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Article: The Ultimate Guide To All Bracelet Styles

tennis bracelet

The Ultimate Guide To All Bracelet Styles

History of bracelets:

The first known bracelet is through to date back to an astonishing 70,000 years ago. A bracelet made from green stone was discovered in 2008 inside a Denisovan cave in Siberia. The bracelet was then named “Denisovan” because of this. 

In ancient times bracelets weren’t just used to elevate a persons style. Bracelets were often used for protective purposes as forearm guards during battler or as decorative and ceremonial items to indicate an individuals status. 

From chain bracelets to tennis bracelets, charm bracelets and beaded bracelet the number of bracelet styles to choose from seems never ending and can be overwhelming for some to choose. 

Each bracelet is special in its own way and carries with it its own history, story and symbolism. In this blog we will be going over the different types of bracelet styles and their distinguishing characteristics including designs and common materials.


Bangle Bracelets

bangle bracelet

Bangle bracelets are defined by their rigid, non-flexible and circular designs. This type of bracelet doesn’t have any closures and instead is put on the wrist by sliding it over your hand onto your wrist. Compared to other types of bracelets the bangle bracelet has a looser fitting. 

The two variations of the bangle bracelet are the classic closed bangle and the open bangle. An open bangle is a great option for individuals who are unsure about their bracelet size and want a bracelet that fits a wide range of sizes. 

The bangle bracelet is typically made using metals, with some made from plastic, glass, stone or wood.

Thinner bangles are great as layering pieces to layer with other types of bracelets or with a watch. Thicker and larger bangles are great as statement pieces.

The bangle bracelet is an important item of wedding jewellery for many Indian brides, with the meaning different between regions and tribes. Often glass bangles would represent safety and luck in marriage. Brides have also been seen wearing ivory, green, red and gold-plated iron bangles.

The bangle bracelet dates back as far as 2600 BC, and holds cultural significance. The bracelet dates back 5000 years to the Mohenjo-Daro settlements on the banks of the Indus River in what is Pakistan today. 


Tennis Bracelets

4mm Silver Tennis Bracelet by Sky Austria 

The tennis bracelet is characterised by symmetrical / rows of diamonds that are connected by a thin chain made from metals or precious metals. Each gemstone on a tennis bracelet will be the same size and colour too. 

Tennis chains can also come with gemstones such as Cubic Zirconia, which provide a much more affordable version of the traditional tennis bracelet for those interested in buying one without the massive costs.

The tennis bracelet is truly a timeless piece that can be worn for all occasions. With various different colours of gemstones to choose from, the colour options for tennis bracelets are immense. 

To learn more about the tennis bracelet, check out our tennis bracelets blog.


Open Bangle Bracelets

open bangle bracelet

Open bangle bracelets are circular in shape and don't include closures. The main difference between an open bangle and a closed bangle is that an open bangle has a small opening. This type of bracelet is often rigid and non-flexible, however, less commonly this bracelet style can be made from flexible sleek metals. Sometimes this the open bangle bracelet will include a decorative element at the end of the bracelet too. 


Chain Bracelets

chain bracelet

Chain bracelets are made using metal loops that are linked together in a chain pattern. Majority of chain bracelets are made using metallic links. 

The different types of bracelet chains include cable bracelets, box bracelets, Byzantine bracelets, wheat bracelets, rope bracelets, curb bracelets and even Figaro chain bracelets. 

The chain bracelet is often made from metals including gold, silver, stainless steel, plastic or wood. 

Because chain bracelets aren’t expandable, all chain bracelets feature closures. The most popular style of closure for a chain bracelet is the lobster claw closure.


Leather Bracelets

leather bracelet

This type of bracelet is made made from leather materials and can take the form of a wristlet or leather cuff. 

The majority of leather bracelets consist of full leather, however, some even have decorative elements that range from name tags, gemstones, charms and pendants. 

This type of bracelet is unisex and can be worn by both men and women. The leather bracelet is seen and worn in many cultures and subcultures.

Leather bracelets have been around for a while, as early as the Neolithic period (10,000 - 4,500 BCE) which during this period humans were already using animal skins for clothing and footwear. Experts believe that the leather bracelet evolved from longer leather sleeves that were used during combat for protection. Overtime they evolved into a status symbol. 


Cuff Bracelets

cuff bracelet

A cuff bracelet is similar to an open bangle bracelet and doesn't have a closure. The difference between the two is that a cuff bracelet will tend to be thicker and wider in size with a fairly rigid structure. Because the bracelet doesn't have any clasps, this type of bracelet is easier to put on compared to bracelets that have lobster clasps. In addition to this, the opening of the cuff bracelet tends to be flexible, allowing the wearer to adjust the size to fit them perfectly.. 

Often cuff bracelets are made using solid metals. Less commonly, these bracelets are found in plastic, stone and wood materials too. 

