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Explained: What is an Anklet, Why Wear One, and the Rules of Wearing One?

What is an Anklet

Anklets, also known as ankle strings, ankle bracelets, or ankle chains, are a type of jewelry designed to be worn around a person’s ankle. For more than 8,000 years now, women and girls in South Asia have been adorning their bodies with the ornaments, and Egyptian women first started wearing them in pre-dynastic times. It wasn’t until the 1930s, however, that ladies in the United States started wearing this style of jewelry, and today men and women alike are known to choose this accessory for everyday wear or when dressing up for an event.

Anklets Today

Anklets currently come in many styles and designs. From tiny golden anklets to ones made of leather or nylon, every person will find one they love. In fact, some are created using beads or shells, and silver and plastic versions are also available. These cute anklets have become the favorite of many who love to mix and match styles.

When Were Anklets First Worn?

While excavating Sumerian tombs or those from the cradle of civilization, archeologists came across ankle bracelets that were more than 4,500 years old. Ancient Egyptian women wore anklets to inform others of their social status and wealth. Those who were plebeians or a slave favored metallic, shell or leather anklets. In contrast, women with a rich husband chose anklets of gold or silver or those with precious stones.

However, Ancient India is where the anklets really took hold and became a commonplace item in the culture. Women in this region used the ankle bracelets for many purposes. Some opted to wear them simply as a body ornament, and others used the ankle string to inform people of her marital status. Dancers placed flexible chains around their ankles, and these items were known as Payal. Some ankle chains featured charms or trinkets that would tinkle when the woman danced. Today, many Arabian belly dancers wear jewelry of this type when dancing.

Indian women continue to wear ankle chains. They are an integral part of the bridal ensemble in this country and are combined with a traditional saree and precious jewelry on a woman’s big day. However, there are other uses for the ankle bracelet that many may be unaware of.

In southeast Asia and the Middle East, ankle bracelets were used to encourage women to engage in the short tripping step. Anklets would be placed on both ankles and joined with a chain. This would lead the woman to walk with a graceful gait and show her femininity.

Left or Right? Which Ankle Should the Jewelry Be Worn On?

Truly, it does not matter which ankle a person chooses to wear the jewelry on, although some do worry about etiquette when it comes to this adornment. Some believe that a woman wearing an anklet on the right ankle is a call girl. However, others believe wearing the anklet on the left side of the body is evil, as the left side in Christianity is often referred to as a symbol of the devil. Wearing the bracelet on the right side is considered by some as a sign the wearer is non-traditional in terms of sexual orientation. While people need to be aware of these beliefs, a person should wear the ankle chain on the ankle he or she prefers. Most people aren’t aware of these different beliefs and don’t stop to consider why the man or woman chose one ankle over the other for wearing their ankle bracelet.

Anklet Types

Golden anklets are considered to be a luxury item. This is especially true when the ankle bracelet features precious stones, and people will find both single and double-chain versions of this item. Mature women often select this type of ankle bracelet and wear jewelry for special occasions. This type of ankle chain, on the other hand, is not commonly seen in more casual settings.

Silver anklets, in contrast, are ideal for a day out with friends and young women often choose this style. The ankle chain works well with many types of footwear, including high heel sandals, flats, and even bare feet. Those who love ethnic or bohemian styles often turn to anklets with beads and these styles go well with flip-flops or sandals.

Barefoot anklets remain popular in India and women around the world are choosing to invest in this jewelry today. This type of ankle bracelet features a bracelet that rings the ankle before stretching across the bridge of the foot to a toe ring. The anklet mimics a barefoot sandal but does not include the sole and are often seen on America’s beaches.

Charm anklets are extremely popular right now, due in part to the charm craze that has swept the nation. A charm anklet is a perfect place to hold these trinkets and show off one’s personality. It’s also a great way to expand one’s charm collection without the need for numerous bracelets on the arm.

Rules for Wearing Anklets

Make certain the anklet fits in with the rest of the wardrobe. A woman who tends to dress in conservative clothing, for example, will likely find the ankle bracelet doesn’t look right with the majority of her outfits.

Choose a mini dress or skirt to pair with the ankle chain. Casual shorts, cuffed jeans, and leggings are other good options. However, the anklet should never be worn with bottoms that cover the ankle zone. It will look out of place when paired with this type of bottom covering.

Have a pedicure before donning an ankle chain. The anklet draws attention to the feet and nobody wants to have ungroomed feet when this is the case. The pedicure ensures this is not an issue.

Thin feet look best with delicate ankle bracelets. For those with thick ankles, choose an ankle string with medium-sized trinkets to make the feet look slimmer.

Anklets are hot this summer. If you have yet to try this fashion accessory, do so today. You may find it is exactly what you need to round out your wardrobe and leave you looking and feeling your best every day.


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