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What Should I Wear Under My Costume During Performances?

You’ve chosen a gorgeous costume. You have your accessories planned out. You probably even know how you’re going to style your hair. Have you given any thought to what’s going to go underneath your skirt, though? Hint – it shouldn’t be the same as what normally goes under your skirt since you don’t move the same way in the two garments.

Words of Caution

Don’t go bare down there. As soon as you make that decision, your costume will twist in just the right way to showcase what you didn’t mean to showcase. Or a breeze will catch your skirt – same result.

A thong isn’t going to cut it. Again, if your costume twists or flies up, you’ll still end up showcasing more of your body than you intended. Plus, the billowy fabric of your skirt may creep up most uncomfortably.

Your regular panties might work – as long as they’re suitably attractive. We’re not talking lingerie here. Unless your belly dance is part of a burlesque show, you want to keep the performance PG rated, perhaps even G.

So, what should you wear?

Typical Solutions

First of all, consider this underwear as part of your costume in the same way a cheerleader’s shorts are part of her costume. The garment should cover your cheeks to the bottom of the curve in pretty much the same way. Think of the briefs ballroom dancers wear, or the bottom of the leotards ballerinas and ice skaters wear.

In fact, speaking of cheerleaders, one option is to select a pair of those trunks that match your costume – white for white, blue for blue, etc. They’ll probably be too tall on the waist, so you may need to roll and pin this part. Ballroom dancing trunks are another option.

Alternatively, shop around the lingerie stores for sturdy hip-huggers or boy shorts. Again, match their color to your costume, and look for a plain design – you don’t want a Victoria’s Secret logo to distract from your dance.

If you want modesty, consider a leotard or leggings. Leotards are very common in traditional Egyptian belly dance performance because it’s forbidden to show the torso. Likewise, many dancers like to match a set of leggings to their costume, which can be very attractive. You can even combine the two with a full-body leotard.

Special Costume Considerations

The above options work for most costumes. However, perhaps you have some beautiful, clingy skirt or one with cutouts – or both. For that garment you have a few options.

For a clingy skirt or one with cutouts, a full body leotard will give you coverage without lines. Select a leotard as close to your skin tone as possible. Alternatively, opt for leggings that match your skin tone, with the top rolled and pinned. However, to make it clear to the audience that you’re covered, not going commando, glue coordinating jewels to the bottom of your leggings.

Another option is to modify a pair of briefs with clear elastic straps or skin-colored mesh. Put on the costume, and mark the areas exposed by the cutout. Cut these out of the briefs and, depending on the amount of space, sew in elastic straps or mesh.

If the cutout is big, at that point it might be easier to try the third option – sewing underwear into your costume. In that case, mark the visible parts as above, and cut them off. Put the skirt back on, and pin the briefs into place. Make sure the underwear fits snugly, and then baste them into place by hand. Alternatively, sew in a thin strip of Velcro to make laundering easier.

What tricks have you learned for your undergarments?

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