Brooch the subject

Blogging about life through the loupe of jewelry

Pins are Ideal Accents in Zoom Conference World
Posted April 6, 2020

You can usually tell what Watergate Girl Jill Wine-Banks is thinking before she speaks. The former special prosecutor now legal analyst for MSNBC is always sporting a brooch, up high near her shoulders.

Pinocchio, a witch riding a broomstick, the see/hear/speak no evil monkey trio, humpty dumpty, a duck — her brooches are provocative communicators. Fortunately for us brooch buffs, you can follow what Wine-Banks is wearing on her web site and social media #JillsPins.

“The right symbol at the correct time can add warmth or needed edge to a relationship… injecting an element of humor and spice,” writes former Secretary of State Madeline Albright in her book “Read My Pins”. A mistress of using pins as “gentle implements of stagecraft” in her diplomatic arsenal, she said dignitaries were happier to see a bright, shiny sun on her lapel than a wasp.

As a longtime pin collector and jewelry writer, I’ve been organizing my collection to pull pieces to wear for our new remote lives of video conferencing and socializing. You can’t make the same statement with earrings or necklace that you can with a pin, the perfect accent for above waistline viewing.

Pins are inherently expressive. Nature, in particular provides a bevy of brooch motifs with meaning and personality, including bugs, birds, animals, flowers, and celestial bodies. Albright writes of her use of pins with creatures from snakes and spiders to doves and bluebirds to convey sentiment to world leaders.

If I’m exploding with ideas, I might wear my purple fireworks pin to pitch a project. If I’m really confident, the peacock. When video chatting with family, I tack on a red cardinal in memory of my mom. Zooming with my women’s civics group, a favorite choice is my posse pin silhouetting four women in varying metal tones, one I share in common with Wine-Banks. Lately, I’ve been sporting my 19th Amendment Centennial Vote pin, as getting people to vote is important in all the circles I run.

The most versatile item of jewelry you could own, a brooch can transform any look from ordinary to WOW. While perfect for the lapel, pins can act as decorative buttons on a blouse; attach to a necklace or bracelet; adorn a hat, purse, your hair, and so much more.

Pins are conversation starters, hence the name of my new blog, “Brooch the Subject”, pun intended, with this my inaugural post. I’ll be starting lots of conversations, blogging about life through the loupe of jewelry.