tend not to wear during the summer is velvet. Everything else is pretty standard. But I also don't spend much time in costume except when I am getting ready to go on stage.

    Oh, my style is American Cabaret.

    {{{HUGS}}}
    Hi Tahira-

    We are American Cabaret as well , and yes we are a student troupe. My teacher doesn't have us adhere to any dress code, as some of the girls are just there for fun, with only one or three ( me & 2 others ) actually aspiring to maybe a little more than that.

    I have 7 years of BD behind me ( from many years ago though) and I know how to make my own beaded costumes . Most of the girls wear their hipscarfs for performances though, but some are gradually breaking away from that. It may be in part to seeing the stuff I dance in- which is a more advanced in appearance, if you will.

    We had a halfa last Friday and it was so hot in the hall I thought I was going to die. I can't imagine how bad it will be in June. It's 90 today!


  11. #11
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nitewindz View Post
    When it's going to be hot I wear few layers. Just pants or a single skirt. Hermes sandals (with cotton ties) or bare foot.

    I keep sleeves as short and loose as possible. If I don't want to go completely sleeveless, I'll add a flutter to the shoulder, just a diamond shape with the top point cut off & sewn at the shoulder seam

    I second Lara L's tunic suggestion to cover the tummy and shoulders. You could even add simple sleeves to cover the upper arms. If the fabric is not sheer, you can cut the front into a keyhole neckline that dips below the bra.

    Crinkle gauze "hippie tops" are cool and covering. Cut the neckline low to expose the bra cups.

    Stretch lace tummy covers are cooler than powermesh. A stretch lace body suit with a keyhole neck cut out covers both belly and shoulders, no need for an additional tie top. Go sleeveless and add a couple of small chiffon scarves at the shoulders for sleeve flutters

    Slits and cut outs provide ventilation. Harem pants slit from ankle to knee let in a bit of air but keep the legs well hidden. You could make a tie top feel a little cooler by cutting the back of the neck into a deep V, or adding a diamond shaped cut out.

    I avoid wigs, but do wear clip on pony tails, they keep the hair up off my neck. I put ice packs under turbans, and the small cool packs can sometimes be wrapped in beautiful fabric and tucked into a headpiece with silk flowers, scarves and feathers. Make the fabric wrapped pack easily removable, or be ready to put the whole headpiece in the freezer :)

    Natural fabrics are cooler than synthetic. Cotton and linen are probably the coolest. Real silk is a little warmer than cotton but much cooler than synthetics. Polyester silkies and satins are stiflingly hot, as are velvets.
    Thank you so much! You gave me some great ideas!I never thought about cutouts in the blouse in back or making little faux sleeves. Great davice- thanks a million!!


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer Jessani's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Not costumes advice per se, but its still pretty "cool"
    (pun alert!)

    Never underestimate the cooling power and coy flirtatiousness of a pretty folding fan. While you can't bust it out and fan yourself while dancing you can use it while waiting in the wings or otherwise standing around in costume. Think of it as an accessory. You'll wind up fanning yourself when you get hot, so why not do it in style.
    Likewise, have a pretty cotton hanky to dab the sweat from your face, neck, and chest between sets while visible to the public. Never wipe (that smears makeup, dirt, etc) always dab, and do so delicately so you don't ruin the mystique that you've worked so hard to create with your costume & dancing. Again, you'll wind up doing this anyways, so best to have something that keeps you in "character" and looks elegant.


  13. #13
    Official BHUZzer Nebula's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    If you are wearing a tie front top with sleeves, opening up the underarm seam will cool things down. Plus a cutout in the back--an opening to just cover the straps, neck and fasterners of your dance bra. In the summer, I prefer to dance in beledis from lace, or light cotton gauze.


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer raqFariha's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    usually natural fibers are more breathable than synthetics, but silk is just not a breathable fabric. if it's a circle skirt with slits it doesn't really matter what fiber it's made out of, so long as it's light weight and MOVES around. every time you spin it's like turning a fan on your legs ^_^
    this is a tip i got from a friend when she worked at the renaissance fair as an actress. the court ladies (who have to wear corsets and velvet and long sleeves, etc) put peppermint oil on their nipples, and the inside of their wrists. you can put it anywhere sensitive like the back of the neck or even the inside crease of your elbow.
    it feels a little tingly at first, then it feels like someone put an iceberg on your wrist (or wherever you put it). use a VERY SMALL amount and test how it affects you someplace like your wrists. it takes a while to start working, and i've found that the more times i've used it the quicker it works. it also does NOT come off easily, being an oil, so err on the side of using less.


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! Nathara's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    I start shedding layers and only wear a top, 1 belt, and harem pants. Silk essence is great for harem pants and I can feel a breeze through them! I also carry a nice accordian fans (you know, the ones you can flick open) that coordinates with my costume. If you're going to be outside for any amount of time, think of light weight cover ups and hats - we used to use creatively wrapped veils - to keep the sun off your skin and provide a little relief and when it got really bad, we'd soak them in water first!

    Also, dark fabrics tend to hide sweat better, so I tend to stick with darks in summer so if I do sweat all over, it won't look like it. Remember to bring water with you and hydrate BEFORE you dance!


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer NazirahDances's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    I prefer linen for keeping cool. MUCH cooler than cotton, and it doesnt tend to stick to itself the way cotton does. The costume below is a handkerchief weight (SUPER light) 1.5 circle skirt with slits (embroidered up the slits), and a linen lined, linen choli. I also have cotton gauze harem pants in with it, but dont wear those if I am using this in the summer.



  17. #17
    I could get used to this! halawahG's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    I trade my velvet and heavy fabrics for light weight chiffon skirts come summer time. Hoping to make a couple new ones this year to go with my new bra & belt.


  18. #18
    Advanced BHUZzer Ainsley's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nayastrance View Post
    Never underestimate the cooling power and coy flirtatiousness of a pretty folding fan.
    Yes, great suggestion! I actually carry a sandalwood fan with me throughout the summer. I sometimes get quizzical looks, but people catch on when they realize they're fanning themselves with scrap paper.


  19. #19
    Just Starting! DonnaAnne's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    Excellent suggestions from all of you. Thanks so much!


  20. #20
    Mega BHUZzer Lesedi's Avatar
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    Re: Summer Costumes- heat ?

    If you're doing harem pants underneath, cut and sew some slits into at least the lower part of each leg (on the outside of the leg looks best I think). That will help get some air flowing to your legs too.


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