How to put together a simple elegant beginner's costume

Amulya

Moderator
Every now and then we have beginners asking how to put together a simple elegant beginner's costume that doesn't look like one raided the rag bag :)

Lets get brain storming!

It would probably be on a budget, so the ideas can't be too expensive. I discovered there are some sellers on EBay with acceptable cheap circle skirts. Those combined with a nice hip scarf can go a long way, of course one has to make sure the skirt isn't too see through (two of those skirts layered can help) And there are also nice velvet choli tops on EBay, if they get matched with the scarf and skirt you have a cheap elegant beginners costume.

Not everybody might want a bare belly though. When I was a beginner I used to use a velvet cat suit (long sleeves and high neckline) with skirt and hip scarf over it, it was very covering and also nice and warm for winter. Just added nice jewelry and it would look good.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I make my own for around $50 per costume. Buy nice material on special, make a simple straight skirt, cover a bra/make a choli, make armbands & a headband & you have a complete costume for around $50. Op-shopping will provide you with jewellery that can be used to bling up the costume.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I'm recycling a galabeya that got torn in transit. The hip scarf survived, so I have that. I've cut off the sleeves at the shoulders to make a pair of arm sleeves, took some more fabric, and made a headband. My next project is to cover a bra with more of the fabric that survived. :D
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Mine's actually really simple - so much so that I've started adding instructions to my class newsletter as a series of articles.
 

AndreaSTL

New member
If you don't want a bare belly you can always wear a unitard (solid or mesh middle) with skirt and choli or tie top. You can buy two like hip scarves and use one to over a bra. Depending on the hip scarf, you can either cut off the rows of coins/beads or just gather and tack the whole thing to the bra. I've seen decorated crop tops, but depending on the base fabric they can be cute or scary. If you find a dress you like at a thrift store you can cut the bottom off for a skirt and use the bodice bits to cover a bra. If you can't sew at all you'll definitely have a harder time putting together a decent costume on the cheap!
 

Amulya

Moderator
Normally this link got a lot of useful ideas but for some reason there is nothing ATM:
Dancer Designs

(These same people have some very nice leotards and belly covers ATM!)
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
If you don't want a bare belly you can always wear a unitard (solid or mesh middle) with skirt and choli or tie top.
A week or so ago I saw a lovely performer who used a one piece swimsuit that matched the rest of her outfit (layered skirts, scarves, gauntlets, and decorated bra top) for a really put together modest look.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
That gets me to thinking---could solid-colored one-piece swimsuits be repurposed as belly covers? :think: Maybe cut off the bra portion, make a rolled hem, then set hooks along the inside of the newly-made hem? I visited the Sugar Petals site last night, only to come away irritated. The lack of a shopping cart feature is rather inconvenient but didn't bother me, but when I scrolled to the bottom of the page and discovered that they don't accept PayPal, that was enough to turn me away. :mad:
 

AndreaSTL

New member
I never would have thought about using a swimsuit, but I don't see why you couldn't. You might want to add some sequins or beading to disguise it a bit, but it just might work. You learn something new every day!
 

Amulya

Moderator
That gets me to thinking---could solid-colored one-piece swimsuits be repurposed as belly covers? :think: Maybe cut off the bra portion, make a rolled hem, then set hooks along the inside of the newly-made hem? I visited the Sugar Petals site last night, only to come away irritated. The lack of a shopping cart feature is rather inconvenient but didn't bother me, but when I scrolled to the bottom of the page and discovered that they don't accept PayPal, that was enough to turn me away. :mad:

Have a look at the Dahlal ones, they look great and I think they do PayPal and shopping carts.

I never would have thought about using a swimsuit, but I don't see why you couldn't. You might want to add some sequins or beading to disguise it a bit, but it just might work. You learn something new every day!
I don't think I would like the material, too spandex-y.
 
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LadyLoba

New member
For beginners who truly cannot sew (like me)...there is a store called "Horus and Isis"...that offers a plain bra and belt set. It costs $70 US and they have a $200 minimum order. Their solid skirts are around $40.

That sounds like a ton of money, I know...at least it does to me...but you can make a lot of costumes with fewer pieces this way. If you ordered 2 costumes in your favorite "neutrals" (silver, gold, bronze, white, black) and then chose 2 solid skirts in your 2 favorite colors to wear...you would pay $220 and already have 4 costumes. Then as you save up, you can always add more skirts, accessories, etc. to mix and match into even more costumes.
 

Yame

New member
Sahar made this design very popular


For under $50 you can make or cover a bra, make a straight skirt with a slit, perhaps even some arm bands... add one or two flower or star motifs and voila! Costume is done!

And if you do modern Egyptian and are into the mini skirt trend, you don't even need that much fabric!
 

Amulya

Moderator
With a glittery fabric you don't need any embellishing either, but with a split like that I wonder if the skirt needs to be pinned to the underwear, otherwise it's a very 'cheeky' costume haha.
 
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