When to ignore Coco Chanel

She may have been the queen bee of fashion in her time but her famous quote,

“When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” – Coco Chanel

really doesn’t hold well as advice for belly dancers.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel


In fact, I would go as far to recommend most dancers that are starting out in performance to do the exact opposite!!

“When accessorizing for performance, always add at least one more item of fabulousness” – Jade

The reason I say this is because the majority of dancers I see at student Haflas and amateur performance evenings are somewhat underdone.

I certainly was when I started out, I was so clueless that I turned up to my first performance in exactly the outfit the teacher said – without any make- up, jewellery or accessories!

When I started looking at photos of myself performing I began to notice the difference between what I looked like and what the pros look like and accessories were a big part of what was missing.

We are accustom to seeing ourselves in our every day street wear and stage make-up and jewellery can look so over the top. There is a tendency to put something on, then think you look silly, and do Coco Chanel and take it back off again. I think the biggest classic is to do nothing with your hair and make it look like the costuming ends at the neck. This is easily fixed with a little flower, scarf or some of the endless hair accessories cheaply available on eBay. For tribal I would say add 2 extra accessories! For oriental – if you have a pro costume you will need less but earrings, a ring or 2 and a necklace and bracelet are pretty standard. You don’t want to look like you just chucked your outfit on and ran out of the door.

Rachel brice dvd cover

Rachel Brice – Let’s count the accessories ….

My favourite accessory is almost always a necklace, bold necklaces are my signature look, I am pretty partial to upper arm accessories too and they have the added bonus as being perceived as being exotic.

Yes, there is often 1 or 2 women at an event that have poured half a bottle of eyeliner on their face and worn every item of jewellery in their possession but I find they are the exception not the rule and honestly at least they gave being bold and commanding a try.


What’s your favourite accessory?

Do you agree with Coco?

Please comment below?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcos Elias
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 08:50:47

    Anklets is a beautiful accessory. Big hair is more feminine and more suitable for the Belly Dancers.



  2. Marcos Elias
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 12:01:40

    About anklet… you’re right, but I think it depends on the type or how it is made…



  3. Jade Walters
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 14:03:57

    I’m an earrings and necklace girl for Tribal. I used to love big, bold necklaces, but it seems my recent costumes don’t go well with them, so I have been going a little smaller.

    For Oriental, I am much more minimalistic, but still definitely have earrings if not much else jewelry-wise.



    • jadebellydance
      Mar 11, 2013 @ 17:16:24

      You totally have to accessories with what suits you and your costume. Personally I am a necklace- aholic! I have a necklaces in so many shapes, sizes and colours yet I still want more! Many oriental costumes come with ready made ‘extras’ like gauntlets and hair bands that reduce the need for jewellery, never the less I have found that I always look more professional in photos when I am wearing more than what just came in the bag.


  4. Marcos Elias
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 04:56:41

    I think in the beginning it was used more jewelry that currently, am I right?



    • jadebellydance
      Mar 11, 2013 @ 17:12:14

      Yes, there is a bit of a trend for a more stream line look by some dancers but even still there is often quite a lot of incidental bling. Either rings, armlets, hair pieces. I believe a good costume should look like a costume, set a mood for performance – be something out of the ordinary and adding a few accessories really helps.


  5. Marcos Elias
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 07:57:21

    You’re right! Everything is more beautiful with accessories!



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