Bangles to Arm Cuffs: the Versatility of the Bracelet

Posted by ricky26 on February 11th, 2014

It's your anniversary and your wife is excited by the rectangular box she has unwrapped. Her eyes light up when she sees the diamond tennis bracelet laying on the rich velvet under the lid. She knows that every hand she shakes will hesitate when they see that sparkle. Your fingers brush the charms on the bracelet that you've had since you were in kindergarten, the charms collected by your brother who lives on the other side of the country since he graduated college. Every charm has a memory that makes you smile. The cuff around your upper arm turns you into an exotic princess in your evening gown. Your favorite set of silver bangles goes with almost every casual outfit that you own. From the exquisite jeweled watchband that makes your suits pop at work to the simple braided leather that your boyfriend refuses to ever take off, bracelets have a place with every look.

Styles The idea of a cuff or ring that goes around the arm whether it be for adornment, uniform purposes, or the latest fashion, has evolved, reinvented, even simplified many times. Some of the fashions that are have been in your jewelry box for decades might still be useful today. The styles are more inventive all the time and the mix and match combinations are endless.

Charm fashion bracelets have become very popular in recent years. Usually, small items (charms) are attached to links on the bracelet to dangle. Each charm has a personal or significant meaning to the wearer. Often, each charm is a gift or collectible item gathered during journeys or vacations. Sometimes, the charms are blocks or large beads with etchings that slide onto a smooth metal string instead of linked one by one onto a chain.

Beaded quality fashion bracelets consist of patterns of beads strung onto chord, thread, or other type of string. They can have one strand or many and can also be made up of intricate knots or crochet stitches with beads woven in. Intricately tooled metals or wire may sometimes incorporate beaded designs. Bead sizes range from tiny “seed” beads to large wooden beads and even beads made with crystal or gemstones.

Cuffs are usually open ended. They fit snugly on the wrist, forearm, or upper arm by utilizing the open end to push the cuff into place. These pieces are usually made of metal, often gold for its pliability. They metal is shaped into the cuff with an artful design, sometimes banged into a special shape or dented and crinkled to catch the light methodically. A cuff could have gemstones or painted designs but it's more common to leave it plain, since it's likely that it will bend and damage the design over time.

Bangles come in sets and are stacked on the arm to create a pleasant sound when they move. Different sounds emit different noises, from wood that clicks to glass that chimes. Bangles have significance in some cultures and their style might be the most versatile of all bracelets. There are even inexpensive plastic bangles with glitter and bright colors for children and plain silver that goes with jeans or evening wear. The mix and match potential for this style is so great that it's nearly overwhelming!

Chords are plain woven or knotted bracelets without any beads or gemstones added. They are popular among children as “friendship” bracelets made with embroidery floss. Braided leather and hemp are popular among men as well.

There is a style that is comfortable and beautiful for everyone; whether they are young or old, male or female, high fashion or off the rack. You can find all kinds in stores or online (try Add them to your jewelry box for just the right amount of flair with any outfit, any day!

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