The Secret to Fitting a Small Bangle Over a Wide Hand

Welcome to the 434th Metamorphosis Monday!

Have you ever come across a beautiful bangle bracelet online and wanted to order it, but had no idea if it would fit? I ran into that issue recently, and in my usual manner, tried to figure it out the hard way. If you have a simple problem, turn it over to me and I can complicate it for you in no time!

So here’s how this little tale goes: I have a fondness for Hermes’s Clic H bracelets. They are fun pops of color and a lot of fun to pair with other bracelets. It also helps that my last name starts with an H, which makes them feel like an ID bracelet whenever I wear one. Be forewarned, they are addictive!

 

Up until recently, I’ve been able to resist the beautiful, printed-enamel bracelets Hermes produces, but that all changed this past week during another #instagrammademedoit moment when I fell for two of their iconic designs: the Balcons du Guadalquivir and the Grand Apparat. Just Google the name of either of those and you’ll find tons of beautiful pictures showing them paired with other bracelets for some stunning combinations.

Pssst: If you’re a printed-enamel-bracelet fan and already own a few of these lovely bracelets, I’m sharing some important tips I learned about how to wear and care for them further down in this post.

 

Shopping for an Hermes Printed Enamel Bracelet

In an effort to save a few $$$, I looked online to see if I could find either of the above bracelets, pre-loved. The tricky part about buying one this way was figuring out what size I would need since I had never owned one.

The chart below from the Hermes website, shows how they recommend measuring to determine the size bracelet you’ll need. Unlike the Clic H bracelets, Hermes’s printed-enamel-bracelets do not open with a clasp. They are solid construction all the way around, meaning the bracelet has to fit over the hand in order to wear it.

Though I have small wrists (they are 6 inches around) the width of my hand at the point shown in the diagram below is 8 inches. I had read online that very few people can wear Hermes size 62 bracelets, but I had hoped I could wear their mid-size, which is the size 65 bracelet. (See chart below) If the chart at the Hermes website was accurate, the size 65 was going to be a stretch!

From Hermes Website

The reason I wanted to purchase the mid-size bracelet is because I knew a large bangle would drive me bonkers on my small wrist. In reading online I had come across a few instances where women had purchased bracelets that once on, slid all the way up to their elbow! Yikes! I definitely didn’t want that problem!

In shopping for a pre-loved bracelet, I found a Balcons du Guadalquivir bangle online in excellent, pre-loved condition and listed as being a size 65. I decided to buy it and figured if it turned out to be too small, I could probably just sell it on eBay.

After I purchased the bracelet, in a follow-up discussion with the seller about the size, she re-measured the bracelet and realized it was not a size 65 as the listing had stated, but was actually bigger. We agreed to cancel the sale, and at that point I decided to just go ahead and buy it directly from the local boutique.

A few days later I visited an Hermes boutique to get the verdict: would the mid-size, 65 size bracelet work or would I have to move up to the larger 70 size, something I didn’t want to do. Tucked inside my handbag for the trip, was a secret weapon, something I had read about on the Purse Forum. Do you ever read there? It’s amazing all the good information you can glean from that site when shopping for handbags, shoes, jewelry, etc…

So, what was inside my bag? What was my secret weapon? Hold that thought for just a moment!

The Hermes near me had both of the bracelets in stock. I didn’t take photos trying it on in the store, but here’s a photo taken at my desk today of how the mid-size (Size 65) Balcons du Guadalquivir bracelet looks going on my hand. Looks pretty hopeless, right? Like no way is that going to fit!

 

Before my trip to Hermes, I had read on the Purse Forum that it helps to try on bracelets wearing a piece of hosiery over your arm. Ummm, I haven’t worn hose or knee highs in many, many years, but I looked in the drawer where I used to keep them and found a new pair of knee-highs that had never been opened. That was the secret weapon I had tucked into my purse: a never-before-worn knee-high! Ha!

