Belly Chains: What Are They?

Updated April 28, 2021
woman wearing belly chain

Add a belly chain to your swimsuit ensemble and show off that fabulous midriff. There are several styles available, from delicate and barely noticeable to wide and musical, like those of the belly dancers. Find your perfect fit, and wear your chain with a cropped top or your favorite bikini for an unexpected twist.

What's a Belly Chain?

Are you ready for some belly bing? Well, that's what a belly chain is. Also referred to as a waist chain, a belly chain is a piece of fun, and sassy piece of body jewelry hung around the waist, much like a necklace hangs around the neck.

Belly dancers have worn them for centuries, hence the name. Those chains have often been heavier in design, typically featuring metal discs and coins designed to tinkle in time with the music. Contemporary styles have expanded, and now a wide array of chain designs are worn with many fashions that show a bare midriff.

Choosing a Belly Chain

The first step to finding the perfect belly chain for you is to find the right style and fit for you. This requires you to know what's out there and take a few measurements.


The chains themselves are typically made from sterling silver or electroplated gold for the best durability. Solid gold chains are also available, but because this precious metal is fairly soft, they don't wear nearly as long.


Plain chains come in single, double, and even triple strands. Belly jewelry styles are embellished with beads, crystals, pearls, sea glass, shells, semi-precious stones, and a host of other adornments. Some designers like to add wording to the chains or customize a piece by adding a name.

Some styles meet exactly at the waist, while others feature an added dangle that hangs from the main chain. You may also choose from pierced styles that compliment a pierced navel or unpierced pieces. It all depends on your mood and needs.


The chain is available in many sizes, and some pieces are made to be quite adjustable. Check with individual designers/manufacturers to see if custom sizing is available, since this will result in the best fit. To find your own perfect fit, you're going to need a tape measure.

  • Waist chains look best when they ride just above your hip bones, so this is the best place to take your measurement.
  • Be sure not to pull the tape too snug or leave it too loose. If you can just fit your finger between the tape and your tummy, you've found the best fit.
  • Those with fewer curves should measure around the waist near the navel instead of at the hips, so the chains will not slip down too far.
  • Choose a chain that is about two inches bigger than your waist, so it has a nice hang on your hips.
woman with chain on her waist

How to Wear a Belly Chain

Wearing a belly chain is pretty simple. You simply wrap it around your waist and clasp the metal clasp. It's similar to putting on a necklace. The key to your look is to make sure you pair your belly chain with the right outfit. You want to choose shirts and pants to show off your chain. Crop tops, bikinis, and lower ride pants work the best. Button-down shirts that are left open can show them off as well.

If you like belly chains, you may want to consider other companion pieces to go with them, such as ankle bracelets, dangling necklaces, and toe rings. Adding a few other jewelry pieces can make your look.

Shopping for Belly Chains

You can find a wide array of chains at several boutiques both online and in stores like lingerie shops or even some belly dance costume boutiques. If you're shopping online, be sure to have a look at the selection at:

  • Body Candy offers an assortment of simple to elaborate belly chains, many with dangle adornments.
  • Bliss Lingerie features a sexy assortment of single belly chains. Some even feature wording.
  • Etsy provides a unique belly chain shopping experience with beaded and metal belly chains. Buyers can find single and double strands.

Express Your Style

Belly chains and other body jewelry are great accessories to go along with the rest of your beachwear. Choose pieces that express your own sense of style and have some fun with it!

Belly Chains: What Are They?