Why does no one wear brooches anymore?

I have been wearing this gold-coloured sweetie brooch on my denim jacket. I love the idea of brooches. I love looking at brooches – they are often like both jewellery and art. But for some reason I almost never wear them. There are so many lovely gorgeous brooches available in antique shops, probably because no one buys them them anymore.

I have this antique Bakelite teacher’s brooch that I love to wear on my jacket, though it is rather fragile now.

My mother’s cameo brooch can also be worn as a pendant. In the 1980s I used to wear it as a brooch high on the neck of my buttoned-up blouse but now it would probably feel like I was being strangled.

You can also wear a brooch on a coat, on the pocket of a jacket, on the sleeve of a jumper for a bracelet effect, on the waistband of trousers or a skirt, on a hat, on a canvas bag. And they are easy to find in thrift, antique or consignment shops, and usually cheap. I wonder if they will ever come back again?

My mother used to wear brooches, hat pins, scarf holders, and cardigan clips (to hold the edge of your cardigan together)….

….. but now those have fallen by the wayside. I think they are rather nice, all of them. They are jewellery of a different kind and can add so much to an outfit.

The British royal family usually wear meaningful brooches to events, and they always look nice. It is surprising that they are no longer en vogue. I wonder why that is? And I wonder now with the Queen’s passing, if the rest of the family will take up the brooch torch? I see that the Princess of Wales is wearing brooches, but not on every outfit.




Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

12 thoughts

  1. I’m very fond of brooches – the bigger and chunkier the better (just like me!) The snag is that some are too heavy for some of my lighter tops, so I have acquired some lighter ones. When I wore smarter winter coats, I always wore one on there. And I do put them in fabric bags as well.

    I do like the brooches made from kilt pins/large safety pins with charms on. I keep thinking that they must be easy to make – but of course never get as far as experimenting!

  2. I have a look out for brooches, in charity shops, as they are so different to the jewel that everyone wears. I like it at Christmas to wear them, trees, stars, santa’s and stockings. It somehow does with the season. I believe they came into use to close garments, an early button.

  3. My sister would love this post – she has a huge collection of brooches and wears them on almost every outfit. Many come from charity shops and they are always a winning gift if you give her one for her birthday or Christmas. I, too, wear brooches – almost always one on my winter coat and sometimes one on a blouse, but I wear a lot of bright, patterned clothes so brooches can get lost.

  4. I have sth like that cardigan holder… it was cheap on wish. I also use it on the darker curtain to hold it when I need light in the room🙂. I am happy that I am not the only one alone who like it.

  5.  Janet,As a former elementary teacher I used to wear brooches or pins (as we Yanks call them.I still have a bunch of them. Students used to give them as gifts as well.  I also have used them on the outside of felted bags I usedto make.  Hum… maybe you are a trendsetter and can bring them back with yourvast following.  I think they add a nice touch.  I always love the things that you share and write about.

  6. I love brooches – the bigger and chunkier the better! I have just had a very happy browse on Etsy for some charm ones, and found a lovely fountain pen one which might have fallen into my basket!

  7. I think they were originally called sleeve garters, in the days when they were made of fabric. Think Wild West saloon card dealers! With the advent of the metal variety I reckon they are just armbands or maybe sleeve bands.

  8. I have a new/old pair of ‘Albert Thurston London Spring Arm Bands’ in their original box. My dad did not wear them but he did wear garters to keep his socks up – he always wore a suit or flannels and Harris tweed jacket with a shirt and tie. I recall always wearing a broach in the jacket of my business suit, each jacket had its own broach. I still have the broaches but can’t remember when I stopped wearing one, I thought it could have been when I moved to wearing a necklace.

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