**Guide to Jewellery – Part 1. Bracelets.**
Jewellery is a polarising subject when it comes to menswear, because some say men shouldn’t wear any jewellery aside from a wedding ring and a watch, some say to hell with that, give me my bracelets, my rings and my pendants. Jewellery has been a part of mens fashion since fashion was a thing, so it’s certainly hard to disregard it. Many treat jewellery as the last piece to their style identity – the cornerstone that finalises their outfit and style as a whole
Can there be too little jewellery? Probably not, because it’s by no means a necessary part of an outfit. Can there be too much? Certainly, but that would largely depend on your style and environment you are in. As with everything, balance is key.
In this instalment, we will cover bracelets – different types, where to buy them and how to wear them.
*Note 1*: Etsy is one of the largest marketplaces for jewellery, featuring thousands of sellers. Prices are generally very affordable and choice is huge, which makes it a great place to start looking first.
*Note 2*: Some links will lead to the british site of MrPorter, which is known to behave erratically when accessed from other countries. Consider pre-emptively switching your country to UK if you are planning to click on specific examples.
**Beaded.** Probably the most common and most varied type is the beaded bracelet, beaded bracelets are often made of round beads tied on an elastic string or a cord. One can find it anywhere from tourist shops all the way to high end jewellery. Materials vary as much as the bracelets – plastic, glass, metal, stone, lava, gems, you name it.
Beaded bracelets are the simplest way to get into this type of jewellery, because they are simple, affordable and easy to work into an outfit.
Where to buy:
– Etsy – $ to $$$ – As mentioned, a great place to start looking. You can get a decent natural stone beaded bracelet for around $20-30. Ones I liked in particular are [this simple one](https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/491706809/man-bead-bracelet-onyx-bracelet-men-gift?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=mens%20beaded%20bracelet&ref=sc_gallery-1-9&plkey=348c551d8f6de10bcb2e3ec57187c102c8d3746e:491706809); and [this lava stone variation](https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/162209972/mens-beaded-bracelet-lava-stone-bracelet?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=mens%20beaded%20bracelet&ref=sc_gallery-1-6&plkey=04a4530248e06bbc74cd9f902e46dd1df9d1e8b1:162209972).
– Tateossian – $ to $$ – Great quality jewellery for a decent price. Choice is huge. I particularly like [this one](https://www.tateossian.com/tatgbp/bracelets/beads-macrame/asteroid-matte-blue-lapis-bead-bracelet) from their current lineup.
– Thomas Sabo – $$ – I really recommend this brand as a starting point if you are willing to commit a bit, the quality is great and the pieces are great. They don’t have much variety year on year though, so you will probably want to look elsewhere if you want to diversify. [This tigerseye is one of my favourites](https://www.thomassabo.com/GB/en_GB/pd/bracelet/A1507.html?dwvar_A1507_config-color=881-2&cgid=men-categories-bracelets&dwvar_A1507_size=L15%2C5#start=30)
**Chain.** Probably the second most popular and most varied type of a bracelet, chain bracelets can come in a variety of link types, from simple oval-shaped, to complex multi-link designs. Most often made in metal, these bracelets are durable and versatile. Many come with variations and additions to the chain itself, such as [ID bracelets] or [other bracelet example]
Chain bracelets made out of precious metals such as gold or silver are often more expensive due to the combination of material and craftsmanship required to make it. However, there are still plenty of options to consider.
Where to buy:
– Etsy – $-$$$ – Again, best starting point for lower budget options is Etsy. I particularly like [this](https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/527214353/mens-bracelet-mens-silver-bracelets-mens?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=mens%20chain%20bracelet&ref=sr_gallery-1-9) and [this](https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/593649799/mens-silver-bracelets-mens-bracelet-mens?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=mens%20chain%20bracelet&ref=sr_gallery-1-20) one.
– A.P.C. – $$ – the brand liked for their great quality basics also makes wonderful chain bracelets. [This ‘Jill’ bracelet](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/apc/jill-silver-tone-bracelet/1008140) is currently on my list, but [this is a great example as well](https://www.apc.fr/wwuk/men-accessories-1/men-jewelry/mael-bracelet-meacc-h70344.html#/Silvertone&32).
