Brooches and pins for women - une femme d'un certain âge

How I want to wear brooches now…

Three brooches on a faded denim jacket: one antique pearl circle, two colorful cocktail pins.

Is it time for brooches to have a moment in the style spotlight again? I vote yes. ✅

I’ve had brooches on my mind since our recent Europe/UK trip, when I spotted some interesting ones in London. I didn’t bite at the time, but they’ve definitely been on my style radar. And then I happened upon a recent Instagram from Alyson @thatsnotmyage that inspired me to try a grouping.

Top photo: I really like to keep groupings to odd numbers. I started with two cocktail-themed pins. The pink one is from Banana Republic HERE, (and for my Canadian readers HERE). The green martini is several years old, and I don’t remember where I found it. I added the antique circular pearl pin to make 3, and I’m kind of liking the juxtaposition of classic and quirky.

Ideas for groupings:

  • Theme (animals, florals, abstract designs)
  • Color: go with variations on one or two colors
  • Materials: mix sparkle and pearls, or refined and rough

My brooch collection is pretty sparse at the moment. They aren’t as widely available as a few years ago, but I’m keeping my eyes open for contenders.

More whimsical brooches & pins

And if you’re looking for actual vintage brooches, check out Etsy.

Holiday schedule

Posting will be light for the next couple of weeks. I’m (mostly) giving myself a little break to enjoy the season, and to get myself organized ahead of the new year. Thank you, as always, for reading and for your support!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Leslie D’Hollander
    December 17, 2021 / 4:16 am

    Susan, thank you so much for the link to the Canadian site for Banana! ….so appreciated!

  2. Marty
    December 17, 2021 / 4:26 am

    I KNEW there was a good reason to hang on to my old (and my mother’s and grandmother’s) brooches!

  3. Robyn Dussault
    December 17, 2021 / 4:35 am

    I love this post! I always wear brooches on my jean jackets!

    • glenda
      December 17, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      hi Robyn, so have I ! I live in Melbourne Australia and plenty of people wear them.

  4. Kate
    December 17, 2021 / 4:40 am has lots of fun New Orleans-themed enamel pins.

  5. December 17, 2021 / 4:44 am

    I like your composition. And thanks for the inspiration. I have so many brooches, I can totally do this.

  6. Ann
    December 17, 2021 / 5:00 am

    I always wear a brooch on the back of my jean jackets. Saw someone years ago and have copied the idea since!

  7. Karen
    December 17, 2021 / 5:06 am

    What a fun post! Like others, I have brooches snd pins from my grandmother and mother. And I have picked up others along the way. Nice to have when the spirit moves us. Thanks for your wonderful blog, and enjoy the holiday season.

  8. December 17, 2021 / 5:10 am

    I love brooches and even wear them on my aprons! You have some lovely selections here, Susan!

  9. Mary
    December 17, 2021 / 6:05 am

    Years ago, I started wearing a brooch on my jean jacket to distinguish it from my daughter’s in the hall closet.

  10. December 17, 2021 / 6:13 am

    I’ve liked grouping brooches on my jean jackets, usually with something seasonal. Sterling pumpkin and acorn along with my son’s Eagle Scout mom pin in the fall. A silver and mother of pearl dragonfly on my white jean jacket. And then there are the holiday brooches, have to be careful not to get the cheesy ones. Found a gorgeous sterling reindeer pin a few years ago that’s large enough to stand on is own.

  11. Eve
    December 17, 2021 / 6:50 am

    I have a little gold mouse that wears glasses thst you can move up snd down. It was sold by Avon years ago. It is the cutest thing. I wear it off and own but I would love to wear more. Great idea! I do have a flag pin that has stones.

  12. Christine Jensen
    December 17, 2021 / 7:06 am

    Museum shops/catalogs are often great places to find unique jewelry, including brooches. Generally the jewelry is designed based on artwork in the museums collection. Same with scarves. They are an often overlooked source for unique pieces. For brooches check out Goodwill, ARC, etc.

  13. Kathy
    December 17, 2021 / 7:44 am

    I have loved pins/brooches all my life. About 5-10 years ago, grouping a whole bunch on a jacket lapel was referred to as a pin party. They add such interest to an outfit. I recently started wearing them again and I love to group them. Have a lovely holiday!

  14. Ginger Whelan
    December 17, 2021 / 7:55 am

    My mom called these “scatter pins.” I am fortunate to have several of hers. I need to bring them out of retirement!

  15. Carolyn
    December 17, 2021 / 8:08 am

    I remember “scatter” pins.! Now you’ve encouraged me to wear my mom’s pins.

  16. Marian
    December 17, 2021 / 8:17 am

    Oh my goodness! I love this and am so glad I kept some of my brooches over the years. Going to make some groupings today! Thank you!

  17. Linda
    December 17, 2021 / 8:41 am

    I absolutely love brooches! I have a pretty nice collection and was over the moon when Michelle Obama wore them and brought them to the style forefront! The idea of mixing them is fantastic! Thanks for sharing your ideas and links to some pretty cool items!!!

