A recent survey found that men don’t often feel confident about what to wear or how to wear it. In fact, 73% of respondents said that they’d felt improperly dressed and out of place at a major event at least once in their lives.
If you’re getting ready for a semi-formal or formal event and you’re not sure what to do about your attire, you’re not alone. Putting on a suit or tuxedo with cummerbund isn’t an everyday occurrence for most men and it’s natural to feel unsure about the whole affair.
We’re going to look at how to wear a lapel pin. Once you’ve got that suit or tuxedo jacket on, a lapel pin is going to make the whole look more cohesive. Plus, everyone will assume that you know exactly how to dress!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about wearing a lapel pin the right way.
First Up: What’s a Lapel?
Before we get to lapel pins, let’s talk about the basics. What on earth is a lapel?
Take a look at your suit jacket, tuxedo jacket, or blazer. Locate the two flaps on either side of the front opening; they run above the buttons and below the collar. That is a lapel.
Okay, So What’s a Lapel Pin?
A lapel pin is a decoration that you pin to the lapel of your jacket. It goes in a specific place, but we’ll get to that later. Right now, let’s talk a little bit more about what lapel pins are.
Lapel pins have a long history. One of the most common ways that we’ve seen lapel pins used throughout history is to signify military status or military achievements. Now, you’ll find everything from silk floral lapel pins to mini Metal Promo lapel pins.
To this day, lapel pins can signify your status by revealing that you’re, for example, a member of an organization, a groomsman in a wedding party, and beyond. They can also be used to simply add aesthetic intrigue to an outfit, which is just as good a reason to wear a lapel pin as any other!
What Types of Lapel Pins Can You Choose From?
When purchasing or selecting a lapel pin for an event, it’s helpful to understand the different types of lapel pins you can choose from. We’re going to take a look at three of the most traditional lapel pins you’ll see men wearing today. These include the boutonniere, the long-stem pin, and the mini pin.
If you attended a formal dance during your school days or participated in someone’s wedding party, you’ve probably encountered the classic boutonniere. A boutonniere is a fresh flower (usually a single stem, although more complicated boutonnieres are also in fashion) that sits directly in the buttonhole of your lapel. Boutonnieres go great with tuxes as well as suits worn to spring and summer events.
The Long-Stem Pin
The long-stem pin (aka the stick pin) is made of metal such as gold or silver. The pin “back” is a long metal stick that you can close off with a metal fastener. At the top of the long-stem pin is the pin “front” or top, a decorative accessory that will rest on the outside of the buttonhole of your lapel.
The Mini Pin
A mini pin or badge is probably the one that comes to mind when you think of the word “pin.” Like the long-stem pin, the pin front is a decorative accessory, often metal or enamel, that depicts an image, a word, or a symbol. The pin back goes directly through the buttonhole of the lapel so that only the pin front is visible.
How to Wear a Lapel Pin the Right Way
We’ve now mentioned the buttonhole of your lapel pin a few times, so you may have put the pieces together, already! On the left lapel of your jacket, you will very likely find a buttonhole with no accompanying button. This buttonhole (which you may need to carefully cut open, as they sometimes come sewn shut) exists to hold your lapel pin.
If you don’t have a buttonhole on your left lapel, don’t worry! What you want to do is position your lapel pin so that it’s above your pocket square and yes, keep it on the left lapel, even if you don’t have a buttonhole on either side. The pin back or stick will easily pierce the fabric of your jacket and as long as you take it out carefully, it won’t leave behind a noticeable hole.
Picking the Right Lapel Pin for Your Look
How do you pick the right lapel pin for your attire? First, make sure that there isn’t a specific lapel pin that you’re expected to wear. This may be the case if you’re attending an organization-specific event and it’s almost always the case if you’re in a wedding party.
If you’re free to choose your own, think about any other accessories you may wear. For example, if your lapel pin is made of metal, you want to choose the same metal as your watch and tie clip to avoid clashing. If your lapel pin is colorful, make sure that it compliments your jacket, shirt, and tie without blending in and getting lost.
Boost Your Look and Become a Sharp Dresser With Lapel Pins
If you’re not sure what to wear for your next event, you’re not alone! Fashion choices for men aren’t intuitive and come with a learning curve. Doing your research and finding out things like how to wear a lapel pin can make things much simpler and less daunting!
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