Armparty Demystified: Formula for the Perfect Bracelet Stack

I don’t want to brag, but I throw a mean armparty. 

Friends often tell me they don’t know how to layer bracelets. Naturally, my desire to help others and demystify what seems mysterious led me to create a formula. I used to say I didn’t have a specific way to stack my bracelets – it was all trial and error. Then I paid attention to what I was doing and lo and behold – I did have a pattern I followed when layering my bracelets! Amazing what happens when you think about what you’re doing. 😁

In the spirit of helping a sister out, I gift you this formula that you may always have the perfect stack: anchor + interest + sparkle = awesome armparty

The Anchor – Not a literal anchor, this piece is the one that you’ll build your armparty around. It’s usually solid in structure or color. Sometimes it’s the largest piece in your armparty. I’ll begin with the Ally wrap bracelet in white. 

 stella dot ally wrap bracelet armparty anchor  

Interest – this piece can be something with color, movement, cutouts, layers… anything interesting. A bracelet with spikes, studs, charms, colorful stones would fit the bill. I chose the Renegade bracelet for its edgy spikes. 

  

You can always stop here with your little stack, but we’re talking ARMPARTY, and two bracelets does not an armparty make. 

Sometimes I like to add a little more interest and balance out my armparty at this point. Enter the Sawyer Stone stretch bracelet in white to create a little symmetry and interest…

   

…and the Gilded Arrow bangle for more interest with its space between the two ends and the trendy motif itself. 
 

The sparkle – probably doesn’t need much explanation, right? I just place it in a spot that needs more sparkle, away from any other pieces that might be sparkly. In this case, the Renegade bracelet has crystal rounds in it. So my sparkle won’t go next to it. 

  

The finished product, left to right:

Pavé chevron cuff, Ally double wrap bracelet in white, Renegade bracelet, Sawyer Stone stretch bracelet in white, Gilded Arrow bangle in gold. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a Stella & Dot Stylist. You can order all of these pieces and many more fabulous bracelets through my Stella & Dot website: www.stelladot.com/alicetegtmeier 

Here are a few more of my recent arm parties from my Instagram account (also all Stella & Dot bracelets)

  
P.S. If you were to host an online Trunk Show, you’d likely have enough hostess credits to get a whole armparty FREE. Email me if you’re interested at instyleandinsanity@gmail.com and we’ll get you some free jewels!

So, who’s gonna have an armparty tomorrow? Let me know if this was helpful/eye opening/life changing, totally how you already go about layering your bracelets, or so much work your brain hurts in the comments below – I’d love to know where you are on the armparty spectrum! And be sure to share your new knowledge with a friend by sending her the link to this post! It is Valentine’s Day and all 😉

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Style Secrets when Between Sizes

It’s January – the time when many of us find ourselves in one of two camps: the “holiday weight gain that has our clothes fitting a little tighter” camp, or the “weight loss resolution that will make our clothes fit a little too loosely” camp.

Properly fitting clothing doesn’t just look better, it makes you feel better. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than squeezing into your jeans, and nothing more annoying that pulling them up 20 times every hour.

Whatever camp you’re in, I have a go to uniform for you:

Tunic and leggings or skirts/dresses.

Below are some of my favorite stylings of these practical problem-solvers that are probably hanging out in your closet (read: don’t go buy new clothes just yet).

The tunic and leggings option is comfy and on trend. My requirements for this option are that the tunic come well past my butt. All important parts covered. Coverage to mid thigh is preferred. Maybe that’s not your criteria, but I find it to be less stressful if I sit down or bend over. And after having 3 children, I’m sure nobody wants to see any of that either.

Banana Republic sweater tunic (thrifted by a friend); Gap down vest (thrifted by myself); Old Navy denim jacket (also thrifted); Ralph Lauren button down (thrifted from the Men’s section); Target leopard print scarf (old); H&M leggings; Ralph Lauren boot socks and Sorel boots via Marshalls (old); Stella & Dot pearl spike cuff, renegade bracelet and Waverly petite crossbody (all current)

Old Navy cowl neck tunic (recent clearance find); Gap ponte zipper leggings (current sale find – also pictured above); Adam Lippes for Target flats (this past fall); Stella & Dot jewelry – Freya necklace, Arrow bangle, Sawyer stone bracelet, Renegade bracelet, Ally bracelet, Deco cocktail ring (all current)
And if you just thought, “It’s winter and I’m not freezing my butt off in a dress!” Shirt dresses are great to wear with leggings.

