Photo by Lisa Clarke

When looking for a piece of jewelry to accentuate a fine feature, don’t forget to consider anklets!  A sort of bracelet for the ankle, an anklet is a fun piece of fashion jewelry, just a touch out of the ordinary without being bizarre. While anklets may seem like a late addition to the jewelry repertoire, in reality they have a rich history all over the globe.

 Types of Anklets

Anklets can be casual pieces, like a leather band or a woven nautical-style rope that shrinks when you shower, or an elegant 14-karat gold chain set with stones like aquamarine, tanzanite or ruby. They can be simple elastic bands of beads that slip on and off, macrame, sterling silver ankle jewelry with a charm and a clasp and much more.



Photo by garycycles2

Anklet History

The dawn of anklets reaches far back into ancient history, and anklets dating back to around 2000 BC have been found in archaeological digs in Persia.  This has long been a common piece of jewelry for women of the cultures of the Middle East and India.  Egyptian women sometimes used ankle jewelry with bells to create a musical sound to draw attention to themselves when they walked and accent their steps as they danced. In some groups, anklets were worn primarily by unmarried women while in others by married women. Some wore anklets connected to a toe ring. Hawaiians wore anklets while performing hula dances, and Native Americans also sported ankle jewelry for traditional ceremonies.  Some of these customs continue in modern times.  

Anklet Traditions

Be aware that while most women wear their ankle jewelry where it feels comfortable, some use anklet placement to signify their relationship status.  When an ankle bracelet is worn on the right leg it indicates a woman is available, but when worn on the left it means she’s taken.

Photo by Mitchell Bartlett

Guys’ Anklets

Today men as well as women wear anklets, though the fashion is for a leather band or woven hemp rather than a chain of silver or gold. This style is popular with the skate boarding and surfing crowd.


It is necessary to purchase anklets of the correct size in order to achieve the look that you desire.  An anklet that is too big can slide down too far.  One that is too small can feel uncomfortable and even snap and fall off. Before buying jewelry for your ankle, measure it around its thickest point. For a loose fit, purchase an anklet that’s about an inch bigger than the measurement.  Try on anklets of different lengths before buying to assess the comfort and appearance of the fit.

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