How to Wear Men's Bracelets – Without Overdoing It
Learn the principles behind wearing bracelets for men without looking like you’re trying too hard.
Men's bracelets have taken many forms over the years. From puka shells worn after a beach holiday to slap bracelets banned by schools everywhere in the 90s. And don’t forget that neon plastic bracelet trend from 2004… and the copies that popped up on wrists worldwide.
Take away the trends and you’ll notice that one constant remains – bracelets.
But why should men wear bracelets? A bracelet is one of the easiest accessories to wear. A little band of leather or beads can give an outfit that extra ounce of oomph, and it can help us share a bit of our personality without ever having to say a word. It can be our way of hinting to a life outside of the office, or the way we share a vibe with those around us.
The key to wearing a bracelet is effortlessness.
Understand this and you won’t fall prey to every single bracelet trend on earth – WWJD, anyone? – or look like you stepped off the plane from a month-long yoga retreat in Bali.
How to Choose the Right Bracelet for You
Effortlessness can be found by mastering a few bracelet basics:
- Proportions and fit
- Overall style
- Knowing where you’re going
Proportions & Fit
Your bracelet must be proportional to your size and fit correctly.
This boils down to wearing larger bracelets for thicker wrists and smaller for thin wrists.
Additionally, the bracelet should be tight enough to comfortably fit your wrist. Some bracelets, such as beaded bracelets for men on elastic, are one-size-fits-all and restricted to how small/big they can go.
A big clunky metal bracelet sliding back and forth on your arm gets old fast. Anything with significant weight should be fitted, while lighter bracelets can have a little more freedom.
Showing 10mm Gold-Tone Chain Bracelet
How to Find the Right Fit
A good fitting bracelet has a bit of extra space between itself and your wrist... but not so much that it slides up and down your forearm/hand.
You should be able to slide 1 or 2 fingers under the bracelet and your wrist.
A good tip is to treat bracelets like you would your watch – keep it under your sleeve. Remember this if you wear a chunky bracelet, as you may end up with a bulge under your cuff or a bracelet that can’t fit under the sleeve.
Overall Style & Look
What is the look you’re going for? This is the key question. Bracelets for men – and men's accessories and jewelry in general – are used to personalize your overall look. Think about the messages you’re trying to pass on with your style.
Remember effortlessness? That’s what we’re after.
A good tip is to go natural.
Natural materials like leather, wood, and stone wear well over time and get better with age. The color of these materials is also easier to wear and matches almost any outfit.
Wearing all shiny metals can go a bit hip hop video… in the wrong way. Avoid this by mixing metals with a natural element. Leather, for example, keeps the metal looking masculine and subdues the whole vibe… in the right way.
Your bracelet will send a message and some people will ask if there’s a special meaning behind it. Choose a bracelet that works with you and tells your story. Or make up a story about a trip to Bali and being an extra in a 50 Cent video.
Know Where You're Going
Remember: You can take bracelets off.
You’ll have one or two favorites, but you don’t have to wear them all the time. Not every bracelet will be suitable for all occasions.
For many formal contexts, we’d recommend going with a thin, discreet single bracelet in a dark color. You could also wear a silver or gold chain that matches the color of your cufflinks.
But what if you want to stand out?
Certain situations – nightclubs, concerts, and sporting events – are ideal for dressing a little louder and with more flair. Distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack through your style. Don’t hesitate to be bold.
How to Wear a Bracelet
Instagram makes everything seem easy. The trouble with imitating what we see on social media is that we can quickly become ‘that guy’. The bracelet guy. A kind of caricature of a stylish man where, despite your look being put together, all anyone can focus on is the number of bracelets on your one arm.
The simpler the better.
Showing Blue Abyss Lapis lazuli Bracelet
Style and dressing well comes down to balance (or a slight off-balance, rather). Imagine your two wrists as the two sides of a classic scale. One should be slightly heavier than the other. This concept is called visual weight.
You don’t want to wear several bracelets all on one wrist and have the other completely bare. You also don’t want to have them exactly the same... unless you go for the whole shackle-and-chain look.
Stand in front of a mirror and check yourself out. Remove a bracelet when in doubt. You can always wear it tomorrow.
SOLO: How to wear one bracelet
This is the easiest and simplest way to wear bracelets. Start with 1 or 2 bracelets and put them on one wrist. You’re done.
