Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's time for another talk about bras

Let's talk about bras, shall we? Over a year ago I wrote this post about my love-hate relationship with bras. But I'm not here today to discuss whether or not bras should remain part of the bellydance costuming wardrobe (I have a feeling they're hear to stay, you can't fight decades of tradition), but instead to talk about how if you're going to do something, you should do it right.

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Etsy, and that means I have seen a lot of downright lousy bellydance bras up for sale. I'm willing to forgive a newbie for performing in a crappy-looking bra, because we all had to start somewhere and heavens know my first two tribal bras were nothing to be proud of but at the time I thought they were amazing. But if you're going to try to sell your handiwork, you should take the time and effort to make sure that you're offering up a good product. Here's a list of DOs and DON'Ts:

-DO use a good bra with sturdy, structured cups.

-DON'T use a cheap, floppy bra or a bathing suit top.

-DO replace the existing straps with something attractive, strong and adjustable.

-DON'T leave the original straps in place. Note: If you only have photos of the front of the bra, with the straps tucked inside the cups, I'm going to automatically assume that you're doing this to hide the fact that you used the original straps and didn't cover the back strap.

-DON'T use something flimsy for the straps like thin ribbon, shoe laces or puny elastic.

-DO cover the bra with beautiful fabrics like stretch velvet, embroidered brocades and vintage assuit.

-DON'T cover the bra with t-shirt material or that really cheap, nasty panne velvet from JoAnn's.

-DO drape the fabric nicely or get really professional and actually do it right by cutting out a proper pattern for covering a bra.

-DON'T just drape it every-which way, with weird darts at random places.

-DO embellish it with an exciting variety of real coins, vintage lace, cool charms, textured chains and other awesome finds.

-DON'T use nothing but beads and charms from Michael's. Sure, every now and then you can sneak in a cool piece you found at the craft store, but you've got to have some high-quality things around it.

-DON'T use those cheap Mardi Gras beads. Gross.

-DON'T make embellishments that look like nipples.

-DO provide accurate sizing information.

-DO line it, preferably with something that can be easily removed and replaced when it gets gross.

-DON'T glue everything together. Use a needle and thread like a grown-up seamstress.

-DON'T make the mistake of thinking you can use your sewing machine.

Are there any points you'd like to add to this list? Any exceptions you think should be made?


  1. I think you have that covered. Also DON'T think that because it's a cotton bra you don't have to cover it. One of my troupe mates performs in a black cotton bra, with the original straps, and a few coins sewn onto it and it horrifies me that the troupe director hasn't said anything. She's been performing in this bra for 2 years.

    1. Ugh yes! It doesn't matter HOW pretty the fabric a bra is made out of is, you still have to cover it. Which is a shame, because I have seen some beautiful bras, but without proper covering and modification they look like lingerie :P


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