OK, the last post was on what you needed to make a tribal belly dance bra and about my upcoming workshop where I will be presenting general tips on ‘how- to’ . Plus I will present info on how to enhance the area for smaller chested ladies and my colleague Ashwara will be talking on issues to consider in design for bustier lasses and give individual advice. But regardless of whether or not you can make the workshop here – I am presenting a collection of photos I have gathered from various sources to help inspire you in your creations.
Left for instance is a red toned fabric tribal belly dance bra. A design like this has nice clean lines and lets the lovely fabric trim create the interest. It would suit a smaller busted lady or a young pert lady with a slim stomach. I say this because drooping and long fringing like this can look terrible on a lady with large breasts. I have unfortunately seen very enthusiastically created bras on older ladies where the fringing creates the illusion that their breasts could be tucked into their hip belts!!! I will spare you the pics! Right shows a bra that is an example of too much fringe. The bra itself is not too bad. Its horizontal type lines add width which is great for smaller chested or pear shaped ladies. The fringe adds nothing and reminds me of someone with a serious body hair problem. If you want to hide your stomach you are usually better served using an underbust leotard (available online). They come in various colours including flesh toned and can be worn with a bra.
Left is a different style of top. They have used decorative metal circle shaped cups. I can see how some people would like this, but for me it looks a bit silly and makes me want to draw a smiley mouth under the belly button to go with the strange googly eyes. I would recommend experimenting with this look only after you have made and danced in a few bras. Below is another attractive bra, the comments I made for the first apply here too. The shell bra depicted shows a lovely simple design easily constructed by even beginner sewers. The style would look attractive on a number of physiques and would therefore be a good choice for troupe costuming, particularly for summer time performances as the shells are reminiscent of the beach.
Left shows another shell bra that is simple but effective in design. The clever use of pattern saves on materials and time. On the topic of simple designs the blue bra on the right is simple in its aesthetics but effective. this design would look lovely on a lot of bodies but would be a good choice for busty girls as its attractive but doesn’t look saggy. The metal fringe could be a little troublesome for those wearing a body stocking though so probably only a good choice if you intend to show off your skin or wear a thick tightly woven tummy cover. Picking an attractive embroidered fabric is an easy way to add interest. Think outside the box when trying to find something different. I have used panels off damaged bags for instance.
The next bra my friends and I have dubbed the “Iron man” bra. If you want to attempt this kind of design you will need to start with a very, very sturdy bra base and it will be heavy! You will also need to spend some money on finding the tribal type accessories. You may find it cheaper to buy one of these off a vendor if you can find one in your size. It is tedious sewing on so many bits and pieces ( I will give tips on how to speed up the process in my workshop). Ways to cut down cost are to use things like broken anklets. Also consider some cheap Indian jewelery to add as it will make it lighter. Probably best for medium sized ladies as it will need a bit of flesh to help hold it up but may look a little low hanging for pendulous breasts. Metal fringe comments apply here too. If you like wearing gauntlets or dangly bangles you may need to change the style as it will probably catch on your arms. Also consider avoiding the usual halter neck with this kind of heavy design. IT will stress your neck. A cross over strap would work better.
On the right is a simple coin bra. It uses coins that don’t have fixing soldered on. It gives a rounder appearance which is attractive but can look a little bit like you have sewn on all your 5 cent pieces! If you like this you can go to a coin dealer and buy a lot of foreign coins and drill holes in them. (It is illegal to do so with Australian coins for example but in Australia I don’t think any authority will care if its someone else s currency). Right again shows a gold toned example. It uses what is known as amulets (word to drop when you are shopping). The drape on this bra is very attractive to most bodies too.
The red bra to the left is a different shape. I think this is quite flattering and as it covers more flesh it can be a good choice for a modest dancer. Watch out for how your design looks in profile however. This design may not look the greatest side on. The next pic is of the lovely Jill Parker. She is doing the naughty thing of mixing golds and silvers in her costume yet it is totally working! All the suggestions I am making are general guidelines. Feel free to break all the rules in your designs but I recommend you stick to them for the first effort so you
have something that will work nicely. Jill looks to be wearing a metal bra over the top of an ordinary bra. This is an easy option. There are lovely Indian and Egyptian designs of metal tops that you wear over bras. It means you can change the under colour easily too and being generally monochromatic (in either silver or gold) they go with everything. Please wear a bra under though… otherwise pinched nipples – ouch! Would suit a longer torso with all this heavy,additional under bra decoration. Next up is an inspired design, I love it. The green is a lovely touch around the edges. The colours are lovely and the diagonal stripes would be flattering on many but particularly busty girls. nice work whomever is responsible!! Following that is this one that has used a lot of beads by the look of things. I like the effect but it wo
Right is a colourful bra in a common style. As you can see you don’t even need to cover the whole bra for it to be effective. Of course you need to make sure the visible bit is attractive first! What sets it apart is the amazing drapes. These could be lovely but not good if you intend to veil dance in it!
Left is a simple but effective idea using assuit as the base and adding but a few simple highlights. Assuit is a mesh that has metal pieces hammered into it in a pattern. It is what people used for bling before sequins!! It is expensive and hard to come by but wonderful! There are some good fakes around if you can’t get the real deal.
Finally I will end with this white delight. Hopefully this has given you some ideas. Good luck !!!
PS most of the designs depicted were for sale. If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own, please consider supporting an artisan. Try searching places like ebay and etsy. Often asking a seller is all it takes to get a custom size or design.
Do you have any great tips or links to inspired designs for tribalesque bra designs? Please comment below and share what you have!