Most of us have them, whether they’re an heirloom or a piece we’ve grabbed while thrifting: vintage brooches. They’re really hard to pass up in a thrift store or yard sale; Each little pieces of art, whether we intend to wear them or not, they’re hard to resist. I know I’m guilty of having a stash of them that have never been incorporated into an outfit, as many of my friends have been too. It’s time to let these guys shine. And in order to do that, we have to think outside of the box because, let’s face it, not all of us are into wearing them the classic way: on the lapel.
Vintage brooches come in an array of colors, styles and materials and are more versatile than one may think; Here are some ways to spruce up your outfits with brooches in fun and unconventional ways:
- Have a chain? If you love that metal flower brooch, but don’t want to wear it on your jacket, throw it on a chain and wear it as a necklace! Most brooches have enough space to easily lace a chain through. I’ve created tons of impromptu necklaces with my collection of thrifted pins. And why stop at one? Take a short chain and string several different brooches together. C’est magnifique!
- For the past couple of years, we’ve been all about adorning our hair and clothing with flowers, so I think it’s only natural that we start throwing on decoration like brooches to our hats. I kept it simple with both a cap and turban and added just one brooch to each; It’s something that people will see and say, “Did that hat come like that? I want one!” I love that you can go casual with brooches (like a cap with a heart pin) or super glam with a combo that’s 20’s-inspired (turban with a rhinestone pin). Wouldn’t it be lovely to see a cap decorated with every pin you own? I’ll definitely add that project to the list.
- We’re all about cute collars this season, so spruce up your little basic shirt with some pretty matching pins. I love the monochromatic brooch-and-shirt look.
- Go crazy with it! Grab a cheap clutch at the thrift store (mine was a whopping 50 cents) and make it lux with beaucoups of brooches. With my pale pink clutch, I decided to keep it girly and add flower brooches galore. It’s safe to say that I’m going to keep it that way.
- Most of us have plain loafers, and while it’s always nice to keep things simple, sometimes adding a little flair to your shoes can be just the thing your outfit needs. Vinyl or canvas shoes work best (I love doing this with Tom’s or Keds) with pinning on brooches, and if you’re fortunate enough to find a matching- or semi-matching- pair, stick those things on! For this article, I cheated a little; I grabbed a belt buckle (the belt itself was boring and ill-fitting, but I’ve been itching to use the buckle). So this can work well too! In fact, the construction of the clasp of belt buckles like this can easily slip on to even leather shoes. There have even been times that I’ve found one gorgeous earring by its lonesome while digging through bargain bins and have repurposed it.
The lesson here? If you see an object that you love while thrifting but don’t know how to wear/use it, think outside the box. Give it the love it so greatly deserves, and have fun with it!
By Whitney S Williams
Photos by Angela Miller
Cover Photo by Whitney