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  1. #1
    Just Starting! KristinaBallerina's Avatar
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    Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    I am really having trouble finding costumes for the rather thin dancer, I am not petite as in short, just rather stick thin (I used to be a professional ballerina, so I have that traditional ballet look of being an undeveloped pre-teen ,f:: except I actually do have hips). Lots of websites have an extra "plus size" category, but I have yet to find one for "petite sizes" and not many have search features to narrow down costumes based on certain sizes like the BellyDanceStore does.

    Any suggestions for finding Egyptian costumes to fit my size that aren't custom made?
    Ribcage: 27-28"
    Bra cup: American 32AA
    Waist: 23-24"
    High hip: 31"
    Fullest hip: 33"
    Skirt length: usually I can wear 36-38"
    Bra cups: I am used to having to pad bras...a lot..but there is only so much you can do with my little frame, as I really don't have much breast tissue to push up to the top of a larger bra cup so it can be seen as gorgeous curves, reverberating at the top and all sexy like...it takes a alteration miracle to make anything like a B cup actually fit and look right as it just dwarfs my frame and body lines.

    I am looking for nice traditional, professional looks...basically anything that doesn't look cheap or like it came off of the Japanese/Chinese import listings from eBay at $50 for a full 3 piece set, but I would love to buy more bra/belt sets, costumes, full length dresses, nice sleek Saidi dresses, etc.

    I can certainly have things custom made, but I usually love just being inspired by the overall look of a costume, and then matching music and choreography to the costume's personality. Plus trying it on and seeing how the colors look with my coloring is a huge plus (very, very pale white skin with rather orange-coppery red hair). So unless I find something that I love that I can have custom made identical and exactly to my size, I am not all that interested in custom ordering. I have found many costumes I'd just love to have, only in other colors and the correct size, but I have issues with not being able to see the finished product and how all the colors I've chosen actually play together before purchasing. Some of my friends have really bad luck with custom ordered costumes, where they even included swatches of the colors they wanted used (gorgeous all dark red hues) and the costume came back completely in purples, not a stitch of red to be seen. ,m::

    Lots of my friends just make all their own costuming, but I still am faced with my issues of not being able to see the finished product, and therefor I just can't begin to put it all together.

    Thanks for your help!!


  2. #2
    Official BHUZzer SpicyThai's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by KristinaBallerina View Post
    I am really having trouble finding costumes for the rather thin dancer, I am not petite as in short, just rather stick thin (I used to be a professional ballerina, so I have that traditional ballet look of being an undeveloped pre-teen ,f:: except I actually do have hips). Lots of websites have an extra "plus size" category, but I have yet to find one for "petite sizes" and not many have search features to narrow down costumes based on certain sizes like the BellyDanceStore does.

    Any suggestions for finding Egyptian costumes to fit my size that aren't custom made?
    Ribcage: 27-28"
    Bra cup: American 32AA
    Waist: 23-24"
    High hip: 31"
    Fullest hip: 33"
    Skirt length: usually I can wear 36-38"
    Bra cups: I am used to having to pad bras...a lot..but there is only so much you can do with my little frame, as I really don't have much breast tissue to push up to the top of a larger bra cup so it can be seen as gorgeous curves, reverberating at the top and all sexy like...it takes a alteration miracle to make anything like a B cup actually fit and look right as it just dwarfs my frame and body lines.

    I am looking for nice traditional, professional looks...basically anything that doesn't look cheap or like it came off of the Japanese/Chinese import listings from eBay at $50 for a full 3 piece set, but I would love to buy more bra/belt sets, costumes, full length dresses, nice sleek Saidi dresses, etc.

    I can certainly have things custom made, but I usually love just being inspired by the overall look of a costume, and then matching music and choreography to the costume's personality. Plus trying it on and seeing how the colors look with my coloring is a huge plus (very, very pale white skin with rather orange-coppery red hair). So unless I find something that I love that I can have custom made identical and exactly to my size, I am not all that interested in custom ordering. I have found many costumes I'd just love to have, only in other colors and the correct size, but I have issues with not being able to see the finished product and how all the colors I've chosen actually play together before purchasing. Some of my friends have really bad luck with custom ordered costumes, where they even included swatches of the colors they wanted used (gorgeous all dark red hues) and the costume came back completely in purples, not a stitch of red to be seen. ,m::

    Lots of my friends just make all their own costuming, but I still am faced with my issues of not being able to see the finished product, and therefor I just can't begin to put it all together.

    Thanks for your help!!
    Your measurements are very close to mine! I'm just slightly larger in the chest--A cup and 29" underbust. I also have difficulty with costuming due to sizing.


  3. #3
    Official BHUZzer Anahit_Karyan's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Here are some pretty ones on Bellydancestore.com:

    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: your account

    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: your account

    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: your account

    You might need to adjust the skirt a tad on the last one, but they're all awfully cute!

    EDIT: And FWIW, all I could think of when I saw your subject line was, "Hold me closer tiny dancer...Count the headlights on the highway..." LOL!
    Last edited by Anahit_Karyan; 08-19-2010 at 11:46 AM.


