Bangles are traditional Indian accessories which have been worn for thousands of years across the Indian subcontinent. A bangle is a unique type of hand accessory and distinguished from the bracelet. While the bracelet is more like a chain worn around the wrists, bangles are rigid circlets which may or may not have a clasp.
They are also worn on the wrists, although, unlike bracelets, they are worn on both hands and are often worn in sets. Nothing can beat the ethnic appeal of colorful and shiny bangles arrayed on each hand. Bangles also have a strong spiritual significance in Hindu culture and are considered auspicious accessories (in certain traditional forms and colors) at weddings, festivals and religious ceremonies.
Bangles can be made of many different materials, from shining metals to translucent glass or crystal. Besides these traditional types, there are also more modern and western variations. A very popular and in demand variety is that of plastic bangles. These are preferred mainly because of the comfort and affordability they offer. While metals and glass materials have their own appeal, they are often quite expensive, heavy and difficult to maintain and wear on a regular basis.
Bangle bracelets are made of cost-effective which makes them one of the cheapest ethnic accessories. The smooth yet strong material makes them durable and comfortable to wear. This material is also very versatile which means that a plastic bangle can be easily molded and shaped into different looks and designs.
Many rural artisans choose to use bangles for crafts which are traditionally produced using metals and glass. This allows them to experiment with their craft and get a wider customer base for their traditional designs. These include auspicious accessories as the bridal bangles called churi, worn in Punjab, which are available in the form of red bangles with gold designs and white stripes to create the traditional look.
Bangles’ design can also be influenced by traditional jewelry making styles such as Kundan, Polki and Thewa. These exquisite and detailed designs can be easily re-produced using plastic, with metallic tint. However, the most popular plastic bangle bracelet is the costume or fashion one, which typically has a more modern, funky look influenced by western aesthetics.
From stripy lines to polka dots, animal prints to kitschy motifs; one can find a lot of different bangles’ design variations. Similar techniques of painting can also be used to reproduce Indian influenced designs displaying funky tribal art, intricate Indian motifs and kaleidoscopic patterns. These can be created using extra materials as well as paints. These materials include colorful beads, shining rhinestones and fake pearls.
There are also many beautiful varieties for children, created to be absolutely safe and easy to wear. Less dangerous than glass and more comfortable than metals, plastic bangles for kids are really the most preferable ethnic jewelry option for young children.
There are also wide-ranging colors to choose from. While vibrantly colored, translucent bangles in shades of red, green, blue, yellow and purple are a given in any good bangle collection, one can also find classy clear bangles and dramatic black plastic bangles.
The best part about utilizing a cost-effective and easily moldable material like plastic is that many different varieties and colors can be produced in any piece of jewelry. These varieties are not only preferred because they are less expensive but also because of their unique look.
Many women prefer to get cheap bangles to match with a variety of outfits so that they can have a more diverse wardrobe without spending too much. In fact some women even opt to get bangles, especially at the beginning of a new fashion season. It is an affordable and easy way to update the wardrobe and revamp old looks.
Plastic bangles are a great way to accessorize for those who love having diverse and stylish looks without spending too much money. They can be worn with both Indian and western clothes, depending on their look and style. Thin, plain but colorful sets of bangles are a great way to add a vibrant touch to a carefree, bohemian outfit such as a printed tunic dress or t-shirt and palazzo pants combination.
In terms of ethnic wear, bangles of different colors can be matched with printed salwar kameez and plain sarees in different colors. They are also the perfect accessory for fusion or indo western looks consisting of trendy garments like the dhoti pants, anarkali kurti etc.
In their most glamorous avatar, they can also be used to accessorize formal or party wear ethnic clothing such as embroidered anarkalis, embellished lehenga cholis and fancy sarees.