Bracelets are one of the most popular accessories in the world. A bracelet is simply an accessory worn on the wrist. It is different from a bangle, because a bangle is rigid where a bracelet is mobile. When it comes to universally popular, unisex accessories that can be worn by women and men, bracelets are the clear winner. They are produced and worn in every culture as an ornament and therefore come in a million different colors, designs, shapes and sizes. In India, bracelets sometimes have a religious and spiritual significance and are sometimes worn to ward off bad luck or to attract good health.
Men’s bracelets are usually different in their design and shape than those for women. They tend to be thicker and broader and come with more rugged designs. They also have come in muted, earthy shades such as brown, dark green, navy blue and black rather than bright hues. Leather bracelets are extremely popular with men as the supple and luxurious feel of leather is the perfect accessory to accentuate stylish men’s clothing worn in any kind of situation, formal or informal. At the same time, leather is a very smart yet understated material which doesn’t in any way clash with a masculine sense of style. Other popular types of bracelets for men include the trendy chain link bracelets made of silver or tin alloys that may come decorated with tiny colored pendants.
Bracelets for women come in a much larger variety in terms of materials and designs. Women have the option of wearing bracelet styles that are usually worn by men, such as rubber bracelets, leather bracelets and thick metal bracelets. These may come with prettier designs and brighter colors to appeal to the tastes of women. On the other end of the scale are the delicate and elegant gold bracelets for women which can be made of either real gold or gold plated alloys. Gold is one of the most beautiful and attractive metals, much valued for its long life and luxurious look. Gold can be set using fine filigree methods into twisting designs, or wrought into simple interlinking circles to form a chain. Many traditional Indian jewelry styles such as Kundan and Thewa can be adapted to make gorgeous gold bracelets. These kinds of jewelry styles often have a very ornate look and by wearing them in a bracelet form, women can incorporate them into their outfits in a subtle and elegant manner. Alternatively, the gold bracelet can be worn as a set with a matching necklace and/or earrings. Traditional Indian work is also used to make bangle bracelets which have a more rigid, circular setting and can also come in a set of six or twelve.
Bracelets can be decorated with all kinds of different additions including beads, pearls, crystals, stones (both precious and semi-precious) and bells. Indian bracelets often come with cute little bells which creates a tinkling sound. This kind of design is similar to that used for ankle bracelets. For casual wear, beaded bracelets are extremely popular as beads are usually quite inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk. They come in a rainbow range of colors and sizes and hence beaded bracelets can be large and chunky as well as small and delicate. They may also be painted with beautiful tribal designs. On the other end of the scale is the pearl bracelet which is usually reserved for special occasions. Pearls exude class and sophistication and can be set into intricate gold/silver settings or displayed on their own.
With the many innovations in technology and science, jewelry items like bracelets have also gained a functional use. Medical alert bracelets, for instance, keep a track of the wearer’s heart beat and other bodily functions and send a message to the concerned medical center if there is any emergency. Magnetic bracelets are not only funky and trendy accessories, but are also supposed to provide various health benefits for the wearer.
Styles and Trends of Indian Bracelets
Bracelets are an eternally fashionable item and can be used to accessorize almost any type of outfit. They have frequently been seen on Hollywood red carpets and are special favorites of celebrities with a sophisticated and classy style. On the other hand, the funkier, ethnic bracelets are also much loved by the younger generation and are a popular part of street fashion. Multiple rows of beaded bracelets are often paired up with bohemian clothing such as floral printed kurtis and kaftan tunics and leggings. Silver bracelets with dangling motifs of flowers or animals add a cute, feminine touch to a casual wear outfit like a tunic and leggings or salwar kameez.
The most ornate and glittering crystal and/or gold bracelets should be reserved for special occasions and matched with glamorous outfits like net sarees, anarkali salwar kameez and beads work lehenga cholis.