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The Brooch: 8 Ways to Wear + Brief History

Upon first glance, brooches are a thing of the pastpretty ornaments without much modern purpose, to the point where you can find an excess of them at thrift stores and consignment shops.


Past generations had their own collections of broochesenough for every occasion. Like flowers or gemstones, there's even a language or "code" behind brooches.


I'm going to talk briefly about where the brooch originated and how it became such a popularalbeit, datedstaple accessory. In this blog, I’m also going to show you how to dust them off and pin them on your ensembles for 8 fresh and inventive looks.


The History of the Brooch

In the beginning, brooches were actually highly functional. They were used to pin winter garments together for warmth, like cloaks or shawls.


Some historians point to the British royal family when it comes to what we now consider the mass popularity of the brooch. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth II have been seen throughout more recent decades adorned in the glittering pins, with speculation surrounding their symbolism.


While, yes, the Queen is stunnin' and has been around for a minute, the brooch itself is considered one of the oldest types of jewelry, dating back to the Bronze Age. That was the one where humans graduated beyond images to written words and beyond copper to bronze; we learned how to make things out of metal, like tools and weapons and brooches. This was roughly 3300 B.C. to 1200 B.C., according to History.com.


These Bronze Age brooches weren't necessarily the fancy, ornate pieces we're used to seeing today; rather, they were just simple fastening pins, not wholly unlike today's safety pin. Sometimes these are called fibula.


Beyond the Bronze Age, the brooch is sometimes associated with specific cultures and practices.


In the Byzantine Era, brooches started to resemble the stylized and gem-adorned pins we're familiar with today.


8 Inventive Ways to Wear Brooches


1. On a purse or bag - "The Traveller Look"

2. At the collar - "The Smart Look"

3. On a shawl - "The Traditional Look"

4. On a belt - "The Power Look"

5. On a hat - "The Adorned Outdoor Look"

6. On a scarf - "The Cozy and Eclectic Look"

7. As a necklace on a chain - "The Versatile Look"

8. On a cuff - "The Functional Aesthetic Look"

Do you have ideas for other ways to wear brooches? I want to hear about it! Drop me a line at alinawalentowicz@gmail.com.

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©2020 by Alina Walentowicz