We all love a bit of fringe! But did you know that fringe can be used to enhance certain areas depending on where you put it? Fringe can be very flattering. On the other side of the coin, fringe can also add inches where you don’t want it… Here are some tips on how to make fringe work for you…
Firstly, there are lots of different types of fringe: there is the usual man-made fibre fringe that is looped and will hang and move nicely on a costume, there’s the more expensive glass beaded fringe, which will also hang nicely and move beautifully on a costume, catching the light (it’s also quite heavy), there is the more decorative ‘upholstery’ type which can look great on anything as long as you get a long drop length and there is sequin fringing which will certainly catch the light but can look cheap as a costume addition. Choose which ever you like depending on your budget.
Fringes are great for adding volume to the chest area. If you are of a smaller cup size, adding a length of fringing across the top of cups (and across the cup seam) is an excellent way to make things appear bigger. But beware, if you are of the opposite persuasion and are already ‘quite gifted’ in the boob department, adding a lot of fringing in this area will make your cups look huge.
When adding fringing around the bottom of the bra, don’t forget to stretch the bra as you are sewing it as you still want it to stretch when fastening it. Also, there’s a few little tips here: fringing all the way around will make bigger sizes (like myself) look bigger as it’ll hang straight down, hiding our waists unless the fringing is quite short. If you want to make yourself appear thinner, add a small section of fringing to the front part of the bra only (the bottom edge just between the cups).The eye will be drawn to the vertical line.
Fringing on pants looks great when shimmying, especially on the back – but remember the more you add, the more the illusion of volume. Also, ensure that fringing on your pants is washable. You might also like to think about the weight of pant fringing – heavy glass or haberdashery fringing might pull your pants down when moving on stage (not a good look!) so in this case, you might want to think about making a band or belt in contrast fabric to your pants that you can wear over the top, giving the illusion that your pants are highly decorated. This is also a good tip for ensuring you can wash costume separates.
Belly dance belts use fringing to highlight shimmys, beading/sequins to catch the light. Don’t forget the same rule as above applies: with the fringing all the way around it’ll make your hips look wider (personally I like having wide hips!). Fringing on just the front and back section will make the legs appear longer, as will graduated fringing in a v shape.
Get creative! You don’t have to limit your fringing to dressmaking materials – you can also pick up cheap beading and necklaces (primarni / peacocks) to use for beading (and quid shops also sell off ex-christmas bead stocks for even cheaper). The bra above is Lilly Laudanum’s Fortune Teller act, which was embellished with a few coin necklaces from Primark.