Blog / Jewellery

Guide to Brooches

Wednesday September 14, 2022
Stephen Sutton

A brooch is always fashionable and stylish, and they’ve long been used as a way to bring elegance and personality to an outfit. Brooches and pins are such versatile accessories that can be as elegant and intricate or bold and colourful as you want them to be, and they always serve as wonderful conversation starters.



From just £250

From modern pins to antique and vintage designs, brooches with gems and ornate patterns to contemporary abstract pieces, brooches come in a wide range of styles. In this guide, we’ll explore the beauty of a brooch, from their history to the different ways you can incorporate them into your outfits.

A brief history of pins and brooches

Although we wear pins and brooches as decorative accessories now, they weren’t actually created to be worn as jewellery. They were originally used as functional items, made out of flint or thorns to secure clothing in place, such as loincloths. Metal pins became popular during the Bronze Age and were used by the Celts as cloak fasteners. During the Viking period, brooches were used on a daily basis by men and women and often had intricate details and ornate designs.

Today, we wear pins and brooches as fashion pieces, and they’re enjoying something of a fashion revival. Even luxury designers such as Chanel and Boucheron have been known to include them in their collections. TV shows such as Mad Men and The Crown have also reignited our interest in vintage pieces and antique pins.

Old Cut Diamond Star Brooch Diamond Set Bow Brooch Diamond Bow Brooch
2.00ct Old Cut Diamond Star Brooch 7.00ct Diamond Set Bow Brooch 2.40ct Diamond Bow Brooch
 £4,550  £8,500  £6,250


How do pins and brooches differ?

We use the terms pin and brooch interchangeably, but are they different? The truth is that there isn’t much of a difference between them – antique sellers and collectors are likely to refer to this accessory as a brooch, while many other people will call them pins. Brooch is the more traditional term, and while both are decorative pieces, pins tend to refer to the general category for this type of jewellery while brooches are a specific type of pin. So all brooches are pins, but not all pins will be brooches.

How to wear a brooch or pin

Brooches aren’t limited to just wearing on a coat or jacket, though that’s a beautiful way to wear them. You can get creative and wear them in a variety of ways. Why not wear a sparkly, gem-studded brooch in your hair to add an elegant touch to a classic ponytail or chignon? Or you could use your brooch to secure a lightweight silk scarf around your neck or waist as a belt.

Brooches are a great way to create a more personalised look, so you may want to consider mixing modern and vintage or sentimental heirloom items for a unique look. Combining a few smaller brooches together in a cluster on a dress or top can work well to add interest to an otherwise plain outfit – keep the metals or colours the same to tie everything together. They can also be an effective way to liven up a formal outfit, such as a business suit or a blazer.

Yellow Gold Seed Pearl Crescent Brooch Yellow Gold Cameo Diamond Brooch Diamond Set Horseshoe Stock Pin
15ct Yellow Gold Seed Pearl Crescent Brooch 15ct Yellow Gold Cameo Diamond Brooch 0.30ct Diamond Set Horseshoe Stock Pin
 £950  £995  £1,080


What to consider when buying brooches

When shopping for a new brooch to add to your jewellery collection, consider your personal style and the type of outfits you tend to wear most often. If you wear a more traditional wardrobe, keeping your brooches in a classic style will ensure they complement your clothing. Similarly, if you prefer modern, contemporary pieces, look for brooches that will work well with the items in your wardrobe and other jewellery pieces already owned.

It’s best to avoid trends when it comes to brooches – you want your jewellery to be timeless, and the best way to achieve that is to look for pieces you love and that work with the outfits you wear most often. When adding a brooch to an outfit, look for a contrasting colour that will help the piece stand out, such as adding a colourful gemstone-studded brooch on a neutral jacket or dress.

Be careful when it comes to adding brooches to certain materials, as if it’s more fragile you don’t want to run the risk of the pin damaging the fabric. You don’t need to limit yourself to a single brooch every time, and curating small collections on an outfit can be a fun way to add personality and flair to what you’re wearing.

If you’re buying a brooch for a loved one, choosing a theme or motif that will add a memorable touch can be a wonderful way to show you care. For example, if it’s for a birthday, why not choose a brooch that features their birthstone? Or the gem that commemorates the month of an anniversary?

Perhaps you can search for a brooch that features their favourite animal or colour. Take your time to find a brooch that really suits the occasion and will remain a treasured piece in their collection.

Final thoughts

Brooches are a playful way to brighten up an outfit, allowing you to have fun with what you’re wearing while still looking chic and stylish. Whether you’re adding a vibrant beetle brooch to a jacket, a classic floral piece to the top of a dress or a sparkly celestial item to a blazer, brooches are fun and personal to your own interests and tastes.

They can be as simple or intricate as you like, from contemporary minimalist designs to antique pieces that have incredible detail and colourful gemstones throughout. Whichever style you choose, you can guarantee that they will add personality to your outfit and serve as an interesting addition to your jewellery collection.

Cry for the Moon hold a beautiful collection of brooches in a range of styles. Browse our selection online, visit our store in person, or contact us if you have any further questions.

Stephen SuttonHead of Sales