No, they're not just for grandmothers or the late Queen Elizabeth II. Brooches may be one of the oldest known forms of jewelry, but don't be fooled – they are still as fashionable as ever. From antique brooches to modern statement pieces, these accessories make a bold statement whenever and wherever you choose to wear them.
If you are new to the world of brooches, this guide is for you. Read on to learn about the different types of brooches, how to wear them, how you can incorporate them into your wardrobe, and when you should accessorize with one (or even two).
What Is a Brooch?
A brooch is a wearable piece of decorative jewelry. Unlike pendants or necklaces, which hang from your neckline, a brooch is usually pinned onto clothing with either a simple bar clasp or a hinged pin. Brooches come in countless shapes, sizes, and colors. Luxury and high-end pieces even feature precious stones and gems, as seen on notable public figures.
Brooches Throughout History
The earliest forms of brooches date back 25,000 years. While these ornamental pieces have been around since ancient times, their desirability peaked during the Victorian era, when elaborate designs featuring precious stones were a well-followed trend. They continued to be a popular accessory through the Edwardian period up until World War I when styles shifted towards simpler designs due to the metal shortages caused by wartime rationing. Since then, brooches have continued to rise in demand, as more people embrace their classic style.
Types of Brooches
When it comes to brooches, there is something for every style and preference.
- Pin Brooch
The most traditional type of brooch, a pin-style brooch was originally intended to adorn clothing. As its name suggests, this accessory includes a metal pin that you can insert into fabrics. Each piece has a decorative element attached to the brooch's front. They come in a variety of designs and materials, including metals, plastics, and even wood.
- Pendant Brooch
Pendant brooches have been well-loved since the Georgian period. They are typically round with dangling gemstones of various shapes and sizes. Most of these brooches have more movement than other styles, which makes them a must-have accessory when attending events with dance floors!
- Floral Brooch
Floral brooches feature bouquets of beautiful, intricate "flower arrangements." They usually have metal stems with clips or pins that you can insert into fabric, as well as decorative elements such as gemstones on the petals, leaves, or stems. Floral or bouquet brooches are available in many different designs and materials, but all share one common goal: to create an arrangement of stunning "flowers" you can wear for a lifetime. As a gift, these brooches are perfect for someone who loves adding a splash of elegance and sophistication to their look.
- Cluster Brooch
Cluster brooches consist of multiple stones set closely together into one design. If you want to stand out at an event, wearing one of these sparkling pieces will add a lot of dazzle and shine to your outfit.
- Portrait Brooch
The 18th Century brought about a unique way for people to showcase their beauty – tiny, vibrant portraits painted onto ivory, porcelain, or mother of pearl. The subjects often commissioned these brooches themselves. Immortalizing one's image and likeness, women from bygone eras used these intricate and unique brooches to adorn shawls and their necklines.
- Enamel Brooch
For centuries, people have been using the timeless art of enameling to transform metals into captivating works of art. By combining powdered glass and metal in an intricate process that dates back thousands of years (evidenced by archaeological remains from Ancient Greece), brought to life are showstopping pieces bursting with vibrant, eye-catching designs without relying on gemstones.
Ways to Wear a Brooch
The beauty of a brooch lies in its versatility. Each piece, whether simple or bold, pairs well with almost any ensemble. From casual denim overalls to a gorgeous cocktail dress, there is always room for a brooch. It can also elevate jackets, sweaters, blouses, scarves, hats, and more for women and men alike.
Dare to be different? You can also wear brooches in the following unique ways:
- On the Neckline
Brooches provide a timeless and sophisticated way to glam up an evening look. Whether you choose to draw the eye front and center with one placed at your neckline or add subtle allure by pinning it close to the bottom of a deep, v-shaped backless dress – a brooch guarantees you that heads will be turning. Need inspiration? Feast your eyes on this Vintage Tiffany & Co. 14K yellow gold pearl and diamond leaf brooch. Not only will heads turn when you wear it, but jaws will drop, too.
- Add Some Sparkle and Shine to Your Hairstyle
You can add a touch of timeless elegance to your look at weddings and special occasions with an old-fashioned brooch such as this 18K white gold brooch with diamonds and a gorgeous south sea pearl.
- To secure or add some personality to a necktie
Let your signature style shine through with a conversation-starting brooch on your necktie – an ultimate style statement for men and women. Consider something like this sterling silver and turquoise brooch to show off your unique style or heritage; or this 14K yellow gold American flag brooch to symbolize your patriotism. Pair them with a neutral coat and tie or pantsuit.
Though a brooch is a classic accessory from days gone by, it will always be a fashion trend, as their versatility makes them perfect for any occasion. Whether you choose something simple and tasteful or opt for a bold and daring piece, there is sure to be something on The Relux that will fit your personal sense of style.
You Want It? Go Get It: Buy Brooches Online
Rediscover the timeless style of brooches and add an extra dash of personality to your wardrobe today. Draw inspiration from classic fashion eras or get creative with how you place one: on blazers, hats, dresses, or even bags. An everyday accessory that you can also flaunt during special occasions; express yourself through this versatile piece. Shop pre-loved brooches online now.