 

I needn’t have bothered because when I told my SA what I had read and pulled out the knee-high, she told me they kept them available in the store, too. Actually, the one I have is rather heavy, a really sheer one would be even better.

So, here’s the funny/weird part, I was scared to death! lol There’s not much that rattles this girl, I’m usually up for an adventure, but I was petrified that if by some miracle I was able to get the bracelet over my hand and onto my wrist, it would be permanently stuck there!

So many thoughts were going through my mind. What if it had to be cut off! The sales associate and I had already discussed how the printed bangles can’t be repaired if they are accidentally scratched or damaged. If it got stuck on my arm, it would most certainly mean a trip to the emergency room where it would have to be cut off. I would being paying for a ruined bracelet that I’d never be able to wear.

As I voiced this concern, my fabulous SA calmly assured me I could do it. I don’t know how she knew this, but she had full confidence that I could get it over my hand, onto my arm, and back off again.

 

Remember this chart…the one that says a size 65 will only fit a “hand circumference equal or less than 7.5 inches.” I had measured my hand so many times and it was clearly 8 inches around!

From Hermes Website

 

The inside measurement of the size 65 Hermes bracelet is 2 and 3/8 inches across. If you have a ruler nearby, take a look at it right now and imagine squeezing your hand through a circle that size! Crazy, right?!

 

This was one of those moments where I decided to put my faith in someone who had been doing this a lot longer than I, the person with whom I had built a trusted relationship over the last few months–my sales associate. If I had ordered a size 65 bracelet online from Hermes, eBay or wherever, there’s no way I would have had the know-how or confidence to try and fit it over my hand. It truly looks and feels impossible!

But my knowledgeable SA was standing right there saying she was sure I could do it. If she believed it would work, then I believed it, too. With her cheering me on, I went for it!

Little Disclaimer: The method I’m sharing in this post worked for me. I can’t promise that it will work for you, so be sure and use your best judgement to avoid any injury to yourself or to your jewelry.

 

3 Helpful Tips:

1. When sliding a bangle over your hand, use a piece of sheer hosiery over the hand. Skin is naturally moist and it’s easy for the bangle to catch on skin and not slide. A sheer piece of hosiery will make a huge difference!

2. Rock the bangle from side to side, easing it back over the hand, Don’t try to push it evenly all at once across the hand. It’s better to work it across the hand, inching it from side to side, as you go.

3. When you reach the widest point of your hand, gently push in on the wider part of your hand where the thumb connects to the hand on one side, and just above where your little finger attaches to your hand on the other side. Those areas have some “give” and you can push them in a little as you’re working the bangle over your hand. Don’t hurt yourself doing that. It shouldn’t hurt or be uncomfortable.

 

3 More Tips: There really is an art to this!

4. My Sales Associate told me take a deep breath and relax. Tensing up makes it a lot harder. She was right!

5. Often one hand is smaller than the other, so you may want to try this first on the smaller hand. I didn’t check to see which hand was smaller because I really wanted to wear this bracelet on my right hand. That’s just where I’m comfortable wearing a bangle-style bracelet.

6. The wider the bracelet, the harder it will be to slide on. The Balcons du Guadalquivir below is 1-inch wide. Hermes also makes this bracelet in a 0.5-inch, 1.5-inch and 2-inch size. I may get brave enough to try the 1.5 inch size sometime. Maybe. lol

 

Success! Never would have believed it would work! And it actually gets easier the more times you do it!

 

An Important Tip To Keep Your Printed Enamel Bracelet In Good Shape

Here’s a very important tip that I was glad my Sales Associate shared with me. (I hate learning stuff the hard way!) She said with Hermes bangles (and I’m guessing any bangle) you should only pair/wear them with bangles that are the same size.

I was wearing a Clic H bracelet in the PM size that day. That’s the smallest of the two sizes that Clic H bracelets come in. A Clic H in the PM size is definitely smaller than an Hermes, size 65, bangle.