  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Wow, we're pretty much body doubles, except your hips have 3" on mine

    Sometimes, I get a hair across my arse to sell things. Now, I'm down to a good rotation, so I probably won't let anything go for a long time. But you're welcome to stalk me on the Swap Meet!

    Personally, I just suck it up and get my costumes custom made. I might not have the luxury of buying whatever strikes my fancy like my friends who wear a more "average" size, but I dance much more confidently when I wear stuff that fits! So when I can afford new sparkles, I splurge.

    Bella and Legend both make wonderful bras for us IBTC members. Turkish bras are softer than their Egyptian counterparts, making them able to withstand heavy-duty padding. I actually get a bit of cleavage out of Bellas and Legends, which is truly remarkable!

    Also, for skirts, try L.Rose. She makes beautiful circle and trumpet skirts with matching arm accessories in all fabrics and all colors of the rainbow. And they're custom made to your measurements. So no more buying random stuff off the rack and trying to make it fit!


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by KristinaBallerina View Post
    I am not petite as in short, just rather stick thin (I used to be a professional ballerina, so I have that traditional ballet look of being an undeveloped pre-teen ,f::
    Oh, and stop talking about yourself like that!

    Seriously. Petite is beautiful and unique. I'm sick to death of seeing my fellow skinny-minnies and "dainty" dancers beat themselves up because they don't fit the belly dance ideal.

    Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman and Gwyneth Paltrow are slender, graceful women with humble bustlines and nobody would ever say they're not gorgeous! ..g.:


  6. #6
    Just Starting! KristinaBallerina's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Thanks for the links!

    I spend almost an hour every day just looking at all the costumes on BellyDanceStore that are actually my size, as there are really quite a few, but none really totally grab me yet, but some are starting to grow on me the more days I look at them. ..g.: The ones that suit my style the best, or those I like right from the get go are very similar to what I already own, and while having quite a few similar costumes is never a bad thing, I'd like to vary my wardrobe a bit more into things that look different than what I've already purchased...some that I just love are even the same shades of colors that I already own.

    Just gotta keep looking...

    Oh, I'd be interested in buying any used costumes from other tiny dancers as well!

    Anahit_Karyan - Hehehe, I know that song well, my husband loves to use it to lure me into an embrace all the time...not that it takes much to do so...


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer bintbeled's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Would these work for you? I've seen them and they're lovely costumes.
    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/bellydance...skirt-set.html


  8. #8
    Just Starting! KristinaBallerina's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    SatinWorship19 - Thanks so much for the vote of confidence that skinny-minnie dainties can be beautiful Middle Eastern dancers!! I tend to really forget that when listening to Nourhan Sharif tell stories of how middle eastern men see beauty in the female body, and what appeals to that audience and such. There is just so much in this dance style about curves and vibrations, and jiggle, etc...ballet was all about long muscular, lean, waif like physiques.

    I've even been lectured by instructors about looking too balletic and that my lines are too clean and perfect for Raks Sharki, as I stand out like a sore thumb in lots of group dances for my past dance training, so I am working on relaxing all the crisp perfection that was beat into my body in my early years...I've actually begun to resent my severe ballet background for a few reasons, and I just had to kick myself in the rear and remind me just how wrong that is.

    My fellow dancers that were trying to get down to a healthier size were even told to make sure and not to lose too much weight by our director, as then it wouldn't suit the dance form well, and they all have a good 30-40 pounds on me, and that was once they got down to their ideal dream weight...nothing was said about those of us who were already really thin were still beautiful, just that being thin was not wanted. I always beat myself up in ballet because I didn't have this certain aspect of the complete package look for a dancer (no hips or whatnot), and now I am doing the exact opposite as the 'ideal look' is completely different in this dance form I have fallen in absolute love with.

    Thanks for making me feel better that you can pull off this dance style with a thin, lithe body!

    (Maybe a future goal would be to find a group of belly dancers that are lean, dainty and are professionally trained dancers, so I actually fit in and look like I belong?)


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    You might want to watch some videos of the Lebanese dancer Amani. I'm not sure how tall she is, but I've taken tons of inspiration from watching her videos. She has a very slender, delicate build like me and I find it very interesting to observe how she fills her space with flowing energy. She uses her long, lean arms to create gorgeous patterns in the air around herself, and utilizes a lot of stylish spins, turns and traveling steps. My recent revelation is that Lebanese style can be really nice for petite dancers because all the style and flourishes make you look larger than life onstage. I just wish I had access to a regular teacher who specializes in that style!

    Also, relaxing into your shimmies is key. I used to struggle with shimmies because mentally, I refused to believe that I could do them. Anybody can get a pleasant amount of reverb if they let go and ease into their movements - it might be a more delicate effect, but you will still get a nice wiggle.

    For years, I had this complex about my size and how it made me less of a dancer than my curvier counterparts, and now I'm seeing just how foolish that really is. For every movement that looks just "meh..." on a petite dancer, there are several that look exquisite on our body type. Seek out similar dancers and watch what they do.

