Trend Spot: The Bangle Stack
One of the most enduring trends in accessorising is less about what you wear than how you wear it: it’s all about jewellery stacking. It’s hardly a new phenomenon – stylish women have been piling on the bracelets, bangles, necklaces and rings for generations. Some say the contemporary trend is a nod to ancient and ethnic jewellery traditions. But today, the effect is less opulent and ceremonial and more fashionable and expressive. At NAJO, our favourite interpretation of this trend is the bangle stack.
Styling inspiration: Famous tastemakers put their best arm forward
One of the earliest “arm party” trendsetters has to be the inimitable Grace Kelly. In her last film, the 1956 classic High Society, she wore timeless clothes and jewellery – even famously sporting the actual ring from her royal engagement to Prince Rainier. Fans will recall seeing the sparkling diamond, along with a fantastic yellow sundress and the most stylish arm party ever in the scene where Frank Sinatra serenades her with the song “You’re Sensational”.
Much more recently, fashion blogger Elle Ferguson caused a social media sensation with her dual bangle stack paired with an oversized white shirt, denim jacket and long tanned legs at Australia’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Superstar Australian interior stylist and author Megan Morton lyrically refers to her ever-present bangle stack as “arm candy”. Morton self-styles in the same way as she approaches a vignette in a room: layering serious investment pieces with junk-shop finds to surprising effect. See great examples of her arm candy here and here.
So what can we learn from these style icons, plus the endless stacking inspiration in our own NAJO archives? This is one trend that is achievable, enduring and infinitely adaptable. So here are five savvy steps to help you get the look.
Your 5-step guide to building the perfect bangle stack
1. Start with a base tone of metal such as silver, yellow gold or rose gold. Of course sparkling polished sterling silver always wins our vote.
2. Consider scale and contrast. Either layer a lot of fine bracelets with jangly silver beads, fine chains and thin bangles, or go all chunky and maximalist with lots of wide cuffs and thick bangles.
3. Choose a centrepiece – a great watch or statement cuff looks best surrounded on either side with similarly sized bangles or bracelets in coordinating tones.
4. Add texture, colour, or the unexpected. Maybe it’s a shot of turquoise or onyx amongst all that silver, or a little two-tone instead. Or when everything else is shiny and sleek, a single oxidised or hammered silver piece adds contrast and interest.
5. Be confident and have fun. Don’t be afraid to break all the above “rules” to find a look that’s entirely your own.