Part Two of a two-part post
Now... how do I wear it?
Unlike earrings, a brooch is placed, which may be why some women avoid them. In fact, pins or brooches can be worn so many ways, more than any other item, from the classic to more novel.
Michelle Obama likes to wear hers at the centre neckline of a cardigan or dress (shown far left and below.)
On a jacket, wear yours on the collar (shown on the turquoise jacket, upper right). A pin at the lower lapel or breast pocket takes the eye too low.
Queen Elizabeth wore the Williamson pink, the world's largest pink diamond, at her shoulder when she met the Obamas. This is her preferred style, one that draws the eye to her face and her magnificent natural pearls.
Mrs. Obama wears a brooch off-centre at the neckline, on her pink dress.
On a blouse, a pin on the cuff is one of my favourite ways to wear a jewel, and it won't clank like a bracelet.
On a dress, a brooch goes anywhere you wish to direct the eye, including on a shoulder strap, at the waist, or on a soft sash belt.
A brooch enhances an accessory: pin it to a beret or felt hat, or on a fabric clutch bag.
Pinned to a ribbon, tied on your wrist, a brooch becomes a bracelet; if not too large, you can achieve the same effect around the neck.
Some brooches can be hung from a chain and worn as a pendant, or converted to pendants by adding a bale.
You can wear a brooches to close a shawl or on a scarf, but as spacegeek noted yesterday, you have to be careful not to snag fine fabrics with the pin. Pinned shawls look either costumey or dowdy to me, but a lot is in attitude and an interesting pin on a pashmina might change my mind.
Don't attach brooches to genuine pearls because they will abrade the pearls. (If you love to wear that brooch on your pearls, have it made into a clasp.)
Wherever you pin it, use a little stopper on the bar-pin, called a "bulldog", available at jewelry counters, as an extra security measure.
How much bling with a brooch?
You can go as minimal as a brooch and simple earrings, or mass up the pieces till you topple. It's your party.
Daphne Guinness marches a row of exquisite antique diamond brooches down the front of a dress.
Anna Wintour styled singer Adele, in a diamond daisy brooch. (I love brooches on voluptuous women.)
And brooches on black, sigh.
Check out Madeleine Albright, in a 1940's Joseff of Hollywood brooch with related pins, and a whole lotta other clank. Woman was decked.
The simplest way to begin brooch-wearing is to place one at the side of a v-neck sweater or top, a universally flattering placement. Add a pair of earrings, casual as gold hoops or pearl studs, or choose more elaborate ones that compliment but don't necessarily match the brooch.
Michelle Obama shows another brooch-sweater idea: turn a cardi into a wrap by adding a trio of pins.
I'm betting on brooches, even if the young crowd is on to them. So womanly, personal and–whether Albright-sized or petite–jewels of presence and charm.