Why would I want lapel pins?
What makes lapel pins great is that they are visible and at the same time discreet ways of promoting your cause, showing off your affiliation, or making a statement. Lapel pins were first used to distinguish among units during the American Civil War. They were later used to reward distinguished soldiers after the World Wars and the Vietnam War. Today, lapel pins are not limited to being flag pins or recognition pins for veterans. Big companies use logo pins to promote their brands, employers award recognition pins to employees who have worked in the company for a certain number of years or who have done something remarkable for the company. Non-profit organizations and youth organizations use lapel pins to promote awareness, to thank sponsors, and for a lot of other purposes. Some lapel pins are family heirlooms and become symbols of a family’s unity or even power in the community.
Lapel pins, besides being discreet and visible at the same time, are practical in the sense that you can pin them on any item of clothing. You can carry them around with you (unlike mugs, trophies, or certificates). Also, you can wear them every day (unlike shirts).
Another great thing about lapel pins is that they make good conversation pieces—and not only among acquaintances at a party. The issue of President Obama’s flag pin (or absence of the said flag pin) made the news. Celebrities or newscasters wearing certain lapel pins to promote causes or commemorate occasions become big news. All of this because of a tiny piece of colored metal. Amazing, right?
But one doesn’t just stick half a dozen lapel pins onto your outfit of the day. While you could probably put your lapel pins on your cap, with attire, especially with formal attire, there is a certain etiquette that needs to be observed when wearing lapel pins, whether they are flag pins, ribbon pins for cancer awareness, or recognition pins.
Lapel pin etiquette and care
First, know why you are wearing a particular pin. Do not wear ambiguous-looking pins or those with statements or designs that can be misinterpreted.
Lapel pins should be no bigger than ½ inch in any dimension.
Lapel pins should be worn on the left lapel. Some prefer to wear them in the middle of their neckties; this is acceptable. Women can wear their lapel pins on the left side of their shirts.
It is very important that you wear the lapel pin as it ought to be worn. An upside-down flag or logo is a statement in itself—and one that you might not have intended to wear on your shirt for the entire day.
It is generally acceptable to wear only up to two pins.
On a more practical note, one should be careful with sticking lapel pins into clothing. Lightweight shirts can get damaged easily, especially when stuck through the threads in such a way that it tears them. Using lapel pins with polyester clothing is alright as long as the pin goes through more than one layer of cloth. Wearing lapel pins with silk clothing is not advisable. Instead, one can use lapel pins with magnetic attachments. This kind of attachment uses two magnetic discs—one attached to the pin and another one for inside your clothing.
Whatever kind of cloth or attachment you use, never forget to remove the lapel pins from your clothes at the end of the day. No one wants punctures in their clothes from wearing their favorite recognition pins.
If you want to get your own customized lapel pins, check out lapel pin online stores.