What is a Slap Bracelet?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Many people like to wear bracelets. For young people, there is a bracelet that was popular in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that is currently making a comeback. This type of bracelet is known as a slap bracelet.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Sometimes called a snap bracelet, the slap bracelet of today is simply a flexible band of metal that has been slightly padded and colored with colorful material. The padding in today’s slap bracelet is an improvement over the bracelets of early times, which tended to consist only of the metal and the fabric covering. In order to put on bracelets of this type, one simply extends the wrist and gently slaps the bracelet against the wrist. The flexible metal in the slap bracelet then encircles the wrist, leaving the look of traditional round bracelets.

Part of the allure of these slap bracelets is that they are relatively inexpensive, which is a good thing for any teenager’s budget. A second draw is that the bracelets come in all sorts of colors and patterns, so they can be as sedate or as wild as the wearer wants them to be. A slap bracelet can be color coordinated with an outfit for a more uptown look, or it can be a wild pattern that stands out with ease, if the wearer is going for more of a grunge look. There are even black slap bracelets that can be worn as part of a goth look.

Because the slap bracelet has never been very expensive, it is an ideal item to trade back and forth with friends. In true teenage fashion, two girls may exchange their favorite slap bracelets as a demonstration of their status as best friends. In other situations, all the members of a group may choose to wear a slap bracelet of a single color or pattern, as a way of demonstrating the solidarity of the group.

During the early years of the slap bracelets, some schools chose to ban the wearing of the bracelets during school hours. One of the problems was that the bracelets were being used to literally slap wrists and causing frequent trips to the school nurse. In other situations, the wearing of a particular slap bracelet began to be adopted as a way for gangs to get around the dress code of a school. While many of these old restrictions are now forgotten, chances are that some school jurisdictions will revive them as the slap bracelet regains its popularity among the young people of today.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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