You may have noticed brooches and pins popping up on race day outfits recently, and hey, why not? An interesting extra feature can be a nice finishing touch.

In this post, we’re going to admire some of the handy work from the creative ladies in our Field Fashion Community and look at some clever ways to make your own homemade brooch.

brooches and pins for race dress

When to Wear a Brooch?

While you can consider adding a brooch to any outfit, they are an especially good option if:

  • You don’t want to wear a necklace, or can’t find one that matches your outfit.
  • Wearing a necklace makes your outfit too cluttered and heavy.
  • Your neckline doesn’t allow for one.

You’ll know whether a necklace suits your outfit’s neckline when you try it on.

Generally, the types of necklines that can look a little awkward with a necklace include high necklines, cowl neckline, boat neck, square neck, keyhole or any kind of scalloped, patterned-edge neck, and some collared necklines.

To learn about pairing necklaces and necklines, check out InsideOutStyle and ModCloth’s post.

necklaces for necklines

Image credit: Inside Out Style Blog

Ladies who Got it Right

Now, let’s have a look at 5 ladies who incorporated a brooch perfectly at recent race events.

Lily hat and dragonfly brooch

Image credit: @racewear_carousel

The roll neck of this top does not allow for a necklace, but the top itself looks a little plain without anything. The water dragon brooch is a fabulous idea, as it spices up the top and ties in perfectly with the lily pad millinery.

gold brooch and pin

Image credit: @jus_lund

With this elegant and simple dress, a necklace with the high neckline would look a little awkward and heavy. Instead, the brooches complement the gold in the boater and add a nice touch.

black horse brooch for race outfit

Image credit: @therequiemtrend

This high neckline top, paired with a riding cap as millinery, allows for the horse brooch which fits the theme perfectly!

silver feather and circle reef brooch and pin

Image credit: @bellindahaase

This outfit has a lot going on with the fur feature and belt, so the brooch is a lighter option.

race day beetle brooch embellishment

Image credit: @bellindahaase

A lower round neck is hard to pair with a necklace, as necklaces usually sit at an awkward length. With these necklines I would sew on my necklace so it follows the neckline. The brooch is a better option here as it doesn’t take away from the feature sleeves and is subtle, yet effective.

Try this visualization exercise. Look at the above 5 photos again, but this time, try and picture what each outfit would have looked like if they had (a) worn a necklace instead, and (b) if they hadn’t worn a brooch.

See how a necklace could look awkward? But a brooch adds that finishing touch?

Different Ways to Make Your Own Brooch

You can make a brooch out of almost anything – old necklaces, big earrings, belt buckles, bag clasps, old vintage brooches that you can paint a different colour or you can make them from scratch from leather and fabrics.

Let’s have a look at some real life homemade examples…

Floral Brooch from an Old Necklace

For my Stradbroke Cup Dress, I had trouble finding a necklace to suit my outfit that didn’t look too heavy or cluttered, so I decided to ditch the necklace altogether and try a brooch.

black and white dress with high neckline

I used pliers to pull apart an old flower necklace and painted it with two coats of red acrylic paint. Then to make it look fancier, I added some black wispy millinery material that I frayed.

homemade floral brooch from old necklace

Using the original hooks which joined the flowers together on the necklace, I sewed it onto my dress. It was the perfect addition to my outfit.

homemade red flower brooch

Horse Brooch from an Old Necklace

The next brooch I made was from a gold horse necklace I found on sale a year earlier.

Gold Horse Homemade Brooch from necklace

I removed one of the horse ornaments and sewed in onto my blue and gold Melbourne Cup lace dress. It tied in my gold themed accessories nicely.

Flower Brooch from a Pair of Earrings

Cobie made her brooch out of not one, but two earrings! Here’s how she did it…

DIY homemade brooch

homemade yellow flower brooch from old earrings

homemade yellow floral brooch

Image credit: Cobie Sheehan

Painting an Old Brooch with Nail Polish

Georgina was initially chasing this beautiful Mimco brooch.

black mimco leaf branch brooch

When she ran out of time to find a brooch, she ended up creating her own beautiful leaf brooch by painting an old vintage brooch. (Op Shops are a great place to look for vintage brooches.)

painting a used thrifted leaf brooch

black opshop vintage leaf brooch

Image credit: Georgina Fernie

Here are two more examples of nail polish painted brooches…

paint homemade brooch

hand painted homemade brooch

homemade brooch floral reef

Image credit: Georgina Fernie