A great outfit can be taken to another level by adding great accessories. Just a little something extra that adds a touch of whimsy or bling can change a look completely. Perhaps a fabulous bracelet, a unique pair of earrings, or a statement necklace are your thing. While I love ALL of those items, I think my favorite little extra something is adding a vintage brooch to my collar.
I really think my love for brooches was inspired by a piece I remember from my childhood. My Grammy had a large American flag brooch, covered in red, white, and blue rhinestones that she would wear for every patriotic holiday. I remember the way it glistened in the summer sun, watching the Fourth of July Parade. I also remember brooches we could play with in my Nana’s jewelry box, and the cute holiday pins relatives would buy me and my sister from the Avon catalogue. I remember feeling so glamorous in them.
My love for fashion has always been inspired by the 1940’s and 1950’s, which further fueled my appreciation of brooches as a favorite accessory. I owned a sizable collection when they were popular in the early 1990’s, some of which I still have. They are vintage now! I collected a few more in the early 2000’s when they came back into fashion again. Really, the best news about brooches is that they never truly go out of fashion!
The largest part of my collection, and my absolute favorite brooches to wear are holiday inspired. Be they vintage or vintage-inspired, I adore having a kitschy pin to add to my holiday looks. (All. The. Festive. Things.) My favorite vintage brooch in my collection is from the 1960’s, featuring a bagpipe playing Santa. I picked it up at a resale shop in town. It is weird and completely amazing! I find vintage holiday pins in antique shops all the time. If it is old and gawdy, it will be mine!
In the past year, I have found a few shops that are doing amazing kitschy recreations that are worth picking up too. Lipstick and Chrome released an joyous holiday collection this year, of which I bought a few. The store sells Erstwilder and LaliBlue pins which I have fallen in love with. Each of the brands offer blind boxes too, where you can try your luck at a mystery brooch for a fraction of the cost.
But, I don’t necessarily wear brooches only during the holidays. I’ve found beautiful gemstone brooches, music teacher themed pins, and gorgeous autumn leaves that add an extra spark of vintage glamour to an everyday outfit too. Most have been gifts from family members or things I have picked up in vintage shops. I wish that I had a collection that had personal significance in my family. Instead, when I pick up something vintage, I like to imagine the life of the person who wore it before me. What stories did her old jewelry experience? That’s exciting too.
Starting a brooch collection doesn’t have to cost much. Honestly, the ones at vintage shops are rarely expensive and have a cool history. However, even good old Walmart sells brooches with a side of crazy glam to add to your wardrobe. Next time you are wearing a boring sweater, pop one on and see how it changes your whole outfit.