In the recent months, my need for costumes has increased. I mean an actual need, not just simply a desire. Meiver’s show- I need 3 costumes (the thobe, two Egyptian-syle sets). For my Bharatanatyam class recital, I need one Bharatanatyam costume. I’ve been trying to make wise choices for what I buy. The reason I own very few costumes is money. And by few, I mean, I now have one Egyptian-style skirt and bra set, 1 thobe, and 1 Bharatanatyam costume.

My Bharatanatyam costume and jewelry was purchased by a friend who went to India this past summer. I sent him with specific instructions of the style of costume and my measurements. I waited anxiously. Bharatanatyam costumes, as far as I can tell, cannot be purchased in the US. My dance teacher only recommended places in India, and I wasn’t able to locate a shop, even in NYC or Chicago. I had two options, other than my friend: buy a used costume or buy online. Although I’m not adverse to used costumes, I know I’m a hard fit. I’m short and thin with some curve. Buying online meant really high shipping and no idea what the costume would look like. That’s why I opted for my friend, whose taste I trust.

I just got my costume Saturday, so I haven’t taken photos yet; I plan on posting them tomorrow. My friend did an excellent job of picking out a pretty olive colored costume. The measurements seem like they worked out overall. The blouse is a bit shorter than I would’ve liked, as well as having too tight sleeves (I get muffin top on my arms!) and too tight in the bust. That was peculiar, since I haven’t gained weight this summer, and my teacher made my measurements an inch too big intentionally, since she claims that the costumers always make the costumes too small. The good news is that the seams are huge and have enough extra fabric that I can increase everything, except the length; I’m hoping that by increasing the width in the bust area that the blouse will be a bit longer on me.

I’ve tried on the pants and the bells. Although I don’t want the costume to become sweaty and/or ruined, it will take practice moving in it. I didn’t realize how much the costume restricts movement. Maybe restrict is the wrong word, but it definitely changes how I move. I haven’t had the chance to try on the rest; it appears that Bharatanatyam costumes are much more complicated than a Middle Eastern dance costume. I seriously couldn’t figure out how to wear anything but the blouse, the pants, and this covering for the pants. Even though I’m not the kind of person who goes crazy with costumes, I have to admit it is really exciting to have a nice costume to wear for a performance.

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