Wall Street Journal Article.
Feb. 3, 2023 11:30 am ET
"Ryan Reynolds Does It. Ditto Brad Pitt. Here, a Men’s Guide to Stacking Bracelets."
By AND MY COMMENTS :)
Combining two or three bracelets can be a great look for men. It can also go very wrong. Here, tips for strategic stacking—plus four combos to emulate.
LAST SUMMER, a male mega-pop-star strolled into FoundRae’s Manhattan store and bought a slim gold chain bracelet. Beth Hutchens, the jewelry brand’s co-founder, was unprepared for the ensuing deluge of queries—mostly from fans who had manically identified the bracelet in photos of the singer and hoped that, as unlikely as it sounds, she might have insights into his marriage plans. Ms. Hutchens has no comments on that but plenty on the current vogue for men’s bracelets, reporting that FoundRae’s male shoppers, whether famous or not, seem to be wearing more arm candy than ever.
Between January and December of 2022, U.S. monthly searches related to “men’s bracelets” increased by 43%, according to Semrush, an online-trend-tracking company. At U.K. department store Selfridges, demand for men’s bracelets is up by 124% year-over-year (wrist bling recently overtook rings to become the retailer’s second-most-popular category of men’s jewelry after necklaces). With the spike in interest has come a greater breadth of styles. You can find a bracelet for every sensibility—pavé tennis bracelets glimmer, leather braids skew more low-key and beaded strands range from eclectic (alive with candy-colored trinkets) to somber (a stern string of black volcanic gemstones). THEY HAVE NOT DISCOVERED BUFFALO HORN YET!
Rather than limit yourself to one, the prevailing (and pricier) strategy is to stack ’em. The bracelet collection of David Reischer, who works in commercial real estate in Miami, started with string souvenirs he picked up years ago while traveling in Morocco and Israel. The 34-year-old has since added leather and beaded versions that he wears every day. HE NEEDS A ZADEH PIECE! Having more than one bracelet dangling from his wrist gives a strong first impression, he believes, especially when he’s called upon to shake someone’s hand, an opportunity for wrist straps to shine.
Another devotee, Zachary Jonas, the vice president of New York City jeweler Jonas Studio, says wrist stacking adds depth and personality to a look. The bright beaded bracelets that bedecked actor Ryan Reynolds’s wrists last year (and were reportedly crafted by his daughters) enlivened a summery outfit, while in recent years Brad Pitt has spiced up sober, black ensembles by layering glinting bands up his forearms.
Wearing multiple bracelets? Mix up the textures and thicknesses—and stop at three. AGREED!
Even so, for most men, this isn’t a “go for it” situation. Overly laden wrists can make you look like a 20-something on a globe-trotting gap year that never quite ended. Aim for a combo that’s easy and cohesive. For starters, stop at three bracelets per wrist, advised Michael Saiger, the founder of Miami jewelry brand Miansai. Mr. Jonas likes to practice a neat trick he calls the “Oreo effect.” By sandwiching one distinct bracelet between two matching designs—say, a silver chain flanked by strands of blue lapis lazuli beads—it “builds this one unit,” he said. “It’s nothing too distracting.” Alternatively, try varying all the materials and thicknesses to keep things interesting. A slim ribbon or rope design can temper the beefiness of a Cuban chain, suggested Mr. Saiger.
Play with proportion and texture—here, a chain meets braided leather and smooth beads. AT ZADEH, WE DON'T DO BEADS NOR CHAINS!
The biggest no-no for guys? Combining gold and silver bracelets. I DISAGREE! This classic men’s jewelry faux pas concerned many aficionados we consulted. “Mixing metals…looks like too much,” said Mark Shami, founder of New York City’s the M Jewelers. One workaround if you’re indecisive: Get a bracelet that incorporates different metals within its design, said Ms. Hutchens. That looks intentional not chaotic—and it can “bridge the gap” if the metals of your wedding ring and watch are already at odds, she said.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore your watch, emphasized Ms. Hutchens: As you strategize your stack, at least one bracelet should share at least one shade with your ticker. Mr. Reischer adheres to this rule by swapping the strap on his watch from green rubber to black when he’s sporting his black Cartier bracelet. “It’s a detail I like to pay attention to.”