I have a problem with costuming because of my back. Being a plus-sized goddess-in-training, I have those “lovehandle” back rolls. Currently I wear a flesh-colored mesh bodystocking which holds everything in, but how could I take it further, disguise it cleverly and still look fabulous? ~ Backfat Betty
The bra of a two-piece costume DOES show fat across the back and midriff, because the necessarily tight band cuts into the flesh – even on average-sized figures. Solutions to this problem:
The easiest way to cover the back is by wearing a pretty dress instead of a two-piece outfit.
This could be a loose beladi style (on Siham, left) which requires very little fitting. Directions: Easy Costume for Bellydancers
Or it could be a more curvy fitted gown that isn’t tight enough to outline rolls on the torso. The dress could be semi-sheer, but have a stripe or pattern in the fabric that disguises details, or paillettes or sparkles that reflect the light and thus disguise details of body shape.
If the dress is a Ghawazee style, with a front that’s cut out to show off an ornate bra, it emphasizes the bust without being bare on the sides or back.
If you are set on wearing a TWO-PIECE outfit, the back can be camouflaged a number of ways:
A drape is a simple triangular (right) or rectangular (left) piece in a soft, lightweight fabric, usually cut on the bias (diagonal) for flexilbility. It partially covers and disguises the shape of those bulges on the outer back while allowing the upper back to show. Directions in Book 4, Arm Costume for Bellydancers.
A short top (left), either pullover or tie front, in a beautiful fabric, and not too tight, is a good solution for a slightly pudgy figure. The back neckline can be scooped or cut in a plunging V to show the upper back, but still cover the fattier areas under the bra.
Drippy tassels or pendants on the lower edge disguise midriff chubbiness. A handkerchief ruffle or circle ruffle on the sleeve can make it especially pretty and draw the viewer’s eyes to your arm movements.
A 4-pointed “butterfly” coverup (right) lightly veils the back and can be worn with or without a keyhole cutout in the upper back.
Use a soft, semi-sheer fabric such as chiffon, georgette, or light metallic knit. A pattern such as the animal print shown, or a subtle stripe, further blurs the details of body shape.
This is the easiest solution: a matching semi-sheer veil can be allowed to drape over the back.
It can be tucked several ways to do this, including the top of the straps, the midriff band, or the back of the belt. The back can be partially or completely covered. The ends can hang free or be tucked into the belt back.
Or, a long veil extending from the head can fall down over the back as shown.
Book #2, Easy Costume for Bellydancers, has complete instructions for veil draping.
A Ghawazee vest (left), and this can be ornate, covers the sides and back of the bra while allowing the decorated bra cups to show. The back of the vest could be cut a little longer. Requires some sewing and fitting skill.
If it has added sheer batwing sleeves as shown, that’s more fabric lightly veiling the problem area.
OR, easier to make is a loose semi-sheer vest (right) which has the same function; it skims over the areas above & below the band, and, if it has a pattern or sparkles, distracts from the body outline. The head scarf shown could be tossed to the back, and that adds another moving layer for disguise.
Directions for both vests in Book 6, Thrifty Chic for Bellydancers.
— Dina Lydia