Fashion Must-Have: The Vintage Brooch

Some of my favorite items inherited from both my grandmothers’ jewelry collections are incredibly ornate, rhinestone- or jewel-encrusted, and apparently vintage brooches. A brooch is certainly the most versatile of all accessories – capable of adding interest to a basic denim jacket, drawing attention to the shoulder of an elegant cocktail dress, serving to fasten a scarf, embellish an otherwise simple necklace or belt, or even disguise an imperfect updo – and yet it is also the most apparently underappreciated. Maybe it is that brooches remind us too much of our grandmothers, call to mind women of an older age, threaten to date us. But, brooches are, indeed, timeless; a fun fashion fact is that brooches first appeared in the Bronze Age and had utility throughout history. In the Roman Empire fibulae, as they were then termed, served to indicate the wearer’s identity and/or social status. In the early Victorian Age, brooches often incorporated a lock of hair to memorialize a loved one lost. If you’ve yet failed to inherit a piece of family history in the form of a brooch, perhaps one of these gorgeous selections from Etsy will become the perfect, priceless heirloom for your daughter’s daughter.


Christian Dior

A monogram from a leading design house is a classic choice, but these are some of the most covetable and thereby hard-to-come-by of all brooches. Be sure to do your research before purchasing, as all authentic pieces will be signed, and often dated, on the back.

1950s Enamel and Pearl Flower 

1940-50s Enamel Hydrangea 

1960s Enamel Rose

Enamel brooches, especially in a bold color, are perfect for summer. Try piling a few of floral design onto a simple wide-chain necklace to create a one-of-a-kind statement piece.

1930-60s Rhinestone Hummingbird 

1960s Rhinestone Hummingbird

I especially love the idea of a rhinestone-encrusted hummingbird pin fluttering near a romantic, messy bun. If the brooch is small enough, a few well-placed bobby-pins should do; otherwise, fasten it directly to your hair-tie.

1920s Sapphire and Rhinestone Bow

Vintage Style Rhinestone and Pearl Peacock

Vintage Style Rhinestone and Pearl Filigree Cluster

If you’re planning a wedding, consider individually selecting brooches for each member of your bridal party. Bridesmaids can use them to adorn their dress sashes, or even pin them to their sleek satin clutches.

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About Diana @ FashionAsLiterature

Fashion meets Literature M.A.

4 responses to “Fashion Must-Have: The Vintage Brooch”

  1. The Haute Frugalista says :

    So cute!!

  2. styleonthecouch says :

    That last brooch is beautiful. I must go check out my grandmother’s collection next time I am back home!

  3. Olga says :

    they are incredible! thanks for sharing! xxx

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