Hello, Wild Pretty Things!
This post is a collaboration with the gorgeous & talented Sadia over at sparklingbeautybee.com . She is going to be posting about her favorite accessory, scarves, and giving some styling tips on unique ways she likes to wear them. I got a little sneak preview and, let me tell you, you do not want to miss that post. So head over to her blog and check out her post! (You can also follow her Instagram HERE)
I am also collaborating with Nicole Limpert who runs Limpertinleopard.com. She is going to be talking about how makes the same bag look fresh 4 DIFFERENT ways. Who doesn’t want to expand their wardrobe by simply mixing & matching things they already own?? She is a beautiful soul and has so many amazing tips! Check out her blog to get some new ideas! (You can also find her Instagram HERE)
My personal favorite accessory is a brooch. When most people think of a brooch they think of old photos of their grandmother in the 60’s with her classic sheath dress adorned with a big flower brooch. Left in the attic with grannies old couch dollies, these pieces are often forgotten and looked over. Call me old fashioned, but I disagree with that train of thought. Brooches are one of the most versatile and under utilized accessories available. They are my go to styling detail to instantly add interest and personality to an outfit. Whenever I head to a flea market, I am always on the look out for the next piece I can add to my collection. At flea markets you can pick up a wide variety of pieces for amazing prices. (Well, most of the time anyways. There are always those booths that act like they have found treasure & charge an arm + leg for their pieces) Over the years, I have found TONS of ways to incorporate a brooch in a modern way to step up my style game and reflect my own personal style.
Evolution of the Brooch:
Today’s culture is captivated by nostalgia and I am no different. I especially love seeing the changes in fashion that come about from decade-to-decade. The brooch is an accessory that has stood the test of time. Below I have a small trip into the past to see the evolutionary change of the brooch in both function & design.
Brooches, now mostly used for ornamental purposes, were originally invented to secure pieces of clothing. Stemming as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans to secure their togas. Celtic and Viking men used brooches for this functional purpose and would adorn them with a diverse amount of detailing to signify rank.
Brooches later evolved to be a sign of mourning the death of a loved one. Glass brooches would be engraved with the name, date of birth, and the date of death of the recently decreased. Some even had a compartment where a snippets of the persons hair could be placed.
In the 18th and early 19th century brooches began to be worn as a fashion statement. Brooches began to become ornate and riddled with diamonds and other precious stones. They were a symbol of wealth and status. Many collectors sweep vintage markets hoping to find these treasured pieces.
At the start of WWI, sweetheart brooches were a very popular trinket for a departing solider to give to their girlfriend, wife or loved ones. The brooches were made of less expensive materials and were worn and given as gifts by all social classes. These brooches often featured heart and dove etchings and loving personal messages.
During the 20’s, with the booming economy of the U.S., more ornate brooches were being worn. Art Deco was huge and it was reflected in the brooches from this time. The following decades all had their classic style of brooches. Most often made from less valuable materials, the designs became more funky throughout the years.
Today brooches are starting to make a comeback in the fashion world. Worn in the hair, on the neckline and with deep v backs, pinned to the waist of a dress or gown or scattered over all styles of jackets. These accessories have been seen in the collections for some of today’s hottest names in fashion – Chanel, Boucheron, Chaumet and Chopard.
1. Collar Interest
When I am at a flea market looking for new brooches to add to my collection, I always look for matching pieces. Adding matching brooches to both sides of the collars of a jacket adds some interest & can make a plain jacket look more expensive. The two humming birds I styled below are two of my favorite pieces! Add to the collar of a denim jacket and you have taken that basic to another level. This look can be achieved with any other design of brooch – flowers, animals, or other any other random design. I really like when the pieces go together or match, but it can be very interesting with different pieces as well. Like the moon & star pieces in the carousel below the photos. Those would be a lovely way to have two different pieces that would be AMAZING together. The key here is so mix it up & try new things.
2. Statement Clusters
Another option is to cluster a variety of different brooches together. For this look, you want to play with size + color to get a more interesting effect. I really like this because you can highlight a variety of your favorite pieces at once. In the look below, I have mixed color, sizes, designs, and even metals to achieve my clustered look. I usually like to have one piece that is much larger, but the collar of this blazer would just not allow it. This styling tip allows you to have a lot of fun with your selection & to really let your personal style show. It can take some trial + error to get the combination right, but that is half the fun!
3. Defined A Waist
The last styling tip for the post is to secure a brooch on the waist line of a basic dress. This is great because, if placed correctly, it will define your waist and make you look smaller. If you are on the hipper side, you are going to want to place the brooches a little higher on your waist – This will draw attention to the narrowest part of your waist, which is always a good thing. I recommend using a larger statement piece when it comes to trying out this look. In the example below, I used this gorgeous gold orchid piece that I got for $5 at an estate sale. I also added the gold daisy to play with the shape. It really adds some richness to this knit dress & makes it look more expensive.
I have tons & tons more ways to style brooches. If this was something that you found interesting, please let me know below and I would LOVE to create more content like this. A few of my favorite brooches are linked below- Click on the images in order to shop the looks.
What Is You Favorite Way To Reflect Your Personal Style?