Brooches are back and it’s difficult not to get excited about it! Contrary to common belief, brooches are far from old-fashioned – they are a stylish accessory whose versatility positively trumps that of any other form of jewelry. Naturally, luxury fashion brands have not failed to explore the endless stylish possibilities of how to wear a brooch and in fact, over the last few seasons, runway fashion shows have inspired many to dust off their vintage broaches and start pinning them on.
Being an intrinsically chic accessory, wearing a brooch instantly makes the wearer feel more put-together. It adds class, simple elegance and personality to any outfit whilst functionally clinching material together for added security. With brooches having officially made their fashionable comeback, we’re sharing some tips on how to make good use of your brooch collection. Different ways to jazz up your outfit, where to position your brooch and more, in this article all about how to wear brooches the modern way.
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What is a Brooch?
Most simplistically put, a brooch is an ornament which is pinned to items of clothing for decorative purposes. Yet, the brooch has a very long history dating back to the Bronze Age and originally, its purpose was purely functional: that of fastening pieces of fabric together. Whilst the first brooches were made out of thorns, sticks and flint, during the Middle Ages brooches were slowly transformed into ornamental objects and, through the decades, this decorative aspect has endured.
In the 21st century, brooches can be found in a variety of designs, made out of diverse materials and worn in a myriad of new ways. Vintage brooches – like vintage clothing – are still sold as a luxury commodity and new designs are consistently released. Its popularity keeps resurfacing due to its deep rooted versatility, an aspect which is about to be explored further in this simple guide on the best modern ways to style a brooch.
How to Wear a Brooch
Brooches are undeniably one of the most versatile of fashion accessories. Whilst most jewellery can only be worn in one way – with bracelets clasping around the wrist and necklaces dangling from the neck – brooches can be placed anywhere on the person wearing them, and be both decorative and functional.
1. Pair it With a Sweater
During the cold autumn and winter months, cosy sweaters are a staple of any complete autumn capsule wardrobe. With sweaters being such a popular item of clothing, an easy way to incorporate brooches into one’s day-to-day look is to simply pin it on a basic sweater. Whilst being careful not to gather too much material, or risk damaging the fabric, placing a beautiful brooch just beneath the collar bone will add elegance and character to any comfortable sweater. Pairing a decorative brooch with a cosy sweater is the perfect way to blend comfort with style.
**Editor’s Tip: whilst it may be tempting to pin several brooches to plain sweaters, do make sure that the weight of the brooch doesn’t pull down on the fabric and cause it to stretch or lose shape.**
2. Pin it On a Blazer or Coat Lapel
Whilst lighter brooches pair perfectly with delicate sweaters, heavier brooches can safely be pinned to blazers and coats which are typically made out of thicker and more durable material. Wearing a broach on a coat or blazer’s lapel is not only easy to position but also produces maximum, decorative effect. Just by pinning on a brooch, a plain blazer or simple coat is quickly transformed into a stunning item adorned with character and sophisticated beauty.
**Editor’s Tip: there are no rules as to how many brooches should be worn! We personally love styling two brooches together on lapels, particularly if they happen to be one of the famous Camélia Chanel floral brooches paired with a classic CC logo brooch.
3. Place it on Your Collar
Whether wearing a plain white shirt or a stylish denim jacket, securing the collar with an elegant brooch makes an ensemble look chic with just one simple addition. A delicate looking brooch can soften the appearance of a stiff-collared shirt, whilst a larger statement brooch effectively dresses up any basic shirt. Whichever the style one is going for, a brooch is a quick-fix solution that infuses the wearer with a stylish flair.
4. Enhance the Neckline
Even when not fastened to a shirt collar or a lapel, brooches can adorn necklines with striking glamour. Fasten one arresting brooch to the heart of a V-neck or line multiple brooches around the neckline, and a uniquely personal fashion statement is instantly created. Experimenting with brooches allows the wearer to get creative and add sparkle to an otherwise plain top or little black dress that needs jazzing up. Nobody can resist mixing some artistic fun with a healthy dose of good fashion style.
5. Embellish that Waistline
Naturally, brooches don’t have to be fastened near the neckline. Pinning a brooch to the waistline can equally dress up a plain outfit and infuse it with personality. Placing a brooch strategically on the waistline accentuates and flatters the silhouette – effectively taking the place of a traditional belt – whilst adding dramatic flair to an otherwise simple dress.
6. Pin it to Sleeve Cuffs
Depending on the outfit, and the brooch itself, it might make sense to wear one (or two) on the cuffs of a shirt or coat. After all, it’s never a bad idea to add a little sparkle into the mix to completely shake up a look. Pin matching smaller brooches to shirt cuffs to appear as cufflinks, or pin a larger more decorative brooch to the cuff of your favourite winter teddy coat. Either way, using a brooch to style the sleeves of an outfit will help to make an eye-catching, fashion statement that will draw the right kind of attention.
7. Style that Scarf
Scarfs are undoubtedly a fashion must-have, especially during the colder autumn and winter months. Securing the ends of your cosy blanket scarf – or even a traditional scarf – with a brooch might be the simplest way to style it! Not only does it help to hold the scarf in place, but a striking brooch adds sophistication to the entire look. Without needing to know any fancy knots or elaborate twists, pinning a brooch to one side or centrally – depending on personal preference – will keep the scarf reassuringly snug around the neck and give the outfit some extra glitz.
8. Decorate a Bag
A basic, undecorated bag can easily be transformed into a striking accessory simply by pinning a brooch directly on the bag or on its strap. In fact, pinning a brooch on to a bag provides a smart way to repurpose one bag for multiple occasions and save some precious closet space.
9. Brighten Up a Hat
For those who just love wearing a cosy knitted hat or for anyone that cannot resist the sophistication of more formal hats, this tip will help them effortlessly elevate their hat styling techniques. Adding a brooch can brighten up any hat and adds that personal touch to one’s over-all look. Whether choosing a brooch which is delicately jewelled or one which is more playful in its design, any brooch can be used to make that hat your own, just find a good position and push the pin through the material.
10. Wear it in Your Hair
Pin it on a headband, pass a ribbon through it or secure it with a bobby pin – regardless of what method is chosen, a brooch can make the perfect hair accessory and create so many different looks! This is definitely a great tip for weddings and more formal occasions, when adding a little sparkling elegance to your up-style is just what the occasion calls for.
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