Whether you call them brooches or pins, they are a popular vintage accessory, one in fact that I just love to wear.
When talking about this subject, lets first get the definition of these adorable accessories. Growing up the a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments, was always called a “pin”. However, generally speaking a “pin” is a smaller size “brooch”. Okay now we know a brooch is usually bigger than a pin; and in the US we tend to use the word “pin” more often.
So with semantics out-of-the-way, lets take a look brooches in general. Today’s modern fashion kind of dubs the idea of a brooch something that an old lady (70+) might wear. However, that doesn’t have to be the case, they are a great way to add a statement to an ensemble.
Brooches can be worn on garments, often on the side of a collar or lapel, though there is no one designated location. You could place them at the center collar, on a belt or purse, or even to accent a hat or use as a hair accessory.
I can honestly say that I’m a brooch lover and I’m not alone. There are many vintage fashion bloggers who write about their brooch love. For example Retro Chick (UK) recently wrote an article about some of her favorite brooches, while Vavoom Vintage has been known to show off her collection on Instagram.
As for me, my love of brooches started when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My mother had two brooches (I should probably say pins, because they were rather small), in her jewelry box that I loved to play with. One was an old fashion golden key and the other a tiny gold cuckoo clock.
The key was my favorite and probably what started my obsession with collecting “old-fashioned” keys in the first place. Unfortunately, I liked to play with these brooches, more than wear them. So, sadly both were lost over the years.
As I grew up I didn’t really wear brooches, though it was popular to put tons of “button (pins)” on your jean jacket. These “buttons” as they were called were just round circles that had usually a graphic or text written on it, something quirky or trendy, like “I’m loved” or “It’s all about me”. I still have many of these buttons lying around in a jewelry box, but I wouldn’t say they are exactly the type of brooches I wanted to focus on here.
Moving on, in the late 90’s early 2000’s I happen to get into the style of wearing brooches on the lapel of my suit jackets for work. The popular trend was a flower brooch, ones that looked like you had a giant flower on your jacket. I enjoyed this look so much I tried to get a flower for each suit I had.
One day JcPenny, I think it was , was discounting out some brooches and I bought some more professional and you could say traditional style brooches. These were metal, and featured pearls or jewels of various colors and shapes.
One of my favorite brooches, is a little cat setting on a moon. This particular brooch was given to me for Christmas by my husband, who was only my boyfriend at the time. It was really sweet since he knew I loved anything with moon and stars, and that I wore brooches on my jackets.
So, I’ve had a few brooches here and there, but it was only recently that I really wanted to expand my collection. After reading about how brooches are such a vintage icon, I thought I should really add more to my collection, especially ones that had a vintage look.
As I was reading about vintage brooches, it turns out that fruit brooches were very popular, and I love fruit. Now I had a mission to find, gem-studded vintage fruit brooches. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to find any, but low and behold, I did.
I have now a growing stead collection of vintage (and not so vintage) fruit brooches, that love to wear. Mostly apples and strawberries.
The apples are fun, because being a teacher they always go with my outfits.
Recently I also came across a really neat anchor brooch, which I plan to wear with one of my sailor dresses.
I really like wearing brooches for the holidays, and while this particular haunted house brooch isn’t exactly vintage, I think it’s a lot of fun.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at my brooch collection as much as I did.