The layered look is in, and bracelets are the perfect place to test out your stacking skills. Slipping multiple bracelets around your wrist creates a fun textured look ranging from bohemian chic to modern rock. If you’re not sure how to wear multiple bracelets, keep reading for our tips on bracelet stacking.
Basics of Bracelet StackingBracelet stacking lets you express your style and change up your look at any time. When you swap out different pieces, rearrange the order and pair different bracelets together, you get an almost endless number of options for your wrist. The great thing about stacking bracelets is that it works for different looks. Start with a collection of several different bracelets in varying sizes, colors, materials and textures. It’s easy to mix and match those pieces to get the look you want for a specific occasion. You can layer thick leather bracelets with dark studded pieces and chunky metal bracelets for an edgy, rocker look. When you want something a little more feminine, choose lighter colors with a mix of beaded pieces, gemstone bracelets, and thin bangles. You can go simple and subtle for a professional setting or big and bold for a night out with the girls. Stacking bracelets doesn’t mean you should throw on every bracelet you own. In fact, that will likely look overdone, mismatched and clunky. Pairing bracelets is a bit of an art, but some strategy goes into matching up pieces that work well together. Learning to pair pieces that complement one another and create a certain look gets you on your way to bracelet beauty.
Pick a Focal PointAny great bracelet stack starts with a focal point. The rest of the bracelets accent that main piece to create a textured, interesting look. How do you pick your focal point? It all comes down to which piece you want to emphasize. Pick a favorite bracelet you’ve always loved or a piece that perfectly matches your outfit. Once you identify that main piece, you’ll choose other bracelets that highlight it without overwhelming your focal point. Here are some ideas for your bracelet focal point:
- Watch: Stacking bracelets with watches always works well. The bracelets dress up your usual watch for a more complex look. Choose a watch with a bracelet-style band or other decorative elements that help it blend in with the other bracelets.
- Leather bracelet: A chunky leather bracelet creates an earthy base for the stack. It’s a great option for a casual look. Whether you choose natural brown or a color such as black or white, the neutral look lets you pair it with almost any color bracelet as accents.
- Metal cuff bracelet: A cuff-style bracelet creates a thick, metallic center for your bracelet arrangement. Choose a smooth metal cuff for a sleek look or a hammered cuff for texture. When selecting accent bracelets, you can use the same metal or try mixing different metals.
- Link bracelet: Another way to add a metallic touch as your focal point is to use a link bracelet. Links come in different metals, thicknesses, and styles to match the look you want. When you’re using a link-style bracelet as the focal point, it’s generally best to choose a piece with large, thick links, so it stands out amid the other pieces.
- Beaded bracelet: Beaded bracelets add color and texture to your arrangement. To make the bracelet stand out, choose a piece with large beads. Colorful beads also make the bracelet noticeable.
- Charm bracelet: A charm bracelet gives your look a personalized touch. PANDORA charms cover a wide range of themes, interests and special events. Select several charms that represent your personality to anchor your bracelet stack.
Add AccentsWith your focal point bracelet selected, you can choose accent pieces that complement it. Those accent bracelets don’t have to match the main piece exactly. In fact, the stack usually looks better when you mix things up and get creative. A stack of matching metal bangles is always a hit, but shaking it up a little by mixing different materials gives you greater versatility in the looks you create. Almost any bracelet can serve as an accent piece. Thin bangles work well for this purpose because they fit well between larger pieces. Look for interesting designs, such as pieces from the IPPOLITA Glamazon collection. The Path of Symbols line from Alex and Ani features stackable charm bangles. Thinner link or chain bracelets also fill in spaces well.
Mix MaterialsForget the rules about only pairing like materials. When stacking bracelets, anything goes. Mixing different textures and materials makes the combination visually interesting. That means you can mix two different metals, beads with metals, leather with gemstones and any other combinations you want. When choosing materials, consider the overall look you want. For a dressy look, opt for gemstone bracelets and sleek metal pieces. For a more casual look, pair leather with different metals and a few colorful pieces.
Incorporate Various SizesSize is a way to add variety to your bracelet arrangement. It’s best to stick to one or two larger pieces to avoid creating a clunky, heavy look on your wrist. An easy way to mix in different sizes is by choosing varying types of bracelets, which tend to come in different widths. Cuffs are generally wide while bangles are thinner, for example. Using several thinner bracelets lets you stack together more pieces for greater variety.
Play With ColorAnother way to add visual interest while tying together the look of your bracelet stack is through the use of color. One color or color family for all the bracelets creates a stunning monochromatic look. Choose a color that complements your outfit or one that stands out for a noticeable look. For greater variety and a more colorful look, pair together bracelets of different colors. All the colors should work together and fit with your outfit, but you can have some fun with the color combinations. If you’re not sure which colors to put together, look for inspiration around you. Here are some places to look for color pairing inspiration:
- Clothing: A shirt or outfit with lots of colors on it gives you an idea of how colors work together. Browse the racks for a patterned shirt with an attractive color scheme. Snap a photo or make note of the colors found in the pattern. If you already have an outfit in mind, pull colors from the design to select bracelets.
- Nature: If you look around, you’ll see all sorts of colors in nature. Even in the city, you can find colors in architecture that work well together.