– Your local jewellery store – $-$$$ – while mens bracelets are far less common in the local stores, this trend has been changing in the past years. Chain bracelets for men can be found in many local jewellers for a good price without brand markup.
– Designers & modern jewellers – $$$ – many designer brands make mens jewellery, and chain bracelets are quite common. Keep in mind that if the brand doesn’t specialise in jewellery though, quality won’t be directly proportional to the price. I am particularly fond of Maison Margiela jewellery [such as this](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/maison_margiela/sterling-silver-id-bracelet/982601).
**Leather.** Leather bracelets. Probably the most sophisticated type of bracelet, leather bracelets are easiest to work into a more formal outfit, while also working great in casual outfits. Classic leather bracelet construction involves a leather cord with a metal buckle – just like a tiny belt.
Leather bracelets come in a great variety of types and styles, from plain straps to woven and studded variations.
Where to buy:
– Amazon – $-$$ – I find Amazon having a very good selection of this type of bracelet (reasons unknown but there we go). I wouldn’t buy anything expensive from here, but budget to medium level pricing selection is solid.
– Fossil – $-$$ – Fossil deserves a particular shoutout for their affordable leather bracelets. Given brand’s outdoorsy and natural focus, they make plenty of styles with that aesthetic.
– Luxury Designers – $$-$$$- while other jewellery types may take them out of their comfort zone, many luxury designers is right at home when it comes to leather. [Tom Ford](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/tom_ford/woven-leather-and-palladium-plated-wrap-bracelet/923098) and [Bottega Veneta](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/bottega_veneta/intrecciato-leather-and-oxidised-silver-bracelet/941036) bracelets deserves a particular shoutout, but you will find many others with beautiful designs.
– Miansai – $$ – Miansai makes nautically-themed bracelets of great quality for very good prices. While their speciality is rope bracelets (on that later), [the leather versions](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/miansai/hook-leather-and-silver-plated-wrap-bracelet/1025355) are a step above in terms of style and sophistication.
**Cord/Rope.** Coming from a very utilitarian background, cord bracelets are the more rugged option for a bracelet. These work perfectly in the summer setting, particularly near the sea, but are also great for any other outdoors-inspired styles such as hiking or lumberjack.
There is an extremely practical option in form of [survival bracelets](https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parapeak-Survival-Bracelet-Trilobite-Adjustable/dp/B01MXH3GEI/ref=sr_1_19?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1520326826&sr=1-19&keywords=survival+bracelet), that features a woven cord that can be unwound if you need it. Many of these look pretty good actually, and if you are going for utility, these can turn out useful.
Where to buy:
– Etsy – $ – there are loads of rope and thin cord versions here, I am particularly fond of [this one](https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/498876910/black-bracelet-mens-bracelet-black-mens?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=rope%20bracelet%20men&ref=sr_gallery-1-4)
– Miansai – $$ – If you are going for a nautical theme, there will be no better place to look than here. [This classic variation](https://www.miansai.com/collections/hooks-anchors/products/anchor-on-rope-bracelet-rose) comes with rose gold anchor, but there are many options to choose from.
– Amazon – $ – there are plenty of options here as well which may be easier in terms of shipping, but I would start with Easy first.
**Cuffs.** Cuff bracelets, or bangles come in form of solid circles or semi-circles of metal. I feel that these are the hardest to wear, mainly because of how literally inflexible they are. They can also feel very restrictive and feel odd on the wrist, so make sure to try them out in store, at least as a style, before you commit to an online purchase.
Be careful that if anything made of brass, it will most likely bend soon so if you like to keep your bracelet perfectly round, go for a harder metal.
Where to buy:
– Etsy – $-$$ – Has the biggest selection that I could find. Be careful that if anything made of brass, it will most likely bend soon so if you like to keep your bracelet perfectly round, go for a harder metal.
– Designer brands – $$-$$$ – cuffs are a popular type of bracelet to find with designer brands, particularly Alexander McQueen with their [signature skull cuffs](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/alexander_mcqueen/blackened-brass-skull-cuff/1010010). [Gucci](https://www.mrporter.com/en-gb/mens/gucci/engraved-sterling-silver-cuff/882516) and Margiela make them often as well. They will often be quite expensive, as solid metal is often priced up due to perception of material worth.
