My personal style often balances on the edge of being over-accessorized. I love scarves, watches, handbags, and jewelry in general – and I’m not afraid to use it 🙂 ! I started to wear earrings when I cut off my hair ten years ago, and I occasionally wear necklaces, bracelets and rings, but brooches are my biggest love. During the winter I pin them on my coats and jackets, and during the summer they end up everywhere – on my T-shirts, dresses and bags – even shoes if it’s possible!
Every brooch I own has its own story – I don’t buy them because they are trendy. They have to inspire me, and add that extra touch of my own interests and style to the whole outfit I’m wearing.
My profession doesn’t allow me too much color or personal style during the working hours, but a nice little brooch can make a lot of difference on my plain white uniform.
Stockings by Calzedonia, leather ankle boots bought at Transport footwear
Brooch by Croatian brand Micica
Just a small part of my badge collection 🙂
Jacket and vest by Zara Kids
Printed handbag by Monika Design
Skirt by Desigual, bought on E-bay
Royal blue chiffon shirt bought on E-bay
First brooches became known over 5000 years ago. Brooch had a different design then, and a different name – fibula. It was a round or oval metal object with two holes through which passed a thick pin.
Examples of fibula
The peasants wore simple metal brooches and pins, but rich and noble persons could afford gems – diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds on brooches of gold and silver.
Gold and precious stone brooches
The earliest and most important influence on the development of the brooch came from the Byzantines. Their oriental taste for color produced many brightly enameled brooches.
Byzantine enameled brooches
Byzantine inspired collection by Dolce and Gabbana, Fall 2013
In medieval ages brooch did not undergo any changes, but did have more complex images: scenes of spiritual and religious content, animalistic images, as well as inscriptions, emblems and mottos.
Medieval age brooches
The early Renaissance brooches were almost gone out of use – due to a radical change in fashion, they were not needed. But in the XVII century they were back – this time only as a decoration.
XVII century brooches
Bows, flowers, twigs, butterflies, and even fountains, entirely in the deposits of precious stones, were a necessary part of the rich dressed fashionistas. There were specially designed hair brooches, brooches for skirts, brooches for corsages, brooches for sleeves.
Butterfly brooch – popular 18th century motif
In the XIX century brooches played an important role in court – velvet brooches fastened around debutantes necks at balls were almost the only acceptable jewelry for the young girls. When Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died, she ordered a special “funeral” brooch in black stone, in which had been hidden a hair curl of the late Prince. After that, for some time, were popular with noble widows.
On the border of XIX-XX centuries, jewelry and fashion style captured the art nouveau. This style combined natural motifs, such as insanely realistic enamel flowers, trees, insects, and on the other side “magical” elements such as fairies.
My favorites – Art nouveau brooches – early 20th century
By 20th century brooch became a symbol, an element of formal and bohemian clothing styles. The modern fashion offers a huge variety of brooches – both in appearance and to the material. Today with the help of brooches we can show our own unique fashion sense, our influences, things we support and like – and give something ”extra” to our everyday outfits!
Brooches in fashion and popular culture:
British model Cara Delavigne
Oscar De La Renta Fall 2012
First lady, Michelle Obama
Blake Lively, Sarah Jessica Parker and Frieda Pinto
Claudia Schiffer and Chloe Sevigny
Carrie Bradshaw made floral brooches a huge fashion trend in the late 90s
Queen Elizabeth II never goes out without some examples of her huge brooch collection
Brooches as wedding bouquet…
…and like hair accessoires
Some pins for the boys… 🙂
The Searchers – Needles and Pins
Big thanks to Miss Stela for pictures and Miss Nina for correcting my English grammar 🙂
Oh yes, the Queen does love her brooches. She tends to wear a particular one each Christmas speech, I think it was given to her by her parents when she was young. I never got into brooches until a couple of years ago and as I don’t wear much jewellery, I only have 3. However, 3 is enough for me otherwise I would have too much. I have a lovely cat brooch from Portobello market (I call it Mr Bojangles), a turquoise and pearl brooch (I swapped something for it) and a cameo brooch I was given as a present (I call it Octavia). I don’t like them too fussy so I’m a bit picky about them but I’ve grown to like them very much. They are nice to put on bags as well
Thank you for great comment Selina! – I think I should dedicate one post only for the Queen, when I was researching for this article I was amazed by her brooches collection and her whole
style. I love the name for your cat brooch, Mr Bojangles, it’s great 🙂 !
Great article and FAB outfit! Zara kids? I have a friend who also wears Zara kids clothes (she’s very petite), I always end up craving what she’s wearing!
I also own a small collection of brooches, and like you, each one of them has a special meaning or is connected to something important in my life.
Tany et La Mode
Couture et Tricot
Thank you Teresa 🙂 ! I adore Zara Kids, and when I go to my local Zara store I almost always skip entire grown up section and end up on kids department – I can’t do that for pants and skirts, my hips don’t allow it :), but I always find jackets and shirts in my size – advantages of being small chested :))
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