Belly Dance Costumes and Designs

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Traditional and Modern Clothing, Styles and Models

 What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think of belly dancing? Probably crop tops, flowy sashes, bells, colorful scarves, and decorative clothing, especially around the waist. Although many of these garments are used in belly dancing, you can actually wear many different types of clothing to a belly dance class! You are encouraged to wear what makes you comfortable, but you can also wear stylish belly dance costumes if you like!

 Belly Dance Class Wear

Some students attend belly dance classes in sweatpants and t-shirts, but others enjoy belly dance class wear, such as harem pants, dance skirts, hip scarves or belts, and sarongs. If you are interested in attending a belly dance class, it is also highly recommended to obtain a pair of regular ballet shoes. Although belly dancers can practice in bare feet and even socks, many belly dancers wear ballet shoes, as they protect your feet and can reduce potential injuries in the classroom. Wearing socks can cause slippage, and bare feet can also be a risk for injury. Jazz shoes or jazz sandals also are an excellent choice for belly dance footwear. Wearing tennis shoes or sneakers is not allowed in most belly dance classes, as they are not considered appropriate footwear for this unique type of dance class!

Traditional and Modern Belly Dance Costumes

If you are feeling a little more creative, or enjoy the idea of dressing in classic belly dance wear, you first can learn a little bit about belly dance costumes before choosing what to wear and or buy!

Basic Costume Ideas:

  1. Hip Scarves– Any serious belly dancer will strongly consider wearing a hip scarf! Hip scarves are the signal to any viewer that they are watching belly dancing! Hip scarves are colorful scarves adorned with beads, beautiful designs, fringes, and of course, coins! Hip belts can be worn as an alternative to hip scarves, and are a little more rigid.
  2. Flowy Skirts- Belly dance performers typically wear long flowy skirts. Although in some places, pants are allowed, skirts are a more traditional garment for belly dancers. Skirt styles vary based on the origin. The three well-known styles are Turkish, Egyptian, and American Fantasy/Tribal. Various skirt styles include fish-tail shirts, chiffon skirts, and gypsy skirts.
  3. Tops/Bras- Belly dance costumes feature colorful tops and or stylish colorful bras with coins and or beads. Styles vary based on the culture and place of origin, just like skirts. Some tops include choli tops and bolero tops. Some tops/bras will include sleeves, and others do not feature sleeves.

Traditional Belly Dance Costumes:

  1. Beledi Dress- The Beledi dress is a beautifully made one-piece floor-length dress. From very simple to quite elegant, Beledi dresses typically feature a folklore look and can be made from cotton. Beledi dresses are generally considered more simple than other Belly dance costumes. They can also be made of glittery materials.
  2. Bedleh Dress- The Bedleh is quite the opposite of the Beledi Dress and is a two-piece costume that features a midriff and a heavily beaded bra for a top.Older more traditional Bedleh costumes were very heavy, however, no lighter Bedleh costumes are available with more rhinestones than beads.

Belly Dance Accessories and Much More!

There are many types of belly dance costumes and accessories that you can wear. The few costume ideas that we have mentioned above are just enough ideas to get you started! Belly dance accessories can also include items such as armbands, sleeves, headpieces, headbands, earrings, heavy beaded necklaces, and many others. You can get many ideas online by talking with others who enjoy belly dancing or speaking with us on our website at You also have the opportunity to sign up for belly dance classes through our comprehensive website which lists all of the available belly dances in the areas. Get to know your fellow dancers, and learn more about different kinds of stylish costumes! Getting dressed up can be half the fun!

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