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Loom bracelets: Now for grown-ups

It's the must-have accessory, seen on some of the top wrists in the city. It's the Rainbow Loom rubber band bracelet, and what started as a playground trend has sashayed into the corporate world, as the brightly colored elastics are increasingly seen poking out of suit jackets and sharing wrist real estate with dress watches.

At Iron Mountain, a data backup and records-management firm in Boston, vice president Melissa Mahoney wears the uniform of a professional woman circa 2013. She's got a high-tech Fitbit fitness tracker, a diamond-encrusted Longines watch, and three loom bracelets, one pink and green, and two multi-colored, gifts from her 5-year-old daughter,


Wearing her life on her wrist makes her feel partly "ridiculous," but mainly proud. "This is who I am," she said. "I'm a career woman taking care of my health and a good mom."

The hot-selling craft kit was invented in 2010 by a mechanical engineer who was working for Nissan in Michigan — and trying to impress his then tween and teen daughters. His creation was picked up by Learning Express Toys and has become such a success that no less a style icon than Bill Cosby has taken notice.

As Cosby recently told a we-can-relate audience at the Wilbur Theatre, his granddaughters keep making him bands, with instructions to wear them on his ankle.

"Thanks," he said, joking that the rubber bands were going to cut off his circulation.

Mr. Cosby, it's something women have known forever: One has to suffer for beauty.

Beth Teitell can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.