Showing Silver-Tone Cuff Bracelet
Wear your bracelet on the opposite hand if you wear a watch, or forget the watch and go with the bracelet. Make sure your watch and bracelets aren’t too similar in width (visual weight) – a thicker watch requires a thinner bracelet.
Use a bracelet to tie your look together by picking a subtle color from your outfit. Use the base tone of your shirt or a button, and match your bracelet to that color or tone. Or stick with natural colors – wood or leather – for a bracelet that matches everything.
THE STACK: How to wear multiple bracelets for men
This is the sought-after influencer vibe that many of us secretly wish to copy. Several bracelets are worn together on one wrist for a well-traveled, care-free and individual look.
Fifteen bracelets sliding up and down your arm looks great in pictures, but it is cumbersome for everyday wear. Sit at a computer all day? The stacked approach can be uncomfortable when placing your wrists on the keyboard or mouse… not to mention you may end up looking like a backup dancer from a Bollywood film.
Start by stacking 3 to 4 men’s bracelets that share a common theme but don’t necessarily match perfectly. Don't wear all bracelets in the exact same color or metal.
The best stack is one made from a mix of color and materials. Try 2 beaded bracelets (with lava stone or tiger’s eye) with 1 natural-colored leather band. If it looks good and you feel confident, add another leather bracelet of a different width to the mix.
Your wristwatch will count as a part of the stack equation, so you may not need more than 2 bracelets to get the full effect.
A few styles to experiment with:
- A mix of different style/size beads
- Wearing tan leather and steel bracelets for men
- Combining leather and beaded bracelets for a bohemian twist
- Mixing different chain and ID bracelet styles together for a tough masculine vibe
Bracelet Stacking Tips
Avoid color-overload by wearing 1 neutral bracelet for every 2 colorful ones.
Avoid stacking thick, metal bracelets.
Remember that you only need one stack. Stacking both wrists looks heavy and can’t possibly be comfortable… unless you’re a pirate.
THE BRACELET & WATCH COMBO: How to wear a bracelet with a watch
This is the idea of stacking 1-2 bracelets with your watch on the same wrist. Thin bracelets work well and should sit below your watch – closer to your wrist (near your hand) – instead of on top of your watch (near your elbow).
Showing Black 925 William Bracelet
You don't want the supporting cast messing things up if your watch is the star of the show. A beefier watch can stand up to bigger bracelets, while something more refined might pair well with a thinner bracelet. Either way, your accessories should be sending the same message.
A good bracelet does what all good accessories do – completes your look.
Remember the importance of visual weight when styling with bracelets and don’t be afraid to experiment.
You can always take a bracelet off if you decide that it’s not doing it for you. That’s true for all accessories – you are allowed to change your mind and take them off. Play around and decide.
Ready to give your watch a best friend? You’ve got the know-how and two wrists. What are you waiting for?
Types of Men’s Bracelets
Wearing a bracelet is the easy part. What takes a bit more effort is knowing how to choose the right type of bracelet. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite men’s bracelets and the reasons why you should consider letting one (or several) help tell your story.
Men’s Beaded Bracelets
When it comes to listing the best bracelets for men, beaded bracelets had to be at the top. Within this one type of men’s bracelet, you’ll find everything from stone beads to wooden ones.
If it’s a high-quality beaded bracelet you’re after, look for stone beads made from natural stone. Stone beads come in a myriad of colors and sizes, and most are scratch-resistant and waterproof. Some stone beaded bracelets are known as healing bracelets and are reported to help with everything from confidence to focus.
An example of a natural stone that works great with men’s bracelets is lava stone. Lava stone is a volcanic rock loved for its rich black color and porous texture. It also has a history that started deep in the earth’s core and is now wrapped around your wrist. How’s that for a conversation starter?
If you’re looking for the stacked bracelet look, try mixing and matching 2 or more stone bead bracelets for a combination that’s unique to you and your story. All of the bracelets in your stack don't have to be beaded. Leather, steel, and anchor bracelets match with beads just as well. If playing it safe sounds… safer, shop for bracelet sets. These are pre-designed stacks that we’ve already matched for you.
Anchor Bracelets for Men
The anchor bracelet redefines the words ‘one size fits all’. Men’s anchor bracelets consist of a length of leather or fabric cord that is doubled and knotted. By moving the knot, you adjust the length of the bracelet. Once you’ve found the perfect size, slip the anchor through the hole and you’re ready to catch compliments.
