Special Occasion Barrettes

This barrette is 14 kt yellow gold with diamonds. It looks lovely in the evening light.
This barrette is 14 kt yellow gold with diamonds. It looks lovely in the evening light.

Although we probably all think of young girls when we think of barrettes, I am fascinated by evening (or special occasion) barrettes.  These hair clips are made of silver or gold and have elegant designs often incorporating diamonds or pearls.  Many of these barrettes are old and often sell for a pretty penny.

Of course, I, the queen of the slightly used items, hunt them down on eBay, the RealReal and other resale sites.  You can pay anywhere from a hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for these little beauties, so you want to make sure the clasp works so that it stays securely in your hair.

Many women through time have been known to accent their hair design with a brooch or lapel pin either converted to be a barrette or just pinned into an updo.  A famous photo of Jackie Kennedy in a white column evening dress with a starburst diamond pin in her teased hair comes to mind for me.  To see images of Jackie with her starburst pin in her hair, search on Google for “Jackie Kennedy starburst pin in hair.”  You will also see a photo of her daughter, Caroline, wearing the same pin on the waist of a black dress.   I love that this family piece is kept relevant by using as needed, regardless of the original purpose.

This hair pin is 10 kt white gold with pearl petals and center. It has exquisite detailing in the gold.
This hair pin is 10 kt white gold with pearl petals and center. It has exquisite detailing in the gold.

These are beautiful for any special occasion, but in particular I think of a wedding and how lovely they would be in a bride’s hair.  Candlelight or dimly lit rooms make the metal and stones shimmer in the light.

Many moons ago when families dressed (as in formal attire) for dinner, fancy barrettes were often used,  unlike now, when most of us probably only get really dressed up once or twice a year.  But, I do like to have a special barrette or pin to put in my hair.  It just makes the outfit feel complete.

Online and at stores that sell bridal and formal wear you see a lot of pretty, faux stone, barrettes and mini tiaras for brides and pageant girls.  These are flashy and nice looking,  with the added benefit that you don’t have to worry about losing them.  If a barrette falls out, you aren’t missing a piece of fine jewelry, just a bauble.

 

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My mom had some beautiful rhinestone hair clips.  One suite of jewelry included matching earrings, bracelet, necklace, and barrette.  I would love to have photos of her wearing these when she was a young lady.

Hat pins make nice adornments to hair buns, which seems to be a popular hairstyle these days.  Be careful when inserting the pin into your hair, so as to not pierce your scalp!

Do you have any fancy clips, costume or real, that you like to put in you hair?  Did you inherit them?  Were they custom made for you?  Any unique stories behind them?

Bonus Information:  If you search on eBay for 14K hair pins, you may find pins with a deceased person’s hair hidden inside a locket or woven into the pin.

You may also find some items marked as hair pins, but they have dual prongs with very sharp, pointed edges.  These aren’t hair pins, but rather fur pins.  Stylish women back in the day needed brooches for their furs.  The sharp prongs would glide easily through the hide.  Slip that in your hair and you will likely prick your scalp!

 

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