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Every suit jacket has 2 lapels, which are the folded-back parts on either side of the jacket just below your collar. A lapel pin (or suit pin) is a pin (I kid you not) that is worn on the left lapel of your suit jacket. They have no real purpose, except for enhancing your look, of course. Sometimes, though, they're used to indicate an affiliation with a certain organisation/club/group.
Lapel pins are vintage suit accessories that have made a serious comeback during the last few years. Adding the right lapel pin to your suit jacket can really enhance your look. It's important you choose a suit pin that adds to your outfit and doesn't just look like an out-of-place novelty piece. There are different types of lapel pins such as lapel flower pins and badge pins.
Let's have a look at the different types of suit pins you can get to spruce up your classic suit ensemble.
The flower lapel pin is an artificial substitute for the boutonnière, which is an actual flower piece attached to your lapel. Boutonnières are often worn for weddings and other formal occasions. For semi-formal wear and less traditional occasions, synthetic lapel flowers are more popular. When choosing a lapel flower, make sure you match colours and pick one that's not too large. The flower pin should not overwhelm your entire outfit, yet add a sophisticated, unique touch to it. It's a good idea to match its colour with the colour of your pocket square.
These types of pins are often referred to as enamel pins. They are usually smaller than flower pins and don't stand out as much. They are perfect for when you want to add a playful touch to your suit jacket but don't like how much a flower pin stands out.
You can wear a lapel pin whenever you want, of course, but there are a few fashion rules you should know about (and can then break as you please).
Weddings. The perfect event for wearing a lapel pin or boutonnière. Real flowers are often more traditionally used here, but feel free to break the "rules" of course.
Tuxedo events. If your tuxedo has a button hole, you may as well put a flower in it! For formal tuxedo events, the rule is to wear a single blossom boutonnière in white or red.
Everyday wear. You won't see many guys rock a lapel pin on their everyday suit. But that's all the more reason for you to wear one. We don't advise flower pins for most work environments, but a subtle enamel pin will add just the right touch of flair to your suit. You can even wear one on your sweater or casual blazer.
On any occasion, lapel pins are a great option for sprucing up your suit with a touch of colour. Whether you go for a flower pin or badge, just make sure the accessory fits your style and complements your outfit.