Bracelets are some of the most useful, versatile pieces to have in your jewelry collection. Why? The answer’s simple. They can completely transform a simple outfit, especially when styled well.
A good bracelet stack can turn a plain, classic white shirt and blue jeans combo into something that looks put together, chic and stylish. It can give new life and personality to your understated, office-chic black work dress. Moreover, if you like making a statement with bolder, chunkier pieces, a bunch of gold plated or silver plated bracelets can even transform a day look into a night one (without ever having to put on a pair of heels!).
There are so many possibilities when it comes to bracelet stacking; it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve sat down with jewelry industry experts to find out all there is to know about the trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
Read on for our top designers’ tips and tricks for styling your stack - no more stress, promise!
What Makes a Good Stackable Bracelet
A lot of people are unsure about what makes a bracelet particularly good for stacking, as opposed to functioning as a standalone piece. The key thing to remember is that all of the bracelets in your collection should be able to do both.
Whether you’re looking at a chunkier or more delicate bracelet, a solid bracelet versus a chain, or a bracelet made of gold, silver, stainless steel or mixed metals, each one can do it all. The key to creating stylish stacked looks is making sure there is always variety within your jewelry box, to be able to mix and match.
How to Layer Bracelets: Key Tips for Curating your Stack
1) Mix Different Bracelet Sizes and Weights
Always go for a mixture of different sizes when curating your bracelet stack – thicker and heavier integrated with thinner and more delicate. Play with the proportions and combine a variety of sizes and thicknesses until you’re happy with the outcome.
2) Include 3 or more Bracelets in your Stack
Wear at least three bracelets as a minimum, to make sure your stack looks intentional, but aim to cover no more than around 1/3 of your forearm with jewelry. It’s all about striking that perfect balance.
3) Choose Either a Monochromatic Look or a Mix of Metals
Select a monochromatic look or mix metals and colors. If you decide on the former, ensure there is weight and textural variety to your stack to keep things interesting, for lack of varying colors. If you go for the latter, the bracelets you select can be a little more minimalistic, as there is already added visual interest.
4) Blend Rigid with Flexible
Consider how the bracelets in your stack move and lie on your wrist. It’s a great idea to blend more rigid bracelets with more flexible ones that rotate and flow as you move around. This creates a relaxed and natural effect.
5) Take a Photo to Remember
If you find a combination you love, take a picture! All too often, we experiment and mix up our looks but forget to document it when we find a combo that really works. Feel free to use your own previous styling as inspiration, especially when you land on one of those days where nothing seems to look right.
Popular Bracelet Stacking Players
How to know which bracelets to choose from? Here’s a little breakdown of some of the most common styles of bracelet out there, and what to consider when it comes to each one:
A classic round, solid bracelet that has seemingly been around forever. Bangles are normally slid on over the hand, meaning they tend to fit more loosely around the wrist. They can vary in width, but tend to be slightly thicker and less flexible than other bracelets.
A bangle is a timeless piece, and a great feature to include in your bracelet stack. As a solid piece, it gives great variety when stacked next to more textural pieces such as medium chain bracelets.
This classy accessory, featuring precious gemstones studded evenly around the wrist, brings a high-end look to any outfit. It is often considered an investment piece and is normally thin, chic and elegant.
While some may shy away from combining more delicate, refined pieces, such as a tennis bracelet, with edgier, less high-end pieces in a bracelet stack, don’t forget this can be a very effective and stylish look.
Combining two different tones and levels of jewelry, as well as various weights and thicknesses, produces a funky statement look that can really elevate an everyday outfit. Think of it like the way your favorite celebrities mix clothing from high-street stores with high end fashion accessories, and vice versa – there’s something about this technique that just works.
Chain bracelets come in all shapes and sizes, with varying thicknesses and shapes of links. Square links, round links and oval links are the most common. Many chain bracelets also feature a statement charm at the clasp or in the middle.
Chain pieces are an especially versatile and understated way of adding texture and interest to your bracelet stack, making them one of our favorite options - these are definitely a “go-to”.
Whether you choose a sturdier, chunkier chain for a bit of edge, or a thinner, more delicate chain bracelet (or one of each in and amongst your stack!), it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. Place a chain bracelet next to a solid bangle for great textural contrast.
An increasingly popular accessory is the beaded bracelet, featuring traditional colored or plastic beads, or metal beads for a more modern, contemporary look.
A thin or medium thickness breaded bracelet is a great way to elevate any stack. Circular beads provide a textural break from any solid pieces you mix them with, and will also lie differently compared to bracelets like bangles or cuffs, bringing movement and life to your stack.
Similar in shape and appearance to bangles, the key differentiator of a cuff is that it generally features either a clasp that opens and closes, or an open bottom that can be gently prised apart to put on, and squeezed closed to fit each wearer’s wrist.
A cuff provides a trendy block canvas to combine with other stackable pieces, and can look more or less delicate depending on its thickness.
Should You Stack Charm Bracelets?
Among jewelry designers, the general consensus is that charm bracelets, while great statement pieces, tend to be less suited to stacking. This does not refer to chain or link bracelets that feature one or two small charms at the center of them, but rather bracelets that feature multiple charms all the way around them.
The logic behind this is the desire to not overpower your bracelet stack. Because charm bracelets are busy and bulky, they tend to work great solo or with a watch. However, they are not so well suited as part of a multi-bracelet stack.
How to Style the Rest of your Jewelry
If you decide to go all out with your bracelet stack (highly encouraged!), it’s important to think about how to balance all this out with the rest of your jewelry look. Because a lot of weight and attention will be focused on your wrists and arms, the rest of your styling should complement this.
Styling experts suggest going for a more understated, laidback look for the rest of your jewelry, in this case. While one bulky ring on the opposite hand to your bracelet stack can be a great way to bring balance to your look, try and keep earrings plain and skip the necklace. It’s time to let your stack do the talking.
Last but not Least… Have Fun With It!
According to Keren Yoshua, creative director of Artizan Joyeria jewelry brand, we are in the era of “more is more” when it comes to jewelry styling. “There are no rigid rules around how to style your ‘wrist party’. The sky is truly the limit, so enjoy it! Allow yourself to be creative and showcase your personality through the pieces you choose to wear – that’s the best part.”
Be Free. Play around. Have fun with it. And don’t let anyone tell you there’s something you absolutely cannot do when it comes to bracelet stacking - the possibilities are endless!
Are stackable bracelets in style?
Yes - and this trend is not going anywhere! A stylish bracelet stack opens up a world of possibilities, to transform and elevate any outfit.
What are stacking bracelets?
Any bracelet in your collection can be a stacking bracelet or a standalone piece. It’s all about how you use it!
How do you pair bracelets?
Make sure to include a variety of sizes, thicknesses and textures when mixing bracelets, to ensure a cohesive look with movement. You can choose to mix metals or go for a monochromatic look.
How do you wear 3 bracelets?
The possibilities are endless! Try combining one chunky chain with two solid bangles, or three of the same kind of bracelet in mixed metals (e.g. gold-plated mixed with stainless steel).
How many bracelets is too many? How many should you stack?
Start with at least 3 bracelets to ensure your stack looks intentional. As for a maximum, your bracelet stack should ideally cover no more than 1/3rd of your forearm.
What to wear with stackable bracelets?
Simple outfits, like an oversized white shirt and jeans or a classic black office-chic dress, look great when accented with a bracelet stack.
How do you stack beaded bracelets?
Circular beads are great for stacking as they provide a textural break from any solid pieces you mix them with. They will also lie differently compared to bracelets like bangles or cuffs, bringing movement and life to your stack.
WRITTEN BY NAOMI MYERSON