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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Ask the Costume Goddess

Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Ask the Costume Goddess:

Small Hips

by Dina Lydia



The Question

Dear Costume Goddess:

I am somewhat petite and have very small/no hips. What style of skirt would be flattering to my figure?

--Petite Patty



The Costume Goddess Responds

Dear Patty,

To create the illusion of larger hips, the belt is more important than the style of skirt. A small-hipped dancer could wear almost any style of skirt, keeping in mind that a fuller skirt will make your lower half appear shorter as well as wider. For this reason, a circle skirt or full harem pants would be best for a taller, small-hipped figure and a straight or slightly flared skirt or slim harem pants would flatter a shorter figure.

The belt is where you can build width using horizontal borders, thick cording, large jewels, short fringe, big beads, side tassels, and drapes. A drape is an extra veil or scarf that is tucked into the side of the belt as illustrated to create width and movement.

If you add tassels to the side of belt, sewing them to a large round bead on the belt will make them appear more prominent and dangle more freely.

Click on the image to the right to see the illustration in more detail.

Dos and Donts for Small-Hipped Belly Dancers

Ideally the closure would be on the side, again to create thickness there.

--The Costume Goddess



Related Articles

Other articles on this web site related to the costuming needs of thin belly dancers include:



About the Costume Goddess

Dina has been sewing for more than twenty-five years (yes, she started as a toddler!)

She's also an artist (Maryland Institute of Art) and perfected her sewing techniques apprenticed to various designers, freelancing for small theaters, restyling vintage garments, and altering wedding gowns.

Dina fell in love with belly dancing costumes upon her very first lesson. Now the pleasure of wearing her own designs, and seeing others wear them, offers as much pleasure as dancing. She's become expert as well in altering those troublesome ready-made Egyptian costumes, and modifying designs to flatter individual figures.

She holds workshops in Seattle to teach design and construction of cabaret costumes, and analysis of figure characteristics. She will also give private lessons, or resize or repair a secondhand costume. She's thus earned her Costume Goddess title.

Photo of Dina Lydia, The Costume Goddess

The Costume Goddess Tells All Costuming Books

Dina has published six books of her own on belly dance costuming as well as writing nearly all the costuming section for The Belly Dance Book. For information on her series of books, The Costume Goddess Tells All, see her web site at For reviews here on of some of her books, see:

Photo of Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Costume Goddess Photos

To view a photo gallery featuring pictures of Dina, costumes she has designed, and her friends, either click on the choices below or visit her web site:


All about belly dancing! Explore belly dance!

The contents of this page are copyrighted 2009 by Dina Lydia. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is forbidden.



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