This type of bracelet gets its name from the metal fastener shaped like an anchor and is also called fish hook bracelets. While these nautical bracelets are rooted in symbolism – the anchor is an iconic symbol of groundedness – they’re also casual enough to wear with jeans, shorts, and your favorite summer suit.
Cuff Bracelets for Men
If you’re looking to upgrade your wrist game with a bracelet that has a bit of weight but is still super clean, there’s no better option than a men’s cuff bracelet. And if you get yours engraved, you’ll end up with a true one-of-a-kind bracelet to tell your story.
Unlike handcuffs (similar name but totally not the same thing), cuff bracelets are designed to wrap around your wrist without closing and can be slightly adjusted for the perfect fit. Too much bending of the metal can cause it to weaken and break.
Unlike beaded bracelets or metal bangles, cuff bracelets shouldn’t roll around your wrist. You know you’ve got the right fit when it sits just below the wrist bone without pinching and can be removed without gauging your flesh to pull it off.
The tricky part with a men’s cuff bracelet is that it must match the other metals you’re wearing – especially if you’re pairing this bracelet with a watch. One advantage of a cuff bracelet is that the clean design adds texture and can easily break up a stack of stone beads or match nicely with a leather bracelet.
Men’s Leather Bracelets
Bracelets aren’t perfect. Sure, they look great and express your style… but what happens when you type and the beads jab into your wrist? Or when you pull on your favorite sweater and the anchor from your anchor bracelet snags it… ruining all of Nana's hours of knitting.
That’s where men’s leather bracelets come in. Soft, flexible leather that lays flat against your wrist, making it comfortable and easy-to-wear, no matter how many sweaters Nana sends or emails you type to say thanks.
But don’t think of leather bracelets as something you’d make at summer camp. We have designs that look just as good with your summer t-shirt as they do with your suit and tie.
While leather bracelets look great on their own, try one paired with stone beads for next-level style. Adding another texture is what helps set your look apart. Just remember to match the color of the leather to whatever other leathers you have on – shoes, belt, watch strap, etc. And just like with other leather products, keep your leather bracelet away from excess water – that includes sweat too.
Paracord Bracelets for Men
There you are thinking everything is fine. The sun is shining. Birds are singing… and then BAM, you get attacked by a horde of zombies.
You look around for a spear, but who walks around with a spear? You reach for your paracord bracelet, make a tripwire, and escape unharmed. And you thought your paracord bracelet was only there to look good.
Other save-your-life stuff you can do with a paracord bracelet:
- Tie up gear
- Make a shelter
- Use for fishing line or sutures
- Use to mend fabric
- Make a splint
- Hang game
- Create a tourniquet
- Is it us… or did we just save humanity?
As you can see, paracord bracelets are more than just fashion accessories. Parachute line was originally used by soldiers during World War II. They realized that this strong, thin rope was good for more than just jumping out of planes and we’re glad they did… although we don’t know if stylish accessory was top of their list.
These days, you can get bracelets that look and feel like paracord but are actually made from polyester. Don't be fooled… real paracord bracelets are made from durable nylon. If you’re searching for a true survival bracelet, check out paracord bracelets for men that come with outdoor extras like a compass, fire starter, and whistle.
Steel Bracelets for Men
You’re active. You work. You play. You help old ladies cross the street. You’re basically Iron Man without the suit (and without the End Game ending).
Maybe you think a bracelet would slow you down? Get in the way while saving the world or buying milk? That’s where men’s bracelets made from strong, rust-resistant stainless steel come in. They’re sleek, ultra-durable, and won’t slow you down… no matter what life throws at you.
Speaking of throwing… tossing on a nice outfit goes a long way. But it’s the little details that make a difference. One of the easiest bracelets to wear is one made of metal. You can find them as simple and subtle as you want, or as heavy and chunky as your wrist can hold. From surgical-grade stainless steel to a variety of colors and styles, you’re practically guaranteed to be a style hero with a steel bracelet.
You Asked – We Answered
Which wrist should I wear a men’s bracelet on?
If you want to wear your bracelet with your watch… wear it on the same wrist as your watch. Otherwise, wear it on the opposite arm.
There are no rules – only preferences. Be wary of your bracelet getting in your way while you work. This may mean that you wear it on your non-dominant hand.
The wrist you wear your bracelets on has nothing to do with your sexuality. There is no gay or straight wrist.
What bracelet can I wear to the gym?
We suggest a beaded bracelet that fits firmly against the skin. Why? The elastic bands don’t absorb sweat and you won’t risk it falling off during your final burpee.
