Ankle bracelets, also known as anklets, are accessories worn on the ankles. They resemble bracelets in their look but are solely worn on the feet. Like bracelets on hands, they can be worn on either one of the feet or on both of them. The ankle bracelet is actually an ancient piece of jewelry that has been worn by women in India for centuries. The most common type of Indian silver ankle bracelet is called ‘payal’ and is worn by young girls as well as older women. However, today, in India and across the world, women are no longer only restricted to these traditional designs. Many modern variations have also popped up which incorporate western designs as well as more intricate Indian patterns.
Perhaps the most attractive of these is the gold ankle bracelet. In Indian culture, gold is considered an auspicious metal that should not be worn below the waist; consequently, silver ankle bracelets were the norm. Today gold is widely used to create delicate and attractive ankle bracelets of all types. Those who still want the traditional look without sacrificing the appeal of gold opt for a white gold bracelet. Besides these precious metals, bronze, copper, brass and oxidized silver and antique gold is also used to make cheap ankle bracelets. More modern variations often utilize commonly available materials like plastic, yarn, strong threads etc.
Ankle bracelets for women can be simple or ornate, modern or traditional, casual or fancy; there are a number of different designs and patterns to choose from. Some women prefer the bohemian vibe of colorful beaded ankle bracelets while for others only a classy looking pearl chain would be suitable. For special occasions like weddings and festivals, the more traditional versions with bells, tiny stones, twisting designs and interlocking circles might be the norm. There are also many funky varieties that come with eccentric motifs, such as animal figures, cupcakes, abstract geometric shapes and so on. Designers have also come up with innovative designs to make the over-all look of the bracelet as elegant as possible. A good example of that is the magnetic ankle bracelet which utilizes strong magnetic beads string together. These beautiful and powerful bracelets have a very cool look and are immensely popular, especially with the younger generation.
This fashion is not just for women. Men’s ankle bracelets are becoming increasingly popular with young men with a hip sense of style. Usually, a men’s ankle bracelet is less colorful than those for women, with more subtle designs. These are also made of cloth and leather rather than metals. Beige, brown or black leather ankle bracelets strung with beads are the most popular amongst men.
Styles and Trends
Like all aspects of fashion, ankle bracelets are also subject to changing trends. Of course, in India, they are considered a traditional piece of jewelry and certain varieties have a timeless appeal. For instance, silver payals are customarily worn by children as young as two years old as they are supposed to promote good health and bring good luck to the family. Similarly, ornate bridal ankle bracelets are traditional Hindu accessories. However, in recent years, this type of accessory has spread to cultures around the world and has become something of a trend. Celebrities and fashion models on ramps are frequently seen styling outfits with an ankle bracelet. They opt to wear them not just with dresses or skirts but with all types of Indian and western outfits including leggings, jeans, salwars, pajamas, sarees, lehenga cholis and shorts.
Ankle bracelets are a great way to subtly accessorize the outfit. They can bring in certain funkiness or a bit of ethnic glitz. Alternatively, they can even be made the one and only accessory with an outfit. It would all depend on the type of outfit and the occasion for which it is made. For instance a large, stone studded anklet with colorful stones will beautifully complement a stone studded lehenga choli. It can also be worn with a simple chiffon saree to add some sparkle to an otherwise simple outfit.
Anklets are widely worn in day to day wear as well. The colorful beaded ankle bracelets will match beautifully with embroidered skirts and patch border work salwar kameez. Simple silver anklets can look good with practically any type of outfit. For a funky look, twisting snake or dragon shaped ankle bracelets can be paired up with lots of chunky jewelry and a printed tunic and leggings outfit.
It is important to choose the right shoes when wearing ankle bracelets. For obvious reasons, boots are out of the question. However any other type of shoe, including sneakers, can be worn with anklets, just as long as the ankle portion remains visible. That being said, high heel sandals match the best with anklets as they draw attention to them and highlight their beauty.