Once More Into The Brooch, Dear Friends... - une femme d'un certain âge

Once More Into The Brooch, Dear Friends…

New favorite brooch

Let’s dive back into brooches, shall we? In the first installment, I featured some gorgeous vintage pieces from Beladora II, and spoke of grouping smaller pieces for maximum effect. Today, it’s all about the big, the bold, the costume.

I’d ordered the Natasha Couture brooch above sight-unseen during the Nordstrom Pre-Season sale, and am very glad I did, as it sold out rather quickly. I’ve worn this with both dressy and casual ensembles, and it always gets compliments. (The color is less brown than it appears in the flash, more hematite.)

Some of my jewelry-loving friends and I have had to agree to disagree about costume pieces. I love a splashy piece like the one above, that doesn’t pretend to be anything but Faux, Baby. But don’t settle for just another mass-produced, Chanel-inspired Maltese cross. Look for unique pieces with a bit of personality.

Dragonflies are a fun choice….

Alexis Bittar
Jeweled Dragonfly. This one has a very 1920’s look to me.

And who doesn’t love something vaguely and weirdly floral?

Everyday objects are an unexpected choice for jewelry…

As is something more extraterrestrial…

And you can’t go wrong with pure, unabashed sparkle…

Etsy contains multitudes, but it’s the Bakelite that draws my interest….

Bakelite, Tropical Theme
This one is made from vintage Mah Johngg tiles!

And then there are those very original pieces that defy categorization…

Ermine brooch from 2ETN

Do you love bold brooches? Any favorite sources or themes?

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  1. November 7, 2012 / 11:27 am

    I’ve never worn one but I do like them, you’ve found such a mix, there is one for every personality here.

  2. November 7, 2012 / 1:19 pm

    I just started re-wearing some of mine, so this post is timely. I adore your dragon (reminds me of something WendyB would do) and I also like Bakelite pieces like the one you’ve shown.

  3. November 7, 2012 / 1:30 pm

    I love the bakelite brooches. I don’t often wear brooches, but do have a few (vintage) that I enjoy from time to time. I prefer them on very simple solid color dresses. (In fact, I think I look best in very simple styles of clothing.) I have one brooch that was designed/put together from vintage pieces.

    I understand that many people prefer wearing only “real” jewelry, not costume. I have a friend who owns not a piece of costume jewelry. I do enjoy wearing some costume jewelry.

  4. November 7, 2012 / 1:39 pm

    I have found beautiful pieces in vintage shops. I love items from the 20’s. Two pieces in particular that I have were actually men’s tie clasps, one a large anchor (I cannot imagine the size of the man that wore it!!) and the other an emerald and diamond horseshoe which I love.

  5. November 7, 2012 / 1:44 pm

    It’s not that I mind costume (I wear it, too), it’s the *value* for money I question. The De La Fressange brooch is almost $350, and how often would I wear it? For that money I’d buy a silver and turquoise pin or “real” Zara Scoville keshi pearls. The Rykiel is marked own to $91 which is far closer to what it’s worth than the $250 MSRP.

    Bakelite and Bittar would please me far more than the acrylic Topshop piece, so I’d save for the bakelite, more than five times more satisfying!

    When buying real, most women think of value per wear and yet can drop $200 on a paste brooch without subjecting it to that analysis. The deciding factor should be value plus, of course, pulse-quickening love, and of course one can make an error buying real, too. Your dragon is delightful!

  6. November 7, 2012 / 3:17 pm

    I used to wear one of my grandmother’s stickpins and the other grandmother’s watch brooch… um… in the late 80s! (Maybe I could find one of my mother’s old brooches in a drawer somewhere. They’re cool!)

    Love love love the dragonflies!

  7. November 7, 2012 / 3:23 pm

    Love your dragon! I have a small collection of silvertone giraffe brooches, but I never wear them. I’m almost always wearing a knit top, and don’t want to pierce the fabric. I love to look at crystal jewellery, though. So sparkly!

  8. Eva
    November 7, 2012 / 3:33 pm

    I am wearing a green Wedgwood oval brooch even as I type. I wear a suit every day: 9 times out of 10 with a brooch on – it has become a kind of signature. I lost count at over 200 last time I tried. Not including the Christmas collection in separate boxes.

  9. November 7, 2012 / 3:44 pm

    I have a few dragonflies but I really lean toward crowns and tiaras. My grandmother started me on them and I’m always on the watch for them. Sparkles are good by me!

  10. November 7, 2012 / 4:04 pm

    I love brooches. They’re a great way to draw the eye to wear I’d like it to rest, i.e., away from The Balcony and towards my face.

    Your dragon is TDF and the Alex Bittar dragonfly is exquisite.

  11. Anonymous
    November 7, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    I’ve been incredibly fortunate to inherit both of my grandmothers jewellery and a lot of my great aunt’s, as well, all of which included a lot of costume jewellery brooches. I love them but I’ve struggled over the years to try to wear them without looking too “old lady”. I’ve decided to wear them anyway and to hell with what anyone else thinks. The “old lady” is usually tempered by jeans, anyway!

  12. November 7, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    I adore brooches and your post has spurred me to start wearing some of mine again. I have all kinds – mostly sterling silver and stone or costume jewelry, no fine jewelry – including a collection of dragonfly brooches and a collection of William Spear enamel pins – they are really fun. You’ve inspired me to peruse my collection to see which ones might work together as groups. A co-worker teased me not too long ago about wearing brooches – he said no young women wear them, only older ones! I said I don’t care – love my pins and brooches!

