When I got my nose pierced at 19 years of age, my father didn’t understand it. I told him it was an act of self-expression, something that made me look more like the person I felt I was. In his mind, that meant it must have been a sign of insecurity; I must not have been comfortable enough with what I looked like sans piercing, therefore I was insecure in needing it. I told him he was wrong. The way I see it, I will only ever live in my body for my entire life, so you’d best believe I’m going to decorate a little and personalise this vessel to my tastes.
Needless to say, the topic didn’t come up again.
Self-expression is an important part of any human’s life, whether that self-expression is done through wearing jewellery, or questioning other people’s decisions to do what they want with their own bodies as legal adults that can make their own decisions (looking at you, dad). Telling the world who you are through jewellery is a fun practice that boosts your confidence and your mood instantly.
So, let’s get to the brooches.
Using brooches to express your personality can be as fun and playful or edgy and serious as you are. Over time, there have been so many different iterations of the brooch concept that you’re bound to find something that’s right up your street. With brooches coming back in a big way at the moment, there’s no better time to start learning about what they can do for you.
In the world of antique brooches, there are so many different designs, styles, shapes, and sizes to see you through. Some of the oldest brooches widely available on the market today are from the Victorian period. These beauties are likely to have all sorts of neat themes; nature was a big influence on the Victorians, with birds and flowers being most prominent on their brooches. Bows come in a close second, making Victorian jewellery very twee and romantic for the wearers of today.
Victorian brooches are perfect for: Granny-chic styles that let everyone know you have wisdom beyond your years.
The transition from Victorian to Edwardian brooches can be seen through the quality of the pieces themselves. At the turn of the century, platinum started to be used in great quantities when making jewellery, and it was strong enough that designs could become exceptionally intricate and detailed whilst still maintaining their structural integrity. In Edwardian brooches, you’ll find lots of platinum, diamonds, and fine details like floral designs and delicate curves and arches littered with diamonds.
Edwardian brooches are perfect for: Traditionalists who enjoy the finer things in life such as being refined and elegant at all times.
Art Deco Allure
The Art Deco period, stretching roughly from the 1920s to the 1940s, saw innovations of all kinds in the design world. Symmetry reigns supreme in Art Deco brooches, with complex patterns made up from simplistic geometric shapes. The white-on-white aesthetic was a big part of Art Deco jewellery, with diamonds and platinum coexisting in perfect harmony. You’ll find duette brooches here too, where one single brooch comes apart into two matching pieces that can be worn individually. Innovation was key to the Art Deco period, and even a century later, there’s nothing quite like it.
Art Deco brooches are perfect for: Cutting-edge style queens who like to be at the forefront of fashion as much as possible.
As we enter the midst of the 20th century, we step into the real delights of vintage brooches. Yellow gold becomes more prominent than it has been for a while, with the warmth of the metal being welcomed back into the fold. Animal designs remain popular, particularly birds (there’s something about birds and brooches – you can’t keep them apart). Carved gemstones in the form of flower petals are also a feature, with colourful enamel being used as a popular accent. Generally, brooches from this period were playful and cute, with highly feminine designs.
Vintage brooches are perfect for: Tea-dress wearing, feminine ladies who enjoy all things adorable in life.
Whatever element of your personality you’d like to express, brooches can be of service to you. Wear them on jacket lapels, incorporate them into your hairstyle, attach your scarf with them, whatever makes you feel like the most authentic version of yourself!