How to Tastefully Wear a Watch and Bracelet Stack

My trick to getting the look right.

The bracelet stack can be a touchy subject, with some loving the look and others believing that it is nothing short of tacky. Blatantly over-accessorising is an easy way to incur negative judgment from others, as it is seen as trying too hard. So how do you manage to wear bracelets together with a wristwatch, and not appear to be a try-hard? Read on to discover a way that works.

How Many Bracelets?

It seems to have become common for men to literally stack bracelets on their wrists, wearing 5-10 bracelets in what comes off as a very gaudy fashion. It is often touted that this is ‘sprezzatura’ (an Italian term for being effortlessly stylish) but such a clear attempt at peacocking is quite frankly the opposite. It goes from being an accessory (a detail) to being a scream for attention. Adding a watch to a stack that large is going to look even more over-accessorised.


In reality, the right amount of bracelets for you is going to be up to your personality; it might be 1-3, 4 or maybe none. In my case, it is 1-2. This also happens to be a good number to combine with the right watch.

Your Wrist and Different Watch Sizes

Men’s watches come in many diameters, from sub 35mm vintage watches to 50mm monsters. The best choice of watch size is usually dependent on your wrist. For me, 38-40mm is the sweet spot. However, I sometimes like to wear smaller vintage watches that are only 34-46mm in diameter.

Getting the Perfect Combination

I have found that if a watch looks perfectly at home on your wrist, this means that you do not need bracelets; to do so will overcrowd your wrist and give off that tacky image that you want to avoid. In my case, this means I wear watches of sizes 38-40mm without any other accessories on the wrist.

However, smaller vintage watches take up less real estate on the wrist. This means that a watch of 34-36mm may look disproportionately small on my wrist. This is where the watch-bracelet stack can be perfect! All it takes is the addition of one or two great looking bracelets to take up a more proportionate amount of wrist space. Also, make sure if you are wearing a long sleeved shirt or sweater that you do not try to cram bracelets on as they will just clash with your cuffs. A slightly shorter sleeve will be better suited to watch-bracelet stacks, as below:

Different types of leather strips are my preferred style of bracelet. I have found the ball-type ones – while they can look excellent – simply break too quickly due to being held together by elastic string. This is not to say you cannot wear them regardless; occasionally I do so too.

Looking for somewhere to buy bracelets?

The Iconic has an excellent range of bracelets at varying price points. If you are concerned that you may not like the look, fear not; their return policy is free and excellent. I have bought from there several times and have personally tested the return policy; they get my vote of confidence.

Short and sweet!

The bracelet look is not for everyone, it is best suited to those who are well travelled or who have a rakish personality. It is also quite noticeable when someone is wearing a bracelet stack to try and appear exotic or rakish; so if you try the bracelet look and you do not feel natural in it, leave it on the shelf. An accessory is only a detail and there are plenty of ways to look great and accessorise without bracelets, so do not worry if it does not suit you!

If you do feel at home with bracelets on and have been wanting to get the mix just right, now you have the ticket!

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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