Get that image of an awkward brooch stuck tokenly on Timothée Chalamet as he walked the Oscars red carpet out of your head right now. The misuse of brooches in menswear has left a lot of people totally disenfranchised with this storied, versatile piece of jewelry.
It’s time the brooch was appreciated properly and in more casual ways, reclaiming it from pageantry piece to an everyday item that adds some fun to your looks. Whether it’s an earring attached to a sweater or a smiley pin stuck in a hat, or even your sneakers, jewelry for your clothes is cool.
Below, our resident watch and jewelry expert Malaika Crawford explains why the misunderstood and underloved brooch deserves way more airtime in menswear, using styling examples to back up such claims. Malaika also puts her own grandmother’s antique brooches on proud display — these pins are personal.
“These shoes are by 4hunnid, YG’s clothing label. The design definitely draws inspiration from the Nike Cortez. I thought it would be fun to play with this vintage theme by adding charms and earrings to the sneaker. It reminds me of how I’d customize my backpack or pencil case at school. But this is the grown-up version — featuring Balenciaga and diamonds.”
Malaika Crawford: “These button brooches were given to me by my grandmother. She worked for the late fashion designer Patrick Kelly, who’s had a bit of a resurgence recently. These buttons were his trademark and also a symbol to him of his own grandmother who used to mend his shirts with mismatching buttons as a young boy. I love everything about them; the shape, bright colors, and what they represented for Kelly as a black man working in the fashion industry in Paris in the ’80s.”
“I borrowed a ton of badges from this vintage collector based in London called @therustypin. She’s got the most incredible collection of pins dating mostly from the ’70s and ’80s. Go check her out — she’s telling youth culture history through the pin badge, it’s genius!”
“I wanted to make these precious antiques modern. Brooches are always worn on men in such a cheesy way. I would rather die than put a pin on a blazer lapel.”
“I would call this an abstract explosion of color and humor.”
“I’m obsessed with the idea of pinning and fastening bits of jewelry to any item of clothing your heart so desires.”
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