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The Ultimate Lapel Pin Guide

Lapel pins are one of those accessories that are still clouded in a certain amount of ambiguity. They look sophisticated, that's for sure, but how are they actually worn? Knowing the different types of lapel pins as well as their correct styling etiquette will make all the difference when to comes to sparking up your wardrobe repertoire. 


Red Lapel Pin


Lapel pins are intrinsically tied to the story of men's fashion and they emit an old world sensibility. As vintage looks are rising to popularity in the global sphere of men's fashion, lapel pins too are gaining widespread revival. Their universal recognition is attributed to their aptness in adding a level of charisma to ubiquitous suit styles. 


They work to enhance the elegance of your ensemble without detracting from your overall sophistication. 


What is a Lapel Pin? 

In simple terms, a lapel pin is an ornamental accessory that sits on the lapel of a man's suit jacket. Lapel pins come in the form of metal emblems as well as fabric or real flowers. 


These motifs are securely attached to a metal pin that slides through the fabric of your jacket lapel. These pins will have a metal cap that secures the pin firmly in place. 


Lapel Pin with Suit


What Are the Types of Lapel Pins?

How you put a lapel pin on will depend on the type of lapel pin itself. There are a number of different types of lapel pins that will affect their style and method of adjustment. 


Flower Lapel Pins

flower lapel pins are the most popular style. They can be seen sported at weddings, racing events and formal dinners. These pins consist of fabric flowers that adorn your suit lapel and they are attached to a long pin that slides through the hole of your jacket lapel. Common fabrics for flower lapel pins include: cottons, linens and velvets. 

Flower Lapel Pin

Metal Lapel Pins 

Metal Lapel Pins involve metal emblems that are attached to a long metal pin. They are optimal for showing off your personal style as they come in a broad array of quirky motifs. Animals, sports themed emblems and landmarks are common symbols you'll find on these lapel pins, so if you want to communicate something specific about yourself, emblem lapel pins make a superb accessory.  

Metal Lapel Pin


A boutonniere is a lapel pin that's made using a living flower. The most common place you'll find a boutonniere is on the lapel of a groom's suit. These types of pins are exclusive to the florist industry and their availability depends on season. Boutonnieres only last a couple of days at most, which is why they are purely reserved for esteemed events. 




 Badges / Button Pins

Badges, or button pins, differ from other styles because they don't involve a long metal stick pin. Instead, they are attached to a small metal pin that protrudes from behind the emblem. Similar to emblem pins, these are a fun way to display your personal character. They will come in animal, sports, landmark and travel motifs. 


Button Pin Button Pin Back


Lapel Pin Etiquette

There's significant debate about whether the stick pin should be seen from the front. The old school method of adjusting a lapel pin was to ensure that the pin is securely hidden from plain sight, meaning it's tucked behind the lapel. However, in more modern fashion circles, it's becoming increasingly common to place the bottom of the pin at the front of the lapel. This is considered a more modern and edgier look. As the fashions keep evolving, there's no distinct rule about which way a lapel should be adjusted, it seems that personal taste plays a sizeable factor.

How To Wear A Lapel Pin

When to Wear a Lapel Pin 

The most important thing to remember is that lapel pins are synonymous with formality. It's uncommon to see men sporting lapel pins when they're walking down the street and there's a reason for that: lapel pins are the difference between casual and formal. 


It's too expensive to buy a new suit every time you have a special occasion to attend. It's sometimes even too costly to have a different suit for work and play. That's why we rely on our accessories to make the magic happen. 


Metal Lapel Pin


If you're looking for a way to spark up your regular wedding suit, a lapel pin is one of the best ways to do it. It will add character and detail without breaking the bank. 


Similarly, if you want to put your most fashionable foot forward at the races, rock a statement lapel pin to get heads turning. 


Lapel pins are relatively uncommon to see in the workplace. You won't find an organisation that encourages you to wear a lapel pin to the office, ties will generally suffice. But if you want to bring an element of character to your mid-week assemblage, you can opt to go for a subtle metal lapel pin. This will signify your attention to detail as well as bring out subtle personality. 

Peter Marshall is a legend amongst the men of OTAA. Sharp dressed to a point, only his wit has more edge.
An English gentleman, lover of business and an avid blogger




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