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Ask the Costume Goddess

Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Ask the Costume Goddess:

Flattering Costume Ideas
for a Thin Dancer

by Dina Lydia



The Question

Dear Costume Goddess:

I am a size 2 petite, with a long torso, rectangular shape, flat chest, and small waist. I am 5'1" and weigh 95 pounds. What kind of costume would give me length, some chest, and some curves? I have a light orange coin belt and matching scarf.

What type of costume would enhance slinkiness? My basic body shape is too far from "hourglass" to even try to fake it! My dance style is light, sporty, and fun, not at all classic, dramatic, or exotic. Thank you!

--Make Me Slinky From Skinny



The Costume Goddess Responds

Dear Skinny,

This is an interesting psychological challenge. The first paragraph of your question implies that you'd like to be curvier. The second paragraph says it loud: flat and proud.

Multiple personality? I can suggest options for each attitude. In either case, I'm sure you take pleasure in your lithe, snakey little body. At five feet and 95 pounds, you're probably not underweight but small-boned and lean. A lot of dancers would trade places with you any day!

If you feel the desire to pump up a little (I said a little!) refer back to my column about bra padding. Make sure your bra has plenty of fringe or coins and sparkles too.

Extra veils tucked into and draped around your belt will round out your small hips. A full circle skirt will do the same.

Diagram of a Thin Dancer

If you'd rather play up your natural slimness instead of going for mini-voluptuous, you could forego (uncomfortable) padding and wear the tiniest little bra you can find, maybe in a metal mesh or metallic crochet that someone with bazooms wouldn't dare look at. Drape some chains and coins on this, and add plenty of snake armbands and rings. If your nipples show through, camouflage them with flesh-colored tape.

Wear a shiny sheath skirt with slits up the side.

If this is still too "exotic" for you, maybe you'd prefer a stretchy midriff top, backless choli, or peasant blouse decorated with coins or beads along the edge, and moderately full harem pants, as illustrated. Now you're the simple village girl who happens to be a hot little dancer.

Diagram of Thin Dancers

--The Costume Goddess



Related Articles

Other articles on this web site related to costuming ideas for slim 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:


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



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