View Poll Results: Where do you buy your belly dance costumes?
- 16. You may not vote on this poll
Mostly through my teacher
Mostly on eBay
Mostly from stores in my own country (online or bricks&mortar)
Mostly direct from stores in the Middle East or Asia (online or bricks&mortar)
I make my own
Future of Local Belly Dance Costume Stores
I'm wondering, how many of you still buy belly dance costumes and accessories from local stores (either bricks&mortar or online) and how many are going direct to Egypt for their supplies?
I have an opportunity to be involved in a local store. It makes a solid profit right now, but I just have a fear that as the younger generation of dancers comes along, they will all simply order their costumes online, direct from Egypt. I'm also seeing an increase in stores which are operated in the US or the UK, but they don't hold stock - instead, when you order a costume, it ships direct from Egypt. I fear that businesses based on running an actual store holding stock in the US, UK or Australia will gradually decline.
Last edited by Bellydance Oz; 08-03-2012 at 02:17 AM.
i think thats the way it goes these days esp for online retailers. Why risk investing thousands in stock when you can just buy as your customers order, saves on investing in stock that might go out of style or trying to keep up with new trends. This would obviously work better in a brick and mortar store but investing in variety of course...
I kinda wish i had a store had the idea for a while but im in Melbourne and I dont think the market is all that large (so it has been mentioned) to invest in rental and stock etc etc....tempted though.... See what BD has done to me!!!! hahah!
I would think it would be hard to order online esp for costumes because of fit? am I wrong? unless you are a good seamstress and can alter if needed, then i guess it wouldn't matter too much.
I bought a very expensive dress from a seller who makes to order (to my measurements)... boy did that go wrong 3 times :/
Where are you located BD Oz?
*EDIT - forget my question hahah I just saw your location!! silly me
I voted "make my own" but it's a mix really. If I performed more I'd buy more, and I love buying when it's flattering and fits - it saves so much work and that meh feeling when home made doesn't come out as well as you imagined.
I much prefer something I can try on IRL because I'm not a standard size and I'm fussy about bras and skirt length. Even if you get a larger size bra to fit it's not necessarily flattering. A cheaper end made-to-measure scaled-up version of a standard design could easily turn out badly in terms of fit and design, and I would resent spending significant amounts of cash on that. I'd rather pay more for something decent. As for the really cheap stuff, I'm not paying a vendor for what I can order from Hong Kong for less, unless she happens to have the colour/size I want right there in the shop.
There aren't any bricks & mortar BD shops I know of locally here. I'd have thought in most places it's not worth the expense because the target market is so small and thinly spread. So it's on-line, souks at dance events, or there's a local vendor here who has occasional sales in her home. She does have a large stock of nice things and I think that is a good selling point. People can try on and that generates sales (ask me how I know ).
Oh, and there's music and DVD too. I don't get much from BD vendors as there's so much more on-line. I only look to BD vendors for the very occasional thing I can't find anywhere else, or where importing will get caught by customs (the limit is very low these days.).
I voted for DIY. don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to buy from a physical shop, but they just simply don't exist outside of Amera's Palace & Azura's Oasis AFAIK, and even then when I was there they had nothing even remotely close to my size.
The only luck I've had in buying costumes have been professional egyptian costumes from a retiring professional dancer who was the same size. And now that I've lost weight I'm having to decide if I need to get it professionally altered (beyond my skill to do it!) or to onsell to the lady who begged me for it once I'm done with it.
Me too. I'm a very unusual size, it makes buying costumes a bit of a nightmare, and I really prefer to be able to try things on without having a huge shipping & handling bill if I have to return them. However, I have actually bought more stuff both made to measure & off the peg from the US than from local UK sellers, because all the local sellers only stock stuff that'll never ever fit me, or they don't give proper full measurements on their websites (one of my pet hates when shopping online!).
Originally Posted by Aniseteph
Likewise, there's no way I'll buy cheap chinese stuff from a local seller at a big mark up when I could get the same thing for half the price on ebay. I'm not sure how much longer sellers will be able to get away with this for as more dancers become more computer literate...
As far as I know, it's not common to order stuff online directly from Egypt or Turkey - most people I know who have bought Egyptian costumes had to actually go there to get them. If it was possible to easily order designer costumes directly from the makers, and have then shipped safely, then I'd definitely consider doing this though...
