The Turkish costume is a two piece costume which exposes the abdominal area of a belly dancer. There are many interpretations, beliefs, and myths as to why this area of the body is exposed.
Use your imagination and visualize a tent located in a desert thousands of years ago. The dancers’ clothing is made from cotton and wool. As the dancers performed their bodies got hot and for relief part of their clothing was removed in order to cool off. They also did not wear bras in those years. And so the breasts and the abdominal areas were exposed through a thin layer of cotton fabric.
It seems reasonable to me that this practical solution to cooling down may have started the concept of a two piece garment. With the passage of years, fabric availability, fashion trends, and women’s interests this costume has made many changes.
Old photos of these costumes appear to be everyday clothing and do not compare to the glittery and glamorous costumes of today.