Bangles for Small Wrists: Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani BangleAlex and Ani Initial Bangle in Rafaelian Gold

 When a brand or company emails me about bangle bracelets, my inner skeptic automatically assumes they’ll be comically big on my small wrists, and I delete the email immediately. Well…my inner skeptic must have felt charitable a few weeks ago, because I clicked through to the Alex and Ani website where I was greeted by those magic words, “adjust the bangle for a perfect fit”.

“Hmm…”, I thought. “I’ll be the judge of that. Let’s see if you can fit my freakishly tiny wrists”.

After a brief email exchange where I was assured these bangles could accommodate the tiniest of wrists, I agreed to give them a review. I picked a color (Rafaelian Gold), and waited for it to arrive.

When the package arrived, I was surprised to not only find two bangles (I was only expecting one to review), but one of the bangles was even personalized with a little charm of my first initial (also in silver)! What a thoughtful and unexpected touch! Points scored, Alex and Ani!

Alex and Ani Charms Close

A little about the bangles:

  • Made of eco-friendly, recycled mixed metals in the USA. Mostly made of brass.
  • Rafaelian Gold &Rafaelian Silver contain NO nickel, which is the culprit that usually turns costume jewelry green (I specially asked about this because I usually avoid costume jewelry for fear of “greening”). Yellow Gold and Shiny Silver bangles contain only 5% nickel.
  • A few bangles come in sterling silver and 18k vermeil.
  • Wash with gentle soap and water.

But…are they really adjustable?

Alex and Ani Bend to Make Smaller

I fiddled with the bangle for a few minutes before I figured out how to adjust it. Simply bending the bangle from the single wire end slowly makes the bangle smaller. I sat and gently bent the bangle from this spot for a few minutes before trying it on and successfully made it similar, if not a tad bit smaller than my teeniest of bangle bracelets.

For reference, my wrists measure about 5 inches around at the smallest point.

Alex and Ani versus Tiny BangleSilver bangle measures 2 1/4″ in diameter

The second bracelet Alex and Ani sent me is a little beaded bracelet, which unfortunately can’t be adjusted smaller. The beads run along the single wire, which is the end that needs bending if it’s to be made smaller. Note to those of you who are small-wristed…if you purchase and plan to adjust Alex and Ani bracelets smaller, don’t buy the beaded ones!

Alex and Ani Beaded BangleBeaded “embellished” bangles are not good for small wrists

I plan to perform a little bit of surgery on this bracelet to remove some of the beads, so I can adjust it smaller.

I did some snooping through the rest of the Alex and Ani bangle bracelets, and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of charms available.

Would I purchase these? Yeah, I would. In fact, I’ve already been thinking about how cute a nice stack of these would look with my little watch, especially with “arm parties” being all the rage. Although I’d probably buy these as a gift before purchasing for myself. The single charm bracelets would make great gifts for fellow small-wristed ladies, or even ladies who have a hard time finding larger bangles, since these not only adjust smaller…they also expand larger. I’m tucking this idea away for Christmas. :)

Alex and Ani bracelets can be found at the Alex and Ani website, Nordstrom & Amazon.

Any small-wristed readers own Alex and Ani bracelets? How do you like them?


Disclaimer – Alex and Ani sent me these bangles for review.

Join the Conversation


    1. says: Elizabeth Lucas

      I just got some and yes I’d say if I hold them up to my nose I can detect a brassy smell. But unless you’re sensitive I don’t see it being a problem.

  1. says: Kileen

    hooray for bangles for the small-wristed!!  i’ve actually been getting annoyed at my bangles coming all the way down to my finger knuckles recently cause they’re too big on me.  these bangles are super cute and will definitely keep this in mind for the future!

  2. says: KL

    Wow, you have really tiny wrists! Mine are 5.5″ around and I also pretty much ignore bangle bracelets, although I have had luck with adjustable silver ones purchased locally in China. I also once bought a set of bangle-ish bracelets that were TOO small for me–5.5″ circumference, but the malachite chips dig into my skin–from Wyrding Studios (–no affiliation except a deep admiration for the artist’s style) as part of a sample sale event. Her bracelets are wire-wrapped with a handmade clasp, so they don’t need to fit over your fist. And she does custom work at reasonable prices, too.

  3. says: Anonymous

    Thanks Kelly for the review!   Fortunately for me but unfortunately for my wallet, I clicked your related post on David Yurman Kids bracelets!  Have you tried the DY kids’ version?  Are they worthy it for small wrist gals?  

    1. Uh oh…those things ain’t cheap either! LOL. No, I haven’t tried the DY kids bracelets personally, but a reader told me about how much she loved them. The “large” kids size would probably fit me best, since it fits wrists that are five inches around. I’d imagine you’d fit the same size. And…oh darn…there’s a DY store on Rodeo Drive that I’m sure would carry the kids line for you try. Hehe.

