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Bracelet Buying Basics for Newbies

Bracelets are a great accessorizing tool to accentuate outfits or exhibit your personal style. You can get them in matching sets to go with necklaces and earrings, you can slap on statement cuffs, you can stack spangly bangles up to your elbow, and you can even make your own personalized jewelry thanks to options like Pandora, standard charm bracelets, customized leather, and more. But if you haven’t tried this trendy accessory in the past, you might be at a loss as to how to make bracelets work with your personal style. And there’s always a debate about how much money you should spend when trying out a new trend. So here are just a few bracelet buying basics for the newbies.

A good place to start is with your anatomy. There are plenty of ways to put on bracelets, but not all of them will work with your body. For example, there are bracelets that don’t open – you simply put your hand through and slip them onto your wrist. But if you have small wrists, this means your bracelet is going to be loose since it has to fit over your hand. If you like your bracelets to stay in place on your wrist rather than roaming up and down your forearm, this type of bracelet might not work for you, in which case looking for clasps, springs openings, and stretchy connectors is a good idea.

On the other hand (so to speak), you might have larger wrists and forearms, especially if your exercise routine includes upper body training. In this case, you could have trouble with solid metal cuffs if they don’t have a large enough opening to fit over the narrow side of your arm and rotate into place. And don’t forget that jewelry should always match your stature. If you’re tiny and birdlike, for example, clunky Bakelite bracelets will look massive on your arms, whereas thin bangles and more demure bands are likely to look much more appropriate. The point is that you should probably head to the jewelry section at your local department store and start trying on bracelets to see what’s going to work for you in a practical sense.

Next, you’ll want to think about how specific bracelets will work with your wardrobe. If you wear a lot of neutral suits to the office, a bracelet could make for a wonderful piece of statement jewelry. But you’ll want to keep it spare, so pick just one or two instead of an armful. You don’t want them clanking together during your PowerPoint presentation. If, on the other hand, you have a breezy boho style going, an assortment of bangles is totally appropriate. You might also like a nice tennis bracelet if you’re looking for something a little fancier that virtually goes with every outfit and occasion, from a casual lunch to a formal dinner.

The amount you spend on bracelets should reflect the use value, so when you’re buying a bracelet, think about where you can wear it, what it will go with in your current wardrobe, and how well it is likely to transition to the next season and the years to come (i.e. is it classic or trendy). Before you head to Wristband World or your local jeweler to start dropping cash, you need to consider what you want, how well it fits your lifestyle and wardrobe, and what you’re willing to spend.

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