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  1. #1
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Does this look ridiculous?

    It's very important to me (mainly for religious reason, I don't really have body-image issues) to be covered (with opaque fabric) on the shoulders (cap sleeves are fine), cleavage, midriff, and thighs. I have several questions relating to this I'd like to ask (more specific that what I've asked before, and yes, I have searched the archives, too), but let's start with this picture I Photoshopped (is that a word?):


    Sorry, Nour, for editing your lovely picture. Hers was the only example I could find of someone wearing a bedlah, full skirt, and opaque belly cover! I just tried to "change" the belly cover to a cap-sleeve top covering the cleavage to see how it might look.

    1. So, honestly, if you saw someone wearing something like this, would you think she looked ridiculous? For student recitals, my teacher makes bra and belts sets for the students. You bring your own black bra base, and she covers/embellishes it, makes a matching belt, and it costs about $50. So, wearing a cap-sleeve top like this is the easiest way I can think of to modify what she's doing to fit my comfort level, but still generally match the rest of the students.

    BUT, I also can't help but think (daydream, really, this is years away from being a reality) about costume options I might choose if I were performing solo.

    2. Could I ever wear something like this to a competition and be taken seriously? Realistically, would this ever be considered professional? I guess I could always have something custom-designed if I were really at the point where I want to go professional, and maybe that would be a better option, but I'm sure that would be REALLY expensive, too!

    3. I do like saidi and beledi dresses, and lots of them fit my criteria, but my understanding is that they aren't considered glamorous enough for restaurant gigs and the like. And are they normally worn only for cane/baladi-type dances? Would it be weird if someone came out on stage wearing one and didn't do that kind of ethnic dance? Plus, I really like full skirts, too, so I'd like to figure out an option I could wear a long, full, swishy skirt with!

    Here's another picture of Nour I think is really pretty (this time unedited ,r:;):



    4. How do you think that top is made? It's possible I might feel comfortable wearing something like this since it covers so much of the chest, even though it doesn't have sleeves. I love that it matches the skirt! Is it attached to the black midriff portion somehow? Who would make something custom like that?

    Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! At least I tend to feel crazy for getting into belly dance when I can't wear the basic costume, but then I also remember that belly dancers have only worn costumes like this in the relatively recent past. And I LOVE the music and the dance!


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Some costumes that would be fine for the situations you are suggesting.
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...R_close_lg.jpg
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...A_close_lg.jpg
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...S_close_lg.jpg

    I would also imagine that a dress with long sleves, or a body stocking with long sleeves would look better then one with capped sleves.

    You could also go with a solid colored bra and belt set with a sparkly ornate body stocking.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Mintaka's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    1. No, it doesn't look ridiculous. I think it looks beautiful.
    2. I don't know anything about competitions but I think it could certainly look professional.
    3. Beledi dreses can be a nice option for wanting a covered look and some of the less folkloric ones can be paired with a bedlah. I have seen LRose beledi dresses paired nicely with bedlah on dancers who wanted a more covered look and sometimes I wear mine like that when a show requires covered arms and stomach (or in the middle of winter when I want the warmth!). You could even order an LRose trumpet style beledi dress in glitter fabric for a more glamorous look with a fuller skirt. They have tons of really nice draped sleeve options and cap sleeves as well.
    4. It look like the black stomach cover could be just a regular belly cover and the red part above the top is a piece of fabric that was attached to the neck straps and top of the bra.


  4. #4
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Tanya_ View Post
    Some costumes that would be fine for the situations you are suggesting.
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    Belly Dance Costumes | Belly Dance Store.com: gallery
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...R_close_lg.jpg
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...A_close_lg.jpg
    https://www.dahlal.com/ctl/showcostu...S_close_lg.jpg

    I would also imagine that a dress with long sleves, or a body stocking with long sleeves would look better then one with capped sleves.

    You could also go with a solid colored bra and belt set with a sparkly ornate body stocking.
    The problem with all of these options (for me personally, not to make a general statement) is that they show way too much cleavage/chest, and most of them have sheer covers over the midriff, not opaque.

    I have considered long sleeves, but I live where it's too hot to wear long sleeves for all but the winter months. I think I would die trying to dance in long sleeves!
    Last edited by Alexa; 09-27-2010 at 11:25 AM.


  5. #5
    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    wow, so in your town you have resturant owners who will allow this?..cool! it aint happening here...you can get fired not accepting tips here...you can not do anything that will upset the ethnic people....you go girl!


