If you’ve ever snuck into your grandmother’s jewelry chest or played dress up with your mom’s accessories, you’ve likely worn a brooch or two. Brooches
are one of the oldest accessories to date. What makes them so unique is that they aren’t exactly jewelry, rather an ornament pinned to an outfit.
Are brooches a thing of the past? Not quite. They’ve ebbed and flowed through the generations but they’re still a hot commodity! It's common to see members of the royal family and celebrities wearing brooches.
Prominent women from Michele Obama to Duchess Kate Middleton are still rocking them. Intrigued? Rightfully so. Brooches are one of the most unique, time-honored accessories. Ready to pin one on your lapel? Here’s everything you need to know to choose the perfect brooch.
What Exactly is a Brooch?
So, what are brooches and how are they styled best? A brooch is an accessory that attaches to your outfit. They are especially lovely for accenting an understated outfit. Picture a sleek white turtleneck. A necklace might suffice, but some people aren't the biggest fans of necklaces against clothing. While you could string a necklace or rock statement earrings, both might overwhelm the simplicity of this aesthetic.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize! Enter: the brooch. Some outfits limit your jewelry choices, but you still want to add a pop of bling to your look. This is where brooches shine. A brooch adds a level of chic sophistication to your style. There’s a reason the Queen of England herself is always spotted with a dazzling brooch.
Do you have to be royalty to rock a brooch? On the contrary! They’re a wonderful option for people who don’t like the look or feel of jewelry against their skin. So you’ve decided you love brooches and want to incorporate them into your chest of treasures. Excellent. Now how to go about styling a brooch?
Buying a Brooch 101: When Should You Wear a Brooch?
Stuck on ways to style your brooch? Wondering when is the best time to wear a brooch? Frankly, you can wear one whenever and wherever you like! There are no cemented rules for wearing a brooch. That said, we do have some style tips for you!
Where would you most like to wear your brooch? Do you have a fundraising luncheon coming up? Dinner with your girlfriends? Date night?
All the events above are perfectly suitable for wearing a brooch. While they do tend to fall in line with more “special occasion” accessories, you can also play around with dressing them up and down.
For example, the same brooch could easily adorn an elegant evening gown and a black blazer for a work meeting. But with so many brooch styles, how will you choose the right one?
For starters, it helps to know about the most popular styles of brooches! Have an antique brooch that’s a family relic? That’s a great start to introduce this accessory to your wardrobe. Looking for something a bit more modern? You’re in luck, there’s plenty of chic styles to choose from. Let’s have a look.
Popular Brooch Styles
Think brooches are only suited for elderly women at church? Think again because brooches are back and they’ve taken on a new life. Brooch styles span glittering rhinestones to designer motifs, animals and everyday objects.
Let’s explore some of the most popular styles of brooches, both modern and antique.
The Aigrette Brooch
As trends change, so too, do the ways we style them. For example, brooches are traditionally worn on a blouse or lapel, right? Well, the aigrette brooch is worn in a rather unusual (but stylish to boot) place: your hair! This adds a pop of sparkle to a formal hairstyle or spices up a simple hairdo.
The Animal Brooch
While you might be inclined to think an animal brooch is made from an actual animal, it’s quite the opposite. Are you buzzing about bees? Maybe you love colorful hummingbirds? Whatever your favorite animal is, there’s a brooch out there for you
! From owls and frogs to horses and insects, these brooches are perfect for you animal-lovers out there.
The Cameo Brooch
Cameo brooches are not only a beautiful accessory but a work of art. They look like miniature sculptures because they have impressions of people and scenes etched right into the face of the brooch. This style was standard in the 1700's, and now is a one-of-a-kind relic of the Romantic Era.
The En Tremblant Brooch
This style is an absolute must for those who love all things floral. Dripping with glitter, these are named after the trembling effect they evoke when they move with the body. The En Tremblant brooch is a glittering accessory made to catch light and dazzle with radiant sparkle. Who can resist that?
The Fur/Dress Clip
This is another tricky name. The fur or dress clip is simple a brooch meant to be clipped to your fur coat, shawl, or dress. As you can gather from the name, fur clips are tokens of the WWI era when women commonly wore fur frocks. A fur clip is simply another name for a vintage brooch.
The Statement Brooch
Ready to make a bold statement? Then it’s time to pin on a statement brooch! As you can guess, these are typically bold and dramatic. If you are looking to make a statement and stand out from the crowd, this is the accessory to do that. But statement brooches aren’t exclusively loud or flashy. You can make a bold statement by wearing a brooch that symbolizes a prevalent political or social issue.
Brooches Throughout History
Is the brooch the most prominent accessory in history? A crash course in art history reveals that brooches are deeply threaded and coded throughout the centuries. Brooches date back to the Bronze Age when they were used by Roman men and women to fasten their tunics together. Throughout history, brooches have transitioned from functional ornaments to decadent accessories to political statement pieces. Each era revealed its unique variation of the brooch, which means that as a buyer, there are no limits to the styles of brooches you can buy
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