Bracelets are one of humankind’s oldest fashion accessories. They’re right up there with necklaces and rings in terms of ‘oldest types of jewelry still used today’. People of all kinds of gender presentations wore these chains, bangles, and wrist-cuffs throughout history, and each culture left a distinct impression on the wristwear scene.
So, if you’re wondering how to wear a bracelet for any style, keep your eyes peeled. We’re about to spill the insider secrets on dropping a bracelet into every outfit you own.
How to Wear a Bracelet for Fashion Beginners
The most important piece of any fashionable look is whether it sparks joy in you. However, if you want to make sure that the types of bracelets which spark your joy will hold up to the camera lens, here are some factors that you may want to consider.
Size Does Matter
No one wants to walk around looking like they have a pair of old-fashioned manacles on their wrists. (Unless you’re into that.) Nor do you want to look like you’re busting out of the seams of a delicate metal chain.
Knowing your wrist size is crucial to finding bracelet styles and sizes that work for you. The thick, chunky wooden bangle that looks so boho and chic on one person might slide right off of (or get stuck on) someone else’s wrist.
If you’re not sure what your wrist size, here’s a quick test. Wrap thumb and forefinger around your wrist. If it touches and then some, then you’re small-boned. If it meets in the middle, you have medium-sized bones. If it doesn’t touch, then you’ve got large bones.
Finding the right materials for a bracelet comes down to a variety of factors. Comfort should be first among these. Despite the adage that beauty is suffering, you should go for materials that are comfortable for you.
Obviously, if you have an allergy to specific material, you don’t want to wear a bracelet made from that material. However, this also applies to the feel and weight of the bracelet.
Does the material feel heavy and weigh your wrist down? Does it make your wrist sweat like there’s no tomorrow? Does it scratch your skin, or make it feel itchy even without an allergy?
Wear bracelets that are comfortable, and you’ll move with greater confidence.
Dress for the Occasion
Another factor in the material and size of your bracelets is the occasion for which you’ll wear them.
Returning to the above chunky wooden boho bangle, that might be perfect for everyday wear or a nature-based event. If, however, you’re attending a night at the opera, a business social function, or a very fancy dinner, that might not be your best call.
Your delicate, silver charm bracelet may look lovely dangling off of your wrist at a dinner date. However, it will slip and fall off at the first provocation if you wear it to a physical job or to play sports.
Just like you wouldn’t wear a child’s plastic-beaded bracelet to a wedding, you shouldn’t wear your fanciest jewelry to a casual event. It will either look like you’re trying way too hard or not hard enough.
Do It for the Esthetic
If there’s one thought that’s dominated the internet in recent years, it’s the idea of doing something ‘for the esthetic’. (Although this is usually rendered as ‘for the aesthetic’, to channel the faux British pomp that comes with such affectations.)
What this means in terms of wearing bracelets is that you should wear a bracelet style that you enjoy, or that go for the mood you wish to convey. Shell, rope, leather, and wood bracelets can work together to create an earthy, surfer dude vibe. Jewels, glass, and shinier metals can give a hint of affluence to any outfit.
Whatever you choose, if you pick a specific esthetic and push it, you’ll have a fashionable look.
But What Does It Mean?
Like necklaces, bracelets can tell viewers a great deal about who the wearers are, what they’re about, and what they believe.
An Earth sign astrology jewelry fanatic wouldn’t go anywhere without their Taurus bracelets. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Christian without a cross bracelet or prayer beads somewhere in their collection. And who can forget the ever-popular charm bracelet, whose literal design purpose is to showcase its wearer’s entire personality and life story in a few dangling charms?
When choosing bracelets for yourself, don’t just think about the size, material, occasion, and vibe. Think about what the piece may mean to you.
Bracelets and Watches: Fashion Faux Pas?
Experts have argued for ages over whether you should or shouldn’t wear bracelets with watches. We’re here to tell you that you absolutely can and should. However, if you want to know how to wear a bracelet with a watch, keep these basics in mind:
- Complement the watch, don’t contradict it
- Metals need to match
- Keep the sizes of both bracelets and watch in mind
If you keep these principles in the back of your head when pairing bracelets with watches, you can experiment without fear.
Back to Bracelet Basics
Bringing it back to basics, what should you consider when wearing a bracelet? First, consider your size and material. Then, consider your occasion and the vibe you want to present. Last, consider what you want your look to mean to yourself and others.
With these thoughts in mind, whether you pair your bracelets with a watch or wear them solo, you’ll know how to wear a bracelet in absolute style. And if you’re still in need of further fashion tips from the pros, check out our blog for more information!