Belly dancing costumes and styles

Belly Dancing Costumes - Beledi dresses

Beledi" comes from Arabic  and  means "my people" or "my town".  It's mostly an Egyptian style and has moved from a traditional country belly dancing costumes to become the urban beledi, a much more glamourous for of dress. It all depends on the fit, the fabric, the decoration and the accessories
The  basic beledi dress can be loose fitting or darted, sleeveless, short or long-sleeved. The sleeves can be narrow, bell shaped, ruffled or even bat-winged. It usually has side slits from the knee or just below the hip. The fabric can be anything from plain cotton to sparkly lurex or see-through lace.It can be decorated with sequins  or beaded . It is really like a fitted caftan slit up one or both sides.  It's usually combined with a triangular headscarf.  Many Egyptian folk dances such as cane and basket are performed in the beledi. 
Baladi dress  in its  cabaret form is used as an alternative to bedlah. The dress is often made in clingy lycra with beading, cut-outs and a fringe. The long sheath style of the dress is combined with a beaded hip scarf or fringed belt. The cabaret style fabrics are more glamorous sparkly stretch laces, sheer knits, or even velvets.

Beledi music and dances

Baladi or beledi  is urbanised folk dance and music. It originated in the 1900s  when people moved into to the cities and brought  their music and dance with them. The music gradually became more sophisticated and instruments such as the accordian and saxophone were added. Baladi dance is more polished than folk, with  showy costumes and
a wider variety of steps. The arms tend to frame the heart and hips, or are placed on the head.

Making a Beledi dress

It is just a basic fitted sheath dress so any kaftan dress or similar can be used as a pattern. You can cut the neckline as low as you like but  a small strap across the back of neck will help to  avoid shoulder slippage while dancing. It could just pull over the head if you cut it lose. Otherwise a zip could be placed  at back or the side.
The beledi dress can be a good choice if you need to cover stretch marks or scars. If your figure is good the dress can be form-fitting.
It also works well to camouflage a tummy if you cut it a bit looser.  Beledi dresses are ideal belly dancing costumes for larger figures.