6 In Getting Dressed/ Style

Counting on the wrist to bring flair to an outfit


Cuffs and bangles on Brenda Kinsel website

Using cuffs and bangles to bring interest to an outfit


This week I’ve been talking about how to create interest in an outfit. I talked about necklaces earlier in the week and now I’m looking at bracelets as source of interest for an outfit.

This idea of “interest” started in my Morning Pages. I was asking myself: Brenda, how are you adding interest to your outfits?

I thought it was a good question to ask myself. I certainly want to create interest-both to entertain myself throughout the day (I love looking down and enjoying my bracelet collection) and to create harmony in my outfit, making it appealing and pleasant to others.

Bracelets can connect the dots in an outfit through color, texture, and style. I feel a little “rocker” in the cuff and gunmetal bangles above. And in the bracelet collection that I wore with my all white outfit (below), I feel softer, more romantic.


Wrists are easy places to add style and delight

For a while now I’ve been enjoying using my wrists as the canvas to create interest. Unless I’m wearing a cuff (like the black and silver one above by Calleen Cordero) I’m often piling on bangles.


Use bracelets to create interest on the wrist on Brenda Kinsel website

The wrist can be the star of your outfit.


I have a growing collection of the gold bangles that I’ve been collecting over the years. Five to ten years ago I was rarely wearing them. I’d wear one at a time and that never seemed too gratifying. But now I pile them on and the impact is greater. I think it’s an easy look for a woman over 50 to feel accessorized and adorned without a lot of effort. I often wear 3/4 sleeved dresses, tunics, tops or jackets so my wrists can be free to bring extra interest to my outfit. Sometimes I’m decorating one wrist; sometimes I decorate them both.



A collection of gold bangles on Brenda Kinsel website

Gold bangles collected over time enjoy each other in a cluster


In the example above, you can see the varied textures in the gold department of my jewelry box. I have a couple of Alexis Bitter bracelets in this cluster; thin gold bangles including that one with the heart by Patty Crandall; and textured ones that have been in my jewelry box for years. I don’t know where they came from. When I took my bracelets off one night and placed them on this stool in the living room it looked like a lot of bracelets but when they were on my wrist, they felt light and like just the right amount.


Love this quote about costume jewelry


Quoting jewelry book on Brenda Kinsel website

Jewelry is one of our best tools


I was with a friend who introduced me to a bookstore I didn’t even know existed. It’s hard to find bookstores these days that carry much in the fashion department. This store is called Diesel Books and it’s in the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur Landing. How to Wear Jewelry, 55 Styles (Abrams Image, 2016) is a little book full of great jewelry information. I loved the quote on page 11 about curated costume jewelry.


“More is more and nothing is off-limits–including sparkling bracelets, stacks of large geometric rings, clusters of heirloom pins, and maxed out chunky necklaces. But don’t mistake the magpie approach for lowbrow or lazy–every costume piece is carefully selected, and when worn together, the combination transforms into an artful work worthy of appreciation.” (Text by Jinnie Lee)


An artful work worthy of appreciation. That’s what we can be doing on our wrists! Isn’t it exciting?


Do you adorn your wrists? I’d love to hear what your favorite pieces are. Are some of them heirlooms? Or recently purchased? Do you mix them all up? Share your ideas, okay?



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  • Reply
    Mary Ann Doerzbacher
    July 7, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I wear a grouping of thin sterling silver bangles every day. All are artisan made. I can add a silver cuff. I love my sterling silver! My signature look.

    • Reply
      July 7, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      How fabulous. And I think when they are artisan made, they look extra special…and I bet are fun to look at throughout the day! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2016 at 12:18 am

    I love bracelets! I nearly always wear a simple tubular plaited navy leather one with my watch and another on the other wrist.The second one is in plaited black leather that has heavy ornamental silver ‘beads’ in the centre section and a very good tubular fastener on the other side. My husband chose me a traditional bracelet as a gift, but knowing that I don’t always love his choices, urged me to exchange it if I wanted to (he’s a long-time keeper!!). I fell for the “man’s bracelet” at first sight!! It was worth the money!!!!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Wow, that sounds so very very interesting. So is it an actual man’s bracelet? You’ve got me thinking I need to shop in the men’s department for some statement pieces for my wrists!
      I’m wearing navy at this moment and am swooning over your tubular plaited navy leather bracelet!!! Thanks for sharing, Aless!

  • Reply
    Barbara Kraus
    July 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I’ve been wearing thin silver bangles with a clear Alexis Bittar for several years now, but more together since our appointment. This summer I am wearing a lot of my more colorful bangles. For the 4th of July I wore a navy outfit with 2 white and 1 red bangle. I’m having fun changing it up.

    I particularly like the bangle with the two stones. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2016 at 10:18 am

      This is lovely, Barbara! Isn’t it so fun to have adornment on your wrists? You get to enjoy it all the time. Thanks for sharing your wrist looks!

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