Why should your wrist have all the fun? Just as a bracelet bedazzles your wrist, an anklet, or ankle bracelet, spices up your ankle. Whether you choose to wear a solitary ankle chain or stack multiple anklets into an ankle party, anklets are a unique accessory that add a fun sparkle to your strut.
So, where do anklets come from, why are they so popular, and what are the various ankle bracelet meanings?
Let’s put it this way: ankle bracelets have come a long way since their 90s heyday, and are even older than the decade of Friends and flannel.
Today, anklets are attracting everyone from boho beachgoers to brides-to-be to college students to men. What makes anklets such a universal accessory? For one, they’re not exclusive to any one group, culture or demographic, meaning everyone and anyone can delight in wearing an anklet.
Read on as we cover the history and symbolism behind ankle bracelet meanings. We’re also revealing our insider tips for how to wear and style an anklet.
Let’s get right to it!
Truth is, nearly all jewelry accessories have a rich and vibrant history, and the ankle bracelet is no different. So, where did the anklet come from?
Women wore anklets as early as 6,000 B.C.-3100 B.C., way back in the Predynastic period, that mysterious time before history was even recorded. How do we know this? Excavated Sumerian tombs revealed artifacts of Babylonian women from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, the earliest civilization in Mesopotamia. These early people constructed anklets from precious stones and metals found in nature, and wore them to denote status and social rank. Slaves wore leather anklets, while affluent brides and wives flaunted lavish anklets made of precious metals and gemstones.
But Ancient Mesopotamia wasn’t the only prehistoric region whose inhabitants rocked ankle bracelets. Both Ancient Indian and South Asian women have worn variations of the ankle bracelet for over 8,000 years! In Ancient India, wives wore dangling anklets affixed with charms that jingled, allegedly alerting their husbands of their presence so they could cease any displeasing chatter.
In Eastern Asia, women wore a variation of the anklet called the Pattilu, which is what we now know as the barefoot anklet. The Pattilu is an anklet that connects to a toe ring with a series of dangling chains.
Looking at these ancient artifacts provides us with a wide scope of the origins of the ankle bracelet, which helps us understand ankle bracelet meanings today. In 2019, ankle bracelet meanings are much less rigid and while there are rumors and ideations, few of them stick.
Today, ankle bracelet meanings aren’t as symbolic as they once were. Still, there are ideas floating around that are important to address, such as:
Just as women wear wedding bands and engagement rings on their right or left ring finger, ankle bracelets once symbolized marital status. Historically, anklets were a gift from the groom to the bride to make their nuptials official and known to the world.
Does it matter which side you wear an anklet on: left or right? Certainly not by today’s standards. However, there are rumors that wearing an ankle bracelet on the left ankle signifies that a woman is in an open relationship. This theory doesn’t hold much weight and is generally regarded as a rumor since millions of people wear ankle bracelets on both the left and right ankle.
Now that we’ve thoroughly covered the history and significance of ankle bracelet meanings, let’s get right to the fun part: styling. Are anklets only right for beach days and pool parties? On the contrary! If you take a closer look at the latest celebrity red carpet appearances, you’ll notice anklets are a popular jewelry accent. While there are few hard and fast ankle bracelet rules, there are some things to consider when wearing an ankle bracelet. Here are our Do’s and Don'ts for wearing an anklet:
Do wear your anklet to the beach, pool party and all your summer events
Don’t wear ankle bracelets with charms that might jingle in quiet places like work, a library or memorial
Do pack all your anklets for vacation
Don’t forget to securely fasten your ankle bracelet to ensure it doesn’t fall off
Do ask about resizing. If you fall in love with an anklet but it’s too small for your ankle, most jewelers are happy to add chain links to expand the size to fit you.
Don’t wear an anklet underneath jeans, as the rough material might tarnish the metal or even damage it
Do measure your ankle size to see what measurement is most comfortable. You don’t want to wear an ankle bracelet that is too tight, which can add pressure and snap or irritate the skin.
Don’t wear your anklet with tights or pantyhose as they can snag and tear them
Do get a pedi and dress up your anklet with cute sandals and a toe ring
As you can see, the points above are mere suggestions that’ll help you rock your anklet with pride. Speaking of styling, let’s have a look at the most popular types of ankle bracelets.
There are a variety of unique and fun ankle bracelet styles, here’s a look at some of the most popular:
Gold Ankle Bracelets are often adorned with gemstones and pair beautifully with elegant heels and matching gold accessories.
Silver Anklets are slightly more casual and create a boho look perfect for beach days and summer outfits.
Beaded Anklets pair beautifully with a silver anklet to make a boho chic jewelry stack on your ankle. Beaded anklets are widely available and fun to make at home, too!
Barefoot Ankle Bracelets are more of a replacement for shoes, as they string together the toe and ankle with cascading chains that flow across the top of the foot. Wear these to festivals, beach parties, or a destination wedding.
Leather Anklets add a touch of masculinity to a commonly associated feminine piece of jewelry, and are perfect for men and women alike.
Adjustable Ankle Bracelets are the solution to those who are in between anklet sizes.
As you can see, there are many ankle bracelet meanings, but the most important one is what they mean to you. On the lookout for a
Was this article helpful?