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Old School Cool: Brooches, Lockets and Charm Bracelets

A confession: I love trends. Trends are a big part of what make fashion appealing; fashion is alive and ever-changing, waiting for you to interact with it and make it your own. And let’s face it: we all like to be ahead of the fashion curve. So it was, quite ironically, while I was searching through photos of the recent runway shows at Paris Fashion Week that I got to thinking about what makes something transform from a trend to a staple. Is it ubiquity? Versatility? Utility? What pieces of jewelry can be considered wardrobe staples? It is in that spirit that I want to bring up three pieces of jewelry that are part of a classic jewelry wardrobe, but may be missing from the jewelry boxes of even the most stylish women.

I talked a bit in a recent post about Madeleine Albright’s storied collection of pins and brooches. Brooches are, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked pieces in a complete jewelry wardrobe. I myself have several, including a few vintage family heirlooms. They are great for adding a bit of style to outfits where only the most classic jewelry is appropriate (to accessorize a suit, for example), but where I think brooches really shine is on outerwear. During a cold Chicago winter, more people will see you in your winter coat than will ever see the outfit that is underneath it – a brooch on your lapel adds a bit of sparkle to get through the cold, dreary winters! I also love using brooches to gather and pin scarves. And if you think all brooches must be traditional and stuffy, think again. I love this modern, architecturally inspired brooch by artist Sue Rosengard.

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