If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, there’s no point in denying you had one. Bringing out the masochist in each of us, the slap bracelet made it okay to hit yourself with something, all in the name of fashion. Let’s take a look back and see what all the fuss was about.
Slap bracelets were typically made up of metal spring bands that were covered with some sort of cloth, the more colorful, the better. The fun came in the bracelet’s ability to curl upon itself. One slap (if you were talented) and BAM! you’re wearing a bracelet! Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Being a good slapper, as we will call it, henceforth, didn’t come without some significant practice and a painful bruise or three. Angled just slightly the wrong way, hit upon at the wrong spot, or perhaps the wind just blew a little too hard, and the slap would go totally awry. Let’s just say perfection was often hard to come by.
Their first big foray into pop culture was during the day-glo days of the 80s, when tie-die was making a comeback in the brightest way possible. Over-sized t-shirt, big scrunchie, a slap bracelet or two and the look was complete. Slap bracelets were also a seemingly necessary school accessory, until the distractions and occasional injury forced most schools into placing a ban on the slap-happy bands. School policy combined with parental annoyance proved to be a devastating one-two punch for the slap bracelet. It would take the rave scene of the 90s to bring back this childhood favorite for a new generation, and if you are lucky enough to see one today, that’s precisely where they can be most commonly found.
Were slap bracelets a part of your fashion arsenal back in the 80s? Were you able to develop your own technique for putting them on without the risk of bodily bruises? Share your memories of this colorful apparel with all of us in our comments section!