It’s safe to say that bracelets have come a long way since the days of just wrapping a plant vine around the wrist or arm. While this example has been modernised into different jewellery designs, the plethora of bracelets in today’s jewellery world is second to none.
During ancient Greek and Egyptian times bracelets were considered to be a symbol of status and power, in addition to the decorative element. Ornate patterned bracelets and coiled snake designs were often worn by both men and women of Mediterranean descent. Roman and Greek men liked to dress up their armour with upper arm cuffs while the women preferred to wear them as decoration.
It was said that the more gemstones found on a bracelet signified how wealthy a person was back in ancient Egyptian times; a notion that has survived through the ages and is often still the case today. Cleopatra was a Pharaoh goddess who was infamous for wearing gold arm bracelets as part of her day to day ornate look, and since then celebrities like Mel B, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé have experimented with the arm cuff, both on and off stage.
Whether you prefer to call them bracelets, bangles or cuffs, the outcome of wrist and arm wear is still the same – to adopt a fashionable way of dressing. Bracelets are still widely recognised for their decorative appeal, diversity and how they provide the wearer with an individual style identity.
In recent times there has been a strong demand for crystal bracelets, charm bracelets and custom-made bracelets as these are all very polished styles and can be personalised to suit everybody. Manufactured styles are mass produced so these bracelets tend to be less expensive to buy, but shoppers are willing to pay more if it means their finished purchase will be one of a kind.
Everybody has their own reasons for collecting bracelets, whether it’s for religious purposes, fashion points, or to fit in with a particular culture, having freedom of choice is important.
Which Bracelet Style are you?
- Arm Bracelet
Sometimes known as an ‘armlet’, placement for this type of bracelet is extremely flexible. The advantage of wearing an arm bracelet is that you don’t have to wear it on your upper arm if you’re a little body-conscious. You can just as easily wear one on your forearm to suit your preference. Upper arm jewellery is great to team with a strapless evening dress, and forearm jewellery is perfect to wear with casual ensembles.
- Wrist Bracelet
Perhaps the most common type of trinket, wrist bracelets are loved for their elegance and versatility. Whether you prefer simple styles for the office and extravagant pieces for down-time, the wrist bracelet should always remain as a welcome staple in your jewellery box. It’s advisable to buy wrist bracelets that come complete with a clasp fastening so that you can shorten or lengthen the links to fit.
Bangles are fun to wear with any outfit as you can layer them up and play around with colours, finishes and textures. Bangles with blue gemstones are ideal to wear with denim while crystal bangles will enable you to project an evening glamour confidence.
Spiked for a punk edge or mystical and structural, cuffs are bracelet hybrids that encompass true artisan craftsmanship. They are usually adjustable to fit and can be firmly fixed into one place on the wrist.
Tanya Davis is a Fashion Consultant by profession and has been writing on Changing Fashion Trends. She holds an Expertise in Fashion and jewellery Designing.