How to Size a Bracelet
Bracelets are dynamic additions to your jewelry collection. Whether it's a charm bracelet, diamond tennis bracelet, or a cuff, a bracelet can add great pops of color and glam to your outfits. It also helps you express your personality and unique sense of style. Some people, however, might feel daunted when it comes to wearing them. How do you know how the bracelet should fit? How do you know your correct size? And how should you style it correctly?
These are all important questions, but they don’t need to feel intimidating. Knowing how bracelets should fit and how to measure your own size will go a long way toward making you more confident in purchasing bracelets you love.
How Should a Bracelet Fit on your Wrist?
This is an important question some people feel afraid to ask when it comes to bracelets. On one level it should seem obvious--it’s about how it feels, essentially. Yet most folks don’t have a good baseline for understanding what a bracelet’s fit should actually feel like.
Ideally, a great bracelet fits loose enough to move a little but not loose enough to slide off your hand. You don’t want it too tight--otherwise, that can be uncomfortable. But fit is affected by a number of factors. For example, the style of the bracelet and your attire will affect how a bracelet should fit. A chain bracelet will hang on your wrist differently than a cuff bracelet. Other factors that you have to keep in mind include the size of beads and embellishments, band width, and the bracelet’s apparent weight.
That said, there are guidelines for how to tell how well a bracelet fits your wrist. For link and chain bracelets, you can test the fit using your fingers. If you can slip 2-3 fingers between the chain and your wrist comfortably, that indicates a good fit.
When it comes to bangles, keep in mind that they are worn in groups and slipped over the hand. They should fit closely or loosely on the wrist, depending on your preference. The one key for fitting bangles to your wrist is they shouldn’t be easy to slide right over the heel of the hand.
Cuff bracelets should fight tightly on the wrist and/or forearm. The ends shouldn’t cinch together, and your skin shouldn’t get clutched between the ends. Neither should the cuff roll around your arm that much.
Again, it comes down to feel when it comes to fitting a bracelet on your wrist. But you need to understand generally how it ought to fit before you buy. You also need to know how to size your wrists so you can buy the right size. Having an accurate bracelet size is key to ensuring you buy the best-fitting option.
How to Determine your Bracelet Size?
The standard size for women’s bracelets is 7 inches, and 8 inches for men. But no two people are the same. That includes the size of their wrists. While there are general size categories, you need to know what your wrist size is before you can start ordering those bangles you’ve had your eye on. It’s also important to know how much allowance you want to give for the fit.
Determine The Bracelet Fit
The way different sizes of bracelet, like a Diamond Initial Bracelet, look on your wrist is something to consider in regard to fit. If you want your wrists to look proportional to the rest of your frame, you want to choose a bracelet that matches your wrist size. To make your wrists look bigger, choose a smaller bracelet size, and vice versa to shrink the appearance of your wrists.
The Process for Measuring the Bracelet Size
Once you know how you want your bracelet to fit, it’s time to determine your wrist measurement. Either using a flexible measuring tape or strip of paper, wrap it under your wrist bone. If using the tape, note the measurement in inches. If you use the piece of paper, mark where it intersects with itself and then measure up to that mark on a flat surface using a ruler.
The process is a little different when measuring for bangles. Instead of measuring around the wrist bone, you want to close your fingers together. Bring your thumb to your little finger, almost as if you were actually putting a bangle on. Then, take the measuring tape or strip of paper and wrap it around your hand at the widest point. This measurement will be the bangle size to compare to bracelet size guides.
Now, when it comes to determining fit, most stylists agree about a general sizing range once you have your wrist measured. For a snug fit, you want to add ¼ to ½ inches of length onto the measurement. For a comfortable fit, add ¾ to 1 inch of length. And if you want a loose fit, consider adding up to 1¼ inches. In these increments, these allowances will help give you the fit you want. Use the final number you come up with and compare it with a jeweler's size chart.
Wearing bracelets on both wrists--fashion or faux pas?
Once you’ve figured out your wrist size and the bracelets you want to buy, there’s one important question left to ask: how will you wear them? Will you pair them with different styles of bracelet, match them with certain outfits, and so on? Within all these considerations, most people don’t think about one concern: which wrist to wear the bracelets on.
The answer is simple--whichever one you want. But some stylists have made a big deal about it, stating bracelets should only be worn on one wrist. This has also been gendered to some effect, with men most often wearing bracelets on their left while women wear them on their right. Keeping your jewelry on one arm is certainly acceptable, but it seems unnecessary to restrict your fashion to that.
Wear bracelets on both wrists if you want. There are no true rules, and ultimately wearing them is about your self expression. However, there is a small case to be made as to the benefits of choosing one wrist over the other.
Why Wear on Only One Wrist?
They may seem silly, but there are some reasons worth considering wearing a bracelet on your dominant versus non-dominant hand. Because your dominant hand is most often involved in performing tasks--shaking hands, reaching for things, and so on--there are more opportunities for showing off your bracelets. If this is something you want, then wearing on your dominant hand is worthwhile.
The benefits to wearing on your non-dominant hand are a little less obvious but nonetheless compelling. While wearing bracelets on your dominant side, they are more likely to be exposed and “in harm’s way.” The probability of them being damaged increases. On your non-dominant hand, however, damage is less likely. As well, if you’re trying to be less showy, keeping your bracelets on your non-dominant hand is a good strategy.
You may also consider wearing bracelets exclusively on your left side for luck. Some people believe that lucky bracelets should be worn around the left wrist. And, in some religions, the left side of the body is seen as the receiving side.
Tips for Wearing Bracelets on Both Wrists
There are certainly some unique reasons to consider wearing bracelets on one side or the other, but feel free to break those rules. How you want to style your look is up to you. If you are going to wear bracelets on both wrists, however, there are some tips that can help elevate your style.
First, don’t be afraid to mix and match. This includes the metals of your bracelets, too. Switch out styles, designs, patterns, textures, beading, etc. to find a look that works for you. The key is making sure that whatever mix you decide to go with looks balanced across both your wrists and that everything is complementary.
Second, avoid extra accessories. Because you’re already making a big statement by wearing bracelets on both wrists, you want to keep the rest of your look pretty lean. More accessories can make your look and style seem tacky and detract from the overall impact you’re going for. Keeping things well-balanced is key.
Bracelets are flexible pieces of jewelry that can really bring your personal style and brand to life. They reflect your personality and your taste. It’s easy to feel intimidated when it comes to making what you feel is the best choice, but don’t fret--there’s no such thing! The right choice is what you decide.