Gracey on: Wearing Brooches

Earlier this year I wrote a post on brooch clusters, because I love them. And lovely reader Annie asked a very good question; “how does one even wear brooches anyway?” So, today, for Annie and anyone else who might be wondering, I’m going to talk about wearing brooches.

How to Wear Brooches

As I said in my reply to Annie’s comment, you can wear them any way you want. And it’s true, you can.

You can wear them singly:

Gracey of Fashion for Giants in vintage fruit print dress and vintage fruit cluster brooch.

Or in clusters:

Gracey of Fashion for Giants in printed blouse, vintage sweater vest & jeans with a brooch cluster featuring a nest, a beetle & a pair of flowers.

Where to Wear Brooches

When it comes to brooch placement, I tend to be pretty traditional. Most of mine are pinned mid-shoulder on my right side:

Fashion for Giants outfit featuring animal print blouse, black skinnies & olive jacket with vintage sweater clips as a brooch.

But, I’ve also worn them to keep a gapping blouse closed:

Fashion for Giants outfit featuring yellow gingham shirt, linen skirt, woven belt & owl stick pin.

Really, though, you can wear brooches anywhere. You can wear them at your waist, in your hair, or on a clutch. You can even attach one to a length of ribbon to wear as a bracelet. Or, one of the coolest ways I’ve seen to wear a brooch, is the way my friend Carrie at Petal by Petal does it; she attaches them to her necklaces.

On What to Wear Brooches

For the sake of your clothing, I recommend wearing your brooches on heavier, knit fabrics. You can wear brooches on woven fabrics, but there is a very good chance you’ll put an irreparable hole in the item. And then you’ll be sad-faced. No one wants a sad-faced you, so try to stick to knit fabrics, m’kay?

Even on knits, brooches can be too heavy and cause tears (and tears), especially the vintage brooches. So here are a couple of tricks I use to keep my clothes from being damaged. As long as it doesn’t make the placement too wonky, you can pin your brooch to your bra strap. This keeps it from pulling on your shirt too much.

Bra strap:

Fashion for Giants outfit featuring striped eShakti dress, multi-colored belt, huaraches & a vintage orange brooch.

No bra strap:

Fashion for Giants outfit featuring floral skirt, striped shirt and vintage toucan brooch

You can see how the toucan is pulling on my shirt and the orange isn’t. Both of the above brooches are pretty heavy.  They’re vintage and made of real metal and they’re pinned on similar fabric but the orange is staying in place much better due to also being pinned to my bra strap.

Don’t wear a bra? Straps not placed for optimum brooch-holding? That’s OK, I have a tip for you ,too. Moleskin. You know; the stuff you put in shoes to cushion your piglets and avoid angry heel blisters. Just put a strip of that inside your shirt where you’re going to attach your brooch and pin your brooch through it and the shirt. The addition of the moleskin fortifies your shirt and keeps heavier brooches from tearing your clothes.

So, to recap. Wear brooches. Wear as few or as many as you want. Wear them where you want but be careful not to tear your clothes. Wear brooches.



_ _ _ _ _

Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails  from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.

Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.

Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.

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18 Responses to “Gracey on: Wearing Brooches”

  1. Connie

    I love your tips on wearing pins and you have the nicest smile it cheers me to see your face.

  2. poodletail

    I like to wear brooches at my waist, either on a fabric belt or pinned to my jeans or khakis pocket. You could pin one at your back, at the bottom of a low, scooped or jewel neckline. Think outside the box!

    • Anneesha

      Cool thought! I’d planned to wear a vintage sparkly brooch attached to a pearl strand for my upcoming nuptial event – but like the idea of having it at the back even better!

  3. just_kazari

    I love brooches! and pinning it to your bra strap is a great suggestion.

    But I want to wear brooches to keep my silk scarves pinned so I don’t have to be tugging/pulling at them all day — any suggestions for wearing brooches with those? I’m also paranoid about punching big holes in my silk scarves!

    • Nan

      If a silk or silk-like scarf is thin enough that, after draping round my neck, I can pull the ends through the fastened bar of the brooch – it’s as if the brooch is a scarf ring. That way I don’t have to poke the pin through the scarf. I pull the ends through far enough that the scarf is held firmly. But I always cut a small piece of eraser and put it on the sharp end of the brooch pin first,so I don’t snag my scarf, other garments or myself! You can’t see the eraser bit – the scarf sort of drapes over it – and it saves a lot of grief. Sometimes I’m able to pin through my top garment if it’s sturdy enough (e.g. on a shoulder seam or collar), still leaving enough wiggle room to get the scarf tails through and arranged the way I want them. Stick that eraser bit on after fastening, tho!

  4. Gisele

    Gracey, you always make me smile.

    My stylish mama used to keep a brooch pinned on the lapel of each of her blazers. It just became like part of the garment, snazzy & easy.

  5. Shaye

    I typically use thick interfacing to back my brooches, but that’s because I have it laying around. Moleskin is a great idea for a garment you’re wearing next to the skin!

    To the person wanting to wear their brooches with a silk scarf, what you want is a scarf clip. It will hold your scarf in place without putting holes in it. I have, on occasion, put a brooch on a scarf, though. I do one of a few things:

    1. Tie a knot, slip the pinback through the knot without actually catching the fabric. This doesn’t hold the scarf anywhere but it does decorate it nicely!
    2. Use a lightweight booch with a very sharp, very thin pinback. Be very careful when putting it on. Slowly push the pin through the silk to minimize the risk of tearing – you want the pin to slip between the weave, not break the strands.
    3. Wear a brooch on a scarf that is already in imperfect condition so the addition of a few pinholes isn’t the end of the world!

  6. Karen J

    First time visitng your post via Already Pretty.
    Thank you so, soooo much for this post. Rarely do I see anyone with a brooches. I wear brooches EVERYDAY (work, church, weddings, etc Just brooches and of course my wedding rings- no earrings, nose-rings, toe-rings, necklesses etc. I also pin them to my bra strap when heavy as well:) Love the tip on moleskin will be buying some.
    Will be looking through the rest of your blog.

  7. Dianne

    I keep brooches pinned on the lapels of many of my blazers, and also use orphaned stud earrings, clustered together. I also do this on my denim jackets. I sometimes use old-fashioned screw-back earrings, although one must remember to keep tightening the screw, and it works best on a lapel/collar with a heavier, top-stitched edge. The only downside, is that sometimes these brooches/pins get caught on the seat-belt when I am driving, and can pull out.

  8. Andrea

    I love brooches! I often wear one on a neckscarf. Depending on the size and shape of the brooch, I’ll either use it to keep the scarf closed or knot the scarf and pin the brooch over the knot. I also love to wear them on hats—both sunhats and winter hats—usually on the band, but sometimes to pin up the brim. And I keep a certain lovely-to-look-at-but-awkward-to-wear brooch pinned to the sun visor in my truck. I’ve never found a good way to wear it, but it makes me smile every day.

  9. Kaybug

    I use brooches too! Many times when a necklace would get lost in the collar, or I need to add some interest to an otherwise plain top or dress. I particularly use them on black suit jackets that would otherwise look very severe – even nun-like(!).

    Other spots to wear them: Under the bust on an empire-waist dress or top to draw the eye to the smallest part of your body; pinned to a ribbon as a headband, wired to a barrette clip or alligator clip for your hair.

    Plus, for those of you that need reading glasses, circle pins can be used to keep your glasses handy. My mom started threading hers through one.

  10. Eleanorjane

    Good ideas! I have a few broaches but I tend not to wear them in summer – mostly I wear them on coat or blazer lapels, but I should branch out and wear them more on cardigans etc. too.