When most men think of suit accessories, they envision ties and pocket squares. Ties and pocket squares are synonymous with men's suits. Most men always wear a tie with a suit, and many of them will wear a pocket square as well. There are other accessories, however, that you can include in a formal outfit. In addition to a tie and pocket square, you may want to accessorize your suit with a lapel pin.
What Is a Lapel Pin?
A lapel pin is a pin accessory that's worn on the lapel of a suit jacket. As long as your suit jacket has lapels, it will accommodate a lapel pin. You can clip a lapel pin through a lapel on your suit jacket.
Like most other suit accessories, lapel pins are worn for decorative purposes. They won't affect the function or utility of your suit jacket. Rather, lapel pins will only affect the appearance of your suit jacket. Nonetheless, you can wear a lapel pin to achieve a more stylish suit outfit.
Lapel Pins vs Boutonnieres
There are also boutonnieres. While similar to lapel pins, boutonnieres aren't the same. A boutonniere is a small bunch of flowers or flower buds, whereas a lapel pin is a traditional pin.
Lapel pins and boutonnieres are similar in the sense that they are both worn on the lapel of a suit jacket. The difference is that boutonnieres consist exclusively of flowers or flower buds. Lapel pins, on the other hand, are traditional pins. When getting married, men will oftentimes wear a boutonniere. For other formal occasions, they may wear a lapel pin. Of course, you don't have to wear a lapel pin or a boutonniere. But if you want to accessorize your suit outfit, you may want to choose a lapel pin or boutonniere.
How Lapel Pins Are Made
There are different manufacturing processes used to make lapel pins. Some of them are photo etched. Photo-etched lapel pins are made by stamping out the shape from a piece of material. The material, such as aluminum, is exposed to a high-powered stamping machine. As the stamp drops on the material, it forms a lapel pin in the appropriate size and shape.
Other lapel pins are made by screen printing. Also known as silk screening, screen printing is a manufacturing process that involves the application of colored pigment. The colored pigment is transferred to the lapel pins via a mesh-like device.
Many lapel pins are made via etching. Etching is typically used in conjunction with stamping. Stamping is used to create the shape of a lapel pin from a piece of raw material. After achieving the appropriate size and shape, the lapel pin is etched. Etching is used to create the colors and design. There are other ways to make lapel pins, but many of them use one of these manufacturing processes.
Choosing the Right Lapel Pin
Not all lapel pins are made equal. There are hundreds if not thousands of different lapel pins. Some men, in fact, make their own lapel pins. If you're going to accessorize your suit with a lapel pin, you'll need to choose the right type.
The color of your lapel pin matters. Avoid choosing a lapel pin in the same color as your suit jacket. While you can typically wear a tie in the same color as your suit jacket, the lapel pin needs to be a different color. If the lapel pin is the same color, it will blend into your suit jacket, resulting in a bland appearance.
You should consider the design when choosing a lapel pin. One of the great things about lapel pins is that they are available in so many different designs. You can find them in national flag designs. Many government officials will often wear a lapel pin featuring their country's national flag.
There are many other designs in which lapel pins are made. Some of them feature basic geometric shapes, whereas others feature the shapes of animals or objects. You can even order custom lapel pins. Custom lapel pins allow you to choose your own design.
Before buying a lapel pin, check to see what material it's made of. While most of them are made of metal, the type of metal from which they are made will vary. Aluminum lapel pins are relatively common. They are lightweight, inexpensive and highly customizable. There are also steel lapel pins. Steel lapel pins typically cost more, but they are stronger and more durable than aluminum lapel pins. You can even find bronze lapel pins. Bronze lapel pins offer a unique gold-like color that many men prefer.
Tips on Wearing a Lapel Pin
After choosing the right lapel pin, you'll be able to include it in your suit outfits. As their name suggests, lapel pins are worn on a lapel. Proper suit etiquette calls for lapel pins to be worn on the left lapel (your left, not the observer's left). In other words, you should wear the lapel pin directly over your heart.
When positioning the lapel pin, make sure it's not too low. A common mistake men make when wearing lapel pins is positioning them too low on their suit jackets. Lapel pins should be placed high enough so that they are easy to see. You can typically position a lapel pin about a half-inch from the top of your suit jacket's lapel.
Keep in mind that you should only accessorize your suit jacket with a single lapel pin. Wearing two or more lapel pins at the same time will only backfire. It will create a messy appearance. Furthermore, there's not enough space on suit jackets to support multiple lapel pins -- at least not when positioning them near the top.
Lapel pins are pin accessories that are designed to be worn on the lapel of a suit jacket. By choosing the right lapel pin, you can enhance your suit outfit. Just remember to consider the color, design and material when choosing a lapel pin.