June 18, 2024


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What Is a Turkish Costume?

The Turkish costume is a two piece costume which exposes the abdominal area of a belly dancer. There are many interpretations, beliefs, and myths as to why this area of the body is exposed.

Use your imagination and visualize a tent located in a desert thousands of years ago. The dancers’ clothing is made from cotton and wool. As the dancers performed their bodies got hot and for relief part of their clothing was removed in order to cool off. They also did not wear bras in those years. And so the breasts and the abdominal areas were exposed through a thin layer of cotton fabric.

It seems reasonable to me that this practical solution to cooling down may have started the concept of a two piece garment. With the passage of years, fabric availability, fashion trends, and women’s interests this costume has made many changes.

Old photos of these costumes appear to be everyday clothing and do not compare to the glittery and glamorous costumes of today.

Turkish Costume Popularity:

This style of costuming is ideal for this type of dancing.

  1. It helps to display and emphasize chest, abdominal, and hip movements.
  2. Creation of more costume variations by adding or subtracting accessories.
  3. The costume can be easily modified for folkloric or ethnic performances.
  4. Less expensive than the Egyptian style.
  5. Easy to create, design, and stitch.

When Worn:

  1. It is used in the Turkish style of dancing which has a variety of active, upbeat, and exciting movements.
  2. It is performed to Turkish, Arabic, Lebanese, and Moroccan music.
  3. It may be worn in a variety of shows.

The jewels of this fashion is the bra with its matching belt. A dancer usually invests in one traditional color which is either gold or silver. As she advances, other colors will be added to her wardrobe collection.

The Turkish costume is worn with a belt and bra of coins, beads, or tassels. These ornaments emphasize movements and offer visual clues for observing muscle actions. The audience enjoys watching the beads move to an assortment of slow or fast hip movements.

The skirts, harem pants, vests, sleeves, veil, and other accessories offer color changing, a variety of wearing opportunities, and assists in giving the impression of having many costumes.

Costume changes are important when working in an environment which requires 2 or 3 performances in the same facility. Restaurants and tourist attractions are demanding of the dancer’s appearance.