Like it or not, you cannot argue with the versatility of a standard brooch. Used as both a decorative accessory and a functional addition to any garment or outfit, brooches are essentially highly decorative and often intricate pins which can hold garments together and add a touch of a sparkle to even the blandest look.
But with so many alternatives available in the modern market, have brooches lost their splendour or are they a relevant and popular trend in the 21st century?
The History of Brooches
The earliest known brooches come from the Bronze Age, and as such can be a strong indicator of poignant changes in fashion over the years and various time periods – both in the presentation of brooches and the way that they were worn and used as times and fashions changed.
If you’ve read our other supplementary resources, especially those dedicated to the rise and representation of different styles, then you will know a bit about culture in style and how different cultures can influence even the most everyday styles in our high street stores and our closets – and brooches are no different. In fact, while the first brooches were used to hold clothes together, over time the designs became smaller and more delicate, and more decorative in their appearance.
As techniques developed, so did the aesthetics of standard and common brooches all over the world – expressing new metalwork, new materials, and new colors as stones and gems were implemented into the design. And that’s not all. With global exploration and travel came the uncovering of new gems and materials that could be used – increasing the versatility and value of brooches.
As designs developed and changed, some of the most common that have been found from the earlier periods include geometric decoration, intricate patterns, abstract designs from nature, bird motifs and running scrolls.
How to wear a Brooch
Function or fashion?
In today’s world, brooches are no longer considered a necessity when it comes to holding clothes together, thanks to the vast array of more subtle alternatives. However, that’s not to say that individuals can’t choose to add a brooch to their look as a decorative statement and a nod to the brooches of old.
Consider holding a scarf together for a Winter event with a brooch, elevating a simple look and adding a touch of glamor to even the most functional of accessories.
Some other more creative uses include adding brooches as a belt buckle, a shoe decoration, an intricate button on a blazer or jacket, pairing brooches together for a vibrant look, or even using them as a hairpiece. And remember – a brooch doesn’t have to be colorful or covered in expensive stones to add value and a statement to your look; some of the best brooches are those which work with one material but in such a way as to add a subtle but detailed design through engraving and layering.
Brooches: Fashion, Function, or Style?
If you haven’t already considered a brooch as part of your style, brooches can add elegance, style, and individuality to the blandest of outfits – and they make a great accessory to an all-black, formal or even a work outfit.
And the best bit is that brooches are the epitome of functional fashion and style, with a practical use and a vibrant aesthetic.