      1. says: Leslie

        Hi Ladies!  I have the kids’ cable bracelets in the larger kids’ size and they fit perfect.  My wrists are 5 inches.  I got 2 of them because they are quite narrow.  You can bend the silver to open it up to put it on and then squeeze the ends closer together after.  They sell them at the David Yurman outlets for less than retail!  I also picked up a kids’ ring – its’ about a size 4.  Also, FYI, the regular 7mm cable bracelets come in small, medium and large, but you might have to special order them.  I’ve been contemplating a “normal” size bracelet for months!  

    1. I needed two hands to bend the bangle smaller, so it might be difficult to do that while you’re wearing it. However, if you make the bangle as small as you want before putting it on, it easily slides wider so you can slip it over your hand, and then snaps back into place.

  4. says: Michelle

    Great review! I have never heard of this brand…but am so happy you brought this to our attention. :p

    And I am so happy to hear about your tiny wrists.  My arms are my weakness.  I sometimes get so embarrassed by how small they are.  My wrists at the smallest point are a smidge over 5.25″  Just measured!! :p  So glad there are some non-elastic bracelets for me to try!!

  5. says: Angela Chung

    Hi Kelly! First time reviewer here… Glad to see someone else with small wrists too. My wrist measures exactly 5″, but I’m not as tiny as you are (5′ 3.5″, 100lb), so my wrists look abnormally small. I’ll definitely give these bangles a go — I can’t ever find bracelets that fit me! I had an (expensive!) bracelet fly off my wrist once. My fault though — should’ve known better than to pitch a baseball with it on.

  6. says: J P

    I actually really like the adjustable bangle. I didn’t immediately catch the title of the post, but noticed how cute the bangle looked with the outfit snippet. Any coupon codes? :)

    1. says: SometimesLucy

      ZeeBerry has Alex & Ani, and they offer some coupon codes from time to time, as well as free shipping. Excellent customer service!

  7. says: Trish

    Stumbled upon this page by accident.  :-)  A good site for bangles would be Mango Tree Bangles.  Make sure that you read all FAQs before buying them.  They also have an instruction card about how to put your bangle on.  These instructions should be followed so as to not damage or break the bangle.  Enjoy!

  8. says: Jasmin

    Thanks, Kelly, for the review of tiny bangles. I always struggle with bangles as most of them are way too big for me. I just measured my wrists out of curiosity and was shocked to see that their measure only 4.75 inches around at the smallest point. And this is even though I am bigger than you (5.2″, 100 lbs.)! 

  9. says: Molly Mayer

    Thank you for this wonderful review! Alex and Ani also have an adjustable bangle that goes for charity! Its called “smile (operation smile) exclusive” and they actually give $10 to Operation Smile, a well known charity that helps children that are born with a cleft palate. Having a cleft palate myself as well as having ridiculously small wrists, this is the perfect thing for me to buy!

    And I wouldn’t have found it without you! Thank you so much!

  10. says: Disappointed customer

    My daughter is so disappointed because she was given a clear-beaded bracelet for a gift; and, as you said, she realized too late that it isn’t adjustable–she has small wrists, as well.  She apparently took her coat off and she later realized it was missing, not to be found.  I called Alex and Ani, thinking that they would perhaps make good on this since it should actually state that the beaded ones are not adjustable (which the customer service person confirmed, saying “Oh, yeah, those can’t be adjusted…sorry!)–but they only offered me a 10% discount on another purchase.  Big whoop!  So, words to the wise–find out ahead of time, before you purchase one of these bracelets, if it’s one of the ones that can’t be adjusted.  Bad marketing and bad customer service, as far as I’m concerned! They’ve lost a customer on this end!

  11. says: Kathleen

    Thank you so much for this review! I have wrists that look abnormally tiny as I’m 5’7 and my wrists are 5 and 1/2 inches at their smallest point. Finding bracelets is such a pain. So excited to order an Alex and Ani!

    1. Hi Mary. You bend the bracelet inward, so the metal is getting bent toward the inside of the bracelet. If you have a bracelet handy, you’ll notice that if you squeeze it in your hand, the bracelet pieces slide together so they get smaller, and if you pull the bracelet, the pieces slide so it gets bigger. What you’re doing by bending is making the bracelet stay in the “squeezed” state.

        1. Maybe it makes a U shape as you’re bending it, but once you take your hands off it, the bracelet should be round. The pieces of the bracelet that overlap and slide should be moving toward your hand as you’re bending, so circumference of the bracelet is getting smaller. If you just squeeze (and are not bending the wire), the bracelet will just jump right back to it’s original shape. You need to bend the wire to make sure it stays where you want it.