The cuff bracelet is worn mainly as a statement piece as they take up a lot of space on the wrist and arm. The bracelet is also a unisex jewellery piece, however, it is more commonly worn by women.

The cuff bracelet can be traced back 5000 yers ago. In ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman times the cuff was worn as a symbol of status and as a talisman of protection. Cuff bracelets have also been seen in older cultures including Ndebele women of South Africa and the tribe of Maasai in Kenya. 

Charm Bracelets

charm bracelet


Charm bracelets also known as pendant bracelets, consist of a bracelet that comes with a decorative charm of a pendant attached to it. This type of bracelet often features a sturdy closure, which can range from lobster to spring rings, toggles and other hook closures. 

Popular charm shapes that attach to these bracelets include hearts, crosses, letters, locks or any type of symmetrical pendant. 

The reason charm bracelets are so popular is that the wearer can choose what types of charms or pendants to put on. Additionally, charm bracelets also make a great gift as they can be personalised. 

In ancient history the charm bracelet was worn to ward off evil spirits or bad luck. During the pre-historic periods, jewellery charms would be created using animal bones, clay and shells. More modern charm bracelest are made from gems, rocks and wood.


Beaded Bracelets:

beaded bracelet

Beaded bracelets feature a string or multiple strings of beads. These beads can be made from glass, plastic, gems or wood and can vary in shape, sizes and colour. Beaded bracelets often feature an elasticated structure and can include adjustable sizing and different closure types. 

The different types of beaded bracelet designs include uniform designs that consist of the same shape and colour beads, mixed beads or crescent beading designs. 

Lots of beaded bracelets are also purposed for enhancing meditation and spirituality. They are great for a casual look and to stack with other beaded bracelets. 


Pearl Bracelets

pearl bracelet

The pearl bracelet consists of a string or row of real pearls, with each previous pearl individually noted for extra safety. Most pearl bracelets utilise cultured pearls, which include freshwater and saltwater types in a variety of natural or dyed colours. 

The pearl bracelet comes in many different colours, with the most popular being the classic white pear. They can also come in champagne, pink, peach, gold and darker shades.

We recommend going with the classic white pearl as it goes with pretty much any outfit. 

Over the past year, pearl bracelets and necklaces have been making a comeback, with more men trying out this style of bracelet and necklace too!

The use of pearls as gifts dates back to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC. As well, in ancient rome pearl jewellery was a symbol of high status. Julius Caesar passed a law limiting the wearing of pearls only to the ruling classes. 


Friendship Bracelets

friendship bracelet

A friendship bracelet is any type of bracelet with meaning, and usually represents the bond or friendship between two people or a group of people. Friendship bracelets are usually woven and knot-tied using embroidery floss. The pattern it creates is usually bright and bold in colour. 

Often these types of bracelets are offered as an exchange or promise of friendship. 

The first instance of the friendship bracelet dates back to Native American Culture. These bracelets are super popular with children, teens and even young adults. 

We recommend avoiding any contact with water, as it can cause the texture of the bracelet to change and ruin it. Friendship bracelets often fray and wear out with time, so also need to be replaced now and again. 

Modern popularity of the friendship bracelet began in the 1980’s where they were seen during protests about disspapearances of the Mayan indians and peasant in Guatemala. 


Slider Bracelets

slider bracelet

A slider bracelet usually consists of a chain or textile material. The slider bracelet features a faster which resembles a buckle of a belt. 

These types of bracelets are relatively new in the jewellery world and work using silicon inserts that grip the inserted string of chains. 

The main benefit of a slider bracelet is that they are easily adjustable. Because of this, they fit a wide variety of wrist sizes. 

The slider bracelet became popular in the 1940’s when there was a resurgence of Victorian jewellery styles.. 


Hololith Bracelets

hololith bracelet

Hololith bracelets consist of a single piece of stone that is crafted into the shape of a bangle. The bracelet is often made using Jade however can be made from other types of stone. 

Due to their sturdy and rigid structure, they do not have closures and are considered more of a bangle than a bracelet. 


Wooden Bracelets

wooden bracelet

As the name implies this type of bracelet consist mainly of wood. Wooden bracelets come in two forms. The first form is in a bangle and cuff, which is made using circular solid pieces of wood. The second form is beads structured together on an elasticated string or wire. 

Often times these wooden bracelets are super rigid and won't have a closure on them, especially if the wooden bracelet is an elasticated one. 

These types of bracelets are minimalistic but are a lot less common, making them eye-catching pieces. They are great for layering with other wood jewellery including wooden rings and necklaces. 


Affirmation Bracelets

affirmation bracelet 

Affirmation bracelets or wristbands are any types of bracelet that comes with motivational words or phrases.

Most commonly these phrases are engraved into bangles or bar bracelets, Kandi bracelets, slider bracelets or multi-layered bracelets. 

