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Is Wearing Bracelets on the Same Wrist as a Watch Overkill?

Bracelets and watches can both elevate one's outfit but wearing them on the same wrist can be tricky. Check out our tips on how they should be worn together while creating a cohesive look.

Woman wearing watch and matching bracelet with flowers on the background.

Both bracelets and watches showed up in the 16th century. They both add style and personality to an outfit. Should you wear them together on the same wrist?

I hardly ever wear bracelets or watches, but I have in the past. I don’t like to wear them both on the same wrist, but I’ve found some exceptional circumstances where you can if you want.

Bracelets to Wear with Watches

Signature Thin Bangle

Source: Made Different Co

Thin metal or beaded bracelets typically seem to look the best with watches, but make sure you choose one that is skinnier than the watch band. For formal occasions, you might get away with showing off a string of tiny pearls or diamonds with a watch.

Parker Pearl Bracelet

Source: Gorjana

Whatever bracelet you choose to wear, make sure the bracelet band doesn’t appear thicker than it. The timepiece band must look wider than any other piece of jewelry you wear on your hand.

More Bracelet and Watch Matching Tips

Match the Colors

Quartz Glossy White Ladies Watch and Bracelet Set

Source: Jomashop

Try to find colors that complement each other rather than clash. For instance, if you have a silver watch, opt for a metallic bracelet in a similar shade. Or if you have a gold watch, go for something with warmer tones like bronze or copper.

Concerning matching colors, you’re not always stuck with silver and gold. Some matching bracelet sets have coordinating colored bands and metallic materials in them, so that provides you with more options. I also learned of an exception to the color matching rule as told by A Fashion Blog:

“The good news is that you can wear a metallic watch with a non-metal bracelet. Say a stainless steel watch with an anchor rope bracelet.”

Coordinate your materials carefully, however. 

Coordinate Materials

Quartz Burgundy Dial Ladies Watch and Bracelet Set

Source: Jomashop

It’s also important to think about the materials used in both pieces. If your watch has a leather strap, try pairing it with a leather bracelet. If your watch has a metal band, choose a metal bracelet that matches the finish of your watch. Otherwise, make sure that you don’t choose watch bands and faces that just don’t look right with your bracelets at all.

Before or After—Not Both

Cornwall Gold + Stirling Bracelet Gold

Source: Hexter & Baines

When it comes to accessorizing, many people make the mistake of wearing too much at once. You can avoid this issue if you create a cohesive look. A Fashion Blog suggests this:

“What this means is that the bracelet goes before the watch, and it will be the first piece closest to your hand, followed by the watch. Never wear a bracelet on each side of the watch.”

I might deviate from standard watch and bracelet pairing advice – the rebel that I am – and wear it on top of the watch instead of closest to the wrist. However, I realize if I were to do this, the bracelet circumference would have to measure skinnier than my watch band. Otherwise, the bracelet would fall to my wrist anyway.

Luckily, I found out there’s such a thing as a bracelet and watch set. I also have seen incidences where bracelets did sit above and not below the watch. It comforts me to know that a bracelet can look just as elegant either above or below a watch in some incidences.

Use Similar Sizes

Woman wearing silver watch and bracelet.

Make sure the circumferences of your bracelets and watches match as closely as possible. This will prevent them from overlapping one another when you move your arm or walk.

Bracelets Not to Wear with Watches

Thick Chunky Chain Bracelets in Gold and Silver

Source: Not on the High Street

If you wear a watch, avoid bulky or chunky bracelets. They might take away from the attention of the timepiece you’re wearing or appear overall just too flashy on your wrist. Of course, I know there’s always exceptions to this rule, such as if you plan to perform in a concert that calls for showing shiny jewelry on stage, during which time, you also might wear a watch.

Wearing both watches and bulky bracelets also might seem appropriate if you feel the need to make a “loud” statement for any reason. This might happen if you’re a part of certain music or art circles where they encourage you to live “against the grain.” I’m not saying creative persons would be the only people who would prefer a flashier jewelry setup, but I am speaking from experience.

In an office environment, or a restaurant that doesn’t allow workers to wear too much jewelry, wearing chunky or bulky bracelets with watches may not work out. However, anyone who doesn’t have to worry about daily dress codes or won’t need to think about how to dress for casual occasions can wear whatever they want.

“Bad” Bracelet and Watch Matches (In My Opinion)

“Bad” came to mind when I viewed some bracelets and watch combos I’ve seen on the market. That’s my first reaction but just see and decide for yourself.

Blue Watch With 5 Elastic matching bracelets together in a box -

Source: eBay

I just saw a set of five bracelets with a watch. They all have distinguishable blue color and metallic gold sheen. However, I don’t picture all five of these pieces in this set together. I’d probably break up this set if I owned these items, and I’d only wear maybe one or two of the bracelets with the watch.

Casual Women Weave Wrap Wrist Watch Chains Leather Bracelet

Source: Wish

For some reason, this bracelet “Weave Wrap Wrist Watch” didn’t appeal to me. It’s probably based on what I learned about combining bracelets and watches in general. This piece, however, does provide an exception to how gold and silver can work together even though normally mixing these two metals doesn’t seem appropriate.