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Since ancient times, people have put items on their hands, arms, faces, legs and feet — “jewelry” in today’s parlance — for both adornment and ritualistic purposes. There is evidence that bracelets were worn in ancient China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Today, bracelets represent a large portion of the jewelry industry, coming in endless styles and varieties.
It can be a challenge to find the perfect bracelet for a certain outfit or occasion. The following are the main types of bracelets and some tips about wearing them.
These are typically rigid bracelets made of wood, glass, metal or plastic. Because they have no clasp, they are slipped on over the hand and fit loosely on the wrist or arm. Thin bangle bracelets are often layered, while thick ones, serving as statement pieces, are best worn by themselves. Bangles are especially popular in India and Asia, and many women wear them every day as an essential part of their wardrobe.
As the name implies, chain bracelets are comprised of links that form a chain. They are usually made of a precious metal like gold or silver and fasten with a clasp. Chain bracelets can be worn on almost any occasion, from a casual lunch date to a formal party or ball.
A tennis bracelet — known as such since tennis star Chris Evert’s bracelet broke during a particularly difficult match in 1987 — is a flexible gold bracelet that has one or more rows of diamonds. They are typically worn on the left wrist if the wearer is right-handed, and vice-versa. It’s a good fit if one finger fits comfortably between the bracelet and the wrist.
Instead of a clasp, cuff bracelets have a gap that allows them to be slipped on over the wrist. Wide cuff bracelets make a strong, bold statement, while thinner ones are suitable for just about any occasion. They are usually made of metal but can be made of leather and other materials as well.
These are high-end pieces made from gold, silver or platinum, and they often contain diamonds or other precious stones. As the name implies, they are usually made by a well-known designer, thus commanding high prices. They are typically reserved for semi-formal and formal occasions.
Small baubles and keepsakes — charms — can be attached to these bracelets, reminding the wearer of some special event or occasion. Charms are often given as gifts to mark important milestones in a person’s life, or they can simply be used to express the wearer’s hobbies and interests. For more formal occasions, charm bracelets are generally replaced with more stylish or expensive jewelry.
Beaded bracelets are comprised of beads made of wood, glass, stone, plastic, gemstones, etc. They create a somewhat bohemian look and can be worn with just about anything. They also pair well with other bracelets such as bangles and chains.
Sophisticated and elegant, pearl bracelets are a part of countless jewelry collections. They work well with almost any outfit because of both the timeless style and neutral color of the pearls.
Slider bracelets are so named because of the way they are put on. Instead of a clasp, they have a “slider” that allows the wearer to adjust the fit according to personal preference.
Donning a bracelet is an easy way to add another dash of class and style to any ensemble. It can emphasize how casual or formal an occasion is and express the wearer’s mood and personality. Truly, there is a bracelet for every occasion, from a day at the beach to a royal wedding.