Cholis


The choli is based on an Indian garment made to wear under the traditional Indian Sari. The Rajisthani villagers in Northern India use a mirrored and very ornate version that is open in back, with the back modestly covered by a long flowing veil. This was perfect for catching any breezes in the hot dry climate. The variation I offer is modified from a pattern Carolena Nerricio of FatChanceBellyDance, adapted from the Rajisthani version. It has become a favorite among belly dancers, with its close, supportive fit, cool open back, elegant fitted sleeves, and full range freedom of movement.

Streetware
The Choli is great as street ware, especially with jeans , flowing skirts or sarongs ( I personally like wearing mine instead of a bra with a sleeveless jumper or vest.)

Washing
The velvets and the factory dyed cottons- (the more info page will tell you which cottons are factory dyed) can be machine washed and dried using delicate settings. For hand dyed cholis I recommend hand washing in cold water with a mild detergent ( not woolite!), with a minimum of soaking. It is the best way to preserve the color from fading over time. There is a new Woolite on the market that is advertised as especially for black hand washables. It might help keep the oft washed black practice choli truly black- let me know what you think if you try it. Or you can renew your much worn practice choli by running it through the washer with Rit black dye- follow the package instructions.

Sizing
To select the right choli size use both bra cup and dress size as a guide: the stretchy fabric and open back with ties allows for more individually customized fitting than most other garments. These cholis will fit many cup/size combos that are too unique to be listed. If you don't find your particular size/ cup combination below take your best guess based on your personal experience with sizing. Keep in mind that if your cup size is larger than the dress size range the smaller size will give you a closer fit sleeve and more cleavage, the larger will give more coverage and looser  fitting sleeves. Can't decide?  try two sizes and return the one that you don't use:

Small fits A cup dress size 6-12 and B-cup dress size 4-8. Medium fits A cup dress size 14-16 and B cup dress size 10-14 and a C cup size 6-12. and D-cup size 2-8. Large fits B cup dress size 16-20 and C cup 14-20. and a D-cup size 12-16. Extra- large is for the Goddess sized dancer, it fits C cup 22-24, D cup 18-24 and DD cup 16- 22.
Click here for dress size measurements.


A Note about Easy Fit
All my cholis are cut from the same pattern so all have "easy fit" styling
I have tweaked and tested this pattern over years with a wide range of body types, and dancers all over the world affirm the results!
some of the unique easy-fit features:
carefully placed shaping darts, an open back with ties at the neck and center back for a fully customized fit,  full range of motion underarm gussets, unique construction using a industrial bathing suit stretch stitch machine so seams are strong and stretchy.

 Cholis made from cotton lycra "Easy Fit" have the most stretch and fit the a wide range of figure types. In fact most people will fit into two sizes. Choose the larger if you want more coverage. The smaller, if you want more back revealed and a tighter fit.
The velvet is very supportive and does not have as much stretch as the cotton choli. This means even larger busted dancers are comfortable with out a bra! It also means that you may want to size up when you order your velvet choli, especially if your cotton choli fits snugly or if you have a long torso.
sweetheart styles have gathers that add support and shapping, I've gotten feed back from both extra small and extra large breasted dancers that these are best for them. and some dancers with large upper arms and a wide chest find the gathers constraining and need one size up.

Why the Flying Skirts Choli fits Like a Bra!
Many many dancers love the the comfortable support and shaping the Flying Skirts choli provides. The open back is what makes the bra- like support possible. The bottom band is securely tied to fit your unique figure. The top ties further the customization, turning the whole shoulder and upper sleeve area into the equivalent of a bras shoulder straps- but with a lot more support and comfort! Shaping and lift are enhanced with carefully placed darts. Over-all the support is strong to moderate for A and B-cups with moderate to low impact support for C and D cups

How to Wear a Bra With a Choli
If you want the maximum support and shaping, it is possible to wear a bra with your choli. Clever dancers have sent me many solutions over the years. The easiest is to wear a bra that looks good showing in the back. Some dancers swear by either a matching or contrasting sports bra for this. For a hidden solution there are several options. First, select an appropriate bra- one that is covered by the choli except for the hook and eye portion in the back. You can fold or trim the hook and eye portion of the bra until it is hidden and pin or sew firmly to the back sides of the choli. Look at this Tutorial in Pictures from Leslie (aka: Miss Boo) of Euphraxia Tribal Dance ( thank you Leslie!) She replaces the back hook and eye portion of the bra with a thinner tie as shown here. For a visual how- to, take a look at her tutorial! Finally some dancers either buy matching fabric or use the extra from the back ties to fashion a wider band (or bands) that will cover the bra closure.
Voila!, support and elegance!

Finishing Tips: Customizing: One adjustment you may want to make on your choli is to move the placement of the back top ties up or down depending on whether you have a long or relatively short torso. Big gals may want to add another set of ties for greater comfort or support.

Express Yourself!
Tie dye/Batik your own choli!- If you have an intrest in tie die or batiking, the cotton/lycra ivory colored choli in the long or short sleeved version is a perfect canvas for your creativity. The material is specially prepared ready-to dye cotton lycra, and is sewn with dyeable cotton thread