What Defines A Bangle?

May 05, 2014

Faux Bakelite Bangle

Bangles are a traditional arm adornment that have been around for centuries throughout many cultures. Bangles are most popular in South Asia. Women in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh regularly rock bangles. One cool bit of cultural trivia, girls learn from a young age how to accessorize. It is very common to see kiddos wearing gold and silver bangles. It’s also tradition for friends and family to gift brides with glass bangles, the bride wears an armful on her wedding day and throughout the honeymoon. When her final bangle breaks it means the honeymoon has ended and everyday life commences. #sadface

Here’s further proof that women have always loved their accessories, bangles have been excavated from archaeological sites from India and the Mauryan Empire dating back to 322 BC. Some finds include figurines with multiple bangles dressing the arms while others are copper and sea shell samples of earliest arm candy (technical term). Today, Pakistan remains the world’s largest producer of bangles. Bangles have evolved quite a bit and today there is a plethora of designs, materials and styles to choose from. Being able to choose from so many designers, mixing and matching styles, textures and colors helps make your accessories uniquely you!

FYI: Bangles differ from bracelets in that they do not bend. Like bracelets, they are circular in shape and are made in a variety of materials. Some of these materials include gold, silver, platinum, glass, wood, plastic, lac (a ceramic type of material) and sea shells. There are two types of bangles that can be found. Your basic bangle is just a solid cylinder. These come in a range of pricing and materials and are the most common. The second type of bangle is a split cylinder which looks similar but has an opening and closing (sometimes with a chain attached). BanglesDesigns range from simple, plain colors to intricate engravings or studded bangles with precious or semi-precious stones. The Kangan are of Indian descent and are very thick in comparison to your standard bangle.

They are both square and round and exhibit the touch of richness and classic beauty more so than others. The gold Kangan bracelets are the most popular because of their elegance. Most are adorned with semi-precious stones to enhance their look. Another iconic bangle type is the carved bakelite bangle, fun fact bakelite was invented in good old New York in 1907. Bakelite accessories were all the rage with flappers and the bright young things of the 1920’s. Unfortunately bakelite is no longer produced in the jewelry realm. Bakelite’s a bit hard to find, but there are many reproductions that are just as fun made from acetate and other materials. The variety of bangles that you can find are endless. Manufacturers such as Trollbeads and Alex & Ani have added charms to their bangle collection to make each one unique. Other manufacturers have gone the route of beads to differentiate from the rest.

Stacking bangles in various colors, shapes and textures is a fantastic way to create your own individualized fashion statement. But don’t get totally hung up on the bangle, mixing bangles with a chunky menswear watch or charm bracelets can really add and interesting pop. We would love to see your bangle mix, use the #letinthelovely and #ReadySetAccessorize on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your style with us! Make sure to check out our Pinterest pinboard http://www.pinterest.com/cocoandduckie/bangle-love/!




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