Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 Ways to Wear a Brooch

I was going through my jewelry stash the other day and realized that holy crap, I have a lot of awesome brooches!

It could be that my parents are antique dealers and my mom sometimes finds me little unique pieces to add to my collection. It could be that a few years back I went on a fabric-flower-making rampage and just stuck pin backs on all of them. It's probably a combination of these reasons. Nonetheless I have a bunch. 

"Why," I wondered to myself, "do I never, ever wear any of these??" I realized it was because I hadn't given it a single bit of creative thought. So I did. And here is the result of that brainstorm. 

1. The Classic

I couldn't have a list on how to wear a brooch without including the old standard: displayed alone on your lapel. It doesn't have to be a blazer or winter coat either. I just fastened my favorite brightly-colored brooch onto a chunky sweater I was already wearing. 

It's a nice way to class up a casual outfit and it makes a great conversation piece. 

2. The Cardigan

As you'll see throughout this list, brooches and scarves can often work together in beautiful ways. For this look, I took a long, wide rectangular shawl, and draped it over my shoulders. 

Where the ends of the scarf hit my wrists...

I tied a small knot in the corners:

I repeated for the other side, pushed the knotted ends up above my elbows, then pulled the front together like so:

Then attached a butterfly brooch through both layers. 

The result is a shawl that stays put even when you move around a lot. This would probably be a nice solution for a cold office. 

3. The Reverse Cardigan

Using the same shawl, I tried the backwards version of the above. I draped it over my shoulders from the front:

Then grabbed the inside edges from behind me:

Then pulled them up and crossed them slightly to meet in the center just below the neckline:

And pinned in place with my brooch!

4. The Bling Bag

This one was simple as hell. I took all the brooches I could find and pinned all of them onto my black pleather purse. 

You can do them in a straight line like this, or attach them randomly for a slightly wilder look. I would not recommend doing this to a real leather purse, as it will create unfixable holes. 

5. The Scarf Necklace

Take a long skinny silk scarf and drape it around your neck:

Tie a loose overhand knot at a necklace length you like:

Then grab one end, and continue wrapping it tightly around the necklace part:

Until you get to the end, where you'll simply loosen the last twist you made:

And tuck the end through to secure. 

Repeat for the other side, then fasten a brooch to one secured end, pushing the pin through multiple layers so it stays put:

Suddenly your scarf and brooch have become a one-of-a-kind necklace!

6. The Belt Buckle

Grab a long skinny silk scarf and wrap it around your waist, securing with a loose overhand knot:

Using the same technique from the scarf necklace, continue winding each end around the scarf:

Secure one end as above, by tucking it through the previous twist. Then secure the other end with a fabulous brooch. Carefully rotate the belt until the brooch is front and center!

This is great for when you have a real show-stopper brooch that you want to show off but is too big to go on a lapel. Here's a brighter close-up so you can see the effect better:

7. The Fancy Headwrap

Take a square silk scarf, tie it around your head in your desired headwrap fashion, and carefully attach your brooch, fashionably off-center of course. :)

I recommend putting a finger or two between the pin back and your head because if you don't you'll probably stab yourself in the scalp. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

8. The Choker

Oh how I loved chokers when I was a teen. It was the 90s after all. But they're back! And better than ever. Which means I don't have to feel like I'm stuck in my youth every time I wear one. :)

Take a long ribbon and wrap it snugly around your neck, choker-style, as many times as you can. DO NOT ACTUALLY CHOKE YOURSELF. If it feels like it would leave a red mark then it's too tight!

Tie the ends in the back if you can. If not, just wrap/tuck the ends in to secure. Being very very extra super careful, attach your brooch to the front. You can run the pin through all the layers of the ribbon, or you can just fasten it around the ribbon without piercing it at all - either way will work, but if you do the latter, the brooch could shift throughout the day.

9. The Hair Accessory

This is a super fun one. Get your desired brooch:

Flip it around and make sure the pin is closed:

Then slip on a few bobby pins:

Tuck into your hair wherever you want!

10. The Donna Reed

Okay I don't know if Donna Reed ever did this, but I feel extra cute and housewife-y when I wear my cardigan this way. Put on your favorite form-fitting cardigan and secure it at the very top with an adorable brooch:

That simple!

Do you have brooches you aren't wearing? For shame! They were literally made to be seen. Show them off!

PS: I can't make any promises right now, but I maybe might possibly be getting in the mood to make all the brooches again. Could be. We'll see. :)


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