  13. coffeeaddict
    November 7, 2012 / 11:40 am

    I’m in love with brooches and pins and out of the wide selection you’ve included in today’s post I’m most drawn to the Miss Bibi mirror brooch, just the right balance between sleek and whimsical.

  14. tammy Silverstyle
    November 7, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    Yes I am obsessed! Not only with brooch’s but with vintage jewelry in general. I opened a tiny Etsy shop a couple of weeks ago and am getting ready to add some vintage glam. I don’t know if I’ll ever sell anything but it’s giving me something to do.

  15. Kathy Leeds
    November 7, 2012 / 2:53 pm

    I’ve never worn a brooch, and probably never will. I do love your dragon though, fierce!

  16. November 7, 2012 / 11:53 pm

    I love the dragon and the dragonflies – I have a dragon and two dragonflies – thank you for reminding me I need to get them out more often!

  17. Sheila
    November 7, 2012 / 3:56 pm

    I have a bunch of vintage brooches that I’ve collected from my grandmothers and mom, plus ones that I’ve thrifted. I love the sparkle!

  18. Anonymous
    November 7, 2012 / 11:56 pm

    I adore my collection of vintage brooches mixed with some good quality contemporary ones. With the exception of earrings, I often prefer well made costume jewelry because a lot of fine jewelry, that I can afford, is too delicate for me. Costume can be a good investment if it’s well made and not of the mass produced variety…just check out the prices for vintage on Etsy or Ebay!

  19. Anonymous
    November 8, 2012 / 1:18 am

    Love your dragon! I’ve been waiting for your second brooch post. I don’t wear them a lot any more, because I don’t work at an office and therefore my wardrobe is pretty casual…..don’t need a brooch with sweatpants! That said, when I go out to lunch or dinner or dress up a bit for some other occasion, I love to wear a brooch. I’ve mentioned before that I have a collection of about 20 vintage brooches inherited from my mom & granny. They are all costume, and tend to be sparkly (which is great). After your last post, I dug into the stash and found that two of mine have the loop on the back for converting them to necklaces…I’d never noticed that before. I also have a pair of rhinestone dress clips (I think that’s what they’re called) that I need to figure out how to wear.

    My favorites, I think, are a butterfly with multicolored stones, probably at least 70 years old, and a splashy flower pin with red glass stones for the flower, and crystal stems. I also have two Christmas pins bought at Talbots some years ago, which are adorable Christmas boxes, one green and one red, with crystal bows. Oh, and probably my most favorite, a marcasite monogram brooch with my granny’s initials.

    Any advice on vintage brooches missing stones, btw? I am missing marcasite and rhinestones, both. Still wearable, but I’d like to fix them up a bit.

    —Jill Ann

  20. Anonymous
    November 8, 2012 / 1:33 am

    Hi, it’s donna from youtube, this is a beautiful blog and your pins are absolutely gorgeous. you are doing a great job here, thank you for taking the time to make a gorgeous blog.

  21. November 8, 2012 / 1:45 am

    That’s a stunning brooch!
    I love Alexis Bittar’s creations too, they look very pearly even though they aren’t.

  22. November 8, 2012 / 1:51 am

    I do love brooches! Especially now that it’s coat weather again, I’ll have to get my lapels sparkling with some favourites. I’d happyily wear many of the ones you’ve featured.

  23. nina
    November 7, 2012 / 8:12 pm

    Love them all!!! Good taste!!


  24. November 8, 2012 / 4:48 am

    Note to self: wear more brooches!! I love that candlestick one. How unusual. And bling, bling, bling, and more bling, you can never go wrong. Your brooch in the first photo is gorgeous.

  25. Adrienne Taylor Shubin
    November 7, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    I’m not much of a brooch wearer, but some of these brooches might convert me. I love yours and the vanity mirror is so unique. What a conversation starter that would be!

  26. Anonymous
    November 8, 2012 / 6:46 am

    I was thinking about the little silver vase Poirot (David Suchet)always wears as a brooch on his lapel,the one he got from Virginie Mesnard in the Poirot episode “The Chocolate Box”. The flowers in the vase brooch change colour from time to time. I always notice his brooch!

    wendy from white rock

  27. November 8, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Admiring your little Shakespeare allusion–very witty.

    • November 9, 2012 / 4:10 am

      Frugal, I was wondering if anyone would pick that up… 😉

  28. November 8, 2012 / 2:23 pm

    What a wonderful group of images, I don’t think there is a one I didn’t like. This shouldn’t be a surprise I guess, there is a bit of a vintage brooch collection (cough-cough) stashed away here at the Prepatorium, with pieces lovingly pulled out for certain events and occasions. 🙂

    I am really drawn to the spaceship and the dragon fly, but I would happily pin on *any* of those you have shared!

  29. November 8, 2012 / 4:41 pm

    I too love interesting-to-me costume jewelry and many of the pieces you’ve featured appeal greatly! Your own choice is wonderful and I’d be shocked if it *didn’t* earn real-life compliments.

    [Though I have to admit the thumbnail in my Reader made it seem as if the brooch might be near a backside pocket and I thought, “wow, THAT’S rather daring of her!”]

  30. Marla
    November 8, 2012 / 10:31 am

    Those brooches are beautiful. My mother-in-law left me several amazing ones that I never wear. Seeing this post makes me want to take them out of my jewelry box and put them on.

  31. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell
    November 8, 2012 / 9:08 pm

    I was just looking at some Natasha pieces yesterday. There was one necklace that I might have bought if I could’ve found someone to wait on me. I do love sparkly rhinestones.
    One of my favorite pieces is orange and green stones that also can be worn as a pendant.

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