How to Put Together a Basic Belly Dance Costume

The three “must-haves” for your belly dance costume are simple enough: a skirt, a shirt, and a hip scarf.


  1. Image titled Put Together a Basic Belly Dance Costume Step 1
    Choose a skirt. There are many types of skirts suitable for belly dance. The main types are straight-line and full-circle. The skirt should be long but yet still allow you to move free without any discomfort or restriction.
  2. Image titled Put Together a Basic Belly Dance Costume Step 2
    Find a small shirt. Most belly dance shirts are very small. They show off the breasts, the upper chest, and the belly because they are tiny, tight, and fitting. Finding a shirt that mimics belly dance costuming without actually purchasing the “real thing” is difficult. The right belly dance shirt should have sleeves that are shorter than your elbows, should hold your breasts snug yet still comfortable, and should expose the long line of your stomach and waist. Your arms, waist, and shoulders should have extremely easy, free movement. Look for fabrics that are stretchy or loose by nature.
  3. Image titled Put Together a Basic Belly Dance Costume Step 3
    Make sure you have a hip scarf. It doesn’t matter what else you’re wearing, a hip scarf makes a lot of noise and helps you learn your hip movements much more quickly than anything else. The sounds of the coins will let you know when you are out of rhythm.


  • Metallic sounds are important beyond their instructional value. They are a traditional part of belly dance, dating back to the earliest dancers who were paid only in coin and used this pay as a display of their skill. They are fun; there is little more enjoyable than shimmying your way across the room to the sound of clanging, jingling coins ringing from your hips.

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Categories: Belly Dancing | Costumes