Monday, January 28, 2013

Blue Costume Blues

I was finally able to attend a Rakkasah East this past October. It's been some time since I've attended a bellydance festival. I was fairly proud of myself for not spending too much money while I was there, until on our way out when I returned to one stand to admire an iridescent peacock blueish-greenish 25 yard skirt that had caught my eye earlier. It was expensive and I couldn't really justify the purchase to myself. The shop owner was assisting another client and I waited to ask about something else I saw in the shop.

The owner brought out a blue bra to show the other woman. She didn't take a particular shine to it but for some reason I did. It was a fairly simple, royal blue bra in a cabaret style. It was too big for the other woman, but it seemed about my size. I'm not sure exactly how it happened but I ended up taking into the restroom to try it on. It didn't quite have the coverage I was looking for and the band was much too tight, but when I held it up it was lovely against my skin tone. There was also a matching belt. I don't even particularly like the color blue but for some reason it worked. On a whim, I brought the peacock skirt over to compare with the bra and it coordinated nicely.
At that point I was basically doomed because the merchant had a payment plan and I found myself ordering a matching bra and belt set like the one on display. Since I wanted a bit more coverage, we looked at some of the other bras that were offered to find a more appropriate size and the merchant wrote down the specific brand and size bra base that would be used. Although the halter ties look pretty, I'm a bit busty and need more support so I also requested a cross-tie back option like the maker's Tribal style bras and that was noted also.

When some people feel down, they drink, smoke, eat junk food, or gamble; I buy things, especially bellydance things. As a result I have all sorts of interesting costume pieces: a striped bustle here, a Tribal belt there, a top there, lots of bits and bobbles and Kuchi coins, but very little would actually go together to form a cohesive costume. I reasoned with myself that at least this is a set and all I would really need to do is accessorize. The price for the set wasn't excessive for the quality (you do get what you pay for and bellydance costumes can get very pricey) and I understood upon inspecting the craftsmanship that I would need to make reinforcements and improvements, for example I wanted to eventually replace some of the plastic beads with crystal and reinforce the stitching and fringe, but it was still the most I've spent on a costume in one shot.

Payments were made and the costume came in the mail. I was so excited to try it on. Sadly, the band of the actual bra is 4 inches less than the size written on the form, the cups have a good amount of padding at the bottom which makes them a lot smaller than they initially seem, and it has halter straps and not the cross-ties I requested. I can fit into it, but it has less coverage and more lift than I would have preferred and is a lot tighter. I can probably use a bra extender (since the original bra back with the hooks is still present hidden under the ties) to help with the tightness but I'm probably just going to have to live with the cups. A piece of trim on one half of the belt is off-center but I don't think that will be too difficult to realign since it is only loosely sewed on. Still, the bra and belt, along with the peacock skirt, which is simply amazing especially tucked and bustled, comprise a real costume set I can actually use once I get the balls to perform solo.

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