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer ZanaRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    i think it looks beautiful, it adds a very nice elegant touch to it. i don't think it would be an issue in competitions and there are certain dresses that you could totally wear without having to actually dance saidi or beledi


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer ZanaRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    and as far as the cleavage, i've seen some very nice costume that have a sort of cover in the front center of the bra..i'll try and see if i can find a picture, i've seen them with lace before and it looks beautiful. covered yet still elegant


  8. #8
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    The problem with all of these options (for me personally, not to make a general statement) is that they show way too much cleavage/chest, and most of them have sheer covers over the midriff, not opaque.

    I have considered long sleeves, but I live where it's too hot to wear long sleeves for all but the winter months. I think I would die trying to dance in long sleeves!
    You can always attach a mesh panel between the cups.


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer ZanaRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    here is a picture from Nyla Crystal's site

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/...73879f7504.jpg


  10. #10
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by zamora View Post
    wow, so in your town you have resturant owners who will allow this?..cool! it aint happening here...you can get fired not accepting tips here...you can not do anything that will upset the ethnic people....you go girl!
    Zamora, I'm not sure I understand your comment, although I would like to! I'm a very new dancer, and I'm not anywhere close to going professional. That's part of what I was asking: could a more conservative look like my first picture ever be considered professional, at least for competitions?

    What would being more covered up top have to do with accepting tips? Why would it "upset the ethnic people"? I certainly don't want to upset anyone!

    If I sound like I don't have a clue, I probably don't, but I'd rather ask questions that seem silly than not ask the questions and not know!


  11. #11
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I'm a very new dancer, and I'm not anywhere close to going professional. That's part of what I was asking: could a more conservative look like my first picture ever be considered professional, at least for competitions?
    You do not have to accept tips unless you are working a pro gig where you are expected to do so - really only at a restaurant.
    I like the covered up look but the white mesh in the first one is pretty distracting. I would have chosen a neutral color. But being covered up is not a problem. It is important to feel comfortable and to wear something well made and flattering. It is a long road to discover what works for you and looks appropriate. Get lots of opinions and don't be afraid to try on lots of different things if you get the chance.
    My only suggestion is to acquire mesh covers and such that match your costume and are covered in jewels and such. I really hate the look of someone just putting on some stretch cover that doesn't really match. It can make the costume look cheap and it doesn't have to be that way.


  12. #12
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I just watched a performance by a dancer wearing an opaque body stocking, cap sleeves and gauntlets with a bra and belt and full skirt.. Everything was in the same color (white) and I thought it looked very nice. For many of us older dancers, more coverage is more flattering. You can still see all the movement.

    Do you need to cover your shoulders, or could you wear a top with cleavage coverage and long gauntlets?

    I don't think the cap sleeves look bad, you could also consider 3/4 sleeves and "cold armpits" or cut outs in the armpit area that allow for ventilation in that area.


  13. #13
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I love the covered look generally (& Eshta is helping me out with a new dress! yay!)
    but I don't like it looking like I just put on a plain leotard underneath- I like to add beading so it looks like it's supposed to be there, but I have no patience for beading- such a dilemma!
    With that first one, could you do long sleeves & find someone to do some detail work to make it work with the rest of the cossie a little more?

    ETA- that second one of Nour is stunning!


  14. #14
    Established BHUZzer emuffz's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    You could get one custom made to suit what you need.

    EM


  15. #15
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    You do not have to accept tips unless you are working a pro gig where you are expected to do so - really only at a restaurant.
    I still don't understand what tips have to do with this discussion. :embarrassed: Can someone enlighten me, please?

    I like the covered up look but the white mesh in the first one is pretty distracting. I would have chosen a neutral color. But being covered up is not a problem.
    So, it's distracting because it's white/cream? By "neutral", do you mean flesh-colored? I had thought of that, but it seems like pretending to bare flesh, which feels off to me since I really don't really want to do so.

    My only suggestion is to acquire mesh covers and such that match your costume and are covered in jewels and such. I really hate the look of someone just putting on some stretch cover that doesn't really match. It can make the costume look cheap and it doesn't have to be that way.
    By "match", what exactly do you mean? Color? But you prefer flesh-colored? Just trying to make sure I understand here! ..c:: I'm not sure I would have the ability/talent to put on jewels myself so they really looked like they belonged, and I haven't seen anything like that for sale.


  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by dunyah View Post
    I just watched a performance by a dancer wearing an opaque body stocking, cap sleeves and gauntlets with a bra and belt and full skirt.. Everything was in the same color (white) and I thought it looked very nice.
    I'd love to see that performance! Is it something available on YouTube?

