Caroline: I know you love brooches — I have a few I adore also.
Cynthia: I do love brooches. I’ve been a collector of vintage brooches for years.
Caroline: Are you a regular brooch wearer — just on your lapel? Or are you more creative?
Cynthia: I wear jackets and other “third pieces” like dusters and cardigan sweaters a lot, so most often I like to pin brooches near my face. I suppose that’s the most traditional placement. I think it’s fun to wear several brooches together there, either in a cluster, or in a line heading up to my shoulder.
Caroline: My Dad’s wife often wears one on her shoulder or just a bit over her shoulder onto her upper back.
Cynthia: I remember the first time I saw a woman with a dragonfly brooch pinned on her shoulder. I was quite enchanted by it!
Caroline: I also like several small pins on a cuff, when the outfit warrants it.
Cynthia: That’s a fun idea. On a cuff, old-fashioned scatter pins can be charming. What’s especially wonderful about brooches is how they can be used to draw the eye just about anywhere on a garment.
Caroline: I think brooches are terribly versatile; there’s so many places where they can be worn to complement any outfit.
Cynthia: Worn at the décolletage of the dress, as seen on Megan Mullally at the 2006 Emmy Awards, is a classic example, of course. At the awards shows, brooches have been the highlight of many an ensemble… from Cate Blanchett’s selection worn near her face in traditional style at the 2005 Academy Awards, to brooches accenting the low back of a gown.
Caroline: It would be hard to sit with that style, at the low back!
Cynthia: I suppose it depends upon just how low the dress goes! At the curve of the waist or higher in back, I think it’s a very wearable look.
Caroline: Brooches pinned at the waist in front are another popular look.
Cynthia: They are ideal for bringing attention to the waist. They can work not only at the natural waist, but also on high-waisted and empire-style garments as well as dropped-waist dresses. And I’ve also seen them used functionally to fasten cardigan sweaters, essentially substituting for a button but with lots of style. In fact, brooches can adorn quite a range of accessories. More on that to come!
While brooches may not be the first item your customers ask for when they walk through the door, they are a versatile piece of jewelry that should be a part of most jewelry wardrobes. Consider offering and promoting them in your store as a staple item.
Consider stocking a few additional brooches; perhaps showcase them in a display with some celebrity photos (like the ones above) to garner more attention. Perhaps your staff would enjoy showing off a few in various locations on their clothing, as outlined above!Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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