Can I wear a watch and a bracelet at the same time?
Yes, you can! It’s totally OK to pair a bracelet or two with your watch. Be aware of the type of bracelet and whether or not it might scratch your watch.
Can I wear bracelets on both arms?
Why else would you have two wrists?
Wearing bracelets on both arms is all about visual weight. Make sure that one side is visually heavier than the other and you’re set!
Is Tiger’s Eye dangerous?
You bought a bracelet with Tiger Eye and you’re worried about asbestos? Or maybe you didn’t know that you should be worried about asbestos?
No need to worry. Tiger Eye is safe . And for the record… asbestos is bad.
Can I wear my bracelet in the shower? Is it waterproof?
It all depends on the material from which your bracelet is made. Bracelets made from waxed cotton (and some stainless steel models) are safe and water-resistant.
Most men’s bracelets are pretty easy to remove. Spend the extra 15 seconds taking them off before jumping in the ocean. You’ll be happier for it.
Do copper bracelets work?
How do I find the right size?
Ask someone from the 1920s and they’ll tell you yes! Copper bracelets are supposed to relieve arthritis, but this has turned out to be untrue. Oh well.
Use a measuring tape or piece of string to measure the size of your wrist. Measure just above the wrist bone to get the correct bracelet size.
How do I clean my bracelet?
Hopefully, you’re not dripping ice cream down your arm… or maybe you are. Either way, bracelets will get dirty over time.
Metal bracelets for men: Step one is to determine what type of metal it is. If it’s stainless steel and water-resistant, wash it in warm water with a drop of dish soap. Be sure to dry it completely. Check with a jeweler if it’s real gold or silver.
Leather or beaded bracelets for men: Pat down the bracelet with a damp cloth. Avoid using a dripping wet cloth or dunking the bracelet in water. Wipe the bracelet gently and then dry it with a dry cloth.
What bracelet can I wear to a black tie event?
What is a cuff bracelet?
Cuffs are usually made of metal and slip on and off the wrist easily. They’re like bracelets but they don’t close around the wrist. They give an edge to casual and tailored outfits and typically look better over time and after that well-worn patina develops.
Not to be confused with handcuffs. These are completely different and don’t look good with any outfit.
How long can I wear my festival bracelet?
Take it off in the parking lot on your way home. The festival is over… so is that fabric wristband.
Do straight guys wear bracelets?
Yes, straight guys wear bracelets. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out celebrities or sports figures that you know are heterosexual. Chances are, you’ll see them rocking a bracelet or two… and probably a necklace or earring as well.
The truth is, the jewelry and accessories you choose have nothing to do with your sexuality – that includes men’s bracelets.
That also means that there is no gay or straight wrist when it comes to wearing a bracelet. For comfort, wear your bracelet on your left hand if you’re right-hand dominant and on your right wrist if you’re a lefty.
Is it OK for guys to wear bracelets?
It’s more than OK for guys to wear bracelets.
The most important ‘rule’ when deciding to wear one for the first time is to choose one that won’t interrupt your daily tasks. While Johnny Depp may be able to rock an armful of beads and leather, if you’re sitting at a computer typing all day, you may find it cumbersome.
Go for something simple to start with and refer to the quick tips above for how to choose the right one for you.
What are the best men's bracelets?
From soft and flexible leather options to natural stone beads, here are 10 of the best bracelets designed and crafted exclusively for men.
- BLACK ON BLACK BRACELET SET
- BLACK & BLACK ROY LEATHER BRACELET
- BLACK LEATHER & SILVER-TONE STAINLESS STEEL ICON BRACELET
- IMPECCABLE BRACELET
- RED TIGER’S EYE & LEATHER ICON BRACELET
- TIGER'S EYE & COCONUT MIRO BRACELET
- BLACK RETRO LEATHER BRACELET
- GOLD-TONE STAINLESS STEEL & BLACK LEATHER ICON BRACELET
- BROWN & BLACK LEATHER ICON BRACELET
- BLUE AGATE & LAVA MIRO BRACELET
What are the most popular bracelets?
When it comes to bracelets, men aren’t short on options. Here are 6 of the most popular styles of bracelets to complete any look.
- Anchor bracelets
- Beaded bracelets
- Cuff bracelets
- Leather bracelets
- Paracord bracelets
- Steel bracelets
Follow the links to shop styles ranging from classically handsome to trendy-right-now. From beads to cuffs, we’ve got the popular style you’re after.
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