Silver bangles are extremely popular ethnic accessories that have today become popular around the world. Silver has been used to make metallic jewelry and ornaments for many centuries and is considered very auspicious in India. Though not as precious as gold, it is one of the most desirable and popular metals especially for the creation of ethnic accessories like bangles. Today, of course, the appeal of the silver bangle has only increased with the rising style quotient of this elegant and beautiful metal. Many young women prefer silver over any other metal because of its distinctive color and pretty look. It also has the added advantage of being quite versatile and any piece of jewelry made with it can be worn with all types of outfits and for casual as well as formal occasions.
Silver bangle bracelets are essentially a type of wrist accessory, distinguished from other types of bracelets by their circular shape and rigid form. There are many different varieties and types of the silver bangle bracelet, from traditional, religious varieties to stylish and modern types. In India, one of the most commonly worn accessories in north India is a solid silver bangle with a large width and no additional engravings, called the ‘kadha’. This is worn singly, only on one wrist, and has a special religious significance for Punjabis and especially the Sikh community. Even men are expected to wear the men’s silver bangle as a sign of their faith and like other religious jewelry, it has to be worn at all times. These solid silver bangles can also be worn by women of the Sikh faith, though these are usually smaller in size and more delicate looking than the varieties for males.
There are also non-religious men’s silver bangles which can be worn as a fashion accessory. These are also worn singly but can come with more interesting engraved designs to create a more stylish look. These kinds of single, chunky silver bangles can also be worn by women and are often made of oxidized silver to give the piece a funky, antique look that really enhances the ethnic appeal. Women typically prefer to wear a lot of chunky silver bangles rather than just one piece, unless the one piece worn is large, ornate and beautiful enough to function as a standalone accessory.
There are both traditional and modern variations of silver bangles for women. A popular regular wear variety is the thin and plain silver bangle worn in sets of six, twelve or eighteen on each hand. These produce a very soothing tinkling sound and are very comfortable to wear because of their lightness and the use of skin-friendly silver. Typically, they are made of smooth and polished pure silver though silver alloys or silver plated metals may also be used. The engraved silver bangle is another variety that is distinguished by the attractive and often intricate designs that are carved into the metal. They can display Indian motifs of birds, flowers, fruits, trees, religious symbols, mythological figures etc. as well as funky western designs. They may also be studded with beads, crystals, semi-precious stones or gems to create a more colorful look. Pearls, both artificial and natural, can be studded along silver bangles of varying sizes. These pearl silver bangles have a very classy and sophisticated look and are highly in demands for formal occasions. Many also choose to gift a personalized silver bangle with a heartfelt message or important religious symbols engraved on to the metal.
These accessories are worn in India by children as young as six months old. In fact some families purchase a baby silver bangle for newborns as these are supposed to bring luck and good health to the baby and the family. It is also a very safe and healthy accessory choice for young children, both boys and girls.
Styling it Right with Silver Bangles
In India, silver bangles of all types are an eternally in-demand and nowadays they have become a huge trend even in the west. When accessorizing western outfits with silver bangles bracelets it is always preferable to go for casual or party wear outfits with a bohemian, laid back vibe. Thus floral print tunics, cotton maxi dresses, Batik print leggings and Palazzo pants would be a great choice. It is best to add silver bangles to outfits with some amount of silver work or outfits in cool shades such as blue, grey, green, white etc.
When it comes to ethnic wear, however, women can use silver bangles to style both formal and casual looks. With daily wear outfits such as salwar kameez, kurtis and kurtas, it is best to go for sets of chunky silver bangles or plain silver bangles as per the designs on the fabric. With party wear outfits such as a silver work anarkali, a pearl studded silver bangle bracelet with a clasp would be a great choice.