An ankle bracelet, also called an anklet, ankle chain, or ankle string, is a piece of jewellery worn around the ankle. The accessory has been worn for centuries by girls and women in India, where it’s known as pattilu or paayal. However, the jewellery didn’t originate in this area. Ankle bracelets were first worn by Egyptian women in the predynastic times. They became a popular fashion accessory in the United States in the 1930s, with many brands releasing a number of styles. Today, they are worn as casual and formal jewellery all over the world. In this article, we explore the jewellery in more detail and discuss exactly why women love ankle bracelets.
The latest runway shows have brought forward a number of ankle bracelets and shown women how to best style them. The French fashion house, Chloe, introduced a delicate golden anklet to the market, modelled alongside a pair of iridescent flip-flops. Mark Jacobs, on the other hand, revealed an elegant two-layered design that is best worn with a little black dress.
However, this isn’t the first time we’re seeing anklets in the fashion world. Ankle bracelets have been popular for centuries, available in a range of materials including gold, silver, leather, and shells. While they’re often seen on the runway, ankle bracelets have a rich history behind them and often have hidden symbolism.
While anklets came to the West in the 20th century, the history of the jewellery in the East dates back to the Archaic times. The first samples of ankle bracelets were found while excavating Sumerian tombs. In future archaeological digs, more ankle bracelets were discovered in a variety of different stones and metals.
In Ancient Egypt, ankle bracelets were used to define social status. A woman wearing a gold or silver anklet was probably the wife of a wealthy man. Slaves or plebeians, on the other hand, would wear anklets made of leather, shells, or cheap metal. Instead of being used for adornment, they served as amulets and talismans for protection.
A few years later, the ankle bracelet reached Ancient India. Here, they were used to indicate the marital status of a woman or to simply adorn the body. A flexible anklet style known as paayal was often worn by Indian dancers. The metallic chains were adorned with trinkets and charms to create a soft sound while dancing. Today, this style of anklet is still in use, particularly amongst Arabian belly dancers. In some cultures, anklets are worn on both ankles and joined by a chain to limit the step. This idea originated in Southeast Asia, where they were worn to give a ‘feminine’ short step.
Today, one of the main reasons women love anklets is for their ornamental purpose. Like any type of jewellery, they can be used to add a hint of sparkle to your outfit. As they are available in a range of colours, materials, and styles, it’s easy to find something that suits your look. Better still, anklets are generally quite affordable. This means that you can build up a collection of different colours and styles. When it comes to choosing one, decide which design will best complement your outfit. To do this, you must first decide the nature of the event. If you’re heading out to work, you don’t want anything too glamorous. However, you also don’t want your jewellery to appear too casual. With this in mind, it’s best to go for something in between the two such as a simple silver band. If you’re getting ready for a day at the beach, pick up a shell adorned anklet for a casual bohemian vibe. As this style doesn’t involve precious metals, it can be picked up cheaply in-store or online.
Some people wear anklets to signify their social status. Just like in Ancient Egypt, an expensive anklet can be used to flaunt wealth and fortune. While this isn’t always the case, wealthy women are more likely to splash out on a designer accessory than those with a smaller budget.
In Ancient Indian Culture, ankle bracelets were worn mostly by married women. Adorned with trinkets and charms, the anklet would jingle with movement. This way, family members would hear that she was coming and be sure to welcome her with respect. This also meant that husbands wouldn’t be caught talking inappropriately. Although they’re rarely used for this purpose today, ankle bracelets still have a role in Indian wedding ceremonies.
Today, anklets are worn by dancers to create a gentle sound as they move. Arabian belly dancers often wear anklets with small bells on them. Instead of jingling quietly, this style of anklet makes an obvious sound that complements the music.
Another reason that women love anklets is for their healing properties. If an anklet is adorned with gemstones, it can be used to heal or relieve various health ailments. Also known as Lithotherapy, crystal healing is an energy healing technique that uses gemstones to heal the body. All gemstones emit a certain vibration. By placing the stones against the skin, this vibration can be used to transfer a certain energy to the body. Over time, this can be beneficial to the physical and emotional health.
Whether you’re hoping to signify your social status or improve an existing outfit, the right anklet can do the job. If you plan to wear the ankle bracelet often, consider investing in a good-quality metal or stone. This way, your jewellery will remain in mint condition for years to come.