During 2019 and 2020, we’ve seen bracelets take off and develop into a go-to accessory for style-conscious men. From wooden beads to leather cuffs to metal ID bands, there is currently a wealth of options available to choose from, for those men who are not afraid to adorn their wrists with confidence.
Just like any other controversial trend, some do not give the bracelets a chance and see the whole concept as a complete closure of femininity, emasculating, and a complete turn to the opposite sex. That being said, it seems like a large proportion of us are finally coming to the idea of jewelry.
Rise Of Men’s Jewelry
Men’s jewelry has long been a topic that polarizes opinion. For example, when asked by his wife for her opinion on the concept of men wearing bracelets, GQ reporter Oliver Franklin received a scornful, but possibly incorrect, opinion.
However, 2013 seems to be a year where the tide is turning and men are more open to the idea of using a bracelet. According to Toby Batman, Buying director at Mr. Porter, sales of men’s bracelets are on the rise, while The Times also reports an increase in sales of men’s jewelry during 2012.
Not only that, the fashion press, including GQ and Ask Men, has supported the emerging trend, with several articles and editorials featuring men’s wristbands. Shortlist Magazine has been particularly advocating sincerely, recently featuring a ‘Buyers Edit’ section with Harvey Nichols’ Head of mans-wear, Darren Skey, who picked out an M Cohen oxidized silver and vintage Hermes silk bracelet as his accessory of the season.
Furthermore, by clicking on the AW13 edition of the Shortlist Mode, advertorials from brands such as Ralph Lauren, Topman, and Replay feature models wear bracelets, proving that it is a trend being pushed by both high-end and high street brands alike.
The same edition of Shortlist MODE also includes an entire editorial spread entitled ‘Way Up High’, which shows the model in a range of rural, outdoor locations. In every shot, he is wearing a small stack of bracelets, which not only adds to the ethnic theme of the shoot but gives each looks a sense of character and individuality.
With all this in mind, for the average man who is interested in exploring the world of wristwear, the key styles are available now.
Metal Bracelets – Metal Bracelets Military
Metal bracelets – especially ID bracelets – probably represent the option for most men to wear wristbands, largely because of their military connotations.
Metal bracelets have long held a place within men’s style, with screen idols like Marlon Brando and James Dean wearing them in commemoration after World War II. their popularity is also on the rise today, with celebrities such as Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, and Liam Hemsworth spotted wearing them.
ID bracelets retain a sense of masculinity and convey the idea of a tasteful rebellion with their sleek appearance. As they tend to be quite distinctive and chunky, metal bracelets are best worn as stand-alone, solo pieces. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear it on your free, non-watch hand, instead of weighing the same wrist with both your watch and the metal bracelet.
As with everything, it is important to wear it with confidence and especially with a metal bracelet – work under the concept that less is more. No one wants to give off the appearance of a manacled prisoner.
Nautical Trend Bracelets
Nautical aesthetics has become a staple of menswear, so it is not surprising that this influence has recently been applied to jewelry. Every spring and summer, the perennial trend invests in nautical-themed bracelets, therefore, offers longevity and is the perfect finishing touch for any maritime or Riviera-inspired outfit.
The nautical concept has been applied to wrist wear in several different ways in recent seasons, from type of fastening to the use of rope and cabling, to the inclusion of nautical-themed motifs and emblems.
For example, Mr. Porter’s current Miansai collection has a plethora of sophisticated nautical-themed pieces, which all come complete with anchors/hooks in fastening in sleek silver, brass, and gold. Miansai leather and metal anchor wrap bracelet, which combines multiple wraps of soft tan leather with a stunning silver anchor pendant that doubles as the fastener.
At the slightly more affordable end of the market, Topman is offering a double rope bracelet with a marine-themed badge closure, and Urban Outfitters are stocking a beaded bracelet featuring a silver anchor piece cleverly embedded in a rock-effect stone.
Beaded Bracelets For Men
From ethnic-inspired wooden beads to high-end crystal/ebony versions to describe plastic styling, the range of designs currently on offer is wide and provides something for every personal taste.
A big part of their appeal comes from the fact that you can easily stack different styles together to create a look that is unique to you. Change the size of the bead, material, and color to create your combinations, whether you choose timeless and monochrome or bold and statement-making.
They also look quite versatile to a wide variety of looks. For example, black and grayscale beads give smart, tailored outfits an edge whilst wooden versions give a natural, exterior look to heritage ensembles. In terms of technique, beaded bracelets can be used to inject an unexpected pop of color into an outfit, tie together the palette by picking out subtle colors within the look, or simply add another tactile element to an already carefully layered autumn/winter ensemble.
Leather & Woven Bracelets – Leather Braided Bracelet
Men are already accustomed to wearing leather on their wrists in the form of a watch strap, so a leather bracelet may not be such a big leap and is probably a little more attractive, especially for those who make their first tentative steps in the jewelry world.
The positive aspect of a leather bracelet is that it retains a sense of masculinity. Leather as a material is also refined and versatile, so – depending on the style and size of the bracelet – it can retain a sense of formality whilst at the same time appearing roguish and rebellious.
For example, a black or dark brown leather bracelet can be integrated into a smart, tailored look without jarring, and, similarly, a wide leather cuff could be worn with a t-shirt and slim-fit jeans for a more edgy, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic.
Conversely to metal bracelets, leather versions can complement and contrast nicely against timepieces (whether leather, fabric, or steel bands), which means you are also given the freedom to choose which wrist you wear them on.
Woven Bracelets Men’s
The woven bracelet is another style that is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and they are often found in leather.
The good thing about a woven bracelet is that fabric versions can be relatively cheap and come in a wide range of bright colors, should you want your accessory to pop, and act as a point of reference for the whole outfit.
Again, woven bracelets can be stacked and even combined with leather or beaded versions to create an interesting, visual effect without becoming too scruffy and unkempt.
In fact, whilst researching this article the woven variety appeared to be the second most popular style (after beads) and were worn by all different types of men – from young street style muses to more mature professionals.