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While jewelry might be seen today as a gendered accessory and worn predominantly by women, this hasn’t always been – and shouldn’t be! – the case. Dating back to Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome (and in some cases even further back than that) bracelets, rings, necklaces, cuffs, and even ornate headpieces were worn by men to signal authority, status or power.
In the following guide, we’re going to present 7 reasons why men should adorn their wrists with these historic – and fashionable – accessories. Let’s take a look!
What are bracelets?
Bracelets are ornamental accessories typically made from metal, plastic or wood, and can be personalized with charms, engravings and more; both genders usually wear bracelets around the wrist, but they can even be worn on the arms (as arm cuffs) or around the ankles (although we’d typically refer to these as ankle bracelets).
What do bracelets symbolize?
In Ancient Greek and Roman cultures, bracelets and wrist cuffs were worn as a sign of power – often only worn by the wealthy or those in authority. However, more modern meanings range from good luck charms to signifiers of family unity; some men may even choose to wear them for symbolic reasons, such as religious protection, spiritual guidance or simply because they like the way they look.
For example, Sikh Indian men wear a bracelet known as a Punjabi kada: a steel bangle that symbolizes strength, courage and commitment to their spiritual and religious beliefs. Similarly, in Evangelical Christianity, both men and women can be seen wearing what is known as a salvation bracelet; a salvation bracelet is typically a string bracelet strung together with different coloured beads, which each represent sin, the cleansing of sins, baptism, and spiritual growth.
Why should men wear bracelets?
While men may not be encouraged to wear bracelets across all religions and cultures – for example, the Muslim faith discourages men from wearing bracelets and other accessories – those of different (or no) faiths can benefit from adding this accessory to their ensemble. Here’s why:
As mentioned above, bracelets are often thought to provide spiritual protection, whether it’s from acts of nature, evil spirits, or from malicious intent. Wearing a bracelet can give you a sense of safety, while also connecting you to the traditions and customs of your ancestors.
Good luck charm
Whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, or simply an important job or project, many bracelets are thought to bring good luck, especially when adorned with personalized charms and symbols. For example, why not add a lucky 4-leaf clover charm to a bracelet next time you have an important event or simply need some good luck on your side?
Even when worn by men, bracelets make a fashionable statement, and when worn with other pieces of jewelry (such as rings or watches) a bracelet can really elevate an outfit. Plus, there are so many different materials, designs and colors to choose from – you can even personalize your bracelet with charms, engraved details, or even layer your bracelets for a statement-making look.
Aside from winning fashion points, wearing certain types of bracelets can even provide health benefits. Metals such as gold and steel are believed to act as a conductor of energy – allowing you to balance your body’s natural ‘chi’ and improve circulation in the wrists.
Bracelets can range anywhere from $5 to $5000, so you’re sure to find something that both reflects your personal style and aligns with your given budget. You can even get creative and make your own bracelets using at-home kits or beads if you’re short on cash!
As well as being stylish, bracelets are also comfortable – they’re usually lightweight, so you don’t need to worry about one impeding your day-to-day activities, especially if you work with your hands. Plus, as bracelets can be made from different materials (plastic, wood, and metal most commonly), you can find one – or a bunch – that fit your lifestyle and personal taste with ease.
Finally, bracelets are incredibly versatile accessories, which makes them perfect for men who like to change up their style every now and again; you can either stick to a classic look (such as a metal bracelet or leather model) or get creative and mix and match different materials, colors and sizes – or even stack multiple bracelets together for a more layered look (this works best with beaded bracelets). What’s great about bracelets is that you can add charm, layers, or style them differently each time you wear one; you don’t need to continue buying new accessories all the time.
How to pick a men's bracelet
So, how to pick a bracelet? Here are some tips when it comes to shopping for the perfect men’s accessory:
Quality, quality, quality
When it comes to bracelets, you get what you pay for, which is why it’s important to always opt for quality metals. Aim for quality materials that are durable and long-lasting, such as 22 karat gold bracelets – these will last longer than cheaper alternatives.
Men typically work in more labor-intensive roles than women, such as construction, engineering, and industrial jobs. Consider getting a bracelet that can withstand daily wear and tear – a leather or rubber model is usually preferable over metal bracelets in this case, as they won’t snag on clothing or machinery.
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