I voted direct (from Turkey in my case/taste). There are a few Oregon people who have stuff that I could pick up, mostly skirts and veils, not full costumes. And I have done that. I DO like to support local business. I think the closest off the rack costume store is in Seattle (250 ish miles away) and they rarely have anything I would buy. I make my own stuff and I buy direct from a designer I like. If there were a local designer... I would buy from them.
I voted that i make my own!
you know better the local needs, but please consider the following:
not only because of financial constraints, but also because of need for unique and personalised stuff, oriental dancers have a long long long tradition of making, reparing, altering and re-using their own costumes.
This happens especially when the dancers are really wanting to tell something through dance and usually this cannot be done through an industrially made figure as an "anything" costume is. THe best solution would be to have a cooperation with a designer and costume maker and have her/him co-design with you what you need.
But this only the very rich peopl can afford, then the second best option is to make your own.
In all big cities in Greece, there are stores, at least one, which sell coin belts, or bellydance costumes.
To my great disappointment they are second-rate quality and style, better fitting other professionals who dress up as bellydancers in some of their performances, or better for just a balle-masquee night during carnival season.
Then, i usually make regular research in the market, in the fabric stores, in the jewellery-material stores, in the goth-styling stores, in everything (my last finding was a great piece fabric released for a very low price, in a... curtain store - i really wonder how one can have a curtain like this fabric!!, so heavily designed). I also buy stuff from my trips, whenever i can, because sometimes interesting stuff exists abroad too. I buy patterns or i copy patterns wherever this is possible - they are usually patterns for other types of clothes, but i usually alter them for bellydance [i sew everyday clothes too, so it is easy somehow], and i also collect ideas from museums, folk art and evetything that might be interesting.
So, i would love to have a store in my city which would make this research for me, and have materials, coins, cowrie shells, everything within just one store. Probably, this presupposes that there is such demand in the city to sustain the store, but i am just speaking of my own experience.
Good luck with whatever venture you get into!
I don't live in a place large enough to support anything like a BD specialty store but I have begun to make some things for sale through regional dance festivals and perhaps eventually on line. Can't compete with China/India for things like hip scarves but I am turning out some nice cover ups and unusual skirts and pants. Just hope I can convince the gals in southern Montana and NW Wyoming that coverups in the audience during a performance is a classy, professional thing to do. At a April performance, this old fashioned lady was appalled to see EVERYONE except her own dancers running around the public rooms and auditorium in their costumes. When I expressed a bit of surprise, I was airily told, "Oh, it's just whatever you're comfortable with."
Sorry. Off topic with my pet peeve.
I have gone to a couple of stores that (more or less) specialized in belly dance/Bolly dance: one in Ft. Collins, CO and one in Santa Fe, NM. They were fun to visit, but the one in Ft. Collins carried cheap China/India-made stuff and the other one was so ungodly expensive that I lost my breath upon walking in the door. It was no longer in business last time I checked and no wonder.
I haven't bought anything here in Aussie except a couple of outrageously expensive hipscarves some years ago. I buy online, mainly from the bellydancestore.biz and ordered direct from Egypt through Egyptian contacts and also purchased when I was in Egypt, 2nd hand have come from Bhuz. I have friends who have managed to get some nice costumes from ebay, some are direct from manufacturers or other dancers selling costumes. Very few buy from Asia because of the difference in sizing.
Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)
Previously I've been buying dance related things from other norwegian shops (both physical and online), but none of them are in business anymore.
In my town, if you can't make your own costumes, you can only get costumes and belts from teachers (new or 2nd hand), from ordering online (directly from the costume maker, from shops abroad or 2nd hand from other dancers) or by travelling yourself. There are also some street sellers offering cheap quality belts, but I haven't even considered buying them because of the lousy quality.
There once was a shop selling egyptian furnitures, some music (got myself some nice CDs from it) and "costumes" (the quality wasn't even proper for beginners and it was very expensive), but it didn't even last a year as the owner was a fraud and left the country in a hurry.
As the others have mentioned, the clue is the sizing of costumes as dancers comes in all shapes and sizes.
I've bought some premade costumes online, but despite checking all measurements possible before buying - they did not fit without heavy alterations when I got them.
If I want to buy a costume that fits perfectly, I need to make a custom order made to my measurements thus leaving me with 1) larger online stores abroad accepting custom orders and 2) custom orders directly from the costume maker.
When ordering directly from the costume maker, I also have to make sure that I use a costume maker with a good renommée. I've tried some cheaper no-name designers, but it isn't the quality I want to have and the fit is never good unless I do some really heavy alterations (which I am about to do on some older costumes). It is even difficult to resell these cheap costumes locally at large discounts..
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