These Jewels Revitalize the Tennis Bracelet (and Necklace) Trend

You know if you see enough of something, it’s almost certainly a trend. Such is the case for tennis bracelets—and necklaces, maybe even more so—a style that you’d find difficult to ignore as the bronzed days of summer begin to dwindle. I might even be so bold (nuts?) as to say that the tennis style is one of the biggest trends to come out of quarantine (though I’m fairly certain that the pandemic itself has absolutely nothing to do with it).

Established diamond tennis necklace
Tennis necklace in 18k yellow gold with 11.4 cts. t.w. princess-cut diamonds, $35,000; Established
Jenna Blake diamond box link bracelet
Box link bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 3 cts. t.w. diamonds, $16,000; Jenna Blake
Mateo rainbow sapphire tennis necklace
Rainbow tennis necklace in 14k yellow gold with princess-cut multicolor sapphires, $19,500; Mateo

I’ve seen the look layered on the necks of celebrities and influencers on Instagram, many pairing the style with nameplate necklaces or the of-the-moment paper clip chains. There has been a wave of jewelers either creating new lines with the look or revitalizing the styles they already had. And this isn’t just out of the blue—see Amy Elliott’s report on Jennifer Meyer’s tennis collection from September 2019, which even features earrings in the iconic style.

Joshua J diamond tennis bracelet
Bracelet in platinum with 15.24 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Joshua J.
Forevermark diamond lattice bracelet
Lattice bracelet in 18k white gold with 8.07 cts. t.w. diamonds, $28,800; Forevermark

At first, I found the style a hard one to digest. Tennis bracelets were, in my memory, a favorite of every mom in the ’90s, and while I love my mom greatly and even look back with fondness of how much she admired her own tennis bracelets, I wasn’t so sure such a piece would be for me. But like many things that were once old and now are new, I’ve found the updates to be well suited to a younger generation of shoppers, and, like most things, appreciate the hand of an independent designer at work over the mass-produced offerings I was so familiar with before I got the chance to dive deeper into the jewelry world.

Selin Kent Ocean Blue tennis bracelet
Ocean Blue tennis bracelet in black rhodium–plated white gold with 1.5 cts. t.w. black diamonds and blue sapphires, $2,750; Selin Kent
Moritz Glik tennis shaker bracelet
Tennis shaker bracelet in 18k rose gold with 1.67 cts. t.w. Malaya garnets, 1.15 cts. t.w. diamonds, and 0.6 ct. t.w. pink sapphires in a white sapphire Kaleidoscope shaker, $13,900; Moritz Glik
Eva Fehren black diamond line bracelet
Line bracelet in 18k blackened white gold with 6.21 cts. t.w. black diamonds, $12,500; Eva Fehren
Anita Ko heart tennis bracelet
Heart bezel tennis bracelet in 18k rose gold with diamonds, $37,700; Anita Ko

Though I remember the tennis bracelet as a thing of the ’90s, it was coined as such long before I was even born—you probably know by now the story of tennis star Chris Evert’s bracelet of choice in the ’70s. It actually makes perfect sense that the style would be in such favor at the moment, as it coincides with the rise of tennis wear. While I’m staying true to my sweatpants (are you?), much of the fashion set is pulling on cutesy tennis skirts to dress for comfort, whether or not they’re hitting the court (tennis must be a fairly safe game to play by social distancing standards, right?).

Sig Ward diamond tennis necklace
Tennis necklace in 14k yellow gold with 6.8 cts. t.w. diamonds, $14,500; Sig Ward
Jemma Wynne Prive Luxe opal necklace
One-of-a-kind Prive Luxe necklace in 18k rose gold with 7 ct. opal and 3.3 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Jemma Wynne

Summer is always a time for sun-soaked fashions, and layering on necklaces suits that. But it feels right that tennis necklaces and bracelets will ride into fall and then on into winter, so look for them to be included on those lists of holiday gift ideas, as the (hopefully still) busy shopping season will no doubt sneak up on us.

Top: Rainbow baguette tennis bracelet in 14k yellow gold with 2.45 cts. t.w. rubies, sapphires, amethysts, emeralds, and aquamarines, $1,795; Eriness

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JCK Contributing Editor

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