Lapel Pins 101 Have a little fun and stir up your style
As they say, style is all about the details. It’s about adding your signature personality to any look. One of the easiest, most timeless ways to do that is through a lapel pin (opens in new window). Classically old school and brilliantly fresh, the lapel pin is undeniably stylish. Originally made as a way to symbolize one’s affiliation to groups or political parties, the simple lapel pin has grown to be so much more. Now lapel pins are an outward representation of your personality. These aren’t the silly pins you’ve seen as flair in movies like Office Space. No, these are symbols of art and style, and are an easy way to have fun with even your most standard suited looks. Here is everything you need to know about lapel pins.
What’s So Cool About Them?
Lapel pins have grown in demand in recent years. A revival of all things vintage and classic brought lapel pins back from the grave. With no doubt, it’s hard to show off your personality in your office suit. An easy way to remedy the situation is with a simple lapel pin. Like cuff links (opens in new window), they’re an easy way to show off your style. Lapel pins continue to rise in popularity and there are tons of companies out there making fresh, new styles. Additionally, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on vintage pins, then you’re bringing back a piece of history. Now that you know a little bit about them, let’s take a look at all the different kinds out there.
Types of Lapel Pins
Stick pins (opens in new window)are the original and most traditionally popular style and are one of the easiest ways to add a little vintage flair to your look.. They’re easily attached to any outfit and are pretty secure. Stick pins have a thin needle that slides up and down to secure or release the pin. To attach, simply stick the needle into the hole on the other side of the pin.
Originally made popular by the military to distinguish between units, butterfly clutches have a sharp point attached to them, that when squeezed will release the clutch. Sometimes referred to as clutch backs, these types of pins are usually smaller in size so as to not draw too much attention, or in order to be worn with other pins simultaneously..
Magnetic clasps are just two simple magnetic disks that attach the front and back of the pin. These are perfect for anyone afraid of piercing a hole in their clothing. The only downside of these is that they are less secure and the magnets can weaken over time.
Screw and Nut
Screw and nut pins are easily the most secure out of all the pin types. The needle is placed so that the nut screws in and holds the pin firmly in place.
Boutonnieres and Floral
A boutonniere is a lapel pin made out of a flower. The height of their popularity came before the inception of the modern lapel pin. Think of the flower your date pinned on you at prom but without all the high school angst. Boutonnieres should be placed on your left side, over your heart. Also, keep the flower small–it should be noticeable but not too pronounced.
Floral pins on the other hand aren’t made from an actual flower. They’re smaller and are usually made out of materials like silk or cotton. They can add a nice touch of color or design and they have a much longer lifespan, of course, than a real flower.
This is where your modern lapel pin came from. These pins can show off political affiliations or membership in certain clubs. The military also uses badges. Many vintage pins (opens in new window) will be old military badges. Badges are usually very small and less intrusive, leaving more room for playful designs that won’t clutter a suit.
Collar pins are pretty much the same concept as their lapel counterpart except for…you guessed it… they’re attached to the collar. These are a little less traditional and can make for an aesthetically interesting look. An added benefit is that they look more formal than your average lapel pin.
Long Stem Pin
Perhaps the most modern lapel trend, long stem pins are meant to be noticed. Their designs can range in anything from simple geometric shapes to arrows and everything in between. These pins usually come in solid metals like gold, silver, or bronze. For the more stylishly adventurous man, these pins should be added to your repertoire.
When you Should Wear One
So, now that you know a thing or two about lapel pins, you’re probably wondering when it’s appropriate to wear them. Well, there’s no exact answer. Lapel pins are great for events like weddings or fundraisers. They’re also just as good for everyday wear and for work. Pinning one on your suit before you go to work, or on your jacket before going out at night will make your outfit pop. However, if you’re going to wear a lapel pin to your job, just make sure its design is appropriate for the workplace.
Lapel pins are back and for good reason. They make personalizing your everyday look easy and affordable, and such a subtle detail goes a surprisingly long way in terms of style. From butterfly clutch pins to the more elusive collar and long stem pins, play around and have fun with these. Use your lapel pin as a conveyance to express yourself so the world can see what you’re really about.
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