A Man’s Guide To Choosing and Wearing Bracelets and Accessories

by Barron Cuadro  |  in Style Tips

I remember the first necklace I ever owned. It was a tiny gold chain—small enough for a 5 year old’s neck—and a small rectangle charm with a capital D on it (for my first name, Daniel).

I don’t actually know the backstory of this necklace and charm, only that it’s had a persistent role in my childhood memories.

My parents must’ve given it to me when I was young, and that was that. I just wore it without thinking much of it.

I recently visited home and happened to find this charm again. I’ve always kept it in a safe place with a few other necklaces and things I’ve stopped wearing over the years.

But even though I no longer wore them, I never wanted to get rid of them.

I guess that’s what happens when you hold onto old things. Their age, in addition to the simple fact that you’ve held onto them for so long, is what makes them special.

When I see that charm, I think of my youth, of being a young kid growing up through middle school and high school, all the friends that have come and gone, the places I’ve visited, the experiences I’ve had… and even though I wasn’t always wearing this charm throughout the years, it’s become a symbolic representation of the memories of my past.

It’s been a constant in my life… something always within reach and full of my own personal history (or at least an easy reminder of it).

And so before leaving my parents’ place to head back to NYC, I threw it on a chain and started wearing it again.

Be Intentional With Your Accessories (And Your Style!)

So, why did I just tell you that story?

Well, it all ties in to this idea of accessorizing.

I want to convince you to start wearing accessories (if you aren’t already). But not just wear them… I want you to think about your accessories and make intentional decisions about what you wear.

Why is this important?

I’m going to walk you through it all, and this thought process applies not only to accessories but your personal style as a whole, from your clothes and shoes, to your home, your lifestyle, the way you travel, etc., so you want to pay attention.

But thinking about and applying these ideas to all of those things all at once can be intimidating, so I want to make it much easier and focus on your accessories.

To simplify it even further, let’s focus specifically on bracelets.

Much easier, right?

Why wear accessories at all?

“What’s the point? Why bother accessorizing? Don’t I just need a watch and a wedding ring if I’m married? Why should I care at all?”

Look, I realize wearing accessories can seem pointless, “extra”, or maybe even intimidating and confusing—just like dressing better can seem to the uninitiated—but it doesn’t have to be.

Think of it this way: wearing accessories is like adding chopped chives onto a plate of perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, or grating fresh parmesan cheese on top of a piping hot plate of pasta.

Accessories are the extra 10% that make your whole outfit.

On top of that, it’s an easy way to express yourself, to make your entire look more interesting, and to show that you pay attention to the little details.

So before you decide to slap a bunch of shit on your wrists and fingers and call it a day, I suggest taking a more intentional approach.

And this means procuring and curating a nice set of accessories over time… all with an individual meaning to you.

So what would be the best way to start?

How to choose your accessories

OK let’s bring our focus back to bracelets so we have a simplified example.

By the way, shout out to our friends at Azuro Republic for partnering with us on this article! You’ll see examples of their incredible bracelets throughout. You’re also able to shop any of the bracelets you see by visiting their site.

So when you’re choosing a bracelet to wear, these are some things you may consider:

“What have I seen and liked?”

Maybe you have a friend, an older brother, or an uncle who wears a cool bracelet that makes you think, “Hmm… I kinda like that!”

Maybe you saw someone online… whether it be some rando influencer on Instagram, a model, or a celebrity who had cool wristwear.

Sometimes, simply seeing someone wear a piece you like can inspire you to try it out for yourself.

“What is the meaning behind this bracelet?”

Values and goals aligned with yours

Sometimes you find a company who’s driven by values and goals that you align with, and you want to support them by wearing their product.

Azuro Republic is a good example of this. I loved what they had to say about their brand’s mission. Here’s an excerpt:

Our goal for Azuro Republic is to bring men of all kinds, races, and beliefs to come together under the common banner of gentlemanly conduct and values.

This is our own, unique way of changing the world for the better not only on an individual level, but on a global scale.

Taking it one step at a time and one person at a time, our goal is to effect a positive impact on the world and transform the face of the modern man will be better achieved when we all come and work together as one.

(You can read their full post here)

Designed with meaning

Maybe the bracelet itself is designed with a specific meaning in mind, or the materials from which they’re made have a history or meaning behind it.

For example, this bracelet is a classic bead bracelet made from 925 silver and a stone called obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. Specifically, this variety is referred to as Apache Tears, a rounded obsidian pebble.

Obsidian has been utilized by countless tribes and cultures over hundreds of thousands of years. [1]

Culturally, the name is derived from an old Apache tribe legend[2], and in this bracelet, have come to represent guardianship and bravery.

A wearable reminder or talisman

Another thought: accessories can also serve as a reminder of a set of values you strive to embody or traits you want to adopt.

Azuro’s howlite bracelet—howlite is a porous, naturally occurring white mineral—has been designed to symbolize purity, clear mindedness, and focus.

The silver classic Picasso jasper bracelet, apart from being a stunner, is said to bring optimism and openness, attracting positive people and cleansing negative energy.

And by the way, even if you aren’t a particularly spiritual person, or believe in the “woo woo” meanings of things, we all strive to better ourselves, and having bracelets as wearable talismans can serve as constant reminders of what you’re working towards.

A representation of a happy time and place

Or perhaps it’s a bracelet you stumbled upon that now holds a lot of memories and meaning to you because of where you bought it, or a specific time in your life.

