Retro Chick is taking a well earned holiday, but never fear, she has arranged some fabulous guest bloggers to keep you entertained.

Todays post comes from Mim from Crinoline Robot, a fabulous and intelligent blog about a variety of popular culture things with a vintage twist!


Pinners are winners!

Earrings and necklaces may be lovely, but brooches are a vintage girl’s best friend. It’s possibly because they fell out of favour in the 1990s and never really came back into regular wear, making them instantly an indicator of 80s-or-earlier. They’re also really easy to pick up cheaply. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to buy more brooches, and I’d like to share some fun ways of wearing them with you.

On the lapel

Dead obvious, this. Get your coat, pin brooch to lapel. Job done? Job NOT done! Take into account the colour of all your garments, not just your coat. That brooch can be matched to your shoes, hat and bag, unifying your accessories. If your indoor clothes are a radically different colour to your coat, matching your brooch to your indoor clothes immediately turns them and your coat into a set.

Brooches look best if their sizes match the lapel: big lapels need a big brooch (or cluster of small ones), small lapels need dainty ones.

On your hat

Brooches look fantastic on a the hem of a plain beret or band of another hat. As with lapel brooches, you can pick a colour from something else you’re wearing to bring the parts of your outfit together. You can also use your brooch to secure another trimming like a ribbon band or a bow.

(If you’re anything like me and leave hats all over the place, only put brooches on your hats if you can bear to lose them.)

As fake dress clips

Dress clips seem to be ever harder to find at good prices. If you can get two matching diamante brooches – high street sales are good for pairs – pin them into a square neckline to give the impression of dress clips.

Where on a top?

Of course, you can pin your brooch to your dress or top too. But where? It depends on where you want to draw the eye, and whether you feel part of your figure is too large or small. If you think your shoulders are too narrow, pinning the brooch further out will make them seem wider, while if they’re very broad pinning it close to the throat will bring attention in.

At the throat of a high-necked blouse it will look pretty and slightly prim.

Try it on your hip

You need the right shape of dress for this to work, and it’s really an evening look. It needs to have a shape that draws attention to the hips to start with. A sarong dress or a 1930s or 1940s style with asymmetric panelling at the hip is perfect. Your brooch needs to be a toning colour with your dress, and big and sparkly enough to dazzle without being so heavy it drags down the dress fabric. Also, keep your other jewellery minimal as statement necklaces will fight for attention, as will large earrings.

Go forth and pin…