The lapel pin is a staple of style and has been for centuries. It all started with the boutonniere in the 1600s. The boutonniere was a stunning lapel adornment and the first version of the lapel pin. A boutonniere is a lapel flower, and the word itself is French for buttonhole, which is where the flower goes.
Worn for formal events, the boutonniere was popular for weddings to ward off evil. It's essentially the male version of the bridal bouquet. In the 1700s, the French joined the British in making the frock coat, breeches, and boots a trend in men's fashion. This was when the boutonniere went from formal wear to everyday streetwear. The top frock button was left undone, and the flower perched inside.
Then in the 1800s, the boutonniere was a fashion must for men, together with great boots, a watch chain, and a jeweled pin. Then in the 1900s the lapel pin joined quintessential men's style, with the pin for all occasions and flower for formal wear.
Today there is a bevy of options for lapel decoration. But what is the right one for you? Check out these tips and pick out the right lapel pin that speaks to you!
Lapel pins are meant to wear on your left lapel. This can be a stylish accessory, or something symbolic. Be bold, make a political statement.
A lapel pin can show membership to an organization, or excitement and interest, for a sports team, for example. A lapel pin can also be a tradition, such as a boutonniere at weddings. They can also show recognition or honor, such as a badge.
Where to Put Your Pin?
There is often a buttonhole on the left lapel. This is designed solely for lapel pins and boutonnieres. For the boutonniere, simply stick the stem through the hole.
There is often a fabric loop inside the lapel to hold the stem down, which means you won't have to pin it. The same rings true for a stickpin type lapel pin. However, other lapel pins just need to be secure with the fastener.
How to Wear Lapel Pins!
If the event calls for a tradition or has either a formal or unspoken dress code, opt for the boutonniere. You can also wear a boutonniere or flower lapel pin at other social events that are a bit more formal. For work, stick with something more subtle; think small and metal.
For a military occasion or when wearing military medals, following traditional etiquette is a must. Wear metals and other pins on the left lapel and use a brooch or bar to hold them. Keep them horizontal and in only one row. They should start at the right with the top medal and go left in descending order.
Whatever you do, do not wear a pocket square with medals as you do with other lapel pins.
Choosing the Best Lapel Pins for You!
There are a few basic types of lapel pins. There is the boutonniere, the floral lapel pin, the mini-pin or badge, the stick pin, and the brooch.
These come in various sizes and colors. Look at the color, occasion, personal style, and preference. In most cases, do not wear a lapel pin for a job interview or a funeral.
Subtle or Flashy?
If you are wearing a suit or shirt that is loud or bold in color and pattern, go conservative. This will enable you to keep your look clean without clashing. Go with a solid metal such as a die struck pin and keep it small.
On the other hand, if your jacket and shirt are neutral and simple, add something larger, bolder, and more colorful. Thing cloisonné or colored enamel lapel pins, or even a fun floral fabric pin.
If you want a colorful pin, choose an option that coordinates in color with something else that you're wearing. Choose a pin that matches the color of your pocket square or tie.
Select a pin that coordinates well with the color of your jacket or even one that matches your shirt. As with all lapel pins, less is more. Choose something that balances with what you're wearing.
Be sure to go with the same medals. If your belt buckle and watch are silver, select a silver lapel pin. Be sure it matches all other metals you're wearing!
Symbols & Design!
The sky is the limit with lapel pin designs. Choose a pin that expresses what you want to say from the symbolic to a sports team. For fans of basketball, get a small basketball pin.
Do you like the Bulls? Get an enamel pin with the Bulls logo. Want to add some more style? Go with a poppy design made out of silk or light cotton. The options are endless.
If you are going to a wedding or prom, go with the boutonniere on your lapel. If the event isn't top-level formal, you can also choose a lapel flower or a small, elegant pin of silver or gold.
Have Fun with Your Lapel Pins!
These small but eye-catching accessories have made quite a comeback recently. Try a few different styles to find the one that is right for you. Mix and match with different jackets based on your mood or the occasion.
Make your own if you can't find what you're looking for. Contact us if you want to look at custom-made lapel pin options. Let us know the design, logo, or words you want, and we'll give you a free quote. Plus, we have a bevy of lapel pin styles, from cloisonné to soft enamel to photo-etched and many more.