Bangles are simply the best go-to accessory for adding a dash of glamour or interest to your wrist. Whether you choose to stack and rack or to go bold with an iconic design, the difficulty is finding just the right size to fit.
You can’t beat the chunky feel of a solid bangle but they are one of the hardest shapes to size correctly. Bracelets on the other hand are easier to manipulate especially if they are made from sterling silver which is a soft metal and allows some give and movement depending on the exact design.
So what is the difference between bangles and bracelets? While all bangles are a form of bracelet not all bracelets are bangles.
A bangle is essentially a design that encircles the wrist completely; this can be one whole piece of metal or an assembled piece that opens with a hinge or a split band for ease of getting it over your knuckles.
A hinged or split band is easier to size since the shape opens to allow the bangle to be put on. A design that goes all the way around the wrist, however, requires more care as you will need to measure it precisely to ensure a good fit.
How to measure your hand
To measure your hand you will need a few simple tools.
While a measuring tape is perfect if you don’t have one you can improvise with a pair of scissors, pen/pencil, ruler and a thin strip of paper.
It is important to note that your bangle size is actually measured around the widest part of your hand – including the knuckles - and not your wrist.
To get this measurement hold your hand with your fingers together as though you were going to put on a bangle.
The thumb should touch the little finger and this position will give you the largest width of your wrist that a bangle would need to fit over.
Wrap the strip of paper around the widest part of your hand – typically this will be over the knuckles. It should be a snug fit but not too tight. Mark the paper with your pen.
This measurement is the circumference of the widest part of your hand. We refer to this measurement as the ‘wearable length’ on our bangle product pages and this is the measurement of the inside circumference of our bangle designs.
Measure the length of string or paper and add between 1 to 2cm to this length depending on how comfortable you want the bangle to fit.
The measurement you get will the circumference of the bangle size that best suits your wrist. You also need to bear in mind that different styles of bangles are sized slightly differently.
Here are some simple rules regarding bangle designs:
These are designs that feature a split band that allows for the bangle to slide over your hand with ease.
For this style of bangle you can choose a size that is closer to the measurement of your hand size.
As the extra give in this type of bangle allows for the design to slide over the knuckles with ease you don’t need to account for this too much in your measurements.
Additionally as sterling silver is a soft, malleable metal don't be afraid to gently squeeze or open a split band design for a more custom fit.
As the name suggests these bangles come with a hinge that allows the design to be opened and closed to put it on and take it off.
The beauty of the hinged design is that this style does not need to fit over your knuckles.
To find your true measurement for a hinged bangle you can repeat the steps above but measure the widest part of your wrist rather than the widest part of your hand around the knuckles.
For an average fit you can add between 1 to 2cm to your wrist measurement and for a loose fit you should add 2cm to 3cm to allow more movement of the wrist.
The appeal of a chunky closed bangle is timeless.
Whether you choose the classic circle or opt for an oval the closed bangle is always best chosen as close as possible to your actual hand size to ensure a good fit.
It should fit snugly over your knuckles but not be so big so that it drops off as you wear it.
However, if you prefer a wider size with more movement then add an extra 1cm to 2cm for a looser overall fit.
A note on ovals
If you’re opting for a closed oval design we usually recommend you choose this shape as close to the measurement of your hand as possible. Because of the shape these tend to run large and you don’t want it dropping off as you wear it.
Things to consider when purchasing a bangle
We often get asked how to choose the correct size of bangle as a gift. The simplest answer is try to measure an existing design that you know fits the recipient.
We appreciate that this is not always possible in which case you should opt for an open or hinged bangle as these shapes are more forgiving over the knuckles than a closed shape.
How we list our sizes
Did you know that the average hand size for a UK woman is between 19cm and 20cm? Our most popular wearable length is 20cm but our bangles range from 17cm to 22cm and we have sizes to fit almost any wrist size.
As a general rule these are the sizes we refer to in our descriptions.
|Small||17 - 18 cm|
|Medium||19 - 20 cm|
|Large||21 - 22 cm|
|Extra Large||23 cm and over|
Our hand model has a hand size (measurement around the knuckles) of 19cm and wears closed bangles that have a wearable length of 20cm.
We’re here to help
If you’re having difficulty deciding on a bangle design or want to check a size you can always Live Chat with us on our website or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.