You’ve actually met Fran before. She wrote about her search for the perfect workout top last March in Curvy Women Can’t Fight.  We’re just calling her “Fran” to go along with her cup size for this series.  Since posting about her search, Fran has found a top she likes so much that it was the first answer she gave when I asked, “What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?”

This is a tee shirt by Thriv, a brand she has only found at Sports Authority. In the photos above, she’s wearing a size Medium, and you can see that there is no Strum Strum Factor.  She’s owned it for a year and dries it in the dryer, yet it has retained its shape and color.  The fabric is composed of organic cotton, bamboo and elastane.  It cost around $34–quite a lot for a tee shirt, but once she realized how great it was, she went out and bought two more.

So how does it stack up to the requirements she gave us in March?

1.  Not baggy so that it doesn’t get in the way.  Check.
2.  Not too short-waisted once it stretches over the bosom.  Check.
3.  Streamlined so that she can shimmy while belly dancing without the girls shimmying out of control.  Check.
4.  Can transition from the gym to brunch afterward without requiring a change into street clothes.  Check.
5.  Feels comfortable and looks great and sexy without seeming slutty.  Check!

6.  Can wear a silver bra underneath without a camera flash causing it to show up in a photograph for a blog.  Okay, nothing’s that perfect.

Wait a minute.  Did I say “belly dancing” in #3?  Why yes I did!  After the jump, see Fran’s amazing accessories for her exercise of choice.

Fran is dancing in one of her favorite hip scarves below.  I’m kicking myself for not getting a good video.  She was mesmerizing.  Fran has been belly dancing for six years and has been performing in shows for the last two.  If you’d like to see her perform, she’ll be at the Lafayette Grill at 54 Franklin Street on Wednesday, November 17.  For details, here’s a link to their calendar.  Let me know if you’d like to meet me there!

The hip scarf below was made by a Trinidadian tailor because belly dancing is popular at Caribbean festivals.  Fran has never lost a coin from this scarf because they are actually crocheted into it, as you can see in the picture on the right.  People in the Caribbean love to crochet.  Fran learned from her Cuban grandmother when she was little.

Fran’s teacher brought the hip scarf below back to her from Egypt, and the beads and coins were also crocheted into it.  Interestingly, one of the best sources of belly dance clothing from Egypt is Belly Dance America, the first store of its kind in New York.  Guess why this is important?  Because Egypt is used to hourglass shapes!  Many American belly dancers are stick-shaped, so the clothing made for them here in the United States is not designed for women with curves.  I’m looking forward to checking out Belly Dance America with Fran one of these days.

The red scarf below came from Belly Dance America.  Fran is demonstrating how she also likes to use it as a shawl.

If belly dancing accessories can be used for regular clothing, regular accessories can also be used for belly dancing.  Fran found this necklace in the garment district.  She can either wear it around her neck.

Or hook it to her belly dancing bra!

Still to come . . . more of Fran’s favorite accessories, plus her two least favorite items of clothing. And somewhere in one of these posts, I’m going to write about what I learned from Fran that has nothing to do with her clothing and everything to do with the amazing person that she is inside.