How to Wear Bracelets: The Complete Guide for Men & Women

15 Nov.,2022


Bracelet Manufacture

How to Wear Bracelets: The Complete Guide for Men & Women

How To Wear Bracelets

Why do people wear bracelets?

Since ancient times, humans have used jewelry to decorate themselves, display their wealth, and communicate meaningful symbols. These reasons are, of course, much the same today: you might choose an intricate metal chain because you think it's pretty, or a diamond bracelet to emulate a celebrity.

When it comes to symbols, brand logos have generally replaced the stamps of pre-modern artisans. But people still wear bracelets to show what's important to them, through the use of symbolic gemstones, medical id tags, prayer beads, or messages that are literally engraved on the bracelet.

Things to look for when choosing a bracelet

Here are a few tips to consider when looking for your next bracelet!

Step 1: Consider your wrist size

Should you go bold and chunky like these stacked bracelets, or sleek and delicate like beautiful string bracelets. Before we get into matters of taste and style, think about which type of bracelet will look better against the backdrop of your arm, wrist, and hand. When we say the bracelet should match your wrist size, we're not just talking about whether it fits around your wrist.

The width of the band, the size of the beads and embellishments, and apparent weight of the bracelet all matter too. You want to choose a bracelet that complements your appearance, which is why it's important to consider your bone structure. That way, you'll know whether to look for one that's wide or narrow, simple or extravagant, and solid or delicate. Then you can use your bracelets to accentuate or camouflage your wrist.

For example, a man with small wrists might choose a sleek double wrap leather bracelet. This will complement his features, unlike an enormous wide braided hemp bracelet, which would only overwhelm his frame. Meanwhile, a woman with small wrists might want a bold byzantine or chunky link chain bracelet instead of a narrow single strand leather bracelet because the former will make her wrists look even smaller by comparison.

How to determine your wrist size

Try wrapping your thumb and index finger around the opposite wrist. If you can touch your thumb and forefinger together with extra space, you're small-boned; if they just touch, you're medium-boned; and if they don't quite meet, you're large-boned.

Also look for the bones on the outside of your wrists: are they prominent, or barely noticeable? Are your fingers long and slender, short and sausage-like, or somewhere in between? Use your answers to these questions to guide you in choosing your bracelets.

Remember these guiding principles:

  1. To make your wrists look proportional to the rest of your frame, choose a bracelet size that matches your wrist size. E.g. Wide, chunky bracelets for large well-padded wrists, or small, delicate bracelets for narrow bony wrists.
  2. To make your wrists look even smaller or larger, choose a bracelet size that's the opposite of your wrist size. E.g. Large bracelets for small wrists, or small bracelets for large wrists.
  3. To make your wrists look more balanced or closer to the average size, choose a bracelet that neither emphasizes through sameness nor highlights through contrast. E.g. Medium-sized bracelets for all wrist sizes.

So if you're a woman with large wrists and you want them to look smaller...


  • Medium-width bangles in stone, cord, leather, or metal - wear them alone or stack them up, but be aware that more than three might get distracting.
  • Flat woven bracelets - leather, macrame, rope, or shamballa all work.


  • Anything bold, chunky, cuff-style, or wide - surely the number one way to make big wrists look bigger.
  • A thin, delicate metal gold chain or silver charm wire, or a narrow open bangle - any one of these worn alone will probably look like a tiny river snaking across the vast tundra of your arm.
  • Large round beaded bracelets like those from the mala beads, prayer beads, or spiritual bracelet collections - these can be ok if the beads are small-to-medium, but the way the large ones stick out might add bulk.

If you're a man with small wrists and you want them to look larger...


  • Double-wrapped leather bracelets - these are the perfect size to camouflage boniness without looking too wide.
  • Medium-sized round beaded bracelets - these are also a great opportunity to pick a stone that symbolizes something important to you.
  • Bracelets with hefty metal charms and closures, like those from the nautical and cork collections - the charms add textural interest without being too bulky.


    Step 2: Find your bracelet style

    Now, next is to find the right bracelet style that fits your personality and apparel style, here are our tips.

    Go here to browse a selection of women's bracelets.

    Anklets for women

    Anklets are the perfect summer accessory - cool, breezy, and just a bit different from what every other girl is wearing. Dress up everyday shorts, tank top, and flip-flops combo with a rose gold chain or dangly silver charm-adorned anklet.

    Go here to browse our selection of men's bracelets. Or keep reading to narrow down your search to a specific collection. 

    Step 3: Master the art of layering

    Remember, unless you're trying to be matchy-matchy, the goal is to look as though you tossed your bracelets on without a second thought. Easy, breezy, and oh-so-casual is the way to go.

    How to wear bracelets with a watch

    You'll want to make sure your bracelets go with the overall look and feel of your watch. If they're too different, either make the rest of your outfit an equally eclectic mix or prepare for people to be confused.

    Here are some ideas for bracelets that look good with different types of watches. (Note: the list below includes links to men's bracelets only, but the principles apply to women too.)

    The standard advice is to wear your watch on your dominant hand (i.e., your right arm if you're right-handed) and your bracelet(s) on the other hand. But if you feel like layering the bracelets and watch on one arm while letting the other go bare, go for it.

    However, in a conservative or corporate setting, one bracelet on your non-dominant arm, plus your standard watch on the other arm, might be all you need to make a statement.

    Choose a mixed-media piece for minimum bulk, maximum impact. But whatever you do, never put spiky metal or gemstone bracelets next to a metal watch band. You wouldn't want it to get scratched. Soft leather, spongy cork, or smooth round beads are a safer choice. But most of all: enjoy your bracelets!