If you’ve ever been in a wedding or ran for political office, chances are you’ve worn a lapel pin. But these small accessory wonders are for much more. Even if you’re just meeting friends for dinner, or taking a trip to the symphony, a lapel pin takes your classic suit and transforms it into a fashion statement piece. If you’re new to lapel pins, don’t let them intimidate you. We’ve got some helpful style tips for you to learn to love your lapel!
A lapel pin is a small pin that is usually worn on the lapel of a jacket. It can be attached by a magnetic clasp, a screw-and-nut fastening, a butterfly clutch, or a long, sharp point. They can be ornamental or can indicate an affiliation with an organization or cause. Lapel pins can add a touch of vintage elegance to a suit, or be a modern design feature to showcase your personal flair.
There are several different types of lapel pins to choose from. Some of them include:
- Boutonniere or Flower: A lapel pin made with a living flower. They should be worn on the left lapel with the flower stem running parallel to the lapel. They are usually secured discreetly with a pin.
- Floral Lapel Pin: This less-formal lapel pin is an artificial flower, usually made from felt, linen, cotton, silk, or satin. They can come in an array of colors and patterns and add personality to any suit jacket.
- Badge: Usually made of enamel, this is an often small and subtle pin. (Think American flag, or charity ribbon.) Because these are generally small on the lapel, they can be a little more quirky and fun.
- Long-Stem Lapel Pins: These more modern pins are usually made of gold, silver, copper, or black metallic materials. They are fastened with a stick pin attachment and can be anything from geometrical patterns, to a simple monogram.
There is a lapel pin for every occasion. Some pins are more formal than others, so don’t let your lapel be too over, or even worse, underdressed!
- The Everyday Pin: Just because there isn’t a special occasion, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look your best. The office or late-night drinks is the perfect place to add a little flair to your look. Try going subtle, like a long-stem pin, or a neutral floral pin.
- Business Occasions: Some businesses or corporations use lapel pins to designate achievements of their employees. These are always appropriate to wear at business functions, but might not play so well at, say, a wedding. But, if you’re looking to be a style stand-out, try adding a little color. This banana yellow patterned pin is a subtle, but welcomed addition to a slim-fit grey suit.
- Semi-Formal Events: The lapel-world is your oyster when it comes to a semi-formal occasion. Chances are you are wearing a well-tailored suit and shirt, but you can play a little with color and pattern work. Let your personality shine with a color-coordinating floral pin, or flourish a little more with a bold patterned pin.
- Weddings: The pin selection will change depending on how formal the wedding is. More than likely, you’ll be wearing a boutonnière. Traditionally, a white carnation was the flower of the hour, but modern-day boutonnière may coordinate with the decorative flowers, or add other items like herbs. Some grooms also opt to give their groomsmen a keepsake boutonniere, such as this solid black flower bow lapel pin.
- Formal Events: If you’re wearing a tuxedo, or attending a black-tie affair, it’s best to keep your lapel pin to an appropriate minimum. If going with a boutonnière, stick with a single blossom in white or red. If the event is for a business or charity organization, it is perfectly appropriate to wear a badge or enamel pin of the organization.
Just like any other suit accessory, lapel pins play off your tie and/or pocket square. And just like you usually wouldn’t use the exact same pattern for both your tie and your pocket square, you should avoid wearing a pin that is an identical pattern or color to your tie/pocket square. Instead, choose a pop color, or coordinating color that will complement the set. If you’re having trouble selecting a color, you can usually never go wrong with black, grey, or white.
Ready to take the lapel pin plunge? Karako Suits can help you select the perfect pin to match the occasion.