- Mood boards: You can find mood boards online to see how colors work together. Mood boards feature a collection of different colors, textures and other items that create a certain look or feel. Note the colors in mood boards that appeal to you for help in choosing your bracelets.
- Jewelry: A multicolored bracelet is a perfect way to choose colors. Choose hues from the multicolored bracelet to choose the accent pieces.
Consider the OrderStacking bracelets require more than simply slipping on a bunch of bracelets that look good together. The order has a major influence on how the stack looks. Deciding on that order often comes down to experimenting. One way to test the arrangement is to lay out the bracelets on your dresser or table. Do the bracelets look good in the order you place them? If not, move them around to try different arrangements. One good rule of thumb is to space out the sizes and types of bracelets, especially larger pieces. Placing two large bracelets side by side often looks clunky and unbalanced. If you choose two thicker bracelets for your stack, place a few thinner bracelets between them to create greater balance. Another consideration is the type of bracelets and how likely they are to get tangled. Two thin chain bracelets next to one another may not work so well. Separate bracelets that get tangled easily with other pieces, so your stack doesn’t turn into one giant knot. Keep an overall balance in mind when you choose the order of the bracelets. Think about how the colors, textures, and metals work together and balance one another. In general, spreading out bold colors, rich textures and various sizes help keep that balance.
Start SmallIf you’re nervous about bracelet stacking, start by experimenting with just a few bracelets. You don’t have to cover your arm from wrist to elbow in bracelets. Instead, choose three or four bracelets with a similar style. That might be a group of bangles made from the same material with similar accents or a few bangles with a chunky link bracelet in the mix. This idea of starting small eases you into the idea of wearing multiple pieces at once. As you gain confidence in your bracelet-stacking skills, integrate other pieces or work up to wearing more bracelets at one time. Pair a cuff bracelet, gemstone bracelet, and link bracelet, for example. When you find a simple look you like, add a few extra bracelets next time you wear the combination to expand your options. You can also get more adventurous with the materials and styles you mix.
ExperimentThink back to when you first started wearing makeup or wearing a particular type of clothing. You probably spent some time experimenting with different looks until you figured it all out. Some results were likely better than others. The same idea applies to bracelet stacking. You can replicate a look you find online, but playing around with the pieces you already have and adding in a few new bracelets can help you find your signature style. You may discover a great combination of bracelets you didn’t think would go together.
Know When to StopIt’s tough to define “too many bracelets” with a specific number. It comes down to the types of bracelets you use, what you think of the look and how comfortable the combination feels on your wrist. Stacking bracelets is a lot like getting the right makeup look or accessorizing with other pieces. It’s about what you feel looks good and what makes you feel beautiful. There are a few situations to consider when deciding when you have enough bracelets in your stack. First, if you wear bracelets on both arms, it’s often better to go lighter on both arms. If you would normally wear 10 bracelets on one arm, scale it back to just a few on both arms. Deciding how to wear bracelets on both arms takes some practice to get a good balance that doesn’t overwhelm your entire look. Another consideration when deciding how many bracelets to wear is the rest of your accessory plan for the outfit. Heavy layering of all your accessories at the same time can make the jewelry overtake your look. If you plan to layer several bracelets, ease up on the number of rings and necklaces you wear at the same time. Balance the number of pieces to get a look you like without distracting from your overall style.
Tips for Bracelet StackingWe’ve covered the basics of bracelet stacking, so you’re ready to get started. Before putting together your bracelets, check out these additional tips:
- Find inspiration: You can find inspiration for your bracelet stacks almost anywhere. Pinterest is a great place to look for different bracelet looks. Keep an eye out for coworkers or friends who nail the stacked bracelet look. Pay attention to the pieces they put together, so you can create a similar look with your own bracelet collection.
- Choose a unifying theme: It’s perfectly fine to mix and match your colors, sizes, materials and textures, but it’s a good idea to have some sort of unifying idea. This helps create a coordinated look without being overly matched. Keep in mind the desired theme or style you’re trying to create, so that each piece you choose fits into that idea.
- Try it with your outfit: Once you figure out how to pair your bracelets together, try it with your outfit. A stack may look great on its own, but it also needs to work well with your outfit.
- Consider comfort: You want your jewelry to look great, but you also want a comfortable fit. Wear your bracelet combination for a few minutes before you leave the house to make sure they feel comfortable on your wrist. Consider the activities you plan to do that day and whether or not the arrangement will work well for your agenda. A huge stack of thick bracelets may get in your way when you try to use your computer or do any sort of physical labor, for example.
- Document your stacks: Instead of reinventing your stacks each time, find an arrangement you like and use it again. An easy way to remember the order is snapping a photo of the bracelets on your wrist. Refer to the photos to find a look that fits your outfit for the day.
- Keep adding: You can create many different looks from any size of bracelet collection, but adding new pieces periodically expands your options. IPPOLITA offers a variety of unique bangles and link bracelets perfect as focal or accent pieces.
- Get adventurous: If you’re new to bracelet stacking, you may feel a little reserved at first. Take a chance with a bold new look.
- Embrace your style: There’s no one-size-fits-all method for stacking bracelets. Let your personal style shine through when you put together your pieces. Most of all, have fun as you experiment with different bracelet combinations.
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