Brooch Etiquette

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Try wearing a brooch on the collar of your shirt to draw attention to your face.
Try wearing a brooch on the collar of your shirt to draw attention to your face. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Brooches are versatile accessories, used to give an outfit some extra intrigue or to draw the viewer's eye to the area you want. And because they're available in a variety of different price ranges and styles, finding the perfect one for you can be a snap. From the expected to the quirky, brooches can be worn many different ways while still being in line with proper etiquette.

Traditional Brooch Placement

Traditionally, brooches have been worn on the left side of the body, directly above the heart. This often means pinning a brooch to the lapel of a blazer or the collar of a jacket. You can also wear a brooch on the upper left-hand side of a heavy sweater or a button-down shirt. For a fresh take on the traditional, wear a cluster of small brooches on the lapel of a blazer.

For a modern look, try wearing a funky brooch in the traditional placement.
For a modern look, try wearing a funky brooch in the traditional placement. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Purchasing a New Brooch

When it comes to brooch selection, it's important, first and foremost, to express your personal style. If you are looking for a new brooch, compare different models and pay attention to details. Think about the colors you commonly wear and the style of jewelry you prefer; select a brooch that will complement items you already own.

Repurposing an Old Brooch

If you are lucky enough to inherit a brooch from someone in your family or you find a fabulous vintage brooch for sale, don't assume it must be worn in a traditional manner just because it's antique. Make the piece your own by wearing it in a unique way that suits your style. Some of the best fashion statements happen when the traditional meets the modern.

Experiment with placing vintage brooches in unexpected areas.
Experiment with placing vintage brooches in unexpected areas. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Unexpected Brooch Placement

To experiment with wearing a brooch in nontraditional ways, try pinning one to the left or right side of a wrap top near your natural waistline, or use the brooch to fasten your cardigan. Adorn the top button of a collared button-down shirt or even your headband with your favorite brooch. Also, experiment with wearing the jewelry somewhere other than on your top. Try pinning one to your scarf, hat or the waistband of your pants. By having fun with your wardrobe and wearing what makes you feel confident, you will always be practicing good brooch etiquette.

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