Gap cropped sweater (old); Merona chambray shirt dress (this past fall); Gap ponte zipper leggings (I have two pairs, people – don’t judge); Aldo booties again; Stella & Dot jewels and Waverly petite crossbody – Arrison stretch bracelet, Ally wrap bracelet, Alice bracelet, Sawyer stone bracelet, pavé chevron bangle, Maylee ring and engraveable ring (all current)

Gap flannel gingham shirt dress (last winter); blanket scarf found on eBay; H&M leggings; Sam Edelman suede booties (thrift find); Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, artisan cuff, Sawyer stone bracelet and deco cocktail ring (all current)
Hot tip: Fleece lined leggings are a thing. I recommend wearing them under a pair of lightweight leggings because they usually don’t look like cotton leggings. You can even find them at Walgreens!

I’ll admit dresses and skirts are a little trickier if you live in a colder climate, like me. If there’s a day where it will be in the 40s, I’m totally willing to go with a dress and thick tights or even sweater tights. It’s like my desperation for comfort, cuteness and wearing clothing for warmer temps all converge.

Gap plaid dress (found it last fall for like $7) and leather booties (also last year, but a little more than $7); burgundy tights from Target; Stella & Dot Waverly petite crossbody, deco cocktail ring, renegade bracelet, Christina link bracelet (retired) and Amelie bracelet (retired)
I know firsthand that being between sizes, especially if you’ve worked hard to lose weight to look and feel better, is totally frustrating and makes getting dressed an unenjoyable experience. Embracing leggings and skirts/dresses as your default during this time should make the interim more bearable and keep you feeling beautiful.

Put on that Party Dress for EVERY Party

The holidays are great… the decorations, the family time, the special events, PRESENTS. Ok, I know sometimes those are overwhelming and so is your task list. The idea of having to choose something different to wear to to each event can make you want to go all Grinch on the world.

Instead of going crazy and finding something new and exciting to wear for every event, consider restyling one dress for every party. I wrote an article with styling tips for the free online magazine The Perpetual You. See all the photos along with my tips for a little less stress in your style this holiday season right here. It’s on pages 22-23.The whole magazine is beautiful and gives some great insights on living life well. You should read the whole issue (after you read my part, of course).

Here’s my favorite look from the article and what I’ll be wearing to my next holiday shindig. It’s the most cozy and casual of the looks, but still cute, no? FullSizeRender(1)

Black Dress – fit n flare from Gap in black; Navy Cardigan – Old Navy; Plaid Blanket Scarf – eBay; Clutch and Bracelets – Stella & Dot; Leopard Kitten Heels – Bandolino (via Salvation Army)

Love the idea of restyling a dress for all your holiday parties? Or do you love to play dress up too much to wear the same thing twice? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear more about your holiday dressing philosophy!

in Style and in Sanity: A Website Is Born

Who builds a website and starts a blog during the holidays?! Yeah. That’s crazy and doesn’t promote that taking a step back during the holidays I’ve been reading so much about. Oops.

It would be super crazy if I had done it on a whim. Or if I wasn’t already doing it over on Instagram. But I’ve been contemplating this for MONTHS. I’ve been dragging my feet mostly due to self doubt (that’s where most of my procrastination comes from). All those thoughts that “I’m not good enough to have a blog.” “I have nothing new to say.” “I’m not a therapist and therefore have nothing to say about mental health.” “No one is going to read it anyway.” need to shut up. And if no one reads it, well, fine. I tried. And the trying and failing and getting up again – that’s often more valuable than success. So I’ll ask myself WWBBD? (What Would Brene Brown Do?… you can find out what she would do here), and JUST DO IT.

Here’s what I plan to share with you on in Style and in Sanity that I can’t quite do on Instagram.

  • Style tips with more than one photo at a time – yes, I know I can make a collage on Instagram. But you know what? Those look messy and people don’t engage as much on those posts. And tips are easier to understand when they are next to the photo they explain, right?
  • Links to my favorite products, services, wardrobe pieces. If you can get it online, I’ll share the link. Instagram isn’t link friendly. And I know you don’t want to type in some crazy URL when you want to buy something. Occasionally there will be Affilliate links, but not to worry, I’m not spending my time searching what I can promote that I don’t really care about. I’ll only recommend it if I love it (and I love that Brene Brown book I referenced, BTW).
  • Lots and lots of words… typing with my thumbs gets old quick. And when you have a lot of good things to say, the phone’s keyboard isn’t ideal.
  • Honesty. I promise not everything will be a stylized shoot done by a professional photographer. In fact, most of it won’t be. I promise to tell it like it is. I promise I don’t have it all together and I won’t pretend like I do. Life is good, but it’s messy… much like my kitchen most of the time.
  • More about mental health. Bottom line, that’s hard to photograph. Which brings me to my next and final point…
  • I reserve the right to post here without a photo. So often I leave important thoughts off of Instagram because I don’t have a good picture to share. And the last thing anyone needs to see is a stylized photo of coffee and coziness when you really want to talk about anxiety and stress.

I hope you’re cool with all of the above, want to hear more, and that you’ll follow along as I share my journey in Style and in Sanity.