“Wear a fabulous smile, great jewelry and know that you are totally and utterly in control.” – Donatella Versace
When you look in your jewelry box and take stock of all of the statement pieces that you own, you might be forgiven for initially thinking that bangle bracelets aren’t particularly stand out or are unique compared to other items. However, wearing bracelets or bangles can be a significant part of your overall look and aesthetic!
Modern jewelers know a classic diamond tennis bracelet never goes out of style but that bangles included in layering is one of the most popular fashion trends of recent times.
From gold bangles to silver bangles, from cuff bracelets to high design pieces, bangle bracelets are versatile and appropriate for both casual and formal occasions, and bangles of all sorts are essential in a jewelry collection.
Bangle vs Bracelet?
First off, you should know that technically bangles and bracelets are different. Bangles are rigid whereas bracelets are flexible. Bangles do not have a clasp whereas bracelets do. Like many things, definitions and standards get a little blurred and many people will use the two terms interchangeably.
One of the most obvious rule breakers here is an open bangle. This type is not a fully closed circle and tends to grip the wrist/arm rather than slips on. Here’s a great example to illustrate the design of an open bangle.
Both a bracelet and bangle are meant to adorn the wrist but the bangle can be worn on the upper arm (no bracelet is ever designed for this purpose) and in some cultures, there are leg bangles.
Don’t forget, bangles and gold bangles, in particular, have been a fashion staple that dates back to the times of the Ancient Egyptians and maybe even earlier! They are also incredibly important in some cultures. They have major significance for Indian women, for example, where the various colors symbolize health, luck, and prosperity.
Tips for Choosing Bangles
As with all jewelry pieces, it’s important to pick the right bangle type for your style, the look and the occasion. Generally, you should have a couple of different style bangles in your collection.
Know Your Skin Tone
One consideration when choosing a bangle is your skin tone. If you have a warm skin tone, then pick metals like yellow gold and rose gold. Pretty much anything on the warm side will bring out the best in both the jewelry and your skin. If you have cool skin tones, then stick to sterling silver, white gold or other white precious metals such as platinum, palladium and titanium.
If you are lucky enough to have a neutral skin tone, then you are free to select from any type of metal you want with equally beautiful results!
Size is important. You don’t want to have to worry about whether or not your jewelry is going to be falling off of your wrist, so make sure that you find bangles that easily fit over your hand, whilst also not being able to freely slip off.
Classic or Fashionable?
Even taking all other considerations into account, you’ll always be drawn to the design. The thing to remember is that simple classics like a 7-row diamond bracelet will never go out of style.
Fashion-led designs, however, may only ever be suitable for wearing with one outfit or only work as an accessory to a particular look. They go in and out of fashion as trends come and go. the positive side of this though is that fashion bangles tend to be costume jewelry and you can afford to add them to your collection as tastes change. A classic bangle made from precious metal with craftsmanship by a jeweler is always going to have a price tag to match.
Choose The Right Bangle For The Right Occasion
With so much variety in the world of bangles and bracelets, it can be very easy to carried away and select different styles that might not be right for the occasion you are dressing for. One of the overriding rules of any fashion trend is that you need to choose the right items for the right events, and this is no different when choosing bangles to wear.
Think about the event that you are going to be attending and consider whether any colors, metals, sizes or designs might not be suitable. For example, if you are attending a more formal situation like a job interview, you might want to scale back to the nature of your bangle wearing to avoid giving the wrong first impression of somebody who doesn’t know how to dress professionally.
On the other hand, when heading out to a party, you should feel like you have the freedom to really express yourself and have fun with your bangles. Bright colors, larger sizes, all of these components are on the table when dressing to have a good night out with friends!
Consider Your Sleeve Length
Something that is important to consider when thinking about how bangles are going to look incorporated into your outfit is how long your sleeves are. If you are going to be wearing a long sleeve top that goes all the way down to your hands, then you need to think about whether a bangle is an appropriate choice for that particular look. Rather than creating a visual feast, the bangles might only prove to be annoying and cumbersome underneath the fabric.
Bangles are really only appropriate if you know they are going to be on display when you wear them.
Now you know the difference between a bracelet and a bangle and how to choose a bangle, let’s look at 5 fashionable ways to wear bangles.
1. Choose a Bangle in a Bold Color or Design
If you want your bangle to be a focal point of your look, you need to go bold. If you’re used to wearing bracelets, you’ll find it easy to pick out a great choice. If it’s a new idea to you, be sure to pick one that is comfortable and you love.
Going bold can mean a strong color choice (neon colors for example). It might also mean size - a chunky bangle in an eye-catching material will always make a statement. The other option is to go bold with your design.
A bold design is really down to the imagination. Bold bangles may be fashionable but gemstones can also make a statement such as this wonderful skull design bangle.
2. Wear a Stack of Bangles in the Same Color
There is nothing more classic than a stack of simple bangles in one color. This jewelry choice is classic and elegant, especially if you choose bangles of equal size - think of an Indian bride’s look.
A bangle stack works equally well with a t-shirt or button-down with its sleeves rolled up to the elbow or with a sleeveless black shift dress.
A set of identical bangles makes the buying decision to achieve this look an easy one.
3. Mix And Match Different Styles Of Bangle
When worn in a uniform fashion, a set of bangle bracelets can start to look quite boring and staid, so the trick is to make sure that your choices pop and complement your overall look. One way to achieve this is to wear different styles and sizes that mix and match and go well together.
Different colors are essential when you want to create a visually interesting collection on your wrist, and the set should include bangles of varying designs and even materials.
Consider mixing gold bracelets with colored bracelets, and mixing metals with fabrics like leather or even a high-quality enamel.
One of the hottest jewelry trends of recent years is known as layering. This can apply to necklaces and rings but the trendiest option is bracelets. Even male celebrities are hot on this trend. Also known as stacking, the wearing of multiple bracelets and bangles can cover any look from glamor puss to rock chick to boho chic.
The only real style rule to follow when stacking bangles and bracelets is to always choose an odd number.
4. Wear Bangles on Both Wrists
The versatility of bangles is rather wonderful and if you love this item of jewelry, make the most of them by wearing them on both wrists.
There are no rules. It’s ok if you want to stick to just the right wrist for bangles because you don’t want to draw attention away from your stunning diamond engagement ring but bangles on both wrists will certainly be eye-catching.
You might want to wear a statement bracelet on one wrist and stack up numerous bangles on the other. You can also choose to stack on both wrists if you have the hutzpah to be so bold. Have fun juggling the arrangements on your arms using bangles of different materials, textures, widths and thicknesses. Go for a fun, playful look even if you have curated it very carefully.
5. Find a Unique Bangle
In these days of mass production and rampant consumerism, you can still find plenty of unique jewelry thanks to artisan craftspeople. If you have your own idea for a gorgeous bangle, you can get a bespoke commission.
A unique bangle really deserves to be shown off, so it is probably best worn on its own.
Unique can mean anything from simple to out and out bling - it really is a matter of choice and how you style it. It wouldn’t be hard to have a diamond infinity bangle adorn your wrist. When you have a piece like this, it's really the only accessory you need.
Like all fashion tips, these ideas for wearing bangle bracelets are only guidelines and suggestions we know work. The over-riding rule for any jewelry is that you must love it and you must love wearing it.