Anklets are essentially bracelets worn on the ankles, and they can be of many different types. The pretty and charming anklets have a special ethnic significance since they have been worn in India for many centuries. Of course, the modern version is more of a descendant of the ancient jewelry pieces worn by royalty rather than an exact copy, but the more traditional varieties are also commonly available.
Since gold is considered the metal of the gods in India, it was not used to make jewelry for the feet traditionally. As a result silver was the material most commonly used to create anklets, toe rings etc.
The traditional anklet designs were of many types, from thick bangle like kadas for the feet to the delicate chains for noble ladies. More sophisticated styles includes ‘payals’ which often came with tinkling bells attached and typically included more elaborately wrought designs on the silver chain.
The one thing that distinguishes the classic Indian anklet is that it is worn on both the feet at all times. This differs from the modern trend of wearing an anklet on just one foot. Of course there is no restriction with this usage nowadays; one can wear contemporary ankle bracelets on both feet, or a traditionally carved anklet on one foot, depending on the ‘look’ that is desired.
In Indian culture, different anklet types are supposed to be worn by women of different ages. Older, married women often wear the inflexible bangle like anklets while young girls or new brides wore multi-tier silver chains. One can also find anklets for kids, which are generally quite thin and light. The anklets for young children and infants often have bells on a thin chain, which serves as an easy way to keep track of their whereabouts: a kind of traditional baby monitor.
The most amount of variety in terms of designs and patterns can be found in the ethnic silver anklets for women from India. The simplest style would be just a thin ankle chain with little to no additions. To this thin chain classic embellishment like mirrors, bells, shells, beads or metallic nature-inspired motifs can be added.
This includes tiny leaves, vines, fruits, flowers, peacocks and other artistic designs. Pearls and black beads are the most common in the classic patterns thought nowadays colorful beads are also very popular. Another type includes multiple ankle chains intertwined with hanging ethnic charms or rows of little bells.
The most elaborate and heavy styles are inspired by the ancient pieces worn by the royalty and hence display a lot of intricate craftsmanship and metal-working. One can get anklets’ designs with detailed lattice work, stone studded patterns and exquisitely wrought clasps.
Contemporary designs of anklets
The trendy modern anklet utilizes more contemporary designs and motifs; thus one can find hanging owls, turtles, geometric shapes, cup-cakes and other such stylish charms. These are more suited for informal occasions. For a formal wedding or party, designer anklets can be worn. These are generally quite ‘thick’ and more lavish looking, with intricate stone studded designs and artistic designs.
When it comes to ethnic silver anklets, online shopping from a trusted Indian store is a preferred option by many women. It provides an instant access to a plethora of Indian designs as well as contemporary options, and is hence quite convenient. However one must ensure the store chosen is a reputed one so as to obtain good quality and authentic craftsmanship.
The beauty of silver anklets is that they can be worn with a wide variety of outfits, from Indian and indo western to western and fusion, and for many different occasions. Moreover there are many different designs available in this subtle accessory which makes it really easy for women to experiment and try out new looks.
Anklets look perfect when paired with ethnic outfits like a saree or a lehenga choli, especially when high heeled sandals are used to draw attention to the ankles. Silver anklets will bring out the beautiful designs in a silver thread zari saree; pick out appropriate matching silver necklaces and earrings to complete the look.
With a bridal outfit elaborately wrought designer silver anklets with colorful stones designs would look ideal, while the wedding guests may prefer a more subtle pearl and silver combination. They are traditional accessories not just for weddings but also for festivals, ceremonies and other ethnic events.
Alternatively, one can pair up a contemporary silver anklet with a casual daily wear look, with both Indian and indo-western clothes. Women can add a feminine energy to the classic kurta-salwar combination with a beads-studded silver anklet or jazz up a tunic and leggings look with a colorful multi-tiered anklet.