Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A comprehensive guide on wearing brooches

By now anyone who reads my blog on at least a semi-regular basis knows about my love affair with brooches. People often ask me how I wear them and I've often wrote about it and left comments on other blogs. But as they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.
I waited for a sunny afternoon and assembled some outfits I typically wear with brooches:

1. Coats, jackets, outerwear in general
The sturdy collars and lapels of jackets are ideal for brooches. It's important to find the right balance though. The bigger the lapel, the bigger the brooch. Obviously.

Trench coat

I often ignore this rule. Usually when I want to wear a specific piece for sentimental reasons.

Suit jacket

Like my rooster fibula. I really wanted to wear it for my graduation, though a slightly bigger brooch would work better with this particular jacket.

2. Sweaters
For some reason, I really love to pin my brooches on my turtlenecks.
Bigger brooches are pinned at the base of the collar.

Turtle neck

Smaller ones slightly higher.

Turtle neck

3. Leisure wear:
 Who says home wear has to be dowdy? The road to instant feel happy: embellishing my old ragged (dyed two times already) hoodie with some inexpensive pins.

Leisure wear

Or in the case of this polar fleece, complementing the embroidery.
See, chic on the budget ;-)

Polar fleece

4. Accessories
Accessorizing accessories? Of course! Hats, beanies even textile bags. None are safe from my brooch mania.

Accessorising accessories

5. Tops and shirts
I rarely wear brooches on t-shirts or top. The material simply isn't compact enough. The only partial exception are fine compact knits.

Mrs. Froggy

Shirts on the other hand were made for brooches. Here's one, unironed (sorry about that). But the real shocker: it belongs to Mr. C and I have been known to ahem borrow it on several occasions.

Classic white shirt

Another option is pinning the brooch on the bottom of a sweater just above the patent line. I love this on my knit vests over a classic shirt. With the sleeves cuffed.
On a knitted vest

And finally, for convenience I love to have my brooches permanently pinned to certain garments. Which is great in a pinch. Leaving the house in a hurry, I can rely on wearing at least some jewellery.
But the downside of this pragmatism is that the same pieces get worn over and over or worse.

I end up unwittingly over accessorizing.


  1. I'm bookmarking this! So inspiring and helpful. And I LOVE the frog with the striped trunks on your striped shirt; it's like they were made for each other!

  2. déjà pseu: Thanks :-) Mrs. Froggy is an old favourite and features prominently in my late spring/summer outfits.

  3. Hi Lawyer lady in your black suit...or shall I call you the Brooch lady? Think I need to ponder on this hee,hee.

    You have a witty way with the Bs...especially Mr Frog & the Lady birds.Thank you for sharing,and you have given me an idea for one I have. Ida

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  5. I can't believe you apologized for an unironed shirt :).

    Thank you for giving me a whole new perspective on brooches. I don't think I ever thought of them as being so whimsical and fun. I'll be on the lookout for brooches now.

  6. ida: If I ever decide to go into superhero business, then Brooch Lady has a nice ring to it ;-P
    And wearing a cape certainly has its perks!

  7. Susan: Yup, unironed shirt ;-) I know there are worse things, but I just felt a bit out of my depth. Many bloggers go to such great lengths with their photo tutorials or just daily pics of their outfits.
    Good luck with the brooch hunt!

  8. My favorite is the ladybug(s) and definitely on an unironed shirt, cool.
    Btw., what about the etiquette of wearing brooches, do you follow them or not?
    Official brooches are worn on the left side, on the heart side, but are there other rules? Do women wear their brooches on the opposite side than men? I mean, men´s shirts, coats and pants are buttoned and zippered differently than those of the women.

  9. I love brooches and when I was a girl my mom would always buys us brooches. I think they are so feminine. Then I got out of the habit....I want you to know that you have the most lovely smile and seeing that I still have a few brooches I am going to start using them. xx

  10. Mette: I'm drawing complete blanks here. As far as tailoring goes, I know about the positioning of buttons as the dividing line between male and female. But brooches? I had no idea the side mattered.

    MrsLittleJeans: Thanks :-D I like to smile with my mouth wide open.

  11. I did some google work.
    The place for a brooch is on the right side. Marks of honor are placed on the left side.
    If you have broad shoulders, don´t use brooches ( ! )
    There also was a mention, that you should never mix real jewelry with fake ones. As if we did not know it yet..

  12. Mette: Thanks for this mini guide. As you know, I'd be likely to break most of these rules. Though in the unlikely event of winning a medal or a mark of honor, I'd of course respect the tradition and significance assigned to them. As for jewellery mixing: that rule is as delicate as mixing gray and brown. Done correctly and with a feel for aesthetic, almost! anything can be mixed. This of course excludes cheap plastic and acrylic jewellery that don't even deserve to be called that.

  13. In the UK brooches on the left as per the Queen,it makes it easier as most people are R handed...that applies to medals also!!

    There was a furore in the British press when David Beckham appeared at William's wedding wearing his OBE on his R shoulder...poor chap...not done old chap (laugh).

    Wear what you want where you want my motto. Ida

  14. ida: I agree! I also believe in being informed what the rules are and breaking them consciously ;-)