Artistic, versatile, fun, and timeless. These are words to describe one of my favorite accessories...THE BROOCH!
You can buy new brooches at most stores that sell costume jewelry. Although once you've handled a lot of vintage jewelry, you may find newer pieces so lacking in quality that they aren't worth the investment. Often, stones fall out, metal becomes discolored within a few months, and the style is so uber-trendy that you can only wear it for a season anyway. That type of jewelry has it's place but vintage is, in my opinion, almost always the way to go. For example, the pieces in the Vintage Jewelry Girl collection have retained their condition, beauty, and wearability for 50, 60, or sometimes even 80 years! A carefully chosen choice of designer or unsigned quality jewelry can elevate a simple or inexpensive outfit. You can take a look at one of our previous posts to see some of our favorite vintage brooches or as I like to call them, "outfit elevators." ;-)
But, as one fashionable, but brooch-naive friend of mine said at my most recent vintage jewelry party, "I like them but how do you wear them?" Due to the popularity of the brooch as a fixture on the upper breast of Grandma's best Sunday suit, it unfortunately conjures up an image that is a bit old, stodgy, and too traditional for a lot of "us" *ahem* younger folk.
So how do you do it? How do you make the brooch a modern accessory? And how can you use a nice vintage piece to add some old-style class and individuality to your wardrobe? Here are some of our favorite ideas for you to try!
Source: Getty Images
Let's start with the classic option. The basic shoulder brooch, although it's done exceptionally well here! I almost prefer to call this the lower shoulder brooch because you'll see in later images some pins placed DIRECTLY on the shoulder. Regardless, this look, worn here by Dita Von Teese is made striking by her choice of size. Also, there is an interesting contrast between the clean lines of her dress and the texture of the flower. The gold metal also pops against the beautiful rich royal blue color of her dress! She successfully uses a vintage style in a completely modern and striking way.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
A more modern and less classic approach is to group brooches together on the shoulder. It's so cute how this girl pairs these vintage flower pins with her vintage style top!
Source: Teen Vogue
You don't have to be outrageous about it! Maybe you're into simplicity. You could give something like this a go. This little figural pin adds some character to the collar while complimenting the line of the garment.
Image Source: Amazing Interior Design
Long flowy tops are really popular right now. Why not use a big brooch to pin it closed when you want a little extra coverage? For heavier fabrics, use a bigger brooch and for lighter fabrics, a smaller one.
Source: Vintage Jewelry Girl
The infinity scarf is often left to stand on its own. Why not add a touch of interest with a vintage brooch?
You can also make use of well put together clusters to decorate the entire shoulder! You can change up your choice of pins so you never have the exact same look twice.
Source: Dolce Gabbana
Why not bring that same look down the page a little. Let your pins flow down your jacket for a really spectacular look!
Source: Vintage Jewelry Girl
Here's something you may not know about. You can use a brooch converter to turn any brooch into a gorgeous pendant! This one's from my personal collection. I love the little spokes of crystals around the piece and the texture is enticing.
Source: Street Scene
And since we're on the neckline, this has to be my absolute favorite way to wear a brooch! These 60s flower power brooches are so colorful when worn all together...on RED! So fun!
Source: Vintage Baubles and Bits
This is an interesting and creative idea! Layer some necklaces together and gather them with a big lightweight vintage pin. So much more interesting than the necklaces on their own!
Source: Dolce & Gabbana
And finally, here's another "embellish your accessories" idea. Isn't it stunning! You can pick up vintage purses with some wear or slight damage that you can cover with inexpensive gold-tone brooches...and voila! New beautiful purse!
Want to see more ideas on how to wear a vintage brooch? Check out our Vintage Jewelry Pinterest board and see the styles we're pinning! See you there!
Source: Fab Gabs
Oh...one more for the honorable mention!! I just came across THIS! Can I sneak this in the end here? An aged brass filigree pin holds her dress in the back. Stunning!