  12. says: Nik

    So I just came across this article when searching to find out if Alex & Ani made children’s size bracelets. My reason for said search was I went into a store & the clerk there helped me try on a bracelet swearing to me it would fit my 5 1/2″ wrist even after I told her no bangles fit my teeny wrists but she swore it would cause its adjustable. It Did Not Fit! From reading comments I dint have smallest wrist so now I’m wondering if she didn’t size it correctly. After reading I’m goin back tomorrow, will let u know if its a fit second time around

  13. says: Nancy

    I bought one for my daughter (who has tiny wrists) and it’s too big – I don’t really understand how bending the wire in the area you indicate makes it smaller. Can you explain in a little more detail? I would love to find a way to make it fit her. Thanks!

    1. You need to bend the wire so it stays. Just squeezing the bracelet smaller won’t work because it springs right back to it’s original size, right? So you need to actually spend some time bending the wire at that point I showed in the photo until the wire stays put. You’re basically bending the bracelet into a smaller coil. It may take a little while.

    1. If it keeps springing back to it’s original size, then you’re just squeezing it smaller, and not actually bending the wire. You need to work at it a little bit and actually make sure the wire is getting permanently bent.

  14. says: Lisa M Smith

    How did you perform the “surgery” on your beaded bracelet? I just get one for Christmas that I LOVE but its far too big. Any information will be helpful as I don’t want to break it if I have to return it.

    1. Some strong craft wire cutters should do the trick. I have a pair that isn’t very strong or sharp and struggled a little bit, but if you have a nicer sturdier pair, it should work. You can also try placing the bracelet in a towel, and then having a crack at a few beads at a time with a hammer.

  15. says: Julie

    soo happy i found your little article! my wrist is about 4 inches around, and it’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to find bangles that fit me. i still can’t get this one exactly as small as i need it to be, but it got it a lot smaller than it was when i got it. thank you so much!!!

  16. says: SometimesLucy

    I too have very small wrists. I managed to bend my Alex & Ani bangles as instructed here, and this worked! I have two Alex & Ani bracelets with beads. I studied the way the wire was attached, then, using a pair of needle-nose pliers, bent it straight enough to remove a few beads, then I carefully bent the wire back into place. I can hardly tell that I took it apart, and the bracelet now fits my tiny wrist!!

  17. says: Jody

    Hi, I have teeny wrists too. I think about the same size as your’s. I never order bangles cause they just slide off. I thought I’d give this one a chance and I’m glad I found your blog too! I ordered mine through ZeeBerry just a few days ago and got it today! Shipping was free plus no tax. I’ve tried to mess with mine to make it a little smaller. I have a question though. Once I get it to the size I want it’s going to be too small to get off. how do you make them bigger to get off? Just spread the wire apart? Will all this bending all the time ruin it? Let me know please! Thanks in advance :)

    1. Hi Jody! Glad you like your bracelet! The wire is very springy, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking when slipping it off your wrist. Just bend it enough so it’s natural state is the right size for wearing it on your wrist, and the springy expanding action of slipping it off won’t hurt it at all. It should snap back to it’s smaller state right away. =)

  18. says: Stacey

    I just bought the initial bracelets for my daughter who has very small wrists, do you just keep bending the bracelet in that spot and it will make it smaller? Thank you

  19. says: Hallie Brooke

    I have tiny tiny wrists, like you and I finally went to try these “adjustable” bangles on today. I so siked because I did the same as you by bending the middle and it worked! I plan on creating a stack of my own. So excited!!

  20. says: Bianca

    Thank you so much for the tips on how to adjust. I had bought 2 and after reading your tip I was able to get them a little smaller so they fit better. I have super small wrists as well and it’s nice to find non-stretchy bracelets that fit!

  21. says: Mary J

    I just got my first Alex and Ani, and after fiddling with it for a while, looking at how the bracelet is built, your description of making it smaller clicked! Yay, I got it down to 2 inches, my fave size for a bangle. It took a few minutes, and was very smooth. Now I can open it wider to put it over my hand, then it snaps right back into place. I can’t thank you enough for this post. I have 2 more on their way to me, and I am just thrilled.

  22. says: Sheena

    Hi I just came upon your website doing a “Google” search on how to adjust my new Alex & Ani bangle. I have a tiny wrist also, but this bracelet keeps popping back to the original size. Help!

    1. Hi Sheena. You’ve got to actually bend the wire, and make sure you’re not just squeezing it. Squeezing it and then letting it go will have it spring right back to where it started. By actually gently bending the wire, it will eventually get smaller, and stay smaller. It may take a little bit of time on your part to work the wire down to where you want it. Good luck!

