published Monday, September 19th, 2011

All eyes are on new wrap bracelets

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    New styles of wrap bracelets are showing up in jewelry stores, boutiques and department stores.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
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Wrap bracelets have been around for years, but new styles updated with jewels, beads, hardware and clever designs are showing up in jewelry stores, boutiques and department stores.

Tamara Dillard, owner of Sophie's, a gift shop on North Market Street, said the demand for wrap bracelets has been so high that she has had to reorder.

"We picked up a couple of different [styles] because they are so versatile, all ages love the look, and they have a cool layered feeling," Dillard said.

"Our most popular styles are with the gold and silver beads," she said. "Wrap bracelets are not fussy and really give off a cool artisan look."

Depending on the style, a wrap bracelet might encircle the wrist once or multiple times. One favorite at Sophie's, Dillard said, is a double-wrap leather bracelet with gold studs. The look is easy to wear, she said, because it works well with dressy or casual fashions and can be mixed with other gold accessories or even other bracelets.

"They're fun to wear with bangles, too," said Katie McGee, manager of Alice Blue boutique in Riverview. She predicts the trend will continue for some time since more companies are coming out with new designs.

Celebrities have contributed to the popularity of wrap bracelets. Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Megan Fox and Joe Jonas have been spotted wearing wrap bracelets made by designer Chan Luu.

"People started wearing them again about two years ago," McGee said. "The brand we carry, Vita Fede, was one of the first designers to add a chain to the bracelet."

McGee said wrap bracelets are popular because they can be worn "day in and day out" and with fashions ranging from jeans and a T-shirt to a cocktail dress.

"The wrap bracelet is a good investment piece because of its versatility -- plus its cost won't break the bank," she said.

While designer wrap bracelets can easily cost more than $200, there are still many styles available for less than $30. And for those with a creative touch, a wrap bracelet can be made for just a few dollars.

"I fell in love with them, so I made one for myself," said April Barrett of East Ridge. "It took about three hours but it turned out awesome."

Barrett purchased leather rope from a fabric store and added her own beads using a regular needle and thread. "It ended up costing me about $5 to make."

Local craft guru Maddie Kertay of Brainerd offers step-by-step instructions on how to make a wrap bracelet on her website, www.domesticanarchy.com.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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