Must Have Accessories: The Lapel Pin
Posted on September 26 2020
(4 mins read)
Lapel pins, historically worn to symbolize an achievement or affiliation with an elite organization are back in style. This time the pin has enabled its wearer to articulate more than his affiliation - his interests, his passions - while, of course, broadcasting his astute sense of style.
While many may argue that Lapel pins only serve a decorative purpose in a gentleman’s outfit, I would respectfully disagree. Lapel pins are often an extension of your personality like any other accessory in your ensemble; a great conversation starter at a social event; and an apt showcase of your support for persons or organizations.
Most, importantly, a lapel pin indicates that you are attentive to detail - one of the top reasons women find men attractive. You know, the immaculately polished double strap Italian leather monks are not the only way to address that attention to detail.
So now that I have convinced you that lapel pins are an important accessory, let’s learn a little more about them.
Different types of Lapel Pins - you didn’t buy your first watch without doing a tad bit of research so why go blind when buying lapel pins?
Boutonnieres - these are the grand daddies of lapel pins. Meaning, before lapel pins were invented, boutonnieres were worn by gentlemen to accessorize their outfits. Boutonnieres are still worn today but mostly for more formal events like weddings and proms. A boutonniere is a real flower that sits in the buttonhole of a jacket.
Stick Pins - these are made up of long and thin metallic sticks, often silver or gold in color. The lapel sits at the top of the pin, whereas the needle and the cap usually sits at the bottom of the pin. Typically these pins have a variety of objects on the top see these types of lapel pins with an object on the top (i.e. an airplane, an anchor, etc).
Floral pins - It’s only natural that boutonnieres (real flowers) were slowly succeeded and even replaced by floral pins. These pins look like flowers but are actually made of fabric such as polyester, satin or wool. Floral lapel pins can also have a needle and cap structure like metal pins for easy application.
Enamel Pins - These types of lapel pins are made from metal and are more subtle. Instead of having a stick pointing down that threads through the lapel, they have a short pin which pierces directly through the fabric and is secured with a butterfly clasp.
The Must-have Lapel Pins - when your dad told you to first buy a pair of grey and black suits before you spread your wings with a pin-striped power suit, he was dishing out some real wisdom. Similarly, don’t get caught without the following staples before branching out your collection.
Silver/Gold stick pins - metal pins are a great start for anyone wanting to dip his toes. A metal pin can swiftly elevate a look and often goes well with a two or three-piece bold colored suit.
Floral Fabric - fabric lapel pins add a slight vintage feel to an ensemble; they also work best with a sports jacket or blazer. Make your first fabric lapel pin multicolored so you don’t have to worry about matching with other apparel pieces (just make sure to not commit the cardinal sin of wearing two multi-colored accessories together).
Personal Signature - this is when things get really interesting! what makes you you? What are you most passionate about? What story do you want to lead a conversation with? Your lapel pin should hint that about you. For me, it’s an enameled golf ball on my lapel or the crest of my boarding school - an influential part of my upbringing.
source: Bassin & Brown
Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to dive into the world of this sophisticated and charming accessory.
Some sites I think you will enjoy are listed below:
Bassin & Brown (LINK): a London based men's accessories company with a WIDE variety of lapel pins. I love that they have quite a large collection of very interesting, out of the ordinary lapel pins that could be a great conversation starter for your next shindig.
Otaa (LINK): these guys are awesome! A global rag tag team of visionaries, Otaa makes quirky yet classy accessories, using sustainable materials. They have a fantastic filter option that can help you browse for just the styles that interest you.
Etsy (LINK): If you're feeling adventurous, do not be afraid to go to Etsy and spend some time looking for that one hand-made piece that really tickles your fantasy.
So what will be your first or next lapel pin? Comment below