  23. says: Leslie

    I am going to buy a few of the Alex and Ani bangles…I will need to make smaller. Do I push the wire from the single wire side or where the two wires are at the top? is there any way you could make a video of you sizing one down so I can visualize this? I don’t want to ruin the bracelets. Thanks

  24. says: Mary J

    I am really enjoying my 10 new Alex and Ani bangles since I read this article. Now I can bend them easily into the perfect size for me! Thanks! I am also interested in the Thomas Sabo karma bracelets and I am going to order one from the Las Vegas store, by phone, since there is no place in the US to buy one. (the online store is in Canada) It comes in a 16 cm size, which is a 6.3 inch, very soft, chain bracelet, with a gorgeous clasp. You buy individual beads to create your bracelet, and I think this will be a good size for me. I would imagine it would be good for a 5.5 inch wrist, and looser with charms for the 5 inch wrist. You add the beads along with stoppers or a safety chain, and the line is absolutely beautiful. Worth checking out, free shipping.

  25. Small wristed people! DO buy the beaded ones! All you need to do is take a piece of paper or cardboard, lay it on the cement, isolate a bead or two, and lightly tap with a hammer. The bead will break and the bracelet will get smaller. I’ve done this with my bracelets (my wrists are 5″ also) and the large beaded bangles fit perfectly now!

  26. says: Nikki

    All of my friends have alex and ani bracelets and i have always admired them for having a big enough wrist to wear them! Some one recently told me that they could be adjusted for small wrists so after purchasing my first bracelet today, i went searching for that article. I found yours and you have no clue how grateful i am that i was able to adjust my bangle!! Because of you i will be purchasing more alex and ani bracelets in the future!!

  27. says: maiah

    I got the love this life bracelet for my birthday and it fits me so big. I don’t know how to make it smaller, it won’t stay :( I have tiny wrists. It’s always been so difficult to find bangles that fit my tiny wrists good.

    1. Hi Maiah,

      You have to actually BEND the metal of the bracelet at the points I pointed out in the photos above. If you’re only squeezing the bracelet, it will spring back to it’s big size. But you’ll have to be a little rough with the bracelet and actually make the metal BEND so it will become (and stay) smaller.

  28. says: Jodi

    Thanks for this information! I ordered mine online and have always hear how it is adjustable. I was so disappointed at first to put it on and find it was too big for me! I do have small hands and wrists and without your tutorial, my bracelet was falling off. Now it fits perfectly!!

    1. Hi Lauren! I never did doctor the beaded one, but another commenter said a jeweler took off some extra beads for her. I was planning on trying it myself by carefully cracking beads off with something like a tack hammer (placing the bracelet between two towels, so nothing flies up at your eyes).

    1. Hi Jane,

      You need to make a series of small, permanent bends in the wire on the side pointed to in the post photos. The bracelet is just a wire loop that circles back onto itself. All you need to do is make that loop smaller by gently making permanent bends in the wire to make the bracelet circle smaller, while still keeping the circular shape. Note that “bend” is different from “squeeze”. Squeezing the bracelet won’t do anything and it’ll just relax back into it’s normal size. “Bend” means to actually permanently alter the curve of the wire.

  29. says: Vinny Nguyen

    Hi, I know this is an old post but I’m NOW interested in an Alex and Ani bracelet and, like you, I have tiny tiny tiny wrists. I saw some videos of people making the bracelet smaller, but everyone in the comment section had said that their bracelet went back to its normal size after “making it smaller,” I was wondering if your adjusted bracelet stayed small?

    1. Hi Vinny! I just dug up my Alex & Ani bracelet from this post and it’s still the same smaller size it was when I bent it down. I have a feeling the step most people aren’t fully understanding is that the wire has to be physically, permanently bent. I think a lot of people are just squeezing it smaller, and yes, it’ll pop back into it’s larger size if you just do that. Hope that helps!

  30. says: Elaine Harwood

    I received an Alex & Ani as a gift last week with an adorable pig charm and my initial. I too have kid sized wrists. After a visit to my cousin’s house an hour away, I noticed it wasn’t on my wrist! I called a restaurant and she alerted her house cleaner. No luck! I was so bummed! Today while back at her house I found it under her couch (so much for the cleaners). It was like Christmas! To avoid this again I looked up how to tighten it and came upon your link. It’s already smaller and I will keep working on it!! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Doreen. The photos in this post are all after it has been bent. Don’t get hung up on the word “bent”. The bracelet has been gently curved inward, making it smaller, and the wire needs to receive gentle bends or else it will just spring back into the original size.

  31. says: Sylvia

    Thank you so much for this tip! I have spent decades in the jewelry industry and it took our advice to finally make my Alex and Ani bangles fit. Feeling stupid and also glad that they finally fit my tiny wrists :)

  32. says: AMY

    I see how to make them smaller, but they dont stay small….as soon as I remove my tightening hand, it pops back open. What gives??

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