Bracelets can be a step too far out of a man’s comfort zone. It’s easy for trendy and style-conscious men to adorn their wrists with more than a watch but the average man often seems himself looking either too casual or just plain silly. Oh well, bracelets are something we can all live without. However, when worn well, they can complement one’s outfit, providing a distinct mark of confidence about one’s look.
Like accessories in general, bracelets are very personal in that they not only reflect one’s own style of dress but are generally also taken to give a glimpse of one’s personality. Think seashells and surfers or wooden beads and hipsters. Very often, one’s choice of bracelets is an extension of one’s everyday style and the two go well together automatically. However, there are times when one has to adapt one’s choice of bracelets to a specific type of outfit, such as one required by a work dress code or that for a special occasion. When the two styles clash, rather than the bracelet complementing the outfit, it ends up drawing too much attention but for the wrong reasons.
How to combine bracelets with outfits
Generally, the more minimalist a bracelet’s design and colour scheme, the more elegant and versatile it is. A simple, narrow metal band can be worn well with a corporate suit, without rendering it any less professional, just as much as it can be worn with a T-shirt and jeans.
Beaded bracelets are more casual but small beads in neutral colours, especially with metal rings in between can serve to soften a dressy look without rendering it too casual, or on the contrary, dress up a very casual outfit without making it look dressy. The same can be said of simple, dark leather/metal combinations.
On the other hand, chunkier and more colourful designs, as well as fabric and rubber models give a more playful look, making them inevitably casual in style. They best match outfits in the same style. Worn with a dressier outfit, they turn into a statement about one’s personality, which you can get away with if you’re the one calling the shots. Brighter or fancier bracelets can make a plain outfit more interesting however, caution is recommended not to turn the bracelet into your look’s centre-piece – it should only complement it.
What size of bracelet should one go for?
Just like a bracelet should complement one’s style, it should also complement a man’s frame, looking neither too chunky and heavy, nor too thin on his wrist. A bracelet that looks too chunky on the wrist will appear too overwhelming whilst one that is too thin can look feminine. Naturally, the same bracelet will look proportionally different on men of considerably different sizes, necessitating the choice of a bracelet that is proportionate to that of the wearer’s wrist.
The same applies when wearing multiple bracelets on the same wrist. Men with a small frame will look best in fewer and thinner bracelets, whereas those with bigger wrists can opt for either two chunkier models or more but finer alternatives, obviously without overdoing it.
A bracelet’s size also comes into play when intended to be worn next to a watch. In that case, its size, just like the colour and style, should be such that the bracelet pairs well with the watch and never as though it’s competing with it.
How should a bracelet fit?
A bracelet that slips below the wrist is not only irritating but also looks awkward. Bracelets should fit tight enough around the wrist to keep them in place, obviously without restricting the blood flow.
Should bracelets be worn only on one arm?
Yes and preferably one without any rings on the fingers. Simplicity is key to keeping one’s look elegant. There might be those who can get away with wearing bracelets on both wrists. If that’s something you’d like to try, for a balanced look, keep one wrist considerably lighter than the other.
If you’re considering adding bracelets to your look, or would like to but still hesitate, a good start will be a minimalist design in a neutral colour. Go for something that is easy to combine with most pieces in your wardrobe, feels light on the wrist, and doesn’t draw too much attention as to make you feel self-conscious. Once you get used to having a bracelet on your wrist, it quickly becomes a key part of your style. That’s when you can start matching different designs with different outfits, keeping in mind the tips above.