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Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate friendship bracelets would become a staple phrase within my adult vernacular — and yet here we are, in 2023, with everyone from adults to tweens (and yes, even pro NFL athletes like Travis Kelce), gushing over and trading the beaded accessory. Basic-girl fall? Sunday football games? What can’t Taylor Swift make exciting again?
ICYMI: ever since Swift’s highly successful Eras Tour kicked off earlier this year, the pop star’s legion of fans (widely known as Swifties) have attempted to enrich their concert-going experience via the exchange of friendship bracelets with other attendees at the show. Videos of Swifties tossing bracelets to the musician on her way out of the venue and passing handmade styles onto their favorite celebrities have flooded my social media feed for the better part of this year, though it seems the accessory’s popularity doesn’t necessarily stop with Swift.
Fans of Beyoncé and even the Jonas Brothers have been documented exchanging friendship bracelets with one another at a number of concerts. And the internet is still ablaze after Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce attempted (read: maybe succeeded?) to give Swift a handmade friendship bracelet with his phone number on it — and then proceeded to trade the Y2K jewelry essential with other NFL players at a training camp over the summer.
The underlying theme in all of this is that the nostalgic accessory (which became popular in the United States back in the ’70s and quickly evolved into a tween fixture throughout the early aughts ) has worked its way back into mainstream fashion in a big way — creating more camaraderie among fans and even causing bead-shortages along the way (as reported by Seattle’s King5 news station when Swift brought her tour to the city).
Whether you’re looking for a unique way to tap into the friendship bracelet trend or are simply planning on attending an upcoming concert, we’ve rounded up the best friendship bracelet kits that you can shop online. Our favorite selects come from retailers like Amazon, Etsy, and more. So, take a page out of Taylor Swift’s book, make the friendship bracelets, and get ready to sport 2023’s hottest accessory trend.