How To Wear Lapel Pins

How To Wear Lapel Pins

If you have worn suit jackets or blazers, you must have wondered what the little stitched hole on the left lapel of your jacket is. This is known as a buttonhole, and its purpose is to hold a lapel pin, which is worn on special occasions and events. Lapel pins, or enamel pins, have been around for centuries, and their history dates back to 1271 AD, when the Chinese invented enameling techniques.

If you have bought a new lapel pin for the first time, this article will help you understand how you can wear them and look even more handsome.

Different Types of Lapel Pins

The term ‘lapel pin’ is generally used for all sorts of pins and accessories that you wear on your suit jacket or coat. There are various types to choose from, according to their size, method of fastening, and also the message or thought that they depict. Some of the most popular types of lapel pins are mentioned below.


A boutonniere is a flower or bouquet that is pinned onto the lapel of your jacket, and it is one of the most elegant and beautiful pins that you can wear. It is generally reserved for special occasions, such as weddings, proms, or even funerals. The word itself comes from the French language and it means a ‘buttonhole flower’. Back in the 16th century, they were also believed to keep evil spirits away from a person.

Floral Lapel Pins

Floral lapel pins consist of a single or multiple flowers that are made from a soft material, such as cotton, linen, silk, or satin. They differ from boutonnieres in the sense that they are much smaller and don’t have any stems or leaves attached with them. Plus, they can be easily stored and reused, thus making them longer-lasting as well.

Stick Pins

Stick pins are very different from the other lapel pins, and they are usually made from gold, silver, or any other metal. They have a long vertical needle with a metal fastener, and the actual design or emblem is securely displayed on the front of your lapel. They are much more contemporary as compared to the traditional flower designs, and they go well over both formal and casual attires.


Badges or mini pins don’t have any kind of stem, and they are attached to the lapel of your coat with a clasp, which can be either magnetic, rubber, or butterfly. Mostly, you can find soft and hard enamel pins, and apart from being a style statement, they are also used to put a message across strongly, which is why influential people wear them.


You must have heard of brooches, which are commonly worn by men on weddings. They are much larger than lapel pins and are a combination of fabric, netting, and a few other accessories that make it a beautiful combination. Brooches are also made from silver or gold and may also be adorned with gemstones or enamel.

Apart from these types, you can also find a couple more lapel pins, such as soft enamel pins, hard enamel pins, 3D molded pins, offset epoxy pins, printed pins, and many others. Moreover, you can also get custom pins designed and manufactured. Just as there are different types of lapel pins, there is also a difference in how they are made.

How You Can Wear Lapel Pins

The rule of thumb for wearing lapel pins is that you should pin them on the buttonhole on your lapel, which is typically found on the left lapel on your coat. Some coats have buttonholes on both lapels, but lapel pins should always be worn on the left side. If your suit doesn’t have one, you can ask your tailor to quickly sew it, or you can ask them to sew a thread at the back of the lapel, which can hold the lapel pins without having to put them through the lapel’s fabric.

While you may choose to experiment with different designs and textures when it comes to lapel pin, it is better that you don’t toy around with their placement. If you have a lapel pin in which the pin or fastener that protrudes from the lapel or is visible, it should run parallel to the closed end of the lapel, as this would also keep the flower or symbol at the top straightened.

If the fastener is askew, the lapel pin would keep tilting from side to side. You may also choose to hide the fastener behind the lapel by inverting it, and this decision lies solely on you.

Attires to Wear Lapel Pins With

Now that you have a clear idea of the different types of lapel pins, as well as the correct method for wearing them, it is time to see which attires go well with a lapel pin. Simply put, you can wear a lapel pin with anything and everything, considering that the pin doesn’t get overshadowed by the colors of your suit.

Commonly, people wear lapel pins with blazers or coats, and even with tuxedos. However, you should also keep in mind that since the pin will go through the fabric, it may leave a hole or permanent mark. So, before you go about putting on a lapel pin, make sure that the fabric isn’t delicate enough to bear a larger hole.

Additionally, you can also sport a lapel pin on your shirt or sweater, in case you aren’t planning to wear a jacket or coat with your attire. If you are used to wearing a pocket square or tie clip, you will be glad to know that they blend in perfectly with your lapel pin and the ensemble will make you look really handsome. It is best if the lapel pin complements the tie clip or pocket square, because then it will add another layer of sophistication to your look.

For this purpose, you will have to play around with different colors to see which one can be matched or worn in contrast with each other. You can also find a color matching guide on the internet, which will help you understand the colors that go well with each other. Once you have locked this down, you will be able to choose your attire and match it well with the lapel pins.

How to Choose the Right Lapel Pin?

Since you already know that lapel pins go well with any attire, you can style different pins with various styles. For instance, it wouldn’t look good if you wear a skull and bones lapel pin to a formal black tie event or to a wedding. It would definitely make heads turn and people murmur, but not in a good way. Here are some styles that you can accentuate with lapel pins.

Floral Lapel Pins

Floral lapel pins or boutonnieres are perfect for black tie and formal events, and if you are wearing a tuxedo, a boutonniere will only add to its class. You can also choose between different colors of the flower on your lapel pin, and can even match or contrast them with your tie or shirt. If you are a part of the wedding party, then you have lots of colors to experiment with.

Bold Lapel Pins

If you have a large and bright lapel pin with lots of colors, you can always wear it with your jacket on semi-formal or casual events. The important thing is to know which colors will go well with the outfit. If you have a jacket that with a unique or flashy color, then the bold lapel pin would certainly complement it. Moreover, it you are also wearing a multicolored tie, make sure to keep your shirt as plain as possible, otherwise it would make for a loud ensemble.

Toned Lapel Pins

If you are more comfortable with wearing tonal colors and don’t like flashy attires, then you can make do with a lapel pin that matches the color of your jacket, so that it adds a beautiful texture to your attire. Moreover, you can also choose a tonal color that contrasts your jacket’s appearance, or stick with a neutral color that always adds a splash of elegance to any ensemble.

Metallic Lapel Pins

Metallic lapel pins are quite attractive and stylish in themselves, which makes them suitable for all your work suits or even dinnertime attires. The ideal thing to do is to match the color of your lapel pin with the other metallic components in your suit, such as your cufflinks, belt buckle, ring, or even your watch. If you manage to match all of them, it would make for a stunning display.

Layered Lapel Pins

Last but not least, if your look involves a couple of layers, such as a coat, jacket, scarf, or tie, then you can add more depth to your look by adding a lapel pin to the mix. The key is to get a neutral dinner jacket and put a nice little lapel pin on it, which will accentuate its simplicity and class. You can also match the pin with the color of your scarf to make it even better.

Different Types of Pin Backing

Other than the type of lapel pin you choose, you can also choose between different kinds of backing, which helps you wear the pin on your lapel. The most common one of them is the stickpin, which features a long and thin needle with a collar that can be used for adjustment.

If you are worried about piercing your suit with a pin and leaving a big hole, then you can also find lapel pins that come with a magnetic backing. The magnetic clasp goes behind the lapel, and you can easily attach the front of the pin onto it. This is the easiest method of wearing a lapel pin.

Other than this, there is also a screw and nut mechanism used for some lapel pins. Another popular type of pin backing includes the butterfly pin, in which the needle locks into the cupped closure on the back of the pin. You can try out different types of pins before you settle for the one you find most convenient.

Get Attractive Enamel Pins from My Enamel Pins

If you are looking to buy your first lapel pins and wear them with different attires, My Enamel Pins has it all for you. We have the best and most attractive collection of lapel pins in different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors.

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