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How Do I Choose a Costume for a Photo Shoot?

In the last post, we talked about how to do your makeup for a photo shoot. That’s all well and good, but what are you going to wear? Your belly dance costume will garner at least as much attention as your face.

Perhaps you have a favorite costume in mind already. If you’re having to choose between costumes, or considering buying a new one, choose the one that will make you look your best.

Choose Your Best Color
By now you probably know what colors and even shades of colors look best on you. If not, start with your hair color:

Blondes: warm, bright shades such as yellow, orange, peach.

Orange Designer Belly Dance Costume by Basil Fawzy

Brunettes: deep shades such as fuchsia, green, blue, burnt orange

Fuchsia Basil Fawzy Designer Belly Dance Costume


Redheads: muted shades of green, ivory and orange

Green Designer Belly Dance Costume by Basil Fawzy

Next, keep in mind your skin tone. If you are very fair, you look great in pastels or candy hues. A little color, and you might be better off with deep or bright shades. For olive tones, avoid pastels, but reach for both bright and jewel tones.

Eye color can also be a factor, especially if you want to play up your eyes. In that case, you can either select a costume in your eye color or one with accents in your eye color. For instance, if you have hazel eyes, and you want to bring out the green, consider a magenta costume with green beading.

Consider a Flattering Style
Again, you know your body. Consider which features you want to play up, and select a style accordingly. Naturally, most belly dance costumes leave the midriff bare. If you’re a little insecure about that, choose a style that has beaded ropes as this will slightly obscure the area.

Likewise, if you feel a little light on the top, select a bra style with lots of bling and a push-up cut. Beads, sequins and bright coloring will naturally emphasize your bust.

Most costumes come with a skirt to cover your legs. Some are quite form-fitting, though, and even feature high slits that expose the thigh. Decide if that feels comfortable to you. If not, consider a more flowy skirt with attractive beading around the hips.

Add Accessories
Some costumes come with coordinating head and arm bands. Whether you choose to wear them for the photo shoot is up for you. Probably at least the arm bands are advisable because they’ll draw the color along your arms and emphasize your pose.

Bangles are another option for a photo shoot. You may not wear them for performance because they jangle, but they add an exotic air for a photo. The same goes for neck, ankle or hair jewelry.

Do you wear zills or dance with Isis wings? Those are also possibilities for a photo shoot, as are veils. Keep in mind the types of poses you might have to effect to give the full effect of Isis wings, though.

While not really an accessory, nail polish is another consideration. If you choose not to wear nail or toe polish, make sure both are clean and buffed to a shine.

What is your favorite belly dance costume and why?

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