These types of bracelets can be custom-made to have a unique phrase for special occasions or as a gift for birthdays.


Birthstone Bracelets

birthstone bracelet

Birthstone bracelets are any type of bracelet that has a monthly birthstone attached to it. Each month of the year comes with one, two or three types of birthstones associated with it.

These birthstones are thought to provide certain benefits to the wearer, ranging from physical and mental health to improve focused and increased energy. 

These are great to layer with birthstone earrings and rings. 

Giving and wearing of birthstone jewellery first emerged in Polan in the 1700’s. The lists of birthstones evolved from Aaron’s sacred garment and sponsors in the jeelry and gemstone trade.


Multilayered Bracelets

multi layered bracelet

A multilayered bracelet is a bracelet that consists of two or more layers. Layers of a multilayered bracelet can be made from string, leather bands, chains or other metals. 

They can come in uniform variation which means each layer is the exact same as each other, or mixed where each layer is different and consists of different materials and designs.


Bar Bracelets

bar bracelet

Bar bracelets are bracelets that feature a metallic bar. These types of bracelets are often made with a flexible chain, but rigid open or closed bangle variations are also possible.

The bar element of the bracelet is a decorative feature that adds a minimalistic but interesting touch to the bracelet. 

The bar can even be used as space for engravings of phrases or words, making these a great customised gift. 


Hand Chain Bracelets

hand chain bracelet

A hand chain bracelet is a type of jewellery that acts as both a bracelet and a ring. Usually, these bracelets are made using metallic chains.

The bracelet that attaches to the wrist is connected to the ring part of the bracelet via a chain. 

These types of bracelets are a great statement jewellery choice. 


Braided Bracelets

braided bracelet

Braided bracelets are usually made from yarn, rope, leather, ribbon or rubber materials that are braided in a particular pattern. 

Braided bracelets are unisex pieces that can come in a wide range of designs and colours. They are great jewellery pieces for smart casual outfits and can even be used as a friendship bracelet or to add a pendant. 


Wrap Bracelets

wrap bracelet

The wrap bracelet is a type of bracelet that is worn higher up the arm and is designed to wrap around the arm regardless of the size of the arm. The wrap bracelet can feature two or more layers that go round and round in a concentric design. 

Wrap bracelets can also feature beads which are supported by leather cords and wrapped around the wrist two or more times.

Modern wrap bracelets originated from tribal origins. The wrap bracelet was used to protect one in batte and often were made of leather wrapped several times around the wrist to protect the user. 


Expanding Bracelets

expanding bracelet

Expanding bracelets don’t have a rigid closure and are super easy to adjust to the wearer’s wrist size. 

The most popular type of expanding bracelet is one with an overlapping metal design, that allows for greater flexibility. The overlapping section of an expanding bangle has guide bars, which allow the bangle to slide in and out for size adjustment.

The expanding bracelet became mainstream through a brand called Speidal, who acquired it from Karl E Stiegele the original inventor. 


Kandi Bracelets

kandi bracelet

Kandi bracelets are bracelets associated with the rave music scene. They feature bright-coloured beads and often spell words or phrases of affirmation on a simple elastic band without a clasp. 

During festivals, Kandi bracelets are usually exchanged between people, with a handshake initiating this exchange. 

These types of bracelets are great for stacking with other Kandi bracelets. 

Kandi bracelets also come in cuff, headbands and belt variations that all utilise the colourful bead design Kandi bracelets are known for.

The Kandi bracelet were made and worn first by drug dealers in the early 1990s. Drug dealers would go to raves with drugs on them and wear a full arm of these bright bracelets so ravers could identify them and buy product.


Slap Bracelets

slap bracelet

Slap bracelets are bracelets that are made from a flexible steel material and resemble a tape measure. Usually this sheet of metal will be covered in plastic or fabric, that has a unique design. 

When extended and slapped on the wrist, the bracelet snaps around the wrist fitting perfectly.

These types of bracelets are super popular among teens and children, and isn’t really a fashion accessory

The slap bracelet was invented by Wisconsin teacher Stuart Anders in 1983. 


Ankle Bracelets


Ankle bracelets also known as an anklet is jewllery that is worn around the ankle instead of the wrist or arm. 

These types of bracelets are usually made of chain or thread and can feature charms, pendants, pearls and other decorations. 

These bracelets tend to be thinner and daintier in appearance and feature lobster closures. 

Ankle bracelets were worn as an everyday jewellery piece by Egyptian women of all social classes, as early as predynastic times. 

FInal Thoughts

From ankle bracelets, to tennis bracelet’s and bangle bracelets the range of  bracelet styles seems endless. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to mixing and matching these different styles of bracelet together. We recommend going out there and getting yourself some of these bracelets and trying them out for yourself to see which one suits your style or the occasion the best!

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