Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How to Wear It: Antique Brooch

What's a modern woman to do with an antique brooch? Even the word is a bit troublesome and old-fashioned, I'm never quite sure if I'm pronouncing it properly. Turns out, it ought to rhyme with "approach." OK! But how can you wear this emblem of Victorian rectitude--its role being to pin the collar of a high-necked blouse firmly closed--in a totally up-to-date way?

This beautiful pin belonged to my grandmother: sterling silver, with a glass bead and arts-and-crafts motif. I never saw it anywhere but at the neck of one of her white linen or cotton blouses:

I want to wear it, lots, to honor her. But I don't own any high-necked blouses. What's more, its pin is thick, and would punch a big, permanent hole through any fabric it's attached to. The solution? I've got a leather bomber with a neck collar tab and somehow the brooch works perfectly on it.

As long as a vintage pin is firmly attached (I've reinforced it by hooking a safety pin through the closed bar as an invisible backup), wearing it on a coat is a great, easy way to get it out there, admired. I especially like the juxtaposition of leather and decorous femininity--two ways of being a woman complementing each other.

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