Some of the most common questions we hear from our customers revolve around bra sizing and how to ensure the best fit for your bust when choosing a belly dance costume. Because our Egyptian and Turkish costume designers use a sizing system quite different from what many westerners may be familiar with, it's sometimes hard to match your bra size to a costume off the rack or on a custom order. We're here to help with these suggestions for demystifying the bra sizing problem.
How we size:
When we receive belly dance costumes from our overseas designers, they don't include any sizing information. We size each one individually and post the following measurements online: Bra Size, Ribcage, Upper Hip, Lower Hip, and Skirt or Dress Length. Most of these measurements, apart from the bra size, are fairly straightforward and allow you to know generally whether the costume may fit you. When checking these measurements, be aware that your ribcage measurement is not the same as your bra band size. To describe a bra's cup size, we take vertical and horizontal measurements of the inside of the bra cups and then assign a size that corresponds with the below chart.
If the bra size is larger than those listed on the chart, we assign a more specific size (44DD). If the bra is padded or is able to fit a range of sizes (like the Dina bras), we list the size to indicate this (B-C or C-D). When the bra is padded, we always note this in the costume's sizing information so you can imagine how it might fit you with or without padding.
How to measure your size:
Although measuring yourself can give you a ballpark idea of your bra size, we recommend a professional sizing in order to make sure you get the best fit possible. To do this, ask a seamstress or professional bra fitter (at a department store or bra shop) to size you. Alternatively, you can call us, and we can help you determine your fit. Of course, if you have any questions about the right size for you or if you don't see your size on our bra chart, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for individualized assistance.
How to make a bra fit:
We realize that sometimes despite your best efforts to choose the right bra size, when you finally put the costume on it doesn't quite fit to your liking. Or you may fall in love with a costume that's almost the right fit and resolve to make it work. Fortunately, there are many tricks to making a stubborn or almost-fitting bra work for you.
First, consider adding bust pads to any bra that is one to two cups too big. Also, the ribcage measurement can be adjusted by moving the bar closures for the hooks in back. These are both simple steps that we often recommend, and we can make these alterations to your costume for a small fee.
Sometimes, particularly on Dina style bras, the straps have been set so wide that they can cause a gap between your bust and the bra cup.This can easily be fixed by moving the straps in which will pull the cups closer to your bust and eliminate any gapping.
If the bra cups are one size too small, assess the accessories that came with your belly dance costume. Can any of the sleeves, headbands, or cuffs be repurposed to add more coverage on the bra? Next, check the costume for appliques or extra fabric in the skirt that could be removed and reattached to the bra. Remember that we can always suggest alterations that will help ensure a better fit, or we can work with you to come up with a creative solution. This is when the price is tempting but the fit is imperfect; just don't be afraid to do a little adjusting! With a little bit of time and work, you can have the costume of your dreams, even if it didn't look that way in the beginning.