You can’t really say that bangle bracelets are back since they never completely went away, but this season they’re a full-fledged fashion trend. The way to wear them is in stacks, so get used to hearing that jingle-jangle or clickety-clack they make as a cluster shimmies up and down the arm.
The sound they make depends on the materials they’re made of, and right now anything goes, says Kim Renk, co-founder and co-designer of jewelry company Sequin. “There’s something sexy about the jingle. It’s like the bell of a woman calling your attention,” Renk said.
There are bangles to be found in all price ranges, from Candie’s kelly green ribbon bangle for $16 at Kohl’s to the US$625 Frank Gehry Tube bangle made of sterling silver and ebony wood for Tiffany & Co.
Bangles made their biggest splash in the 1960s as the kitschy complement to mod miniskirts and then resurfaced in the ’80s and — like today, another period that borrows from the ’60s.
Linda Renk, Kim’s sister and business partner, picks chunky prism bangles with a metallic sheen as her No. 1 choice for this summer. She says they’ll look great with all the pop art-printed clothes out there, as will the plastic bracelets that take colour so well and look best in thicker styles.
“Clothing always dictates accessories and, this season, the clothes are fun,” adds Kim Renk.
(Her favourite bangles, however, are the classic bamboo bracelets, most common in gold or silver tones.)
What makes a bracelet a bangle is that it’s circular, stiff and without links, says Silvio Hidalgo, president and designer of Florida-based jeweller Hidalgo, which claims enamel and diamond jewelry as its specialty.
A clasp is optional, he explains, but bracelets without clasps will move a lot more on the arm. A bangle with a clasp can be narrower and tends to have a more oval shape. Bangles with a clasp also tend to be more expensive, he adds.
There also are hinged cuffs, which open and close like Ms. Pac-Man’s mouth, that look more like bangles than cuffs. The latter are tighter fitting bracelets that never fully complete their circle.
The trend right now is to wear a mix of widths at the same time, though Hidalgo says he personally likes the look of a single bracelet type in a variety of colours.