What Are the Different Bracelet Types, and When Should You Wear Them?

Woman's wrist with stacked pearl bracelets

Bracelets are one of the best accessories out there. They can be used to make bold or subtle statements, and they can be stacked. There is some debate as to how many bracelet types exist. Not only knowing the different types but also understanding the best places to wear them is key to styling your bracelets well. So, here’s a little more background on the different types of bracelets as well as the best places to wear them.

Bracelet Types

There are many bracelet types, so making an exhaustive list is nearly impossible. However, here are some of the most common types of bracelets:

The materials bracelets are made of are what make them unique as well. Knowing which metals, beads and other materials you like to wear best when it comes to bracelets will help you determine your personal style. Mixing and matching can be especially fun, too!

Material types:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Rose Gold
  • Pearl
  • Diamonds
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Crystals
  • Cubic Zirconia
  • Steel
  • Beads
  • Fabric
  • Leather

Bracelets to Have in Your Collection

While this varies greatly by style and personal preference, if you’re just starting to build your bracelet collection, here are a few women’s bracelets that come highly recommended. Grab a few chain bracelets, bangles, open cuffs and double-wraps to start your collection. Then branch out and get tennis bracelets, pearls and a few delicate pieces. This way, you’ll have a few for casual occasions and a few for fancy occasions.

It’s also important to note that when you’re starting your collection, you’ll want to get bracelets in a few different metals and materials. Perhaps start with a few in gold and silver to see which ones you like best, or alternate them depending on your outfit and the occasion. Then you can branch out to bracelets in materials like pearls, crystals, beads, etc. because those bracelets will incorporate metals in the clasps. So, knowing which metals you like best will help you pick other bracelet types you will love.

Fancy Occasion Bracelets

Woman's hand with stacked pearl and chain bracelets

What’s great about bracelets is that you can use many of them for both fancy and casual wear. However, there are some bracelets that lend themselves better to more formal situations. So, if you’re attending a wedding, work event or a fancy night out on the town, here are a few bracelet types to consider: 

  • Pearl
  • Tennis
  • Diamonds
  • Chain
  • Charm
  • Open Cuff
  • Double-wrap 
  • Dainty

There are always exceptions to this list, however. Maybe you have a beaded bracelet that looks amazing with the little black dress you’re wearing. Just because it isn’t made from diamonds or pearls doesn’t mean you can’t wear it. So, keep this in mind as you pair bracelets with your outfits.

Also, stacking bracelets have a more casual feel to them. So, if you stack them in a more dressy setting, stick to more traditional options and consider stacking fewer bracelets than you would for everyday wear.

Casual Outing Bracelets

Textured leaf bangle bracelet

These bracelets are the ones you wear when you’re running errands, going to lunch with friends, dropping kids off at school or soccer practice, etc. The good news is, there is a lot of room for creativity and personal preference when it comes to bracelets in a casual setting. You can get away with wearing beads, any metal, leather, charm bracelets, open cuff, bangles, crystal leather, etc. in casual settings. If you can’t decide on one favorite when you’re getting ready, create a stack. 

The key to creating a perfect stack of bracelets is matching elements. So maybe you pair a gold chain bracelet with an open-cuff bracelet that has gold accents. Then you add a more delicate gold bracelet and a beaded bracelet with warm-toned beads. Generally, it’s better to make sure your bracelets share elements (like the metal color, metal type, coloring, etc.) when you’re building a bracelet stack. Of course, there are always exceptions, and you can mix and match if you think it looks great!

Wear these bracelets with any casual outfit. Whether it’s your favorite jeans and a T-shirt or a cute sundress with wedges, most bracelets go well in casual situations. A few of the best ones for casual settings include:

  • Bangles
  • Open cuff
  • Chain
  • Bead
  • Delicate 
  • Crystal
  • Charm
  • Braided
  • Leather

Everyday Wear Bracelets

These bracelets should be your go-to’s. So, if you love your chain bracelets the most, those would be the best for everyday wear. Maybe you prefer to stack an open-cuff bracelet with a delicate bracelet and a double-wrap bracelet. It’s all up to you! While most people are probably not going to wear their best diamond tennis bracelet and bracelets with other precious stones every day, if that’s what you like, or maybe you are in a more formal setting day-to-day, then those might be your go-to’s. 

Bracelets with Meaning

One thing to think about with all jewelry is if it has meaning to you. Perhaps you have an heirloom gold bracelet from your great aunt, or your husband got you a charm bracelet with your children’s initials on it. Sometimes these pieces can’t be put firmly into a formal or casual category. So, wear them if they make you feel happy in whatever setting you’d like.

No matter how or where you choose to wear your bracelets, ultimately all that matters is that you are happy. If you like how a fancier bracelet looks with a casual outfit, go for it! Maybe you prefer to don a gold bracelet stack always and never take it off. No one is saying you can’t, and making sure that you feel good about your accessories will only add to your confidence. Make sure you invest in high-quality pieces so they last longer, fit better and don’t lose their coloring.

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