Brooches are a fun way to add a touch of whimsy to your outfit and draw attention to a certain part of the body. Webster’s defines the brooch (or broach) as a
“pin. . .worn at or near the neck.” You can be traditional, and use the ornament to highlight a long neck.
A little more 20th century (and dare I say, 1980s?) way to wear a brooch is fastened to the lapel of a jacket.
But why not take a more modern approach (this is the naughties after all) and scandalously draw the eye to a slender waist or full hips?
Michelle Obama famously wore a brooch to fasten her cardigan, inspiring many ladies to follow her example. Brooches are a lovely alternative to buttons and other clasps on jackets, cardigans, and other toppers.
They also do well keeping an artfully draped scarf in place.
Placed at the neckline, a brooch can take your décolletage from scandalous to work appropriate.
(This is a great solution for those wrap tops that tend to shift throughout the day to show a bit too much.)
Best of all, a well positioned brooch can take the place of an alteration. I folded a pleat and fastened it with a brooch in order to take in the waist of this jacket for a better fit.
I suggest keeping a plain, goes-with-anything brooch at your desk or in your purse for wardrobe malfunctions. It is an attractive alternative to a safety pin.
Brooches are a popular offering in department stores at holiday time. With the season winding down, I guarantee that you can find deeply discounted brooches at your local department store. Cheap and chic stores like Forever 21, Claire’s, and H&M usually carry brooches as well. However, if you are up to the hunt, you can find even better deals, and more unusual treasures, at your local thrift store. If you find a brooch in bad repair, remember that the pinning mechanism can be replaced and that a little polish can restore luster to a tarnished piece. Missing rhinestones or beads and chipped enamel are usually reasons to pass, unless you are especially crafty.
If you didn’t get a brooch as a holiday gift, I encourage you to dig through your jewelry stash or keep an eye out the next time you shop. Brooches are one of my favorite, and most useful, accessories.