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TIMELESS FASHION:  Back in ancient Egypt, it was ethnic, trendy, and aristocratic to wear many bracelets running up the arm at once, often on both arms. Today, it is just as popular and IN, as many different types of bracelets are combined and worn together running up to the elbow. Cuffs are hot.  Bangles are hot.  Link bracelets are wildly in demand, in silver and gold, real and plate. Bracelets are selling and with them, the larger fashion jewelry market is gaining sales momentum. 



Beaded bracelets have taken off big in recent seasons, taking impetus from the many beautiful and unique beaded necklaces on the market.  Charm bracelets have never been bigger. Bracelets of all sorts are rapidly becoming royalty in the world of fashion blue bloods.


An almost endless variety of bracelets presently infuses the market, keeping an intense emphasis on bracelets in general.  Most of the bracelets are fashion-oriented, but some are used for identification and medical purposes, such as allergy bracelets, and the like. Pink bracelets indicate support for breast cancer research. Practically every week we find a new celebrity is supporting another charity, identified by a special bracelet design.

Few, however, are as important as the pink breast cancer awareness bracelet.





ITALIAN GLASS SPLENDOR:  Just look at some of these wild and wonderful bracelets!  Murano glass bracelets are just one category of gorgeous, colorful glass bracelets with an elegant, artistic appearance. And what, after all, is more entrancing than Italian glass? Think of just one item:  An amber Murano style glass bracelet with large amber stones enhanced by Baroque glass pearls…spectacular! 


Other quality glass bracelets include millefiore designs.  Here, the bracelet is strung on coated wire to further enhance the traditional millefiore craft that produces beads with unique little floral designs. This is a real gift delight for anyone with artistic leanings.  She likes to visit museums?  You’ve got the perfect gift! Then there are more glass winners popular right now.  They include, among other styles, chunky glass beaded bracelets that look like jade or jet.  But…be careful.  These are not faux anything….they are real glass.


The history of bracelets is fascinating.  In the Georgian time (1910-1936), women not only wore many bracelets at once, but they also wore a number of unusual styles which are coming back into the fashion picture today.  Wide ribbon silver mesh bracelets, for example, are getting a great deal of attention now, as are silk ribbon bracelets. 


BLACK LACE:  Lacy wristlets are delightfully new-looking bracelets, running a couple of inches above the wrist, and then extending another couple of inches down over the hand in a pretty flounce.  In white lace, they are perfect for the bride.  In a pretty pastel, they add wonders to a prom outfit.  And in black lace, they add a sexy, sensual dimension to the hot black leather look that is making headlines now.


More Georgian designs garnering attention now include diamond or rhinestone bracelets in handsome geometric patterns.  Consider that geometric factor for bracelet designs; i.e., etchings and gemstones and enameling on the bracelets.


Bangle bracelets are a lot like hoop earrings right now:  they are hip, comfortable to wear and popular with celebrities everywhere, to give some indication of just how IN you can be wearing them. Sarah Jessica Parker, for example, wears a gold and gemstone puff bangle bracelet with a thin gold bangle for a dynamite look.  Sarah also trends-up her looks with matching cat’s eye bracelets on both arms.


BANGLE MANIA:  Bangles come in practically every material, from shell to metal, to plastic.  They are also available in many different widths and in an almost endless design variety. Some are circular, some are hexagonal, some are free-form oval.  Many are embedded with gemstones, and others use enameling for a colorful and design-smart look. 


Once you get past a certain width, of course, the bracelet is no longer a bangle. It becomes a cuff, which is simply a wide bracelet.  And wow!  Are cuffs ever popular now.  Wide metallic cuffs are just the start of it, although they are design front-runner here, especially in sleek modern styles.  Consider embellishment on cuffs, too, like a wide silver cuff bracelet with a center rose design.  It is feminine, colorful and charming. It also makes a wonderful gift for any age woman on your holiday list, so remember it!


And while we’re mentioning celebrities, did you ever see anything more eye-popping than the fabulous multi-strand diamond cuff bracelet worn by Queen Latifah recently?  Make it up in rhinestone and you get all the glitz and glamour without the price tag. Of course, if you are more conservative, you can still get a great look with just a single strand rhinestone tennis bracelet.  The good thing here is that you can wear just one.  Or two. Or seven, depending on your mood.  Call it mathematically progressive fashion. Terrific!


FLAPPER FANTASTIC:  The Victorian Era saw many changes to jewelry styles, as bracelets became more rigid and the vogue was set for wearing them in pairs.  A few years later, bracelets became more flexible again and, together with bangles, were fashionably worn, mostly in multiples, on the upper arm.  These flapper-bracelets as we might call them, were often adorned with gemstones or diamonds.  Again, we might be talking history but all of these styles are very IN today.  Think of this as an era of bracelet magnanimity.  Everything goes!


Gemstones on bracelets are always handsome.  So are pearls, on the bracelet or strung as bracelets themselves. Nothing really beats an ivory, socially-proper pearl bracelet!  But let’s get back to gemstones.  What’s big here?  All kinds of faux and semi-precious stones, from garnet to amethyst.  Think also about coral, which makes for a beautiful bracelet as well as an all-year reminder of the sea, and sea life, and the need for eco-consciousness. 


DOWN BY THE SEA:  Shells are ideal materials for bracelet designs.  Consider an abalone shell stretch bracelet, easy to fit anyone, easy to wear, and really good looking.  Some of these bracelets can be found interestingly embellished, as with silver plated filigree beads for an exquisite dress-up look.


White clam shells are also dynamite for bracelets, as are shell chips used in many different styles. Some shells take dye well and can be found in wonderful summery colors of aqua, pink or orange.  Think of Trochus shells here;  they come in white and can be dyed many beautiful colors. 



Vintage bracelets, like much that goes under the vintage banner in costume jewelry, is not only greatly in demand, but prices tend to be soaring for the category! Practically anything done in vintage-style mother-of-pearl can be expected to excite interest.



KID STUFF:  Children’s bracelets are a special jewelry group that always brings a smile to both the buyer’s and recipient’s (and her family’s) lips. Pretty stretch bracelets in delightful pastels are just right for little girls wanting to dress like a grown up. Another bracelet guaranteed to bring squeals of delight is an animal charm bracelet with a gang of little animals, from elephants to tigers, hanging off. 



Children’s charm bracelets with a whole variety of sports-oriented charms work well for grammar-school youngsters: Consider bracelets with hang-off football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and baseball charms.  A wonderful gift for mothers and grandmothers is the photo bracelet that has room for little pictures of little people.  What a great way for a proud family to show off their most prized possessions!

     –This is also a great gift for teenagers, who can put in pictures of their boyfriends or their latest celebrity idols!  Hunks on the wrist!  Almost sounds like a fast-food special!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

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