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The BB Effect

By Sanhati Banerjee

They are often talked about as a duo. Yet they are very different from one another. We take a look at the myriad shapes, hues and functional aspects of these must-have jewels.

While talking about the bride-to-be’s jewellery box or any woman’s jewellery box for that matter; this pair of wrist jewels takes up a lot of physical as well as imaginative space. Because of the many traditions associated with bangles, because of bangles forming an integral part of Indian occasion wear, because of bracelets being much-loved accessories – the reasons can be varied. These can be worn very smartly and differently as the look might demand. Let’s get stacked up on style tips and how-to-wear guidelines as the experts discuss these beautiful items.

The Best of Bangles

Why bangles? The simple answer would be even if they are not as contemporary or everyday-wear as modern bracelets; bangles are such a must-wear item when you want to dress up the Indian way or simply on special occasions where they easily fall into the world of those ethnic hallmarks that complete the ceremonial as well as traditional look. Bollywood had made the jingling sound of bangles oh-so-romantic now albeit, a little passé. Even if you have been out of touch with these super-feminine wrist jewels lately; if you are a bride-to-be, chances are you will soon be buying lots of them. So here’s a refresher course on bridal bangles and yes, not to forget the bracelets, as you will also be sporting these versatile pieces.
Many things that were rated as top fashion items earlier have gone down the list or with time have come to be associated with the tag of tackiness. But maybe you would agree that’s not the case with glass bangles. They are definitely not to be worn every day; but once in a while, yes they do come out to remind everyone of a charm that is so yesteryear and yet so desirable. As 23-years-old Karisma, pursuing her postgraduate studies in English, says “Glass bangles have always enamoured me. Even though I never wear them much as they can’t be paired with casuals; I do own a lot of them and I know that there will be those days when I will remove them from the stands and wear them to look drop dead gorgeous!” As Prakshi Sharma, jewellery designer, RK Jewellers puts it “Glass bangles must be worn with sarees mostly as they look more Indian and the sound remains enchanting.”
Moving on to the more evergreen bangles, we have to definitely talk about gold bangles. Gold bangles have retained its huge share of admirers. There are those plain and slim gold bangles which are so chic and opted for by many married women. Brides-to-be include them in their trousseau as these are something which can be worn on an everyday basis and paired easily with Indian or Western wear. Then, there are those studded gold bangles which “are a statement in itself” as pointed out by Prakshi Sharma.
When it comes to a tradition in bangles that has endured, then we have to talk about lac bangles. Lac bangles can be plain to studded, studded with glass or precious/semi-precious stones. They can create a dazzling effect when paired with occasion wear or everyday wear; depending on the design you choose. You can choose from the lighter-to-heavier versions depending on the occasion. Lac or ivory bangles can complete the look on occasions without looking very loud. Blended with kundan-meenakari work, these antique jewels can complement the looks for all formal and traditional occasions.
Even though bangles remain a must for occasion wear, you will see many women ditching these for the modern bracelet for daily wear, formal dos or casual outings. So while on the one hand, their appeal might have become somewhat restricted, one can say, their sentimental value has only increased with them making them very precious.

The Basket of Bracelets
While many ditch the bangle, the contemporary bracelets are something that most modern women are seen rooting for. They do not leave the wrist bare and yet do not give that dressy look. They can range from simple to statement, everyday wear to convenient wear that can be carried with a watch on the other hand. “The contemporary bracelets can be easily paired with collar jewellery in formal occasions. They add to the look and give a style quotient still keeping it simple and trendy. For the casual and work wear look, women prefer putting on watches and bracelets and so the contemporary bracelets are the best in option to be picked and worn. A light and thin lined bracelet can be worn casually and a little heavier one can work well for a formal occasion. A split bracelet must be preferred over a cylindrical bangle” enumerates Prakshi Sharma. Bracelets in solid shapes or delicate work, white or metal shade monotones can stand out.

Occasions and the Looks
“For pre-wedding ceremonies, the bride-to-be can wear broad cocktail cuffs; coloured stones can be matched with their dresses, fusion with polki can also work and add a little more charm. For the wedding day, the bride should go traditional. So, uncut diamonds with meenakari work and a fusion of gold with diamonds will work best for this look. For post wedding functions, fusion of diamonds and coloured stones will be the best option” says Ram Raimalani, MD, MK Sons Diamonds. A little difference in the layers of jewellery you wear; your selection of traditional or fusion work, your choice of studded jewellery or non-studded jewellery can make a world of difference to the looks you will be sporting for the different occasions.
So, as you start buying bangles and bracelets do keep a variety in mind such that you can slip into various occasions with ease and of course, do not forget the daily wear staples as well.


Types of bridal bangles and occasion wear tips

• Pachalie heighted bangle
• Nogrie cloth bangle
• Single line bangle
• Ghagra flower bangle
• Chura for the Punjabi bride
• Elephant teeth bangle for the Bengali bride with gold and diamond filigree
• Tennis bracelet (Single Line)
• Sathlara spiral bangle
For pre- bridal, delicate single line bracelets are very much in vogue. Enamel bangles, bracelets with precious stones etc. can also work amazingly.
For the wedding ceremony, heavy gold or diamond studded bangles will work the best. Traditionally, chura or elephant teeth bangles or sathlara spiral bangle are must-have items.
Post the wedding, these days light-weight gold bangles or diamond studded bangles and bracelets are in demand.
Inputs are taken from jewellery designer
Alka Kumar of Aks Jewels

Before & after – what to wear when
Pre-Wedding: During daytime, gold antique bracelets go very well. However, for evenings, many prefer uncut bracelets or diamond bracelets paired with cocktail rings or chandeliers.
Weddings: Antique kadas with single line kundan bangles look stunning as day wear options while as the sun sets,bangles with diamonds or precious stones take over the scene.
Post Wedding: Solitaire bracelets or single line bangles are perfect for everyday wear, for the just-married brides.
Inputs are taken from Bhavin Jakhia, MD, Om Jewelers


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