    And own your ballet experience! I have no ballet experience and would probably kill for your posture, arm carriage and transitions. The grass is always greener! You can always work on relaxing and being more earthy. Folkloric might be really beneficial for helping you get down and get funky.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer KDizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Let me suggest Bhuz's own-EshtaBellydance. She is in the retail thread. I am petite as well, I am currently having her make my second custom costume.


  11. #11
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDizzle View Post
    Let me suggest Bhuz's own-EshtaBellydance. She is in the retail thread. I am petite as well, I am currently having her make my second custom costume.
    I was going to suggest Eshta as well, her designs are inspiring and you can have them made to your measurements.

    I have a hard time getting inspired by costumes on the bellydancestore website - I am sure many of them are gorgeous in real life but there is something about the presentation on that website that is not appealing to me - I think it makes things look worse than they probably really are.


  12. #12
    Just Starting! KristinaBallerina's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    WOW.....emailing Eshta RIGHT NOW...I was just so inspired by her work and all the good reports of her customer service and everything...


  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by dunyah View Post
    I have a hard time getting inspired by costumes on the bellydancestore website - I am sure many of them are gorgeous in real life but there is something about the presentation on that website that is not appealing to me - I think it makes things look worse than they probably really are.
    In fairness to BDStore, a pro photo shoot for each of the costumes would be extremely cost-prohibitive. They deal with such a large volume of costumes. But I'm with you - something about the lighting and presentation makes a lot of the costumes look somewhat unappealing. That, and I really wish they had a greater selection of true petite sizes.

    Of course, any large vendor is at the mercy of whatever the designers are making. I find the same to be true with Dahlal and other vendors with booths at festivals. I see a lot of plus-sized and average sized costumes, and a lot of costumes with big tops and small bottoms (or vice versa) - but very little that's petite all around!


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer Karnak's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Kristina, I could be your "fatter" sister. My measurements were pretty similar to you when I was in college, but I was a B-cup. I have reddish hair and I'm quite pale too. Don't be too hard on yourself for being thin. Everyone comes in different sizes.

    I usually make my own costumes so I can get them to fit. When I was just starting I bought a costume, and with how much work it was taking to alter it I thought I might as well make my own.
    Last edited by Karnak; 08-20-2010 at 09:07 PM.


  15. #15
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDizzle View Post
    Let me suggest Bhuz's own-EshtaBellydance. She is in the retail thread. I am petite as well, I am currently having her make my second custom costume.
    I don't own an Eshta (yet), but I love how she sends your costume out for a fitting halfway through production. Nobody else does that - not even my beloved Bella!


  16. #16
    Advanced BHUZzer KDizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by SatinWorship19 View Post
    I don't own an Eshta (yet), but I love how she sends your costume out for a fitting halfway through production. Nobody else does that - not even my beloved Bella!
    I love, love, love that she does that! I can't wait to see my coral beauty finished!


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    If you're looking to be fit in person, Shadia is Boston and Sonya is in Chicago. Shadia of Boston does AMAZING work. When I get my money together, I'm planning on going to her. Very unique stuff that is well-constructed. I think she's a best kept secret.

    IIRC, Sonya of Arabesque I believe is talking about getting back into costume making for others again. Her costumes are really unique as well, and while I've never had the pleasure of wearing one, I'm sure they are well-constructed; she often wears her own designs. Also, if Sonya has not started this, I know that she hosts sewing workshops where she teaches people how to make items.


  18. #18
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Thanks ladies!
    I am always happy to help women of all sizes.
    I'd love to see Shadia and Sonya's work. Can someone post their websites?


  19. #19
    Zenubia
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Hi Kristina,
    I have this beautiful white Egyptian costume that would probably fit you well. The bra is smaller than most but still has room enough to put ample padding. And it's loaded with crystal stones of all colors! :) Let me know if you'd be interested... here are some pix:







  20. #20
    Advanced BHUZzer KDizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Eshta,

    I am not sure if Shadia has a website or not. I live right near her, so I am lucky enough to see the costumes she makes. She does have a facebook fan page. Here is the link to her fanpage. Welcome to Facebook


  21. #21
    Official BHUZzer Anahit_Karyan's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDizzle View Post
    Eshta,

    I am not sure if Shadia has a website or not. I live right near her, so I am lucky enough to see the costumes she makes. She does have a facebook fan page. Here is the link to her fanpage. Welcome to Facebook
    No, she definitely doesn't have a website. You can see some examples of her work on this site, though: Susi writes on costuming for the Gilded Serpent


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Thanks bhuzzers! I can't believe I never read that article! The red dress Hanan is wearing on the bottom left is soooooo fabulous!


  23. #23
    Ultimate BHUZzer SatinWorship19's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    That article is fantastic! (And the shiny eye candy is nice, too!)


  24. #24
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Sonya's Souk - Belly Dance - Costumes

    I think this page is out of date, because I'm almost 100% sure I've seen her wearing other costumes she's made.


  25. #25
    Advanced BHUZzer KDizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding costumes for a tiny dancer?

    Here is one of Shadia's costumes that I own. I love it! I got it from Hanan. The veil is from Eshta.
    Attached Images


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