Monday, August 16, 2010

Guest Dandy: “Brooch” The Subject

This is the third in a series of posts from guest blogger, Will Eagle.

As Autumn approaches, I ask you to consider the brooch as a dandy accessory. Admittedly the word brooch has distinctly feminine connotations, so perhaps we need a different name altogether to refer to brooches when worn by a man (suggestions in the comments, anyone?), but just like flowers worn in the lapel brooches are an excellent way to add interest and dandy detail to your blazer or jacket. You might be interested to know that brooches were originally a male accessory, used to fasten together your cloak, especially during the early settlement Anglo-Saxon years of the UK, but was co-opted by women over the years and as a result slowly became increasingly ornate.

Take back the brooch and you’ll discover there’s a joy in finding and wearing brooches suitable for a man. The best are often found in vintage and antique markets, one of a kind shows, and of course eBay, so below you will find some potential inspiration as you plan your wardrobe for the new season featuring finds from various markets.

For a more overtly masculine style of brooch try Nordic, Celtic, and Anglo-Saxon style brooches that have a more traditional look like these from Urweg, or for something more edgy try this McQ by Alexander McQueen safety pin.

Another option is to make your own. Find your choice of shiny object that will add some interest and pin it using a safety pin, for example a brass key, a cross, a repurposed cufflink. Co-ordinate your brooch with other elements of your outfit, like a scarf or pocket square, although, avoid an overload with a brooch that’s too showy plus a bold pocket square – it’s best to keep things simple to avoid the Liberace look.

What brooches or pins do you wear with your jackets? Let us know in the comments or tweet @finendandyshop.

Will Eagle is a British Dandy residing in Toronto and for the Autumn he’s looking forward to wearing the gold bumble bee on his moss-green cord jacket. You can follow him on Twitter @willeagle.
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Anonymous said...

I really like the bee brooch! I've been looking for one for the longest now!!! nice post guys.

Patrick Murtha said...

I tend to simply call a male brooch a "lapel pin." There are a great variety of effects possible. The American flag pin became famous after 9/11, and can be suitable for certain occasions if you take the trouble to purchase a really nice one, not some cheap throwaway piece. I have pins from a variety of places I have been associated with and organizations I have belonged to (such as Rotary International). I have several pieces that work equally well as lapel pins or tie tacks, a rhinestone bumblebee among them. Vintage tied flies look great in the lapel buttonhole; this is an idea I got from clothier Marty Mathis of Minneapolis. You can file the barb down slightly if you are worried about pricking the underside of the lapel.

Because I always wear a pocket square in the left breast pocket, and the lapel pin when I wear one is also on the left, I put my boutonnieres in the right lapel for balance. I try to be inventive there as well, occasionally opting for a sprig of greenery or a bunch of tree berries instead of a blossom.

Fashionable guys have so many options they seldom think of! This blog is a great place to discuss them.

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