A bodice brooch is a large jeweled decoration which is usually centered on the bodice of a woman’s dress. Early bodice ornaments were sewn directly onto the fabric, often with matching shoulder pieces. As pinstems and clasp mechanisms became more refined, these ornaments morphed into brooches and pins. Overall, bodice brooch design tended to follow the fashion of the day with flowers, ribbons, bows, knots, snakes, disks, gem-encrusted swirls and the like. The size remained relatively large until dress design changed post-World War I, de-emphasizing the bodice and using more diaphanous fabrics that would not support such heavy jewels. Brooches continue to be worn but the placement is random, generally influenced by the design of the garment on which it is worn.
Princess Anne Henriette of England, Duchess of Orléans Wearing a Bodice Brooch.