    Do you need to cover your shoulders, or could you wear a top with cleavage coverage and long gauntlets?
    Well, I'm willing to consider sleeveless options, like that second picture of Nour I posted, but it would need to cover much of the chest and back. I would probably prefer some shoulder coverage if possible.


  17. #17
    Official BHUZzer Alexa's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    I love the covered look generally (& Eshta is helping me out with a new dress! yay!)
    but I don't like it looking like I just put on a plain leotard underneath- I like to add beading so it looks like it's supposed to be there, but I have no patience for beading- such a dilemma!
    With that first one, could you do long sleeves & find someone to do some detail work to make it work with the rest of the cossie a little more?
    I know what you mean about wanting it to work with the costume more. My problem is that if I tried to do the beading, etc, it would definitely look unprofessional. I don't know anyone personally that does such things. Would I be looking at a professional custom designer? Like Bella or something? Probably too much to pay for a student recital, but certainly I would consider something like that if I ever got to the professional level!


  18. #18
    Master BHUZzer Jaseena's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I like the second picture. The first just doesn't work for some reason, but you should keep in mind your own body type and what will look good on you. If being more covered will make you feel more comfortable, you should choose a color of fabric that will compliments your skin tone. Is it a problem with skin discolorations, or because you feel too naked with just a bedlah? I ask because there is makeup that can camoflage skin imperfections... there is also fabric that is skin colored like nude colored cat suits and such. You can also look at this site for more ideas:
    Dina's Bellydance Costume Galleries


  19. #19
    Ultimate BHUZzer MahiraRaqs's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I like that its all the same color as the costume. It doesn't have to be flesh colored. I would lean more towards a 3/4 sleeve instead of the cap sleeve, that way it looks more finished instead of looking like a T shirt type leotard.
    I like to wear colored belly covers with my costumes. I think it looks elegant.


  20. #20
    Official BHUZzer SpicyThai's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    The second pic of Nour that you posted is very lovely. I think there are a lot of costuming options outside of the traditional bedlah look that would work for you.

    However, I don't think that simply putting a top on underneath the bra part of a traditional bedlah will look good. If it were similar to your flesh tone, and had rhinestones or other decoration that made it look like this was part of the intended design of the costume, that could be gorgeous. But to have a non-flesh-toned shirt on underneath a bra would look strange and be very distracting from the dance.

    Have you considered vests or boleros? Check out this pattern page: Bellydance Patterns Bahar's Boleros and Saadia's vest could be items you could use either with or without a bra to get a more covered look. The Parie's peasant blouse could be used in conjunction with those, too.

    There are definitely costuming options that will work for you. You will just have to work harder to find them, since the bedlah based costume is the most common look.


  21. #21
    Official BHUZzer SpicyThai's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I know what you mean about wanting it to work with the costume more. My problem is that if I tried to do the beading, etc, it would definitely look unprofessional.
    You'd be surprised what can be accomplished with a little glue and some rhinestones. Your local sewing store will likely have Gem-Tac or another rhinestone glue, as well as some decent rhinestones. The cost is pretty low, and if you do a little practice before you set in on your costume, you'll get the hang of it quickly.


  22. #22
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    BD Patterns has a beledi dress with or without a keyhole design. You wear your own beldah with it. It may be a little cleavagy for you, but you can resolve that with adding a modesty panel to the bra. I'll see if I can find an example. One of my first bedlahs had this and it worked well.

    If you get great fabric for the dress, it will look professional. It can be made with many skirt variation. I am trying to find the pattern on a website for your reference. If someone else does first, cool.

    This is a look which was semi popular many years ago. SO while you may look a little old fashioned, you will still look professional.

    {{HUGS}}}


  23. #23
    I could get used to this! MahinS's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I agree that the short sleeves are distracting and "break the line" of the costume.
    Angelika Nemeth wears some really lovely and totally pro dresses that fit your coverage specs. Check out the one at the top of this page Angelika Nemeth's Photo Gallery

    As for the heat... sometimes we have to make sacrifices of comfort if we have to/want to be covered up. I've had to wear a body stocking in 100+ heat because of a conservative client! Oh well - get dressed last minute and out of it as soon a possible. You don't want to hang around in your costumes anyway.

    Good luck!


  24. #24
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    !. Ridiculous? No. Like she is wearing a leotard under a dance costume? Yes. My objection is that it clearly doesn't look like it's part of the costume. I don't mind dancers wearing more coverage, but I want the extra fabric to look like it is integrated into the design, not (sorry for lack of a better analogy) like you're wearing a barrel over a union suit in a vaudeville sketch about losing all your clothes in a card game.

