with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
1925 diamond, onyx, and platinum bar pin, $13,995.00
A pin is a simple way to change the look of the most basic outfit. Pins or brooches are timeless and classic, but not always easy to find; right now, bangle bracelets are all the rage, which makes a really cool pin even more of a find.
That’s not to say, though, that finding a great brooch is impossible — you just have to know where to look. I have a soft spot for vintage pins, both because the craftsmanship on older pieces of jewelery is often far better than what you find today, and because an antique or vintage piece will certainly be one-of-a-kind, at least in my circle of friends. Keep in mind that vintage and estate and antique can mean very different things; vintage and antique are often used interchangeably to refer to pieces manufactured 20 or more years ago (a pin made in the 1980s is thus “vintage”). Vintage can also be used to reference a specific time period (Victorian or Art Deco for example). Pieces that are dramatically older than the 20 year mark (say from the early 1900s) may be referred to as antique rather than vintage. Estate jewelery, on the other hand, is pieces that were previously owned; some estate jewelery may be very old, while other pieces may be recent.
Pricing for vintage pieces depends on several factors: age, materials, and manufacturer. Pieces like the brooch pictured above will be out of reach for most of us, because of the price. The good news, though, is that cool vintage and vintage reproduction pieces are available at all price points.
Vintage and estate pieces available at Ross Simmons.
If you truly want vintage pieces, shop local antiques stores and estate jewelery sales. And don’t forget about your mother and grandmother — all of my vintage jewelery has come from family members. Even if your everyday look is more minimalist modern, consider adding one vintage piece; a big starburst pin really pops on a simple canvas tote bag, and a collection of cute bugs or critters adds a whimsical touch to a basic sheath dress.
Costume bling available at Fashion Jewelery for Everyone, all for UNDER $20.00.
Costume jewelery is everywhere, and unlike rings or earrings, where quality really DOES matter, a pin set with glass or synthetic gemstones is entirely acceptable, even desirable, depending on your look. Look for bright colors and dramatic shapes; costume jewelery will often be bigger and bolder than its gemstone counterparts, which is the perfect foil for a basic jeans-and-tee outfit. Keep your eyes peeled at chain stores like Old Navy and H&M for funky pins, and mix and match them for a look that is edgier than what you would normally find at the mall.
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