My SA warned me that it would not be a good idea to wear the Clic H and the Balcons du Guadalquivir bracelet together because the bangle would slide right over the top of the Clic H bracelet, damaging both bracelets. It would scratch the top of the Clic H and the inside of the Balcons du Guadalquivir bangle. That probably explains why so many of the Hermes printed-enamel bracelets you see on eBay are scratched on the inside. I was wondering how that happens!

There are a lot of good reasons to shop directly from a Hermes boutique when purchasing one of their products. My experience with the SAs in the store near me has been excellent and you learn so many helpful tips that otherwise you would never know.

Also, there’s no way I would have had the nerve to push that bracelet onto my wrist without my sales associate standing there assuring me it would work. I would most-likely have been stuck wearing a size 70 bangle that would have looked ridiculous on my small wrist and arm.

 

Again, do not try this if you think your bracelet/bangle will get stuck on your hand or arm.

I wanted to share my experience because I’m still a little in shock that I can take a size 65 bangle on and off my arm so easily. It still feels a bit like a magic trick each time I do it! lol  I rarely use the stocking now that I know how to finesse it on and off. The stocking still comes in handy if it’s a really humid day, something we have plenty of here in the south.

Also, hands are sometimes smaller in the morning, but swell a little as the day wears on and we eat salty foods. In all those situations, the hose is a fabulous tool! It also helps with the confidence factor the first few times you put a bangle on and take it off alone at home.

Have you ever run into this issue with wearing a bangle or bracelet that has to slide over the hand? Were you already familiar with the hosiery trick? I’ve since read about folks using plastic bags for the same purpose, but I think the hosiery method is a bit easier since the hose conforms more easily to the arm.

Would love to hear your bangle bracelet tales and struggles!

I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful bracelets Susan, but if I have to go to that much trouble to wear them, count me out! Thanks for the fun today~

  2. I have never seen the hosiery trick, Susan. It’s a good one, for sure. I happen to have big hands, but tiny wrists so I tend to stay away from bangles. Hermes certainly makes some lovely ones though. It’s easy to see why you would be smitten. 🙂

  3. Susan, this is such a neat trick! I think I’m going to start carrying a knee high in my purse all the time. Like you, my knuckles are large, but my wrist is tiny. Bangles slide up and down my arm. Now I want to run out and try on bangles. Thank you for sharing this useful info and thank you for hosting.

    • Laurie, let me know if you find it helps. It still amazes me! I was so tickled to learn this trick, I knew I had to share it!

  4. Such a clever trick! Now if I can just find a similar trick to get my wedding rings on/off on hot summer days! Thanks for hosting! 🙂 Linda

  5. Thank you for this eye-opener! I avoid bangles for the same reason.. can’t get them over my hand or they are so loose on my wrist that it is irritating.
    I’ll have to get up the nerve to try the hosiery trick.

  6. You have purchased some lovely things lately. I have a gold bracelet that I cherish, but it has a strange clasp that saves me from your dilemma.

  7. I learned something today. Very interesting story about your bracelet adventure.

  8. That was a Hermes homer!!! franki

  9. Charlotte says:

    Beautiful bracelet! I can’t ever seem to get bangles over my hands either, I will have to try that trick.

  10. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

  11. Therese says:

    I have a small wrist too, most bangles are too large. At a jewelry store the sales associate assisted me with a plastic bag over my hand to put a bangle on and to remove it.

    • I saw a video on YouTube last night where someone was doing that. I think I prefer using the hose, but the bag way appeared to work, too! Thanks, Therese!

  12. great trick! I have been wanting a Hermes bangle but have been unsure about my size. I have been skeptical of buying them on eBay because I am sure there are lots of fakes out there and I am not skilled enough to know the difference!

    • Yeah, you have to really know the product well to buy one there. The preloved bracelet I was looking at initially was on Lollipuff. They are known for authenticating products before allowing them to be sold there. So I felt safe shopping on that site. I always prefer going to the boutique, though. Then you really don’t have to worry at all.

