Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's in a Bra, anyways?

It could be one of the most telling pieces of costuming for a Tribal Dancer- the very thing that sets the pros from the baby dancers, the "real deal" from the kitschy.

The Coin Bra.

At best it's an extension of the dancer- a costume piece that frames the dancers neck, shoulders, face, arms and torso with a representation of their style- edgier and darker for goth tribal gals, earthier/brighter for more ATS divas, silver or bronze or even gold, depending on the gal. It's one of the big "wow" pieces for the audience- as it glitters and shimmers, maybe even makes delightful tinkling sounds as the dancer performs figure 8s, mayas and pops with their chest. It's the icing on the tribal costume cake.

Examples of good coin bras:

At worst it's a mess of weird colors, themes and resembles a tacky church hat- you know what I'm talking about. It's got tassels out the whazoo, usually hanging from really suggestive places *giving that droopy tassel nipple look*, giant kuchi pendants that should be the centrepiece randomly tossed on the cups and a coin or two slapped on in what can only be described as a random order. There are usually upholstery fabrics involved, sewn on improperly and bra clasps in the back that are still showing, no fabric concealing the mechanics and no desire to maintain the illusion. There's inadequate fitting and spillage may occur. At the VERY worst it looks like someone bought a bright lace bra from their closest department store, slapped a skimpy amount of cowries and four coins on it, then put a bad dangly earring in the middle and called it "Tribal".

Some Not So Good Bras:

Can you see how the bad outweighs the good?

In my opinion, you should either have your bra professionally made or spend the money and take the time to do it right. There's a part of my brain that just doesn't get how people can wear coin bras that still resemble bras *have the back hooks showing, are very visibly a bra that has some small amount of decoration on it* and/or have really slapdash ones that don't compliment their bodies or enhance their dance. I really feel like a coin bra isn't a tribal given... Just because you dance tribal doesn't mean you have to settle for a tacky, poorly-made bra that makes you look bad and it also doesn't mean you can be a magpie and put every glittery, tacky piece of crap you want on it. You're worth it, get something nice!

I know I know... monetary concerns. Well, then spend fifty bucks on a few nice pieces of jewelry and wear them with a choli until you CAN afford a nice one. Work your way up! Or, follow a good tutorial online and make your own tasteful bra... Glitz doesn't equal taste. I sometimes find that the WORST coin bra sins come from wanting to be so "unique" that you forget to be classy.

Remember- a good coin bra is worth every penny.


At 8:45 PM, Blogger cinderelly said...

this is a good post, i wanted to try to make one of these coin bras. the top two do look way better!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

LOL, the one looks like someone hung a bunch of military medals from a black Cross Your Heart.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Fiona said...

I was linked here via another blog I follow, and I've been enjoying your essays. However, your grammar needs work. This post has some of the more egregious errors I've found throughtout your blog in it.

Yes, I'm a nitpicky perfectionist. On the other hand, I believe that anyone coming out to blog and present judgments on belly dance should do so in a grammatically correct manner. You have the basics down, but anyone who knows more than the basics is going to read through this and have some problems.

I should also say that I agree with the basic point of your essay. (Dear Gods, yes. Will someone please take away all the bad coin bras out there?) I strongly feel that your arguments will be enhanced if you don't have people (er, like me) coming in to nitpick at your grammar, not your points of contention.

However, I would like to point out that the bad grammar in your title had me cringing, not to mention wondering whether reading the essay was even worth it.

"Anyways" is not grammatically correct. Your capitalization is also off. If you wish to capitalize your title, it should be "What's In a Bra, Anyway?"

Also, are you using asterisks in place of parentheses? That's incredibly confusing. It seems like that's a blogger glitch, perhaps, not a stylistic choice, though.

If you refer to "goth tribal gals" and to "ATS divas," then you should be using singular female pronouns, rather than plural pronouns, to maintain some parallel structure in your sentences.

Last of all, but definitely not least, your bra should complement a dancer's body, not compliment it. A coin bra doesn't have a mouth to open, nor will it spill forth verbal compliments. They're homonyms, and often easily confused.


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