At a glance, men’s tennis bracelets seem inevitable – a manifestation of the past few years of gender-bending, androgyny, and styles rooted in womenswear.
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By comparison, men’s tennis bracelets – now emerging as 2021’s “it” accessory – seem practically demure, tucked into a cuff or dangling in a thin line along a wrist.
In turn, retailers from top-tier jewelers down to ASOS have been carrying this silhouette. Here’s how you can try it out.
What is Tennis Bracelet?
For starters, let’s begin with what is tennis bracelet is. By design, this style consists of a single-width string of stones in a straightforward, plain setting. The configuration may be round or square, but a linear nature is its defining feature.
As well, while any gemstone can be used, diamonds, at least for women, have given this jewelry item heritage appeal – similar to how automatic and mechanical watches get passed down from one generation to the next for men.
Tennis bracelets have been around since at least the 1920s, when they were called “eternity” bracelets due to the “unending” effect the string of gemstones created. In the ‘80s, tennis player Chris Evert asked to stop a match during the U.S. Open to search for a bracelet she had lost, and from there on, the name stuck.
Why are Tennis Bracelets in Style for Men?
Right now, the appeal among men comes from a few factors:
- Celebrities like Cam Newton have been spotted wearing something relatively straightforward – often, no more than a string of diamonds along the wrist.
- Menswear has been having its nostalgia moment, exploring styles of the ‘80s and ‘90s – a period allowing for a greater degree of gender expression, from New Wave androgyny to Grunge’s shapeless, unisex character.
- They transcend occasions, offering simplicity for casual wear and the construction and elegance for more elevated affairs.
- Greater variety exists, with men’s tennis bracelets highlighting rubies, emeralds, and other gemstones and a range of widths.
- They’re an upgrade to 1950s’ ID bracelets, which featured interlocking links and a nameplate.
- More men are buying diamonds. After decades marketing them as a women’s engagement ring, more men are seeking diamond jewelry for themselves, with bracelets being one opportunity for doing so.
Mix your metals to elevate your style game. This two-level men’s tennis bracelet offers a blinged-out alternative to the traditional eternity form with a band of 18K plated gold and a second in silver, both delivering masculine glamour with cubic zirconia stones.
Take the blue route in this classic slim silhouette designed in London’s Hatton Garden. Here, sterling silver provides the foundation for blue and white crystals in a sky-like gradient colorway.
Who knew luxury could be so understated? White gold can take on a silvery appearance, which is what results here with 14K metal in a choice of widths. This foundation is paired with a series of crystal-clear diamonds along the full length.
Dark doesn’t mean a lack of sparkle. This Swarovski style opts for gray-colored rutherfordium-plated metal paired with matching crystals. It’s the right amount for upping your everyday ensemble.
We tend to think of tennis bracelets as set stones in a row. This style from Cernucci defies that with a Greek motif-like pattern created through multiple layers of hand-set stones, pairing white gold with cubic zirconia.
ASOS has upped their gender-neutral game over the past few years. In turn, shopping for a rose gold tennis bracelet in the women’s section isn’t a stretch. Here, rather than set stones linked together, a single narrow bangle positions them in a more fixed form across your wrist, with multicolored Swarovski crystals sitting flush with the surface.
Go against expectations with this tennis bracelet playing a rose motif off set quartz stones. Sterling silver makes up a unisex-leaning form.
This geometric style creating more of a strip fitting around the wrist than a true eternity band pairs jet-black rhodium plating with sterling silver and 3mm spinel, with the result buffed to maximize their luster.
Go back to basics with this Tiffany link bracelet. Although some may argue that it’s not a true tennis silhouette, the body is inspired by 1950s-era ID bracelets while pulling from shapes found in Roman architecture. The simplicity of the interlocking box links stands out on its own and matches effortlessly with metal watch bands.
How to Wear a Men’s Tennis Bracelet
So that a tennis bracelet doesn’t stand out too much from your everyday wardrobe:
- Don’t stray too far from what you wear every day. If you’re someone who sports nothing more ornate than a metal watch, opt for a smaller stone size and single color.
- Consider stacking it with other types of bracelets and your watch, especially when you’re opting to do more smart casual – for instance, a T-shirt under a blazer, complemented by dark-wash jeans.
- Keep it traditional. Unless you’re opting to dress flashy, stick to a single strand of stones.
- Match your metals. Although mixing metals isn’t the fashion faux pas it used to be, stick within the same group of tones when adding a tennis bracelet to your ensemble.