Style: Looks that wouldn’t be the same without a brooch

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You know when you get dressed up for an event and need something extra? Or should we say, do you remember when you would get dressed up for an event?

You may have a favourite black dress that needs an injection of glam for a cocktail function. Or you’re off to an intimate dinner at a special restaurant and you can’t go past your cosy elegant knit but it feels lacklustre?

Then dig out that brooch you’ve had in a drawer for years! Do not relegate brooches to the old-fashioned realms of your great aunt – they’re a beautiful and underrated accessory that we would love to see more often.

See how these women style their gorgeous brooches in different ways – we hope they inspire you to reinvigorate the love for brooches!

Keep it traditional. An intricately detailed, metal brooch worn on the left jacket lapel will forever be chic. Whether you have a favourite pin that becomes your signature style, or you keep your outfit mostly unchanged but rotate your brooch, it’s these little bits of bling that give you something to play with when styling up. And we believe styling should always be enjoyable.

Fabric. If you’re looking for something a little different to traditional brooches, then maybe a fabric style is right for you. They’re a good option for daywear and look beautiful on women with that artsy vibe and are often paired with fabulous specs.

Off the shoulder pin. Long rectangular-shaped pins look absolutely stunning worn skimming the edge of an off-the-shoulder top or dress. It’s the perfect accent to the bare-skin look and solves the dilemma about whether or not to wear a necklace – it’s a definite no! Just add some understated earrings to complete this supremely elegant outfit.

Quirky. Cats, owls, snakes or cute button pins – have a little fun with your brooches! If you’re making an addition, it may as well be something that you love or a playful piece that represents your personality. Really the only rule with a brooch is that it speaks to you somehow, it’s a bit like a personal brand badge. And like most jewellery, that can be very different things for different people.

Placement. Already loving your special pins but looking for new ways to wear them? Try out these little twists. Place your brooch smack bang in the centre of your collared blouse for a quirky look or flip it and wear it at the back of your collar. This looks best with keyhole style tops, on short-haired women or with hair worn up. What a statement.

Clustered. Once you’re feeling confident and have a collection pulled together, wear them all at once. If you keep some sort of connection between the brooches – for example, all metals – then it’s bound to look fab. But don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing them up if you’re feeling comfortable. Just remember not to pin them in perfect lines, all symmetrically – you want a cool, carefree haphazard set of pins.

Now, picture each of these outfits without the brooches? Just doesn’t have the same effect. So go on, dust off your pins and wear them proudly, near your heart or mix it up. Create your individual look.

Do you have some brooches that you’d forgotten about? Do these suggestions inspire you to get them out – or buy new or pre-loved ones?

This article first appeared on

Rebecca O’Hearn has had a long career as a fashion and beauty editor at Yours, Woman’s Day and FHM magazines and has styled some of Australia’s most famous faces. Her mission now is to help women of all ages feel confident that their wardrobe and beauty choices are the best they can be. Her website is packed with fashion, beauty and styling tips.

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