  18. Téa
    December 17, 2021 / 9:18 am

    Have a restful and rejuvenating break from blogging, Susan! Thank you for the amount of content you churn out, the candor, kindness and style that pops in my inbox like magic! You’ve been a “constant” in a very frenetic time. I so appreciate this “community” and I hope your feel the gratitude
    How does one pronounce this word – like “smooch” or like “coach”? I’ve heard it both ways.
    Back in the day, I was at a beautiful holiday dinner with my boyfriend, now husband, at Le Cirque. There was a very glamorous lady sitting across the room from me wearing a bright red suit – she had a smattering of brooches up and down her lapels – it was quintessential 1980’s over the top GLAMOUR! I thought she looked SMASHING and when I bumped into her upon leaving, told her so. She lit up and said she’d been collecting them for years…I started my own collection that day. Such a fun way to show some “personality”…

  19. Kris
    December 17, 2021 / 10:49 am

    Yes to brooches – on cardigans heavy enough to “hold” them and on jackets! And always in odd numbers – just like flowers!

    Happy holidays to you and your family, Susan. Thank you for your blog. I always look forward to your posts/suggestions.

  20. Marion Santiago
    December 17, 2021 / 11:04 am

    For years I have been wearing my fathers and uncles tie tacks..

  21. Mary Ann
    December 17, 2021 / 12:06 pm

    I’ve been collecting vintage brooches for years. In the past a number of antique shows had many lovey brooches.
    You can find articles on collecting, a great hobby
    May 2022 be a great year for all!!

  22. Pam
    December 17, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    My mom always told me to use a folded piece of fabric on the back side of a jacket or sweater to put the pin through. It gave the pin some support so it wouldn’t damage whatever I was wearing. I still do this.

    • Marian
      December 17, 2021 / 1:22 pm

      Great Tip! I was looking at a light weight sparkling shrug I was considering putting some brooches on – but was concerned about the fabric. I did not even think about a backing! Thank you!

    • Sue
      January 13, 2023 / 9:59 am

      Great idea!

  23. Heidi L.
    December 17, 2021 / 1:10 pm

    If you’re looking for brooches I highly recommend going vintage. In many cases they’ll be fairly inexpensive. If you’re near Hermosa Beach, I personally recommend Star’s Antiques on Pier Ave, as they have a constantly changing stock of all kinds of fun things, including vintage jewelry spaced out over two floors and the staff are lovely.

  24. glenda
    December 17, 2021 / 2:06 pm

    Hi Susan, Glenda from Melbourne Australia here. I was hopeful that maybe you could do a post on the new Peri Peri colour and suggest some clothing? I adore this colour but find it difficult to get clothing in this particuar hue. Many thanks, Glenda.

    • citizen spot
      December 17, 2021 / 3:08 pm

      Hi Glenda, are you referring to Pantone’s Very Peri color that was announced recently? It kind of looks like it is between lavender and a light purple with blueish tones, at least on my computer screen. I like it very much.

  25. Jill Ann
    December 17, 2021 / 4:04 pm

    Coincidentally, I pinned several brooches on my black jean jacket yesterday. I went to a holiday lunch, but it’s so warm here (Houston) I definitely couldn’t wear any festive sweaters! Some of mine are vintage from my mom & granny, others I bought several years ago. I have quite a collection, need to wear them more.

  26. Jan Whichard
    December 18, 2021 / 8:13 am

    I have many from my aunt, mother, grandmother and even Dad’s tie tacks. Have worn them for years even when it wasn’t “cool”! I group small ones. Some are quite large and ornate used more for hold large scarves or tartan wraps. Statement brooches if you like. I enjoy going to estate sales and have foun lovely ones there.
    Enjoy your down time Susan. Always enjoy your blog!


  27. December 18, 2021 / 11:58 am

    What a cute arrangement! I don’t have many brooches and seldom wear what I do have, but now I feel inspired to dig through my jewelry and see what combinations I might be able to come up with. I just purchased a casual blazer that would be the perfect backdrop!

  28. Maria
    December 18, 2021 / 6:28 pm

    Thank you for another year of fashion inspiration. Your example has helped me to move on from the endless navy and black I wore for years and these days, pinks, light blues and dirty yellows feature much more in my clothing choices. It’s very freeing and goes well with my no longer coloured hair. I particularly enjoyed your recent European travel posts – it’s the closest I’m likely to get to France and. England for a while. Enjoy your well-deserved holiday break.

  29. Lee Rosenthall
    December 19, 2021 / 7:56 am

    This is what I get for delaying a few days reading one of your posts – the Anthropoligie wire fox terriers pin is sold out! Fortunately, the smooth is still available! I LOVE brooches and scatter pins, having inherited several from my grandmother and mother. Your composition here reminds me so much of the much-missed Brenda Kinsel. (May her memory be a blessing.)

    Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Wonderful 2022 to you and yours, Susan. I treasure your blog and Instagram posts.

  30. December 22, 2021 / 8:15 am

    Those are so cool! I used to have some really quirky pins. One was a gold square with a cat on it and “pearl” stones. If you looked closely, it was a cat trapped in a washing machine and pearls were soap bubbles (and I had a cat at the time, so it wasn’t like I was a cat-hater, I just thought it was funny). People would peer at it and say, “Oh, that’s an interesting pin, what is it? It’s a kitty, and oh, what’s it doing? OH! OH! OH!” and I’d smile evilly. I miss that pin.

  31. Juti
    December 26, 2021 / 9:06 am

    Thank you for this post! I have a ton of brooches and usually wear them one at a time, but now… this is great. And au courant.

  32. Marty
    January 1, 2022 / 9:58 am

    I LOVE wearing pins and need to put them out where I can see/enjoy/wear them more. My fav winter jacket is leather now so I don’t think of them as often. Always fun to buy when traveling and I enjoy checking out thrift stores, etc. for neat ones

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