Guide to wearing brooches

A brooch is an ornamental jewelry item intended to be attached to garments. They come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. Brooches make clothes more appealing and cuter.

Origin of brooches

In the Middle Ages, brooches were referred to as fibula. They were first crafted in the Bronze Age (a historical period characterized by the use of bronze) as decorative items used as clothes fasteners. Fast forward to the Iron Age, when metalworking technology advanced dramatically, which became the basis for the making of the fibula. Celtic (also called Celts; they are a combination of Indo-European people) craftsmen decorated fibulae in red enamel and coral inlay as early as 400 BC.  

The period from 600 to 150 BC paved the way for the manufacturing of brooches in Great Britain. The bow and the Celtic brooch, which is also called a penannular brooch (brooch that looks like an incomplete ring), are the most common forms of brooch being made in this period.

Since then, the manufacturing of brooches has evolved and involved different production techniques, such as:

Repousee: Also referred to as repoussage, this is a metalworking method in which malleable metal is formed, hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief.

Filigree: An elaborate metalwork that is made with tiny beads or twisted thread fused to the surface of an object of the same metal and arranged in artistic motifs.

Granulation: A system in which the surface is covered in spherules or granules of valuable metal.

Enameling: A type of metalwork in which firing creates the material powdered glass onto a substrate.

Openwork: Produces ornament by generating holes, piercings, or gaps that go right through a solid material such as metal, wood, stone, pottery, cloth, leather, or ivory.  

Inlay: The most used technique in the past in making brooches. It is done by inserting pieces of contrasting, often colored materials into depressions in a base object to form decoration or pictures that are normally leveled with the background.

Who can wear brooches?

flower brooch clip

Although brooches are made as a lady-like pin, men can also use them as an additional style to their suits or wardrobes. Anyone is welcome to wear them. 

When to use a brooch 

The good news about wearing a brooch is that there are no rules on when to use it. Whether you are attending a wedding, taking a coffee at a café, meeting with friends, or speaking with a client, you can use a brooch. Just choose the right one for the occasion. 

Guide in Wearing Brooches:

For Men

  • Choose a brooch that will perfectly match your personality. Some matching brooches for men include Celtic brooches, antique brooches, vintage brooches, tie hubs, chain brooches, and lapel pins.
  • Pick brooches that have stones sensibly placed in a delicate setting so you can add the right bling without making your clothing look over the top.
  • If you are not a fan of sparkly brooches, then you can find solace in a skinny and practical-shaped brooch with a dash of silver, platinum, or gold.
  • If you are the type that loves sentimental and classical design, then you can choose brooches that are vintage in style or brooches that are mythologically connected.
  • Choose a brooch that will match the color of the outfit you’re wearing or enhance the color of the outfit you are wearing, whether it is a formal suit, a sweater, or a blazer.
  • Place your brooch on the left side of the clothing you are wearing, as they are most visible on that side while shaking the hands with other people.
  • To avoid damage to your clothes, especially when wearing a thin fabric, place a piece of felt behind it and pin through both layers to give the pin stability and firmness.
  • Brooches or pins can also be styled as a pendant.  
  • A thicker jacket, coat, belt, hat, or handbag will match a larger and heavier brooch.

For Women

  • Pin the brooch to your blouse to add a classic look to your fashion. 
  • Match a solid-colored shirt with a simple brooch. For a Western button-down shirt, try wearing a pearl design to soften the look. 
  • When wearing a pastel-colored sheath dress, black dress, or sweater dress, wearing a brooch can add a visual look and unique touch. 
  • You can add character to a jacket or blazer by pinning a brooch to the lapel. Try using a brooch shaped like an animal, flower, or insect if you want to have a playful personality look. 
  • Placing the brooch between the breast and collarbone would be the best placement for women. But you can still experiment with the placement and see where the brooch would look best. 
  • You can emphasize and dress up a stiff collar by putting a brooch on it. You can either place a single brooch on one side of the collar or two identical brooches on either side of the collar for a balanced look. 
  • If you love wearing a scarf, you can secure the end with a brooch. Other places where you can put a brooch are on the headband or ribbon to wear it in your hair.
  • Just like what was mentioned in the men’s category, a brooch can also be styled as a pendant. A flower-shaped brooch would look like a classy pendant.
  • Style your shoes, bags, purse, or hat with colorful or vintage -animal-shaped brooches.
  • Do not gather too much fabric when pinning a brooch to avoid wrinkling your clothes or damaging the fabric.

Final Thoughts

Wearing a brooch makes an outfit more appealing and unique. It gives not only personality to the outfit but to the person as well.