  13. Thank you for hosting Susan!

  14. rattlebridge farm says:

    I’m going to remember this! The bangles are gorgeous. Thanks for hosting the party, Susan!

  15. Susan,

    You are brilliant! (Oh, and the bracelet isn’t half bad either. Kidding, it’s beautiful.) You’ve done it again! Always enjoy reading your posts, seeing your photo’s and hearing your stories. As usual, informative as well as giving us some nice eye candy. You never disappoint.

  16. Kathleen Workman says:

    Susan, I’m looking for quality, classic items. That’s why I appreciate your blog. My budget doesn’t stretch to Hermes, or luxury designer items. I love Talbots, but lately find their quality to be sometimes uneven. Have you had that experience? I just know, as brilliant as you are, that you have other shops, blogs you could recommend to someone like me. You’ve mentioned some in the past. Because of my health, I’m an on-line shopper, so I must be able to do easy returns. Also, I love your Christmas lists, and how you update your wardrobe. I would love to go to Marshall’s, Pier One, etc. but my patient husband who cares for me is not a shopper. I really miss retail therapy, but everyone is too busy to take me. I understand it’s difficult because I now need to be pushed in a wheelchair since I cannot walk or stand for very long. I’m determined to keep my sense of femininity on a budget with classic, quality items that last for myself and my home. You’re my go to gal. And your readers are wonderful with suggestions. Guidance, please? Thank you.

    • Kathleen, I’m all for online shopping, sure beats sitting in Atlanta traffic. I’m sorry that you’re not able to get out as much as you would like.

      Talbots is still my go-to favorite for clothes. Their clothes just seem to fit me right and I love the styles they have been carrying. I’ve had really good luck with their quality of their clothes, but I do baby my clothes a bit. I wash everything in the “handwash” basket of my washing machine, usually on a gentle cycle. Then I hang everything up to dry in my bathroom. The only thing I put in the dryer are towels, sheets and socks since I’ve read that drying is tough on clothes and can fade them.

      I’ve always loved Lands’ End for casual clothing, coats and winter sweaters. Their quality is normally very good.

      Another store that I’ve heard about but have yet to buy from is Boden. I receive their catalogs and the clothes look beautiful!

      Nordstrom is great when they are running a sale. I shop online there mainly for shoes and sometimes perfume. I love their free shipping and free returns.

      I also shop at J. Crew online for some things. I’ve purchased several shirts there and a few sweaters over the years, although their pants don’t work for me. They also run great sales from time-to-time. They are mainly geared toward a younger age group, but I’ve had good luck with some of their classic styles in shirts and sweaters.

      A brand I used to buy ALL THE TIME was Sigrid Olson. I’m wearing one of her summer skirts, as I type this. Parisian, the store where I used to buy Sigrid Olsen clothing, closed in my area a few years ago. I just googled the name and it appears she is still designing. I think her clothes are available now at Dillards. So you may want to check those out. I hope the quality is still the same as it was a bazillion years ago when I purchased the skirt I’m wearing and several other pieces that I still wear.

      Ann Taylor is normally great quality, although I don’t shop there very often.

      I just recently learned about a company called The White Company. They carry a lot of “neutral” color clothing as you might expect with a name like that. I haven’t ordered from them so not sure of the quality, but they appear to use a lot of linen/cotton which I really like.

      Those are the ones off the top of my head.

      Oh, also check out Joules for coats and boots. They carry other items, too…but I only purchased a coat from there. It’s a great coat, though!

  17. Patricia says:

    Well that was a fascinating read. I love to stack bracelets and now I will be more conscious of their size compatibilities. I have to admire you courage in trying on the 65. I too would have had visions of a visit to the emergency room!

