Meanings of Anklets and Rules of Wearing Them

Anklets can be of different designs, made out of various materials (gold, silver, leather, plastic, nylon, beads, shells etc) and in a focal point of mixing and matching procedures. This may build a misleading guess that anklets are just go-go pieces, without any history behind them and without any symbolism hidden within them. Anklets do have history worth exploring and delving into.

While the Western culture could enjoy anklets only starting from 20th century, the history of anklets in the Eastern culture traces back to the archaic times. The first samples of ankle chains were discovered while excavating Sumerian tombs and if you have a good command of history, you are surely to know that Sumerians were considered to be the “cradle of civilization” living in the southernmost region of Mesopotamia over 4500 years ago. The archaeological digs could explore and identify a series of ankle bracelets made out of different metals and stones whether precious or common.

In Ancient Egypt bracelets worn around the female ankles could tell a lot about her fortune and social status. A woman wearing a golden or silver bracelet decorated with precious stones on her ankle was obviously stating about her being a wife of a wealthy man, while the slaves or plebeians were usually wearing leather or metallic anklets or else anklets out of shells and in most cases they served as just amulets and talismans.

But it was in Ancient India that anklets were in broader circulation than in any other region. They might indicate the marital status of a woman or might be just an ornament. The flexible ankle chains called paayal were widely spread in India among dancers. The metallic chains could be complemented by some sonorous trinkets or charms to jingle and tinkle gently while dancing. Such anklets are extensively in use even now and mostly among Arabian belly dancers. Precious and intricate anklets are now an integral part of Indian bridal ensemble along with traditional saree and a plethora of other precious jewelry.

There was also another usage of ankle bracelets in the Middle East and South East Asia. In the old times the “feminine” short tripping step was considered as something ultra-sensual and wearing bracelets on both anklets joined by a chain was to restrict their steps thereby creating that so-graceful gait.

The anklets invading into America in the ‘70s became the favorite pieces of free-spirited ladies searching for freedom everywhere and in everything, thus making these pieces as effective components of the bohemian style.

Right or Left? Which Ankle to Wear Bracelet on?

Now in this crazy period of eclecticism when all the boundaries are blurred and scarcely anything can petrify us, all those stereotypes and even traditions are coming to naught. That is why whether you are wearing the bracelet on your right or left ankle, in the grand scheme of things is of no importance. But some of the most inquisitive among you might be extremely interested in the right or left anklet-wearing etiquette.

Much as the wedding ring is usually being worn on the left ring finger that way expressing its owner’s marital status, the anklets were also once gifted to the bride by the groom as a symbol of love and the wish to become her official husband. The women wearing anklets on their right ankles were being referred as call girls. However, in Christianity it is the left side that is considered to be the symbol of Devil and everything connected with evil forces in general. There is also another version that the bracelet worn on the right ankle is telling about its wearer’s being of non-traditional sexual orientation.


Before gaining an ankle chain the first and foremost thing to consider is your own style. A business lady? – Does not function. A sporty girl? – Again no function. Anklets are best synced up with bohemian-style-hunters or with any girl who has at least one free-spirited ensemble in her wardrobe.

• Anklets should be worn with a mini skirt or mini dress, with casual shorts, or leggings or else with cuffed jeans – in a nutshell, with anything casual that bares the ankle zone of your foot.

• To go with this daring anklet-style it is just a mandatory requirement to have perfectly looking feet, without any calluses on them and with ideal pedicure, preferably in any vibrant shade.

• Some eccentric women prefer wearing anklets over their stockings or socks. However, try to eschew this option and wear anklets only on bare ankles for more effective result.

• If your feet are thin and tender, opt for thin metallic anklets or even thin plastic ones but if they are not so thin and you are aspiring to make them visually slimmer and more slender, then anklets with some medium-sized trinkets hanging from them will fill the bill, for sure.

The pop diva RiRi once shared a photo on her Instagram account showing off her ankle embellished with a Chanel vintage diamond anklet worn over her ankle tattoo titling the post as follows “Late birthday gift, vintage Chanel anklet #CCcertified”.

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