We love it when an old trend resurfaces from the depths of the fashion dungeons. Imagine our surprise when one such trend popped back up for the spring 2022 fashion shows. What trend, you ask? The one and only armlet jewelry.
That's right - the bicep bracelets were out and showing off those big arms. Not seen since the early 2000s, the armlet is back in a big way and has been seen everywhere from New York and Milan and is now being made by industry titans like Fendi, Prada, Blumarine, Raf Simon, and Tory Burch.
But what exactly are armlets? Where did these pieces of jewelry originate from, and are these bicep babes here to stay?
What Are Armlets?
Not to be confused with bracelets, armlets are bold, large circles of metal that wrap around the upper arm to boast a sleek, seductive, almost exotic look.
While most armlets tend to be plain silver or gold, some jewelry designers are getting creative with their designs and are crafting them to have decorations like a coiled snake, beaded bands, or even fashion bands out of thick leather cuffs.
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Going Way Back
Archaeological discoveries show that armlets have been a popular accessory for centuries, traveling through different cultures and places. In fact, they have been worn since ancient times, as depicted in Assyrian art showing deities, monsters, and men wearing armlets.
Even back hundreds of years, armlets have been decorative bands worn around the upper arm, typically made of gold, silver, or other metals and sometimes adorned with precious gems.
The British Museum's Oxus treasure, a collection of Persian art from the 6th-4th century BC, includes several fine examples of armlets, including one with circular gold band ends shaped like griffins.
Armlets remain popular in the East, particularly in India. But the influence has spread beyond just Asian countries: fast forward to the current day, and people from many different cultures and countries adorn armbands.
In Indian culture, the armlet is known as a 'Bajuband' and holds its place on the upper arm with gold bands and jewels. In earlier times, both men and women would wear a pair of these armlets.
Additionally, armlets were originally metal bands worn on the arms for decorative purposes. Warriors commonly wore them as part of their war attire, and farmers also adorned them. In certain cultures, men would wear armlets during their weddings. Because of this, armlets were a traditional piece to wear no matter the wearers class or situation.
However, nowadays, it is more common to see women sporting a single armlet as men in India typically don’t wear armlets too often.
During the early 2000s, bicep bracelets were an immensely popular trend. They provided a less extreme alternative to the upper-arm tattoo craze of the era, which not everyone could pull off.
Now the arm craze is back, and we’re here for it.
Although it has not yet gained widespread attention, the trend of wearing thin bracelets on the upper arm is likely to become popular among brazen, trend-setting celebrities.
In fact, Mary-Kate Olsen was spotted wearing a similar accessory last summer after her break-up, donning a silver bracelet that wrapped around her arm while pairing it with a black tank and white jeans. We predict that this trend will continue to bloom into larger popularity.
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Why Hop on the Trend
Upper arm jewelry was a popular trend in the Spring 2022 collections. Renowned designers like Tory Burch, Fendi, and Prada all showcased their own take on the armband. In that sense, it seems as though the trend will only continue to grow larger.
Should you hop on this trend? Armlets are fairly inexpensive, which means that you can jump on this trend without shelling out too much of your fashion budget on this trend.
But buying an armband is more than just about the trends. Armlets empower you to enjoy creative freedom and give off a certain lackadaisical flair.
Unfortunately, armlets are a bit limited. Mass fashion hasn't entirely caught up with haute couture, so it might be a little difficult to wander into your local Claires and pluck the perfect bicep bracelet off the shelf.
But there's still hope. You can always fashion your DIY bicep brand and set the trend at your beach, school, or work. For DIY jewelry, you’ll have to put in more work to care for it and make it last longer, but the effort is well worth it.
Before you fill up your biceps with these fun accessories, be sure to take your time with choosing the right band for you.
A traditional armlet should not be too tight, though wearers must be careful that the piece does not slip off the arm. Because of this, it’s important to either measure your arm prior to buying or try on the piece of jewelry in the store.
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There's no denying the sheer power of a thick armlet bracelet. With roots tracing back thousands of years, armlets are having a come-back moment and are sure to do so again, and again, and again. So, whip out those baddie arms and adorn them with some eye-grabbing metal to stride through your life with that one-of-a-kind armband confidence. Trust us: your biceps will have never looked better.