Brooches back from past

Heirlooms can adorn your clothes and hair as vintage accessories
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:34 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

A new trend showing up in stores and on sweaters these days is the brooch. Old or new, silver or gold, these sparkly pin-on jewels can add polish and a bit of femininity to your wardrobe.

Wearing a brooch is all the more special if the piece is a family heirloom. Christina Hegedus, an MU student, says she is very careful when she wears the brooch that once belonged to her great aunt. She does not know how old it is, but suspects that it has been around for at least 100 years. She got the piece when her great aunt passed away, and considers it a nice way to remember her.

Hegedus likes to wear her brooch in her hair when she goes out at night or with a simple sweater.

“It’s different and it makes a statement. It’s really pretty and it means something to me,” she said.

Hegedus recently bought another piece from Blackberry Exchange, 16 S. Ninth St. This brooch, the store estimated, is from the late 1960s to early 1970s.

Brooches do not have to be vintage to sparkle up your outfit. Several chain stores, such as Banana Republic, are making their own versions. Sarah Shaw, an MU student, got a new brooch for Christmas this year from the popular store. She likes to wear it when she goes out in the evenings with a simple white or black tank top and jeans.

Buying vintage jewelry is usually less expensive than buying it new from a store, and Absolute Vintage boasts one of the widest selections of brooches in the area. They have two stores, at 1033 E. Walnut St. and 8 S. Ninth St., and have probably 50 to 100 brooches at any one time, said the owner Jennifer Johnson. The majority of it is costume jewelry, though they do have some sterling silver pieces and almost all of the brooches carry their original stones.

“College girls have just started getting into the pins,” said Johnson about the recent attraction toward the jewelry, “but business women have been wearing them for a long time.”

Although most of Absolute Vintage’s brooches are from the ’40s and ’50s, they have a few older ones from the ’20s and ’30s on hand. The brooches range in price from about $5 to $20.

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