Buttons, zippers, buckles, hook & eye, and velcro. Before the advent of these modern fasteners, there was the brooch.
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Although brooches are merely just decorative jewelry pieces nowadays, they once had a utilitarian purpose. The earliest form was called a fibula brooch. Resembling a safety pin, it was used to hold garments together on the body. From the draped peplos tunics of Roman yore to the heavy cloaks in early medieval dress, brooches were used throughout history and in many cultures. Sometimes, even the design of the brooch served to reveal something about the wearer, like their rank or affiliation in society.
Eventually as innovation ensued, the functional necessity of the brooch was no longer needed. Yet the brooch still remains one of my favorite go to accessories to adorn the shoulder of my cardigan or the lapel of my coat. Vintage brooches can be found at thrift shops, but even department stores like Macy’s have great options for inexpensive costume jewelry.
With buttons fastening the front of my blouse, I can focus taking my brooching to a whole new decorative level.
1. All tied up: A feminine take on a masculine necktie, excessive accessorizing is key.
2. Belt it out: A fabric belt or a wide ribbon tied around the waist will also do. The result is a burnished belt worthy of the wrestling ring.
3. Beret, oh hey: A classic Chic Vic move, even the rookiest of broochers can pull this off.
4. Off the chain: All you need is a chain with links large enough for the pin of the brooch to needle through. Voilà, that brooch has become a pendant necklace.
And there you have it, the fascinating history of fasteners! How do you like to wear your brooch?