Gracey on: Brooch Clusters

Lately I’ve been loving wearing clusters of brooches or pins on my outfits; you can see some of my looks here and here. However, I have to admit that it was, at first, sort of intimidating deciding how to put the pins together. I have good news though. Through vigorous trial and error and dedicated application of the scientific principle, I’ve determined some fool proof* groupings and am here to share them with you!

First things first though. While I still love the impact of a single, shiny pin, three shiny pins are thrice as nice. For my tastes, three pins is the ideal number. Anything more looks like you’re the colonel in a fake but glittery army. And a mere two brooches look as though you forgot something. Like your third brooch.

Now, without further ado, here are some three-pin groups that I like.

On the Open Sea

Brooch Cluster # 1 - gold boat, rhinestone feather as wave & rhinestone starburst as sun

Create a brooch picture with a  gold boat, rhinestone feather as a wave & rhinestone cluster as the sun.


Pastel Study

Enamel, plastic & rhinestone toucan, rhinestone & enamel circle & rhinestone flower.

You’ll be spring-ready with a pastel, multimedia toucan, rhinestone & enamel circle and a blue rhinestone flower.


On the Dark Side

Black/clear rhinestone, green cabochon & clear floral arc pins.

You don’t have to go bright; this group has a black/clear rhinestone piece, green cabochon piece & a clear floral arc pin.


Rhinestone Cowboy

Sparkle cluster - double rhinestone, floral arc & starburst.

Your time to shine?  How about pairing a double rhinestone pin, floral arc & a cluster all in clear?


Go for the Gold

Double flower pin, bee and rooster.

Not a fan of the shiny-shine?  Try a matte gold cluster, here with a bee, double-flower and a rooster.


The Thing With Feathers

Pastel toucan, clear rhinestone feather & blue rhinestone flower.

Hope is, and so is this cluster with the toucan pin, the feather and a blue flower.



Pearl & rhinestone wheat sheaf, rhinestone leaf & rhinestone feather.

Organic shapes (wheat, leaf and feather) make up this pearl and rhinestone cluster.


Insect Life

Large rhinestone bee, green rhinestone butterfly & pearl fly.

For the entomologist in every woman; a multicolored rhinestone pin, green butterfly and pearl-bodied fly.


One Sweet Pair

Mother-of-pearl sweetheart pin & double butterfly-flower rhinestone pin.

This sweet grouping pairs a mother-of-pearl sweetheart pin & a double butterfly-flower rhinestone pin.  Yes, that’s right, this last group only has two pins, instead of three; because rules are made to be broken.

So, what do you think?  Do you wear multiple brooches? Are any of these groupings something you’d  try?



*And by fool-proof, I mean they’ll probably work.  Most likely.

P. S. If  brooch clusters are on your list to try, and you’re looking for pins, you can find them easily and cheaply on Etsy and eBay, in thrift stores and at garage sales.

_ _ _ _ _

Already Pretty contributor Gracey hails from from Fashion for Giants. She’s essentially your average blogger, except that she’s taller than average (six foot) and bigger than average (size 14). She also likes to think that she’s more amusing than average, but that could just be vanity. In addition to being tall and plus-sized (and possibly hilarious), she’s also a thrift store shopper, a vintage lover, an Oregonian, and a bike commuter.

Likes: Gracey likes to shop, to blog, and to terrify her co-workers with brightly colored outfits.

Dislikes: Robot uprisings, too-short skirts, and leggings as pants.

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23 Responses to “Gracey on: Brooch Clusters”

  1. Susan

    This is so not my style, but I LOVE these. You have a great eye for putting things together.

  2. Grace

    I would love to see these fun clusters in the context of your outfit! This is the kind of thing I admire but feel too “costumey” to wear…

  3. Anna

    Lovely! Not my style (though it might be if I were to expand my notions of what my style is) — but so well curated!

  4. poodletail

    Who would have thought this fashion from my childhood would resurface? I prefer small jewelry and had totally forgotten how sweet these clusters of small pins can be. Thank you for the great post, Gracey.

  5. Sonja

    Hihi, I would never have thought about this, but I love it. I don’t wear or own many brooches apart from these fabric flowers that have become so popular lately, but maybe I should enlarge my collection. Right now I’m thinking that I have a bee earstud and a ladybird earstud, maybe with a little brooch from the same family they might form a nice little cluster.
    Thanks for the idea!

  6. Sophia

    Gracey, you started me off collecting brooches to wear as clusters. Just when my husband thought I couldn’t fit any more treasures in my life, I found brooches! Yay for brooches and brooch clusters 🙂

  7. Gisele

    This put such a smile on my face:

    “Anything more looks like you’re the colonel in a fake but glittery army. And a mere two brooches look as though you forgot something. Like your third brooch.”

    Now that the weather is warming up and scarves are less appealing, I’ve been feeling a bit underadorned. Excited to broochify myself!

  8. Aging fashionista

    I Love the displays! All the morE as I have a cream Chanel-like retro jacket that has a stain on one lapel. If i could cover it all up I’d be good for another couple years.

  9. Kristin

    Such a cool idea! I’m always amazed at what people come up with 🙂

  10. Carrie

    Perfect timing, Gracey! For my wedding bouquet I bought some beautiful brooches off eBay and now you’ve given me some great ideas for how to wear them! I also admire your bee brooch – I’ve been hunting for one (plus a ladybug) but haven’t found the perfect one yet. 🙂

  11. Suz

    I have many many brooches – born of a garage sale lovin’ mom who would give me change to buy things = shiny things 😀 habit forming, really

    The toucan pin is lovely. I group according to size generally, but I love a winter coat or sweater with a few rhinestone snowflakes/bursts on it. Brooches save a dull denim or reg jacket – and I grew up in the era of many pins on the denim, so it was an easy transition when I became (sort of) a grownup.

    Heartily agree with your dislikes. Especially the too short skirts; that trend needs to die.

  12. Annie

    I don’t even wear brooches, but these are just the cutest thing! How DOES one wear brooches, anyways?

  13. Karen J

    I’ve been wearing brooches since the 80s (somewhat dated myself) but have never tried clusters. I accept the challenge. Wish me “luck”.

  14. Sabrina

    I think it may take me a little longer to warm up to all of these combinations, but I LOVE “On the Open Sea” and “The Thing with Feathers”. They just flow so gracefully from pin to pin. I also appreciate how your rhinestone hymenopteran and the fly with the pearl abdomen each have a head, thorax, and abdomen, with legs appropriately issuing from thorax! It’s so difficult to find representations of arthropods in jewelry that come anywhere close to anatomically correct. I’ve been hunting for the perfect bee pendant. Maybe I should be looking for a brooch, instead! Thanks for all of the inspiration!