One of my most recent pickups was a braided red leather bracelet with a knot on one end and a loop on the other. I bought it at a little seaside shop in a small beach town in Mexico.

My wife Kate and I had the best time talking with the owner and listening to her stories. It also happens to be across the way from our favorite fish taco stand, just a stone’s throw away from the sand and surf.

We discovered these fish tacos 7 years ago during our first visit to this little town, which happened to be the day after I proposed to Kate. We haven’t been back since, so it was nice to visit (and yes, the tacos are still as delicious as we remembered).

On top of that, we were in Mexico to see two of our very good friends get married, and I happened to be officiating their wedding.

This is what I mean by meaning and memories.

Whenever I wear that bracelet—basically any time I leave the house—I’m reminded of these layers of moments across years of intertwined experiences, and all of that is what makes the bracelet so special to me.

“How’s the quality, construction, and value?”

How well was the bracelet made?

Does it feel solid and substantial, like it will stand the test of time?

Also, is there value in this piece?

Basically you want to ask yourself is, “Is what I’m getting worth at least what I’m paying, if not more?”

And in terms of actual cost, maybe you’re willing to pay more for something you consider to be of higher value, whether that be higher quality materials, unique or better construction, or simply a special meaning behind it, similar to my red leather bracelet.

In terms of quality materials and construction, Azuro Republic is a good example of this.

I have to say, when I first received this bracelet, I wasn’t immediately blown away. Maybe I didn’t get it. It was a beaded bracelet… great.

But the more time I spent with it, looking at it closely and wearing it on my wrist, feeling the weight of the obsidian stone and observing the beautifully polished sterling silver, I got it.

I appreciate the attention paid to each detail, down to the display box every bracelet comes in.

Understandably, Azuro Republic’s bracelets aren’t cheap. This isn’t some $2 wooden beaded bracelet you’ll find at a mall kiosk. And if that’s all you’re looking for, this wouldn’t be for you.

But if you’re looking for a piece to add to your collection, a bracelet that’s made from precious metal and stone, uniquely designed and thoughtfully crafted, and beautifully presented in its own case like a fine jewelry piece, Azuro’s bracelets are worth your consideration.

I’ve had several beaded bracelets throughout the years, but none quite this caliber of quality and substance. And if that’s important to you, definitely check them out.

There are several steps that go into designing and making their bracelets. They do a great job of describing each artistic step here.

“Personal expression, man”

Sometimes, you just like something. Or more specifically, you’re drawn to how a bracelet looks.

Or maybe that bracelet just makes you feel cool, or feel good when you wear it, or like you’re taking on a new persona, or maybe you just think it looks great with your outfit that day.

And that’s totally cool too!

You don’t need a specific reason or meaning behind your bracelet to wear it.

But, of course, if you’re procuring and curating your collection over the years, most likely, your items will have a specific meaning behind it…

…either one that it’s designed with, or one that has developed over time because of your relationship with it (like my D charm that I’ve had since I was 5).

My point is: whatever your reason for liking, wanting, or wearing that bracelet, have a reason.

How to wear accessories

There’s no right or wrong way to wear bracelets, rings, or any combo of accessories.

I personally feel you can wear too much, but then again, some guys can pull it off, while others can’t.

You have to use your best judgement, and if uncertain, err on the side of fewer accessories than more.

Here are a few simple ways to combine your bracelet and other accessories.

Look 1: Simple and Straightforward

Let’s say you don’t wear any accessories at all. A bead bracelet from Azuro would be the perfect way to start.

It’s bold and eye-catching with meaning behind each bead. Plus, it’s all you really need if you’re going for a more minimalist look.

Look 2: With a watch

There’s a good chance you wear a watch, and maybe a wedding ring if you’re married.

Adding a bracelet is a great way to dip your toe into accessorizing, and all you need is one (but you’ll want more, trust me).

Wearing a bold bracelet like this is perfect because if you’re keeping it simple, then one accessory is all you need, and that alone makes an impact without being overwhelming.

Feel free to wear it on the same wrist as your watch, or on the opposite wrist… it’s up to you.

By the way, Azuro has plenty of bracelets to choose from, not just the classic black Obsidian one I have. Here are a few of my favorites:

Look 3: Combining multiple bracelets

I love mixing metals, textures, and textiles when I wear accessories. That means stone, metal, woven fabric, leather… all fair game.

Oftentimes my outfits are made up of all menswear neutral colors, and wearing a few colorful accessories complements that nicely without being too over the top.

When I have several bracelets on, I like to wear them on the wrist opposite my watch, but again, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can wear a few on the same wrist as your watch if you like that look.

And don’t be afraid to mix metals as well. Both my necklaces are gold, but my watch is steel and my wedding ring is two-toned. My accessories are mixed and matched.

Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. But you do need a bit of confidence when mixing and matching, so if you’re even slightly unsure, keep it as simple as possible until you get more comfortable with the mix.

Are you ready to accessorize?

I hope this article inspires you to accessorize more! And more importantly, to do so in an intentional way.

You can use this thought process to build, develop, and evolve your personal style as well.

By being observant about how others dress and thinking about what you’re personally drawn to, you can begin to explore other pieces you might not have otherwise considered.

Thanks to our friends at Azuro Republic for partnering with us on this article! They have incredible bracelets that are literally crafted by hand, all with beautiful stones and precious metals, and a meaningful backstory behind each one.

Check out their collection here.