Lapel pins have made a comeback in recent years. For decades they were only worn at life’s most formal events, but are now increasingly donned by dapper gents going about their daily business. This has brought complexity back into the art of wearing them, as the strict rules of formal events have been loosened, and the risk of looking amateurish and try-hard is all too high. Done right, however, the lapel pin is an excellent example of a detail that can give your outfit unforgettable flair.
This guide will give you the confidence to wear a lapel pin whenever you choose and to pull it off without looking silly. So let’s start with the basics.
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FORGET ABOUT THE PIN, WHAT’S A LAPEL?
Have a look at any suit jacket or blazer. Lapels are the folded flaps of fabric that run above the buttons and under the collar.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LAPEL PINS
We’ve detailed some of the most common below:
The original accessory, a boutonniere is a real flower that sits in the buttonhole, adding an unmissable touch to your jacket. Usually used at weddings.
FLOWER OR FLORAL LAPEL PINS
These pins look like flowers but are made of soft materials like silk, linen, satin, or cotton. They are pinned like boutonnieres, but usually a bit smaller in size and with the advantage of being reusable.
Stick pins are made of various metals (gold, silver, copper, etc). These pins are shaped like a long, thin needle that pops neatly into a metal fastener. Depending on the model, the fastener sits on the end or can slide up and down, giving you precise control over placement.
MINI PINS AND BADGES
These don’t have a stem and attach with a clasp (butterfly, rubber. or magnetic) that goes directly under the badge or pin. They’re most commonly made from soft (ridged) or hard (smooth) enamel. Know that whereas a pin is for style, a badge carries symbolic value and is often seen on politicians.