Monday, 17 August 2015

Alex and Ani Bracelets

If you're from America, or just generally cooler than I am, then I'm sure you've already heard of Alex and Ani. I stumbled across the brand a few months ago on Pinterest and I instantly knew that I had to start a collection of my own. I've had my bracelets since the end of April and I've hardly taken them off my wrist since so I thought it was about time I shared my love for Alex and Ani with you all!

I don't own that much jewellery, especially not costume jewellery, but the majority of my collection is silver (think Tiffany, Pandora, etc) and this Summer I really wanted some pretty gold bangles to wear both during the day and for the evening. Everything I stumbled upon from places like New Look and Forever 21 looked a little bit cheap (they all ended up being that yellow-gold colour I'm not a fan of) and I just wanted well-made pieces that I would treasure but wouldn't empty my bank account at the same time. Each Alex and Ani bracelet is made from recycled materials and the brand pride themselves on being an eco-conscious company. Alex and Ani really promotes the importance of using sustainable materials from America and having a positive, not negative, impact on the world through the production of their product. Each bracelet is nickel free and made from a brass base with either a Rafaelian gold or silver finish or a shiny yellow-gold or silver finish. Both of my bracelets have a Rafaelian gold finish which has an antique, rustic look due to an oxidisation process and all the bracelets have an anti-tarnish coating which protects the finish. Even after wearing my bracelets for almost 4 months straight they still look just as beautiful as they did on the first day that I wore them.

Alex and Ani bracelets have both a collectable and spiritual element to them. In a similar sense to collecting Pandora charms for significant moments, Alex and Ani bracelets all have messages and meanings behind them. Of course, you can simply buy them based on how they look (I haven't exactly been completely convinced of the more spiritual side of the brand yet!) but it does mean that they make wonderful, thoughtful presents!
You might have noticed (+) Energy written on the boxes and according to their website all Alex and Ani bracelets are infused with positive energy which is something ancients used to call "chi" and "prank". The energy is supposed to be precious and modern day science refers to it as vital force. It's the natural energy that supports life and this positive energy is embraced by the company through manufacturing, in the symbolic nature and design of the bracelet and by empowering the individual who is wearing it. I know some people might not really believe this but I actually really love this element of the brand. It is a little bit bohemian and quite spiritual but I admire the positivity the brand radiates and it's nice to select pieces of jewellery with a personal meaning behind them. 

The white beaded bracelet is from my favourite Alex and Ani Collection ever: Road to Romance. I want to own every single bracelet and the entire collection symbolises Memory, Chance and Eternity. Each piece is beautiful and I've actually bought the Primrose Sentiment Wrap from the collection as a gift for the lovely Julie-Ann from Our Dreams of Fashion and to be honest it was really hard to let it go as I was desperate to keep it for myself! The bracelet I own is the Vintage Treasure Beaded Bangle and it's so pretty, especially when the beads catch the light. I ended up wearing this one for my graduation to subtly add a little bit of sparkle to my outfit and since buying this I've received so many compliments!
My second bracelet is the Path of Life and it was actually the meaning of this I adored before I fell in love with the design. The infinity sign represents the infinite possibilities of life and the many paths we can take. I love how the design isn't a really obvious symbol either and the Path of Life is supposed to represent Strength, Motivation and Knowledge - three things I needed reminding of in the run up to my final exams at University and the looming deadline for my dissertation!

Alex and Ani bracelets aren't that common in the UK so you can only buy them from a handful of places. During my search I found a few online stores that stocked the brand (and even fewer that had the Road to Romance Collection) and I decided to buy mine, and the gift for Julie-Ann, from Fabulous Collections. They offer free 1st Class delivery over £30 (the Vintage Treasure bangle is £33 and Path of Life is £24) and your parcel arrives in a lovely pink pouch and they also offer free gift wrapping services. So, if you were thinking of buying an Alex and Ani bracelet for yourself or a friend I can personally recommend the store. The company has been lovely to me over Instagram and Twitter so I can vouch for their customer service too! I'm sure other stockists online are great too (I know Simply Jewels now stock the Road to Romance collection) but I've had a really positive experience with Fabulous Collections so I thought I'd share the store with you all (and it's always nice to support smaller businesses!)

Do any of you own any Alex and Ani bracelets? I love snooping around other people's collections, so let me know if you do! 

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