Credit goes to Leandra Medine for the term “arm party.”
Let me tell you a little story. When I was younger, I had a bit of an obsession with bracelets. Maybe obsession is the wrong word—unhealthy infatuation, maybe? I developed a collection of paper bracelets (you know, the ones you get from amusent parks and public pools) that are really intended for one-day wear; I had a set of 20 plastic multi-colored bracelets (four each of pink, green, blue, yellow and purple); I wore an assortment of handmade friendship bracelets as well. I was a wacko nine-year-old. This probably doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary for a young girl, but for some reason, my family begged me to get rid of my jewelry (if you can call a piece of glazed neon green paper wrapped around a wrist “jewelry,” but just go with it), but I refused. Over the years—yes, years—my sundry wrist coverings began to fall off or break, so I kept them in a box (this is something a mental hospital patient would do, probably). At some point, my wrists began to feel claustrophobic and I had to take off the plastic bracelets. In the end, I was left with bare arms, despite the fact that I had vowed to always have at least one thing on them at all times. Such was my sad life as a young child. (Well, my arms are not completely bare; I always have a watch on my left wrist and a hair tie and a braided silver bracelet from my grandma on my right wrist. These are permanent fixtures.)
The point of me telling you that long-winded tale about my odd childhood fetishes was to prove to you the importance of wrist jewelry. Before you close this window thinking, “I’m out, this girl is cray-cray,” let me just conclude my anecdote by relating this to the ever-trendy Man Repeller. Last summer, she coined the term “arm party,” which refers to wearing several multifarious bracelets on one’s wrists. When she first started doing this, her parties were a bizarre combination of jewelry that somehow worked. They were a sophisticated and infinitely more expensive version of my arm parties that I hosted as a young girl. I was unintentionally on top of my jewelry trends as a child—though a few years before the time was ripe for arm parties to make their debut.
I got an email today from Urban Outfitters telling me about their new dress selection, and when I scrolled down, I saw a picture that said “WE LOVE: LAYERED BANGLES AND BRACELETS.” ’Nuff said.
If you don’t even know what I’m talking about, check out the pictures on the left. They’re of Leandra’s arm parties from the summer, as well as a piece from DANNIJO. Below is your guide to the best bracelets under $150 that will add a bit of fun to your wrist shindig.
Simple and Classic:
Ross-Simons Italian Flex Tri-Color Rolling Bangle Bracelets with 14kt Gold.. $146.25.
This one is perfect if you like understated jewelry that still lets you have a touch o’ fun.
Quirky and Unique:
DANNIJO Wiig Bracelet.. $128.
This one is for people who a) like Kristen Wiig and b) are a bit funky.
The description says “Put a bow on it.” That sounds suspiciously like “Put a bird on it.”
Reminiscent of Childhood:
DANNIJO Friendship Bracelets.. Set of 4 for $48.
For those who just can’t move past their summer camp days. Or are going for a ten-year-old-chic look.
Urban Outfitters Studded Bangle Bracelet.. $24.
That title didn’t really follow the same pattern as the rest but no one has to know.
I must admit, Urban Outfitters has some pretty good jewelry for incredible prices. What it lacks in cost it may make up for in poor quality, though, so if you’re looking for an investment piece, I’d look elsewhere. But, if you like lots of studs and poky things, go for it. (P.S.: this one looks like the bracelets Leandra wore in one of her arm parties to the left)
Jewelry That Speaks For Itself:
Urban Outfitters B.U. She Colors Way Outside The Lines Bangle Bracelet.. $50.
Literally. This one is cute because people just sort of assume you’re poetic when you have words written on you. Or they become barbaric and grab your wrist in an attempt to read the writing, without realizing that it would be just as effective to ask politely for you to read it to them.
Frye Wrapped Cuff Bracelet.. $38.
This one is inspired by this Hermès bracelet, I think. The designer option is exorbitant in comparison to the Frye one, so again, if you’re digging the equestrian vibe but don’t want to spend $730 on a leather bracelet, this one’s for you.
Have fun shopping away on the internetz! Be sure to invite me to your arm party. I’ll be anxiously awaiting your invitation.
Images courtesy of manrepeller.com, dannijo.com, ross-simons.com, urbanoutfitters.com and hermes.com.