I have a fashion challenge that has stumped me for years. I received two beautiful, expensive broaches that look like they could be integrated into my work wardrobe, but I do not know how to wear them. How does a fashionable workaholic go about wearing a broach without looking like it’s a substitute name tag?
- Wear it high on the lapel of your jacket — I usually like to wear mine just a bit lower than my clavicle, so it’s really accentuating my face. I’ll admit that usually a necklace and a brooch is too much, but I thought it worked here. (You can see more of my personal jewelry collection here.)
- Use a brooch to close your blouse (see the picture at the top of this post). This was one of the main ways it was seen on the runway, and I can see the appeal (but for me it just reminds me in a bad way of the early ’90s/late ’80s). You can also use it to close a cardigan at the top for a very vintage vibe.
- Wear it in your up-do (whether it’s a half up-do or full up-do). This is particularly handy if you’re using a ponytail holder — just secure the brooch to the ponytail holder. (At least, that’s what I’ve always done — in this video they say to use a bobby pin to attach a brooch to your hair.
- Emphasize your waist with it. This looks particularly great with solid-colored wrap dresses — where the fabric crosses over, add the brooch to add a bit of pop. (This could also be an option to make a simple sheath dress transition from desk to dinner.) This also works well with wrap sweaters.
- Accessorize your rear view. Add it to the back of a sweater at the nape of your neck, or even to the back of a jacket. Much like the up-do suggestion, this is best viewed from behind, so it’s a great idea for women who will be turning their back to their audience — I could see it being great for teachers or professors who use the blackboard.
Two more ideas from the Kat Archives:
- Use it to transform clothes you hate. For example: years ago, I had this gray sweater that I hated. The neckline wasn’t quite a crew and it wasn’t quite a scoop, and it was a boring gray, and I just felt totally blah in it. So instead of giving it away to Goodwill, I got creative, and yanked the neckline down to make it more asymmetrical, pinning it with a brooch. I thought the look worked so well that I took a picture of it (totally unflattering picture from way back in 2004).
- Use a brooch to emphasize an unusual neckline. This is probably more of an evening look — for example, years ago I bought this great David Meister dress that I called my “hot mama” dress — part of the appeal was this ridiculously wide sweetheart-like neckline. Wearing a necklace with it totally killed the effect of the neckline, but I wanted to accessorize it somehow, so I wore a brooch at the far edge of the neckline (totally unflattering picture from back in 2006 at a wedding reception). I thought it worked and wore the dress (and brooch) to at least another 3 occasions — a charity thing for work, a friend’s wedding, and the first party my husband and I ever threw together.
Readers, what is your favorite way to wear brooches? Describe what your favorite brooch looks like — and tell us if you’ve bought any great ones recently.