Belly Dance Hip Scarf - Belly Dance Costumes for Beginners

Every Belly Dancer Needs a Hip Scarf

Red Chiffon Hip Scarf with Coins
Red Chiffon Hip Scarf with Coins

Hip Scarves for Belly Dancers

If you are a beginner belly dance student, one of the first things you will want to purchase is a hip scarf. These are the pieces of fabric you see in belly dance classes, tied around everyone's hips. They are sometimes made from chiffon or velveteen, and often have several rows of jingly coins in silver or gold. Sometimes they even incorporate beads and other dangling bits. Some are just fringe.

The point of a hip scarf is so that you, as a beginning belly dance student, can see the movement of your hips in the mirror, and feel the movements better. The scarf draws focus to the hips, where a lot of the movements occur.


One of the things my students really loved was when they got to pick out a hip scarf from the pile we kept in the classroom. Adding a beautiful hip scarf makes all the difference and adds so much enjoyment to your belly dance class experience. It makes a beginning dancer feel like a "real" dancer and makes it so fun to watch themselves in the mirror and make those coins swing.
There are so many varieties of hip scarves available, that you may want to purchase a few. I have probably about a dozen or more. This enables me to match my hip scarf to the outfit I am wearing to class that night. Also, different styles of belly dance hip scarves serve different functions.

What kind of Hip Scarf to Buy?

Some teachers may require you wear a belly dance hip scarf that is quiet, without the jingly coins. They may feel that the noise from your hip scarf is a distraction. I personally find it an enhancement, and a great motivator to a belly dance student when she can see, hear and feel the movement her body is making with the aid of a hip scarf. If your teacher has no restrictions on the type of scarf you can wear to your belly dancing lessons, then feel free to jingle away.

So many Hip Scarves to Choose from

You will find that a belly dancer’s hip scarf can be worn over harem pants, leggings, or a skirt. There are an infinite variety of colors and styles available. The really cheap ones tend to drop coins frequently, and this can be a danger to yourself and the other students. It’s no fun to step on the beads and coins left behind from a poorly made hip scarf.


Fortunately there are so many choices in belly dancer hip scarves, that you can always get a better quality one easily. Some are so pretty that you can also build a starter beginner belly dance costume from them. I have purchased some beautiful fully beaded scarves that I have actually turned into professional looking costumes. These scarves are fully beaded all the way around, come in a variety of colors and prices.

Red Hip Scarf
Red Hip Scarf

The Basic Hip Scarf for Belly Dance Class

The Basic Hip Scarf


If you are just starting out you may want to start with the more common variety, either in chiffon or velveteen. The velveteen tend to not stay tied as well as the chiffon ones. If you have narrow hips, you may find the velveteen belly dance hip scarves tend to slid down also. They are very pretty however and also come in a huge variety of sizes and colors.

Basic Hip Scarf in Blue
Basic Hip Scarf in Blue

Shawl Style Hip Scarves

Shawl Style, a Different Look


For a more silent style hip scarf, you may want to check out these gorgeous sequined beauties. These come in styles that feature fringe and are more of a shawl style. These hang down a little lower and generally don’t make any sound. Perfect for workshops where they pretty much don’t allow noisy hip scarves. The sequins and pailettes on these really catch the light and if you get an iridescent one, WOW

Shawl Hip Scarf with Pailettes
Shawl Hip Scarf with Pailettes

ULTRA Huge Sequins!

The ultra large sequins are called pailettes. They are absolutely gorgeous and quite as well. They still show the movements of your hips though, and that is the whole point of wearing a belly dance hip scarf. I have some of these hip scarves and just love them. In fact, these can also be used when starting a beginner belly dance costume.

Hip Scarf
Hip Scarf

How to Wear a Belly Dance Hip Scarf

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© 2014 Lady-in-a-Window

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Comments 2 comments

Lady-in-a-Window profile image

Lady-in-a-Window 2 years ago from United States Author

Thank you Elaine. I LOVE hip scarves. :)


Elaine Davenport profile image

Elaine Davenport 2 years ago from USA

Nice article, thanks for sharing. This was nice to read about, because I like costume for dance.

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