Tips & Ideas For Bellydance Corseted Bodice Tops

Tribe Nawaar's corseted bodice top & 25 yard cupcake skirt with a gold beltWhether used as a Renaissance or medieval festival top or as part of a belly dance performance costume, our corseted bodice tops are amazing! Over the years I’ve relied on these gorgeous tops for adding the perfect finishing touches to many different costume looks for both myself and the our dance company.

I hope you find these costume pairings helpful in inspiring your next costume! And don’t forget to check out the overlap lacing instructions for tips on adjusting the fit!

Happy dancing!




Just Scrumptious With Our Jaipur Skirts!

Julie of Tribe Nawaar dancin' and zillin' like a villain

For this performance we needed costumes for four of the dancers that had a folkloric feel. We wanted lots of colors and textures for each of these costumes! We were able to find corseted bodice tops that paired well with our traditional bandhini dyed Jaipur skirts. Deciding to go ‘old school’ ATS® with the accessories, we hand wrap turbans and accented them with jewelry and bits. Each of the dancers in our quartet layered richly colored and textured tassel belts.

These heavily ornamented tops really helped pull this set together and contrasted with the other 3 of us, who were dressed in more sleek brown sequin outfits that were supposed to mimic snake skin (as we were being charmed by our ‘snake charmers’).  I had this whole idea for snake headdresses and collapsable baskets that we’d come out of, but, sometimes my imagination doesn’t match with the amount of time we have to prepare for a show 😉

Recreate This Look:

For the top Julie is wearing one of our basic black choli tops with one of our corseted bodice tops. On the bottom she has on one of our Jaipur skirts, one of our fluffy 25 yard black cupcake skirts, a pair of our salawar pants and one of our older style tasseled and embroidered hip scarves.

The Finishing Touches: Add a black fabric turban base wrapped with any of our bandhini fabric wraps. Pin on any anklet, tassel or a tradtional tribal pendant for the accents. Kuchi tribal necklaces and a few traditional bracelets add just the right amount of tribal belly dancer bling. And last, but not least, zils, yay!



Stunning With Our Salawar Pants!

Tribe Nawaar's Director, Jennifer, performs with Lisa Goodrich of Desert Rain

This costuming combination really popped against the black backdrop of the stage during this performance!

Lisa and I chose bodices that paired nicely with the salawar pants that we already owned. We chose the white fringe to accent the hip movements of our piece which worked really well. The white choli tops and mixed coloring in the flowers were a natural choice for balancing the brightness of the fringe. We used vintage shisha mirrored Banjara belts to compliment the sparkle of the sequins in the bodices and layered that belt over Kuchi jeweled belts to provide a melodic accompaniment to those hip accents we wanted to show off.

Recreate This Look:

For the top we are wearing our premium white choli with our corseted bodice tops. For the bottom we are wearing salawar pants, custom white fringe (email us to special order these), topped with one our Banjara belts layered over a Kuchi jeweled belt.

The Finishing Touches: Add some of our lovely flowers, a few of our hairsticks, one of our Kuchi pendants on a ribbon base and a few traditional bracelets.



Spectacular With Our Sitara Skirts!

Anna of Tribe Nawaar Dance Company wearing a corseted bodice & sitara skirtWe were asked to create some pieces as part of a entertainment set at one of our favorite restaurants in the historic West End of Pearl Street, here in Boulder, CO. The venue was somewhat dark and the tables were to be set up close to the performers. We knew we would need something colorful to be seen across the dark expanse of the room and yet subtle and interesting enough to be enjoyable to view up close by those seated at the tables right in front of the performers.

The pretty embroidery and sequins in the top paired beautifully with the intricate detailing and sparkles in the skirt and hip scarves. Each dancer in our company chose different pairing for maximizing color contrast. Anna (pictured left) chose a bodice top that brought out the accent color of the trim in the skirt. The yellow hip scarf tied in the gold detailing in the top and green overskirt. She also had on a yellow under skirt that is not visible in this particular photo.

Recreate This Look:

For the top, Anna is wearing one our corseted bodice tops, using the overlap lacing technique as described at the bottom of this page. For her skirts she has on one of our sitara skirts layered over one our 25 yard yellow cupcake skirts with contrasting colored salawar underneath.

The Finishing Touches: Add some of our big & bold flowers, a few of our hairsticks, a hip scarf or belt, a pair of our classic earrrings and a couple of our more modern bracelets. One of our richly colored bindi jewels completes the look.



Last Ideas On Costuming Pairings..

These great corseted bodice tops have become a staple of our troupe look for festivals. With their great color and texture they work with many ensembles.  In addition to all the great looks I’ve just shown you, these tops also look amazing with many of our other skirts, as well. They have a whole new look when paired with our comfortable sassy pants!