– Local jewellers – $-$$$ – you can easily find loads of cuff bracelets for men in local stores. Be careful with buying online, as many often mark women’s bracelets as unisex, although sizing may be on the smaller side.
**How to Style.**
There appears to be two main approaches to styling mens bracelets, and that’s either wearing multiple at once to create a stack, or wearing just once, two max to add a flair to the look. You can wear the bracelet on the same hand as your watch – it can be a great combination.
**Stacking** bracelets is a popular thing with fashion bloggers and lookbooks, as it allows to show off a range of styles and looks good in pictures. While not particularly opposed to this, I find it quite cumbersome for everyday wear. Some good examples of this done well are [this stack worn with a suit](https://ephorilondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DSC_9357-e1484586911891.jpg), or [this streetwear look](https://ephorilondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/streetwear160906_20.jpg)&[zoom](https://ephorilondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/streetwear160906_23.jpg).
**Wearing a watch & a bracelet on the same hand** can work very well when your watch and bracelet work together, rather than contrast – [like here with a cuff](http://olivergrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/slide-tiffany-5-.jpg), or [with a leather bracelet](https://media.gq.com/photos/558322573655c24c6c95b870/master/pass/copilot-style-201408-1407861210055_man-jewelry-gq-magazine-august-2014-03.jpg); it can be done well even with [an apple watch](https://i.amz.mshcdn.com/zon0WDj9nRFnT-dPYmahuQGY3jo=/http%3A%2F%2Fa.amz.mshcdn.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F04%2FAndrew-Mens-Apple-Watch-Style-2.jpg).
**Wearing just one, max two bracelets** on the opposite hand from your watch is the simplest, and my favourite way of working a bracelet into your outfit. It works with any style of bracelets and pretty much any outfit. Here are just a few examples that I liked: [with a chain bracelet](http://olivergrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/150429_OG_Tiffany-tom-web-9.jpg); [beaded bracelet](https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0308/5105/products/avicii_large.jpg?v=1455680302); [simple leather wraparound](https://hommes.my/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chris-hemsworth-gq-july2012-bracelets.jpg); [a contrasting cuff](https://smhttp-ssl-33667.nexcesscdn.net/manual/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/necklace-mens-street-style-influencer.jpg), [and here with a suit](https://static1.squarespace.com/static/554c52b0e4b0f616e6754062/t/560298cfe4b09308c066c1e1/1443011034161/bell-and-barnett-grey-suit-races-sam-wines-man-of-style-melbourne-dapper-mj-bale-paul-hewitt-pink-tie-jake-odonell?format=1500w)
**Other places to look for bracelets**:
Easiest places to try out a wide range are department stores, which often feature whole departments for jewellery. Mens floors often have them in accessories as well, so make sure you check there as well. Websites such as Farfetch and MrPorter have a huge selection as well. Particular shoutout to [Wolf&Badger](https://www.wolfandbadger.com/uk/category/men/jewellery/bracelets/), which features up and coming designers and often has much better prices and really unique finds. It’s UK based, but they ship globally as far as I know.
List of brands to check out, in no particular order:
– Alexander McQueen
– Thomas Sabo
– Bottega Veneta
– Tom Ford
– Seven London
– Maison Margiela
– Luis Morais
– Alice Made This
Plus more brands suggested by others:
– Werkstatt Muenchen
– Parts of 4
– Node by Kudo Shinji
– The Great Frog London
– Giles and Bros
– Tom Wood
– Pura Vida
Bracelet is the easiest piece of jewellery to incorporate into your outfits, thanks to the variety of options and styles and probably the fact that men already wear something on a wrist a lot so the jump is easier to make. I personally wear a bracelet almost every day, it’s one of my favourite things to complement an outfit with.
Hopefully this guide helped with navigating this wonderful type of jewellery. As always, comments and questions are welcomed and encouraged.
Edit 1: Fixed missing link to an A.P.C bracelet as per u/TheFranchize note.
Edit 2: Added some of the brands suggested in comments.
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