A selection of 7 brooches against a marble background

How To Wear A Brooch: 10 Ingenious Tips You’ll Love


Christine Barbara


This post is all about how to wear a brooch.

Brooches are back and it’s difficult not to get excited about it! We absolutely love brooches and despite what some may think, 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 brooches and start pinning them on. It never fails to give that little extra something to an everyday outfit!

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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A selection of 7 brooches against a marble background

What are Brooches? What is a Brooch Used For?

Most simplistically put, a brooch is an ornament which is pinned to items of clothing for decorative purposes – but it didn’t start out as jewelry. In fact, 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 wood, bone, thorns, and sticks, it was towards the end of the Middle Ages that brooches were slowly transformed into ornamental objects. Through the decades, this decorative aspect has endured, and it wasn’t long until gems, precious metals and precious stones gradually began to be incorporated into their design and wearing brooches evolved into a status symbol, reserved for the more privileged in society.

That was then… fortunately in the 21st century, brooches are pretty accessible to any lover of fashion with an eye for detail! They can be found in a variety of designs, made out of diverse materials and worn in a myriad of new ways and one brooch can inspire a multitude of outfits.

Vintage brooches – like vintage clothing – are still sold as a luxury commodity and new designs are consistently released. Their popularity keeps resurfacing, most likely due to them being such a versatile piece! We’re exploring this aspect further in our simple guide on the best modern ways to style a brooch pin for women.


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How to Wear a Brooch

These 10 ways showing how to style a brooch proves that brooches are undeniably one of the most versatile of fashion accessories.

Whilst most jewelry 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 fall and winter months, cosy sweaters are a staple of any complete capsule wardrobe. With sweaters being such a popular item of clothing, an easy way to incorporate brooches into a 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 a touch of 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 brooch 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 is preferred, 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 months of the year. 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 Purse with a Brooch

A basic, undecorated purse can easily be transformed into a striking accessory simply by pinning a brooch directly on the purse or on its strap.

In fact, pinning a brooch on to a purse provides a smart way to repurpose the same purse 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 an 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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