Buying Guides

Classy or Playful Looks with Bangle Bracelets


The classic bangle bracelet is a thin and rigid piece of jewelry that is distinctive in how it hangs loosely around your wrist. It comes in all shapes and sizes and can incorporate many different materials and gems in its design. Among the most eclectic pieces of jewelry, a bangle bracelet is a perfect fit for a variety of outfits and outings, from everyday casual to evening formal. When you find a bangle that fits your wrist as well as your fashion sense, it can beautifully top off your attire. Also known to pair nicely with other pieces of jewelry, bangles are the perfect partner for earrings, necklaces, and even other bracelets. Bracelet stacking, anyone?

Italian Sterling Silver Jewelry Set: Seven Assorted Texture Bangle Bracelets. #209183

Types of Bangle Bracelets

From enamel to silver to white gold, bangle bracelets come in all shapes and sizes. The cuff bracelet bangle is a particularly popular design. This bracelet style has a solid and thick design that goes most of the way around the wrist or arm. The solid cylinder bangle is often like this, except it goes completely around and connects in a solid ring. Split bangles appear to go all the way around but have a clasp or open in half to make putting them on easier. These may also fit more snugly than cuff or solid bangles.

As far as materials and designs, the variety is endless. Traditional bangle bracelets consisted of wood, bone, terracotta, or stone, such as jade. You may also find bangles in gold, silver, or steel with jeweled or enameled accents. They may have woven designs, cables, spirals, or even hold charms. Finding a style that suits your needs has never been so easy.


The History of Bangle Bracelets

The bangle may well be one of the oldest types of bracelets in history. Some examples date back to more than 5,000 years, and the design appears in numerous cultures worldwide. They've been discovered in ancient Mayan ruins, Roman archeological digs, Mauran sites, and many more locations. Ancient pieces often consisted of clay, shell, copper, or glass. In fact, the term bangle comes from the Hindu word 'Bungri,' which means glass.

One of the most common locations for bangles throughout history is India. There, they held specific importance to brides in different regions. Depending on where the bride lived, glass might symbolize luck or safety. Colored or beaded bangles of stone or plated metal might indicate where she was from or her family's importance.


Choose a Bracelet That Says a Lot About You

One of the great things about bangles is that there are so many styles from which to choose. Some appear sophisticated and dainty, with white gold and precious gems. Others are simple silver with a textured surface. Some display names and others have charms and custom engravings. What you wear all depends on the vibe you want to convey.

One very popular trend is bangle stacking. Select bracelets with different textures, colors, and metal types for an entirely new look. You can mix wood pieces with sterling silver bangles, white gold, or rose gold for a nice touch of shine. Choose pieces that express something about your personality or show your favorite colors as a way to make a statement about the kind of person you are.


Dress for the Occasion With the Right Bangles

Depending on the bracelet you choose, you can come across as fun and lively or chic and classy. Select yellow gold or silver pieces for a simple and luxurious appearance. An enameled, floral, or stone design with sapphire, topaz, or your birthstone will add vibrancy to go with fun party attire.

When you layer bangles, variety is where it's at. Avoid wearing an assortment of bangles that are the same as the styles will all blend into each other. Instead, mix metals, textures, gemstones, and thicknesses. Also, keep in mind that stacked bangles make noise, so a single bangle might be the best option for quiet or subdued occasions.


Bangle Bracelets: FAQs Answered

Bangles may seem like a simple piece of jewelry, but everything from cuff bracelets to solid jeweled pieces has nuances. Find answers to some of your burning bangle questions here.

How do you put on a bangle?

A bangle that fits well might be slightly challenging to put on, but not impossible. Those with a clasp may simply open and shut, and cuff bangles usually have enough give to slip onto the wrist sideways. But solid bangles must go on over the hand. To make sure they get over your knuckles, bring all your fingers together, making your hand as slender as possible. Then, push the bangle on. If it slides on too easily without you needing to make your hand narrow, it may be too large.

If it is reluctant to fit, putting a nylon stocking or a sock over your hand may help it go on more smoothly. When using stacked bangles, put the smallest one on at the bottom to ensure the others stay on well.

Can you customize your bangle?

While it depends on the kind of bangle bracelet style, many pieces offer ways to customize, such as monogram bangles. Large, flat bangles or cuffs may have space for engravings, allowing you to add a name, message, or quote to the surface. Other bangles allow for the addition of charms. You can select jeweled, metal, or shell charms to add a bit of personal flair to your jewelry. Some bangles allow the size to be adjusted to fit larger or smaller wrists as needed.

How do you size them, so they stay on correctly?

Getting a bangle that fits right is vital to not having them slide off your wrist. For those that close or work as a cuff, making sure that you can fit two fingers under it ensures that it will stay tight without cutting off blood flow. For solid bangles, the important thing is to recognize the sizes and only buy ones that will fit your wrist properly. It should barely fit over your hand. If you have a bangle that is a little too big, try layering it with a smaller selection underneath to hold it in place.