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Career Style: Five Ways to Style Brooches

For many women, brooches and pins are synonymous with grandma’s jewelry box.  But these lovely little baubles don’t need to be mothball’ed in the past.  Brooches can be worn in a modern way to add the perfect hint of sparkle and fun to any work outfit.  Here are five ways to style pins and brooches.

On Your Sleeve. Hummingbird Brooch ($80) // Nadri Bee Pin ($70)

Wearing a brooch on your sleeve is like wearing a bracelet.  It brings a lot of shine and color to your wrist.  For the most pop, go with something substantial like the hummingbird or bee pin above.  For a subtle look, choose something smaller like this red, enamel poppy brooch (great on Veteran’s Day).

On Your Pocket. Onyx & Citrine Brooch ($145) // Bamboo Leaf Pin ($249) // Bling Safety Pin ($13)

I absolutely adore this thin bar brooch as a pocket accent.  The skinny, delicate brooches are my favorite.  In addition to the three in the photo, this antique amethyst and pearl brooch from Etsy is perfect.  For something affordable, I love this rose leaf stick pin.

On Your Shoulder. MeliMe Cartoon Brooches (assorted styles $11-$13)

This was one I never would have thought of until I saw it on Pinterest! These little cartoon brooches from Amazon are perfectly on trend and simply adorable.  For something a bit more sophisticated, try this brooch duo from Baublebar.

On Your Waistband. Emma Crown Pin ($5) // Adrianna Orsini Crystal Brooch ($70)

I thought this Emma crown brooch would look great on the waistband of a navy dress, like this Reiss Indus Dress.  I also love the crystal Orsini sparkler that looks like a firework.  This filigree and sapphire brooch would look chic centered on a wide band skirt.

On Your Collar. Joan Rivers Cluster Brooch ($139) // Nina Genalyn Brooch ($40)

Want to dress up last year’s winter coat?  A shiny bauble is a good place to start.  This enormous Joan Rivers cluster brooch is phenomenal.  For something rhinestone free, this stone cluster brooch is really modern.  Or if you really want to dive into the deep end, try a vintage Chanel brooch.

[sleeve image; pocket image; shoulder image; waistband image; collar image]



  1. thb says:

    Wow! I really like all the interest these applications can make. Going to the “box” and wearing one on my cuff to the office today! I will be seated at a conference table most of the day. There will be questions over lunch.

    September 21, 2017/Reply
  2. LSI says:

    I really like the styling for the breast pocket and skirt waistband. I like metal accents, but I hate when companies sew them into the clothes, making it hard to wash/customize. I haven’t thought about brooches in forever, but now I’m curious to try some out.

    September 21, 2017/Reply
  3. Cait says:

    Thanks so much for these ideas! My great-grandmother’s brooches have been sitting in a jewelry box since I got them after she passed away and I’ve always wanted to wear them, but couldn’t decide how.

    September 21, 2017/Reply
  4. Anne says:

    And, of course, there is always the inimitable Madeline Albright: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0060899182/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506018768&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=madeline+albright+read+my+pins&dpPl=1&dpID=51dXotYC5JL&ref=plSrch

    September 21, 2017/Reply
    • Crystal says:

      How fascinating! Thanks for recommending!

      September 22, 2017/Reply
  5. a says:

    Another fun way to use them — if you have a plain solid color clutch for evening, I like to pin a brooch to it to dress it up and add some interest.

    September 21, 2017/Reply
  6. J says:

    I have a few favorite brooches that are quite heavy, and I’m always worried that they will pull and ruin my sweaters.. A great tip I learned last year: cut a small piece of foam to back the pin. I found the foam off a hangar from the dry cleaner works great. I put a little piece of the foam (sometimes folded over multiple times depending on how heavy the brooch), and then pin my brooch through my sweater into the foam to create a more sturdy backing. Works like a charm!

    September 22, 2017/Reply