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Cuff Bracelet Fit - More Tips

A cuff bracelet is a bracelet that is rigid, has no clasp, but has a gap, an open portion that allows you slip the bracelet over your wrist.

We've already put together an article with tips and guidelines about choosing the proper sized cuff bracelet. Now I want to add some personal observations and put my own wrists up as a case study.

Wrist Variations - Right and Left --- Winter and Summer

I briefly mentioned my wrist size in the main article. More specifically, my right wrist, which is where I usually wear a cuff bracelet, measures about 6 7/8". My left wrist, where I wear a Native American watch, is about 6 ¾", about 1/8" smaller. I suspect my right wrist is larger because I am right-handed and because I use a computer mouse. You might find a similar difference between your two wrist measurements. In the winter, both of my wrists measure about 1/8" smaller than the above and in the summer, they can measure 1/8" larger. I generally like to wear my looser and more open bracelets in the summer and my wide cuffs in the winter.

Shape of Wrist

My wrists are more oval than round. They have a more flat top and bottom and short sides if you know what I mean. That is the typical shape of the bracelet forms that Native American artists use to make their bracelets. If you have round wrists, you would want to look for a bracelet that is somewhat adjustable so that you can shape it to fit your wrist perfectly. See adjustment notes.

Snug or Loose?

Everyone has a personal preference as to how snug or loose a cuff bracelet should fit. I prefer a bracelet to be a light presence, a conforming second skin. I don't want a cuff to move around like a bangle. But I don't want it to press into my skin anywhere either. When I take a bracelet off, I don't want to see dents in my skin that say "tight cuff!"

Where do You Wear a Cuff?

I wear narrow cuff bracelets in front of my prominent wrist bone, towards my hand. I wear wider cuffs behind or over the prominent wrist bone. Right now I am wearing a 6 ¾" heavy silver inlay bracelet cuff that is only about 3/8" wide (so it's in front of my prominent wrist bone) and it is PERFECT. It doesn't move on its own but if I grasp it on each side and lift up gently, I can create a ¼" space between the bracelet and the top of my wrist. And if I wanted to move it behind my wrist bone, I could easily move it there. But left on its own, it tends to rest in front of my wrist bone and I don't even know it is there.

Wider Cuffs Must Be Larger !

My favorite wide cuffs are larger in size because I wear them over the prominent bones of my wrist.

I have a 1" wide Hopi cuff that is 7" total inside circumference and a 1 ¾" wide heavy Navajo cuff that is 7" total inside circumference. Both of these have a gap of about 1 ¼" and they go on and off easily and fit just a well as my 6 ¾" narrow cuff. So in my case, when I wear a wider cuff, it needs to be about ¼" larger than a narrow cuff.

Choosing Your Perfect Cuff

I hope this information helps you interpret and use the bracelet dimensions we have on our site to find a bracelet that fits you and is comfortable to wear. It is always best to measure a similar cuff that fits you perfectly, but if you don't have one, you should be able to measure your wrist to find a bracelet that fits.

Be careful about getting locked in to size designations like Small, Medium, and Large. These terms, and the cut-off points between size categories, are necessarily arbitrary and imprecise, since there is an infinite range of wrist and bracelet measurements.

Common Mistake #1: All Men Wear Large

Many men wear a Medium bracelet in the 7-7 ¼ inch range. They might have a wrist that measures 7 ½ and find that they like the fit of a 7 ¼" bracelet. Some women buy Large bracelets for their boyfriends or husbands just because they think a man would just naturally need a Large, but it is not necessarily so.

Common Mistake #2: Women Can Squeeze a Medium Size Bracelet into a Small Size

With any bracelet, squeezing will likely make the bracelet an odd shape. Many small women buy Medium bracelets hoping they can "squeeze" the bracelet together to make it fit them. Yikes! First of all, if you squeeze a stone bracelet, you risk loosening the stones. AND you'll probably end up with a gap so small you won't be able to put the bracelet on or take it off very easily - it will end up more like a bangle bracelet! To adjust a bracket, use this method.

Closing the Gap

The gap is what allows you to put a bracelet on and take it off with ease. It is also what assures the bracelet won't fall off. There is a "sweet spot" as far as the gap measurement that will work best for you. For me, the perfect gap seems to be 1 1/8" to 1 ¼". It allows me enough on-off space but not so much that the bracelet is not secure. That's why it is best to get a bracelet that approximates your wrist size and shape and has a reasonable gap, something on the order of 7/8" to 1 ½" depending on the size of your wrist. Too small of a gap and it will be torture going on and off. Too large of a gap and the bracelet could turn on you wrist and even fall off !

How to Put on a Cuff Bracelet

There is an art to putting on a cuff bracelet. Curve your left hand over the top of the bracelet. In one movement, press the lower edge of the bracelet into the soft area on the underside of your wrist where your tendons and veins show and roll the bracelet over the top of your wrist. To remove a bracelet, first press the edge nearest you into the underside of your wrist and the roll the bracelet back off your wrist toward you. With a little practice, you will see how easy this technique is. -


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