You will also love how they look worn over sheer traditional Ghawazee coats and entari gowns and with rennaisance dresses & blouses, too!

Each of our corseted bodice tops includes removable black ties that can be swapped out should you desire a different look from your top in the future. I have found these look great with satin ribbons for ties… just use Fray Check to keep the edges neat. You can choose colors for the ties that match other elements in your costuming. For example, if you are wearing a yellow skirt, consider chosing yellow satin ties.



But, Wait! There’s More.. Try Them Reversed!

Sample of a Tribe Nawaar bodice worn reversed

Lined with medium weight black cotton fabric on the inside, these corseted bodice style tops are reversible and can be worn as an all black top or vest, as well.

By simply turning any of our corseted bodice tops inside out, you can create an entirely different look from just one costuming piece. This means more room in your dance drawer or wardrobe for other new pretties!

This reversed top has a great look for pirate themed costumes, gothic inspired performances or as a basic folk costuming element!

With the addition of some interesting ribbon, cabling, cord or other ties you can create a multitude of unique looks to pair with many of the costuming pieces you may already own.



Spice Them Up, Steampunk Style!

Tribe Nawaar wearing feather collars with reversed corseted bodice tops

For this theatrical show we wanted to create a slightly gothic-steampunk aura with our costuming and set. We decided the overall color palette would be dark with small accents of colors among each of the dancers in this quartet.

Recreate This Look:

We took our corseted bodice tops, reversed them and added some black vintage looking accent trim and black satin ties. We created the Tribe Nawaar Dance Company wearing bustled skirts, top hats and reversed corseted bodice topsshoulder accents, by bunching up small amounts of decorative tulle purchased at a local fabric store and tucked it in the front and back tie section. This helped give the shoulders a more poofy look.

For our skirts we used two of our extra fluffy, professional quality 25 yard cupcake skirts. We created a cohesive troupe look by all wearing black for the top skirt. We chose the underneath skirt that matched our colors in our hats and feather collars. For this piece we knew our famous bustle tuck for the skirts would be perfect!

The Finishing Touches: We added our theatrical queen feather collars with the matching accent color feathers, long black gloves and custom made top hats. This really pulled the whole look together with these pieces. If you are interested in one of our custom made top hats, just email us for a quote.



We Have 5 Pages Of Corseted Bodice Tops To Choose From!

Tribe Nawaar's Assorted Hari Tari Corseted Bodice Style VestsLove lots of color and intricate or bold detailing? You will be delighted with all the options we have available!

Click one of the sizes below to view what is currently available online:


We often have more options that are waiting to be photographed and added to our website, so, if you are looking for a specific color in a specific size, just email us! We might just have it.



Find One You Love, But, It’s Not The Right Size?

Our Overlap Lacing Instructions Can Help!

Our overlap lacing instructions are an ideal solution for adjusting the fit of your corseted bodice top. You can tighten the body of the top by 1, 2 or 3″. This will help create a snugger fit around the torso.

When this tying method is used on the shoulder sections, it helps pull the shoulder panels tighter to the body. This is great if you have a shorter torso and find the shoulder panels sometimes sliding around.

Tribe Nawaar's overlap lacing technique for corseted bodice tops, step 1Step 1:

-Remove the ties completely.

-Overlap the very top grommet on the front and back panels. Feed the tie thru top grommet of both vest sections. Leave about 3″ of the tie sticking out at the top.

-Take the long remainder of the tie that is inside the vest and feed it thru the bottom grommet.


Tribe Nawaar's overlap lacing technique for corseted bodice tops, step 2Step 2:

-Overlap the grommets so all holes line up as closely as possible. If they are slightly misaligned, that’s ok.

-Feed the long tie thru the bottom grommet.

-You will have a lot of extra tie sticking out of the bottom grommet and that is correct.


Tribe Nawaar's overlap lacing technique for corseted bodice tops, step 3Step 3:

-Take that long bottom tie and feed it into the 2nd from the bottom grommet on both front and back sections of the top.

-Continue with that same long tie and feed it from the back side to the front thru the 3rd from the bottom grommet.

-Tie the shorter tie in the top grommets with the longer tie that you just fed thru the lower grommets. Voilá! You have just adjusted your top down by 1″!


To reduce size by:

1″ overlap only center seam.
2″ overlap only side seams.
3″ overlap center and side seams.



In Closing…

I hope you find all these ideas and tips helpful! If you’ve have questions, comments or would just like to share ideas of your own, we would love to hear! Email, call or message us on social media anytime!

Raq on fabulous dancers!



Text & images © 2002- 2017 Tribe Nawaar, Content written by Jennifer Secrist Goran of Tribe Nawaar. If found elsewhere, either in pieces or in entirety, it has been stolen from our site.