Since re-appearing on designer runways in 2011, the cuff bracelet remains one of the hottest and most powerful statement pieces among accessories. Of course, it never technically went out of style and is perhaps one of the oldest forms of adornment known to man. In Mayan cultures, the cuff bracelet served a social status function in that jewelry was only worn by royalty and its designs connoted class and family rank. In other instances of history, the cuff bracelet was mostly for adornment, but also had practical uses as armor as seen among Ancient Greece and Roman soldiers. Perhaps their aesthetics were most realized in Asia, where elaborately etched and sculpted jade and gold cuffs depicting natural scenes have been dated back as far as 2000 BC.
By the 17th century in Europe, the manchette, as the French call it, was fashionable for its literalness—worn at the end of the wrist as a series of beribboned bangles or thicker bands that rested just where the shirt sleeve tapered to the wrist. You can find a modern interpretation of this style with Noe’s beautifully etched Sparkling Cuff With Satin Tie. Three centuries later, the cuff bracelet perhaps became most iconic when Coco Chanel asked designer Duke Fulco di Verdura to customize her a cuff featuring the Byzantine-inspired Maltese Cross. Worn on both wrists, Chanel was never seen without them, and they still remain among the most sought in commercial reproduced accessories.
What makes cuff bracelets so eternal is their versatility. Slim or wide, ornate or simple, they can slip right over your hand or be cinched with a clasp. Material options are endless with precious metals or organic and synthetic materials like wood, leather, and plastics, and can be set-off with gemstones like this black agate cuff or this wide cuff with promotional diamonds.
Because the cuff is so versatile, it is often thought the cuff bracelet is the most successful at reflecting the personality of its wearer, and this is why icons like Coco Chanel and Wonder Woman were never caught dead without their manchettes. If you are stumped by all the possibilities, consider first how to best utilize the material. Gold can provide just enough glitz to set-off a business-suit or shirt-dress, while silver or more bling-heavy cuffs can glamorize casual Friday T-shirts and jeans, making happy hour more like a fine cocktail hour. However you wear it, make sure to never wear it alone, and utilize your favorite earrings or necklace to compliment the unique design of your cuff.
Whether you know already or not what statement you want to make with your cuffs, Noe’s Jewelry has a full gamut of bracelets to select from. Visit Noe’s Jewelry for a consultation to find your own bands of fashion power.