    • Thanks, Patricia! I was so nervous. Thinking back, I should have known that if I could get it on, I could probably get it back off. I think I had just built it up in my head too much. I’m bad about thinking things through too much, sometimes! lol

  18. Rosie S says:

    What a great tip for bracelets! I read a comment above about wedding rings…..I had to take mine off at a jewelry store, and it looked hopeless. My fingers were swollen from the heat and I also have a bit of arthritis in that knuckle. The jeweler brought out a bottle of Windex from behind the counter, sprayed, and the ring slid off! I had to laugh, it reminded me of the movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, where everything was better with Windex! 🙂 I am not sure why it works, and it was the BRAND, not a generic….so, there must be something in it that is unique?? They have used it 3 times for me now, so it has consistently worked.

  19. Cynthia Raines says:

    What a helpful trick! I will remember that as well as I have large hands and small wrists so I have always avoided the bangles, but do like them. Also good to know about wearing only the same size so they don’t ruin each other. Regarding the clothes dryer, I do the same as you Susan, nothing of mine goes in it~ha. In the basement laundry area, I have 2 wooden standing drying racks and a 2 layer sweater drying net the size of a large pizza that I hang from the ceiling and I dry my sweaters on. I do have to iron some things, but worth it. Thanks for the great information. Happy Shopping!

    • I know, washers are so hard on clothes. I often just wash my shirts in the sink. I like clothes to stay looking new as long as possible, especially if it’s a favorite shirt/sweater.
      I have to iron a good bit in the summer since I wear a lot of cotton and linen. I so agree that it’s worth it. Nothing beats good ole cotton and linen. 🙂

  20. JoyceBinAtlanta says:

    When your fingers or hands swell or feel puffy, to take off a tight bangle or ring, hold your hand above your head for 12 to 15 minutes to bring down the swelling. Whatever you do while trying to remove a ring especially, don’t keep twisting it and making your finger swell further. At home, I’ve found liquid dishwashing soap works best – but remember to plug the drain! Pretty bracelets, Susan. I know you’ll enjoy wearing them this summer.

  21. Juanita in OH says:

    Oh, Susan! I agonized through the entire process, I held my breath when you had the photo of the bangle around the widest part of your hand, lol. I was with you every step of the way. The information you shared is priceless!
    I definitely will remember about the Windex, I too thought of My Big Fat Greek Wedding as soon as Rosie mentioned it. The bracelets are simply gorgeous, classic and look great on you. TFS

    • lol Thanks, Juanita! I was so scared when I first did it in the store. I know I looked shocked when it actually worked! Ha! Yeah, I’m so glad to know that Windex trick. I need to buy some just to have it on hand in case I ever need it.

  22. Because of a very small wrist; I don’t wear bracelets at all and even finding a watch that fits me is a feat in itself however I will be storing this tip in my ‘memory bank’ .. :). Thanks so much Susan and I am loving your new bracelet. -Brenda-
    P.S.: On the subject of rings; something I did discover when having one designed for my daughter and not knowing her exact sizing the associate asked me if she was similar in build as I was and the answer being a ‘yes’ I was told we in all likelihood had the same ring size. To conclude; it ended up to be a perfect fit!

  23. ~Susan~
    Thank you! Thank you !! I have a bracelet I love, but getting it on and off is a bear grrrr. I will definitely try this magic trick ,hehe. Isn’t it odd having small wrist with boxy hands?! And in the summer what a big difference, even my shoes are tight some days!
    Your new bracelet is very pretty ! I still have my eyes on the “H” bangle 🙂
    Paula
    IN

  24. p.s.
    I wanted to say where I go for my manicures, one of the gals wears a Jade bracelet she said will never come off unless cut off, because she always wore it and her hand grew to big .!!

    • Oh my gosh! I can’t imagine never, ever being able to take off a bracelet. Seems like after a while her arm would get sore. I have a few favorites that I will sometimes wear for a few days in a row and occasionally even sleep in, but after a few days, it has to come off. Wonder if she has ever tried the hose trick!

  25. This is the same idea to use when choosing a jade bangle bracelet. When I bought my jade bangle in Shanghai the salesgirl used a plastic bag over my hand and the bangle slipped right on. I just keep the little plastic bag in the silk pouch the bangle came in for slipping on and off.

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