    I don't know what your mandatory troupe costume looks like, but if I had the white costume you photoshopped, I'd buy as much of the bead/sequin/stone embellishments as I could find to match at the craft store and cannibalize the headband and arm bands to move some decorations onto the neckline and cuffs, so that it looked like you were wearing one elaborate dress instead of a bedlah plus visible undies. Of course, then your teacher might say that you stood out too much in your improved costume, and you don't match the rest of the group any more. Ultimately, your teacher is setting the look for the troupe, and it's between the two of you to find a compromise.

    BTW, as far as skin-tone fabrics looking naked, I've personally never had much luck getting off-the-rack hosiery to look like my real skin color, and most leotards have some sort of seams or edge lines that would be visible. If the audience is fairly close to you, they should be able to see the difference.

    2. Depends on the competition, the piece you're performing, and the outfit you wear. If you show up in something that looks like a glamorous evening gown to do an orientale performance, or a galabeya to do a folkloric piece, why would your religious preferences even be an issue? Honestly, I think if you declare up front that you are wearing extra coverage for personal reasons, I don't understand why the judges can't just acknowledge that even though it isn't optimal, you're not making an ignorant choice. It's an intentional choice, with full awareness of the consequences. I wear glasses when I dance. I wish I didn't have to, too. Just dock me the appearance points and let's move on.

    3. We've had a couple of recent threads about this.
    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/belly-danc...ifference.html
    http://www.bhuz.com/forum/belly-danc...confusion.html
    If you want to go for a more evening-gown-y look, maybe you should put a semi-regular trip to the clearance rack at your local David's Bridal or other formalwear store on your agenda. A $150 bridesmaid dress isn't going to be the quality of sewing and embellishment work that you'd find on a professional dance dress, but if you're only gong to need to get a couple of wears out of it, maybe you'll find something usable. You may have to add some fringe to it for movement, but this might be your solution.

    4. Agree with Mintaka. Black stomach cover, one-shouldered red Frankencamisole.


  25. #25
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I know what you mean about wanting it to work with the costume more. My problem is that if I tried to do the beading, etc, it would definitely look unprofessional. I don't know anyone personally that does such things. Would I be looking at a professional custom designer? Like Bella or something? Probably too much to pay for a student recital, but certainly I would consider something like that if I ever got to the professional level!
    Seamstresses who make custom designs or alter wedding gowns, ballroom dance costumes, skating/dance-team/gymnastics outfits, etc., should be able to do this kind of work. Sometimes they charge by the job; other times, on an hourly basis of work. Often bridal, dance supply, or fabric stores can recommend someone.


  26. #26
    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    I would prefer longer sleeves and if not a nude tone, then a definite color rather than such a pale ecru/white.

    You can totally be professional and be very modest. People might scratch their heads a little, but that is your business what you wear.


  27. #27
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I'd love to see that performance! Is it something available on YouTube?



    Well, I'm willing to consider sleeveless options, like that second picture of Nour I posted, but it would need to cover much of the chest and back. I would probably prefer some shoulder coverage if possible.
    Sending you a PM.


  28. #28
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I still don't understand what tips have to do with this discussion. :embarrassed: Can someone enlighten me, please?
    They don't really have anything to do with it. I believe zamora is referring to the fact that in some venues and communities, PROFESSIONAL dancers accept tips in their costumes (i.e. tucked into the sides of the belt). If your bedlah was fully attached to a body stocking, no one could tuck a dollar bill in there.

    But like I said, since you're not a professional dancer, it really doesn't have anything to do with your question.


  29. #29
    Master BHUZzer zamora's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    in your post #3 mentions resturant. i assumed you ment dancing in one , such as a house dancer etc. i was not refering to astudio function at a resturant. where i live and work, it is very ethnic. they have expectations.
    i think the look you want is lovely, but why not a blingy egyptian dress?


  30. #30
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Does this look ridiculous?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexa View Post
    I'm not sure I would have the ability/talent to put on jewels myself so they really looked like they belonged, and I haven't seen anything like that for sale.
    I know- it's pretty much impossible to have on hand inventory that would match a costume & fit every body type, so either DIY or comission is the only way to get it- most of mine still aren't decorated & it bugs me...

    & I don't see the point of flesh toned mesh in terms of modesty either- if you want to be daring and need something to suspend the beading, or if you need a little extra support when baring a belly, that's one thing- but I prefer no mesh (something truly opaque!) when using a modesty garment.

    I also think it is mildly amusing discussing being modest in a couple hundred dollars worth of crystals, but that's another discussion, eh?


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