1960's Mod Fashion and Flower Brooches July 16 2016

Mod fashion was bold and brash, ushered in by a young generation of innovative and creative students in Great Britain. This in-your-face fashion trend of the 1960s belonged to London. The Brits set the tone and the rest of the world followed.

The 20 years of austerity in Britain following World War II was boldly broken in the mid 1960s ushering in an attitude of “anything goes” as a new generation began to mature into adults. The “do your own thing” outlook applied to clothes as well as music and art.This new fashion revolution was youth oriented and youth driven; starting in the streets of London rather than in the old couture houses of Europe. The Baby Boomers were coming of age and making their presence known. 

Hallmarks of the Mod style include; miniskirts, bold colors and graphic prints inspired by art, specifically Pop Art. The heavy influence from the contemporary Pop Art scene infiltrated the fashion as works of art were translated from canvas into fabric. Style icons like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy personified the mod look bringing the fashion trend of Britain all over the world.


The time was right for the Mod style to move beyond the artsy corners of London as the boutique clothing store simultaneously emerged as “the happening” place to shop in the 1960s. Boutiques were not the stuffy old fashioned department stores of days gone by, they were fun and hip, and young people felt independent and comfortable shopping there. No shopping district was more famous for swinging boutiques than Carnaby Street and Kings Road in London. But America was not going to be left out of the trend, opening Paraphernalia on Madison Avenue in New York in 1965 creating an instant smash hit.

Mary Quant, Mod Designer


One of the primary designers and innovators of the Mod style was Mary Quant, her black daisy logo is often still seen in alternative clothing stores today. Quant became the most successful designer and spokesperson for the Mod style and way of life. From her King’s Road boutique called Bazaar she helped popularize the mini-skirt, invented hot pants, the Chelsea Girl look, and the skinny rib sweater. One of her most revolutionary fashion innovations was tights for mini-skirts, as stockings and garters would no longer be appropriate. She changed the face of make-up for ever by creating waterproof mascara; suddenly women could cry, swim and run for the bus all without messing up their fab makeup.

Speaking on the rise in popularity of her designs, Quant describes the Mod movement itself: “At first we thought it was just the art student type that wanted to look like us and buy our clothes. But what we didn’t realize at the time and didn’t discover for some time was the fact that we were interpreting the mood of the whole generation, not just smart art students. The whole thing caught on in a much bigger way than we expected. We thought we were just working for people who lived in Chelsea, but the whole thing was actually what people wanted from all over.”

Enamel Flower Brooches

Vintage enamel brooches

A recurring motif that not only symbolized the Mod style but also transitioned into the flower power era of the late 1960’s was the bold, bright, and colorful, daisy. This motif found its way into a huge trend of enameled flower brooches. These ubiquitous colorful accents could be worn on dresses, purses, scarves, belts and hats... they began to pop up everywhere!

Much of the appeal of these bright enamel flower brooches was that they were not “your mother's jewelry". There was nothing conservative about these accessories; they were cheap, cheerful and mass produced. Young women could afford to buy them en masse, wearing a different one every day of the week. Collectors today love these spirited little pins for the same reasons. They're fun to collect, they look great on sweaters, handbags, and dresses, and they don't cost an arm and a leg.

When collecting enameled flower pins, the condition is really key. Look for pins without any chips in the enamel, and a secure pin and closure.

Repurposing Vintage Flower Brooches

Obviously wearing a lovely vintage flower brooch as it was intended is one way to enjoy your jewelry but if for some reason wearing a brooch is not your thing there are several other ways you can enjoy the beauty of flower brooches.

Create an Entryway Wreath

Sarah Ives, Designer at Upscale Downhome has created a welcoming entryway wreath using a lovely selection of vintage and antique jewelry. She shared the step by step how-to on BlogHer

Vintage Brooch Wreath

Create a Statement Necklace

With this project from Bromeliad Living you can re-purpose vintage brooches without damaging or permanently altering them. You can easily rearrange or take apart this necklace if you want your pins back to wear on their own.

DIY brooch necklace

Here are some more statement necklace images for inspiration:

Vintage flower brooch re-purpose necklace

Vintage brooch necklace

Embellish Your Accessories

If brooches aren’t your accessory of choice you can embellish your other accessories with a bit of vintage flair. Some prime options include, purses, belts, shoes, and hair accessories.

Here's some fab bling inspiration:

Some belts from Vintageologie  

vintage brooch belt

A DIY Jeweled Clutch from Miss Kris

DIY Jeweled Clutch

DIY Bejeweled Beanie Hat from Fall for DIY 

bejeweled beanie hat

Create a Bridal Bouquet

Granted this one is not for everyone but if you happen to be getting married some time soon or if you know someone who is, vintage flower brooches make for absolutely gorgeous wedding bouquets. You’ll need quite a few pieces of jewelry so it’s a good idea to supplement the brooches with similar style earrings and rings.

brooch bridal bouquet

Now, if you are in the position to try this one it’s not as difficult as you might think. CleverMakers.com not only has a tutorial they also make a simple tool that makes it dead easy to add vintage brooches to a bouquet or create an entire bouquet out of brooches.

Here’s some more inspiration:

brooch bridal bouquet

bridal bouquet vintage brooch
vintage brooch bouquet

vintage brooches on vintagevirtue.net