How to wear brooches and not look frumpy

How to Wear Brooches and Not Look Like a Frumpy Grandma

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I always love the idea of how to wear brooches. Maybe because they add sparkle and add “extra” that causes me joy. Yet I realize the brooch itself can conjure up images of frumpy grandmas.
I almost hated using the term frumpy grandma in my title. But I succumbed because I know that titles can get people to read an article. And if it’s one thing I believe, it’s that we can take almost anything and make it look fabulous.

If you are reading this from MSN’s page, then click here to see all of the photos.

Quote of the day: “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.” Leo Tolstoy

Light and shade, just like Tolstoy said. If you’re a minimalist, then this may not be your type of post. But as someone who treasures her accessories, I love to experiment with how to wear brooches in all kinds of ways. Trust me, this list is NOT comprehensive. I’m sure there are many other places you can pin your brooch. In fact, we’ve worn them many times before on the blog, so I’ll link to those articles too at the bottom of this post.

How to wear brooches
Decoration Only:
1-On lapels of jackets
2-At the top of a top
3-Waistband decor
4-Pull up material
5-Add a different color
6-Cover up a knot
Other Ideas

Maybe it’s the term brooch that gives off the frumpy grandma vibe? What if we called it ornamental jewelry? Or something more modern like a “dope pin?” Then maybe you would feel more stylish using them in your outfits.

Then again if you’re like me at all, you go through stages of wearing this or that. It’s not that you forget the things you have, you just get into habits. It’s human nature and it happens to all of us.

So here’s your reminder to dust off those dope pins in your jewelry cupboard and hopefully, these photos will give you some inspiration on how to wear your brooches.
I’ve also grouped them into two categories. One is wearing them as decoration only which is a perfectly fun way to wear them. Then again, they can be functional, so I gave a couple of examples of how I’ve used them lately.

Related post: 15+ Ways: How to wear jewelry to compliment your look

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1-How to Wear Brooches on Lapels of Jackets

I think the most iconic way for the query of how to wear brooches is on the lapel of a jacket. Of course, I had to go a step farther and try one on a jacket that didn’t have a lapel. Maybe I should have moved the elephant pin closer to the edge of the jacket? No matter, because I always get a mulligan the next time I wear it.

Why even use this trick? I think it’s a wonderful way to add bling, sparkle, and shine to any kind of topper you are wearing.
For example, for the photo on the left, I am incorporating some of the colors from the shirt under the jacket to the jacket itself with the orange brooch.

You might laugh why I choose to wear a brooch with the outfit on the right side. Some white jackets give off an air of lab jackets to me. Since that’s exactly what I had to wear while I was in dental school, I don’t appreciate that look. So by adding some decoration to the white jacket, it’s not as sterile.

Insider tip: It’s MUCH easier to attach the brooch before you put on the jacket.

2-At the Top of a Top

How to wear brooches in a modern way

Is it redundant to say at the top of a top? LOL! I could call this many other titles instead. For instance a necklace without a chain. Or how about adding sparkle to a solid item?

Either way, I wore this elephant brooch at the neckline of this clothing item for a funny reason. Seriously, I was worried it might look like I wasn’t wearing anything, since the material basically matched my skin.
Therefore, adding the pin, hopefully, tells you that I’m not naked!

Waistband Decor

Okay, so here’s where I’ve been going crazy lately on how to wear brooches. Using them on my waistband which acts like a belt without the belt!!

In the summer, I find this very helpful for two reasons.
1-It adds some sparkle to my look without wearing a necklace (which can be too hot).
2-Looks like a belt buckle without having the extra material around my waist.

I really like it on items like overalls and jumpsuits because if you do wear a “real” belt, you have to take it off to go to the bathroom. Whereas the brooch is just hooked to the clothing and doesn’t need any extra finagling.

Examples #1-3 are just about how to wear brooches that can give you extra bling or decoration to a look. But now let’s explore the idea of how they can be functional too.

4-Pull Up or Alter Material

The thing to remember is that our brooches are pins and therefore can pull up material or keep pieces together.
That’s what I did here in these two examples.

The “square” brooch is actually shortening my dress a little by attaching some of the material to the empire waist.

Extra credit: Can anyone tell what the shape of the “square” brooch really is? Answer: It’s the outline of Arizona.

The blue fringe brooch is holding together the two panels of the sweater.

5-Add a Different Color

Add a different color with a brooch

Another functional aspect of how to wear brooches would be that it can add a totally different color to the look. Sure, that’s a decorative idea, but it can be functional as well.

The rule of thumb about adding a unique color to a look is to try to incorporate it three times. (Although remember that sometimes the best looks come together when you break the rules). But in the above example, I am wearing shades of red with my earrings, brooch, and shoes (not seen in the photo).

This method straddles the decoration concept, yet with a functional aspect.

6-How to Wear Brooches to Cover a Knot

Cover the knot with a brooch when you tie up a shirt

Your brooch can act as a camouflage too. For example, when you knot your top or tie the ends of material together, you can place a pin over it to make it look nicer. And basically “hide” the knot or elastic.

Lesley used this same trick when she gathered the material of a dress and then used a flower pin to make it pretty in this example.

Other Ideas of How to Wear Brooches

Brooches have been the subject of many of our older blog posts. There are endless ways and places to wear them, so I hope you pull yours out and get creative.
Find more ways and inspiration below:

Unusual ideas of wearing brooches
Which pocket for brooches?
Brooches by your neck
Waistline for brooches

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How to wear brooches creatively

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

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