Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fossil Tells A Story With Every Bracelet

While charm bracelets have seen their share of trends, the concept is timeless no matter the design. They make a perfect accent for casual fashions and carry additional meaning with every charm. And one of the nicer charm bracelets I've recently seen comes from Fossil.

Originally, the Fossil charm collection started with watches. Most of the charm watches they offer come complete, with about eight charms centered around a theme.

Its newer line of charms are a bit different. You can build your own bracelet without a watch. Or, you can purchase vintage-looking charms and add them to your own bracelet.

Fossil offers six design variations for its bracelet.

When the charm bracelet was first introduced, it came with small and large links. Both 7-1/2 inch silver tone bracelets came with a starter of three charms: a heart, key, and Fossil monogram. Both have toggle closures, and the large link design is also available in a brass tone.

Most people liked them, even if they never add another charm. However, some customers said that the sizing seemed to prefer women with smaller wrists. So Fossil added three new designs that are completely adjustable. Two of the bracelets have large links with leather bands (silver tone and rose gold, but without a charm) and feature a stretch band (with three charms).

The stretch doesn't interfere with the links. It's hidden within two sets of vintage tone faceted beads. All of the bracelets, including the new one, range from $26 to $32.

The real heroes are the charms. Vintage designs and letters.

Charm BraceletThe charms are what caught my eye this weekend when I was out on a date. The girl I was with had removed the starter set completely and replaced them with a compass, scooter, and what they call a wishbone cluster. It's called a cluster because it also has a silver tone wishbone, tiny heart, and tiny gemstone.

Once I saw it, I had to ask her if the charms meant anything. She shied off a little, but then told me it has always been her wish to travel around Europe on a scooter. That explained the wishbone and the scooter but not the compass. So I can find my way home, she said. It was kind of cool that she wears her dream on her wrist, even if I'd rather ride a Harley.

Fossil has about 40 charms, and every letter of the alphabet. All of the charms are easy enough to put on and take off (but I'm not sure about the starter set). I also don't know if there are enough charms yet to make a story for anyone else or not, but I'm not likely to forget hers. Each charm ranges from $18 to $22.

A bit about Fossil and founder Tom Kartsotis

Fossil was originally opened in 1984 by Tom Kartsotis. After leaving Texas A&M and inspired by his older brother, Kartsotis sold his share of a small venture and withdrew his savings to start a new business. After visiting Hong Kong without any concrete plans, he hired a manufacturer to produce 1,500 watches, which represented the first of the Fossil brand.

While successful, it wasn't until he hired designer Lynne Stafford (who he later married) to create a retro design that the vintage look from the 1930-1950s took off. By the mid 1990s, Fossil began adding a growing line of leather goods and apparel for men and women, all with a recreated vintage look. Recently, they also added Fossil finds, some of which are on my future hit list.

Fossil Charm Bracelets Rate A 5.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

When I looked at the Fossil charm builder, I was surprised how much I appreciated the interface. You pick a bracelet style and drag and drop on the charms you like. If you already have a bracelet or prefer another one from their bracelet line, the charms can be purchased separately. Fossil offers free shipping on orders over $100.

You can find the Charm Builder on the Fossil online store. The Fossil large link bracelet is also available on Amazon. A search there will bring up all the designs, but don't expect prices to vary. Fossil provides the complete collection, with more charms released every now and again.
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