YOU THOUGHT IT WAS DEAD? The Return of The Ankle Bracelet (And Its Cousin, THE TOE RING!)

If you are going to decorate your feet, THEN DECORATE YOUR FEET! Don’t go halfway in. PLUS: "AS SEEN ON TV!"
Publish date:
August 1, 2012
clothes, shoppables, jewelry, style, fun, ankle bracelets, toe rings

When I was a kid, people who wore ankle bracelets were sometimes considered “trashy.” They were often the ones with super-blonde hair and very long dark roots and who were in the supermarket barefooted. My mom always referred to anyone with filthy feet as having "supermarket feet." And by "anyone" she meant my disgusting teenaged self:

16 year old me had filthy feet AND a filthy apartment.

I have grown out of my barefooted, dirty feet phase -- now I'm obsessed with wearing foot coverings at all times. I think they call them "SHOES." If I see a person with no shoes in the grocery these days, I'm too busy freaking out about how dirty the floor in the grocery must be to focus on judging the person for being barefoot in the first place.

Now that light hair with dark roots is a thing that some of the world’s most beautiful women do, I think it’s high time to give the very much maligned ankle bracelet another shot. What's tacky is cool, and what goes around always always comes around, if you wait long enough.

Left, Heidi Klum. Right, Ciara.

I am not as far out on a limb as you may think here -- the ankle bracelets of your high school career have definitely made a return. I have started seeing ankle bracelets pop up on lots of cool girls. So if you’ve still got yours from high school, dig it out and wear it with pride.

Lovely ankle bracelet imagery from

The wearing of anklets as an adornment has been around since at least 4000 BCE. Over 6,000 years ago! When the graves of ancient Sumerians were discovered, many of them were found to be wearing ankle bracelets. Cleopatra was a very famous anklet wearer, and women in India have worn them for centuries both as personal decoration and for good luck. I love it when I realize that people were into fashion trends as far back as the Stone Age!

If you want a good laugh, Google “Are ankle bracelets out of style?" The general consensus is that they are "for older ladies or 3 year olds.” Not only have I never seen a 3-year-old rocking an anklet, I respectfully disagree. I’ve started keeping an eye out for cute ones I can wear with sandals and bare legs for the rest of the summer.

If you were shamed into donating your ankle bracelets to Goodwill, here are some good options for replacing them, plus some ideas as to what shoes to pair them with. And don’t listen to people who tell you something is out! Fashion has reached the point where trends go away but then come back again the very next season.

Elastic pearl anklet, $49.90. Patent leather spectator shoe, $120.00.

14K gold disco anklet, $198.00. Glitter wedge sandal, $215.00.

4-strand silver anklet, $24.98. Flat studded ballet flat, $79.00.

Trio of gold tone anklets, $27.00. Sequin espadrille, $40.00.

Gold crown anklet, $38.00. Brown fringe sandal, $49.95.

14K gold and diamond initial anklet, $324.50. Satin T-strap sandal, $63.59.

I like the idea of your shoes being just as interesting as your ankle bracelet.

My favorite way I’ve seen anklets worn is on the Olsen twins. I love a pair of dainty matched gold bracelets worn on both legs. It somehow brings the look all the way around and beyond itself to actually being classy.

An ankle bracelet has such a classic, refined feeling this way. Quite a far cry from the jangling dolphin-charmed ankle bracelets of my childhood.

Some things to avoid when wearing an ankle bracelet:

1) Noisy anklets with bells on them unless you are actively taking part in the activity of belly dancing

2) Ankle bracelets with charms better suited for a child (ice cream cones, Mickey Mouse, or Barbie.)

3) Wearing one over tights or socks

4) Wearing an anklet if you are a man

5) Neglecting your toes when calling so much attention to your feet. Slap on a sloppy coat of polish strips!

Now that you think I’ve completely lost my mind, I’m going to hit you in the face with TOE RINGS.

If you are going to decorate your feet, THEN DECORATE YOUR FEET! Don’t only go halfway in.

Clockwise from top left: 2-tone toe ring, $22.49. 14K thin gold toe band, $52.00 Set of 2 wavy toe rings, $18.00. Braided silver toe ring, $18.00.

If you are unsure of your toe ring size, the aptly named will send you a toe ring sizer for just $2.00, shipping included.

Since you are obviously planning to leave the house in all of this dynamite foot decor I'm attempting to sell you on, you'd be performing a huge public service if you spend a few extra minutes beforehand on some basic foot maintenance.

It's no secret that I love an As Seen On TV products more than almost anyone, so of course I fell for the Pedi-Spin the minute I saw the commercial. It's a battery powered automated callus remover! Who could resist?

Pedi-Spin, $14.99.

The Pedi-Spin commercials are actually overstating its proficiency a tad--the truth is that if you use it every night after getting a professional pedicure, it keeps the rough spots down to a dull roar. I like it much better than the Ped-Egg, which is too much like a cheese grater for me. I think the Pedi-Spin is worth the $14.99.

I've just written almost 900 words about foot jewelry. Are you in?!

Alison is on Twitter: (@IveyAlison)