UK Arabian Fancy Dress Costumes:
There are many types of Arabian costumes. Some people would just like to look like an Arab sheik. Some people want an Arabian Fancy Dress costume so they can look like a Sultan or a Harem dancer or belly dancer. Some want to look like the characters from Aladdin folklore, whether traditional or the Disney’s Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie fare.
Generally a sheik is a male that is older than 40 years old, but can also be someone that is considered wise or a teacher and a few other interpretations. The popular image of a sheik or Arab costume for fancy dress purposed consists of a tunic and a cloth headdress. A general Arab costume would be a plain white tunic and a colored headdress. The headdress may be plain coloured, or it may be patterned, often red in colour.
A sheik costume on the other hand is a little more fancy and decorated to reflect the supposed higher status of the person wearing the costume. These may feature a plain coloured under robe worn underneath a more striking and fanciful coloured robe, perhaps with a gold trim around the edges. The sheik costume also has a headdress which will often have a decorated design to again reflect the higher status of the wearer as distinct from the general common Arab costume.
Harem dancers are very popular, most particular nowadays as belly dancers. Harem refers to a sacred inviolable place and in the modern sense it was the quarters of women of a polygamous household. More commonly today it can simply indicate the number of followers of a charismatic man. The harem dancer costume consists of a top that starts from just below the breasts, and trousers that start from the waist – that is the belly and lower chest area is exposed. The costumes are loose fitting, with the trousers having a leg length split to expose the leg. A type of transparent shawl often accompanies the outfit or is used in place of opaque trousers and sleeves leaving only the bra and panties as the non-transparent costume elements.
Also popular is the characters from the take of Aladdin. In particular Aladdin and the Genie. Due to Disney’s Aladdin, the Disney Aladdin, Disney Jasmine, and Disney Genie costumes are now high in demand in the Arabian costume range. In short Disney’s Aladdin is one again a tale of rags to riches. It takes Aladdin a down and out mall rat who eventually wins the heart of a Princess with an evil overseer that wishes to thwart that relationship at any cost, especially one coming from someone so lowly in rank.
And there is a friendly blue genie along the way to help Aladdin achieve his aim of winning the heart of the princess, initially through trickery by magically giving Aladdin the appearance of a prince, but then in the end as always in these types of story, Aladdin wins the heart of the princess by becoming a noble prince of the heart not one who is a prince merely because of status.