Six Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Lapel Pins

December 23, 2018

Believe it or not, the history of lapel pins is long and winding. With the modern incarnation dating back over 800 years, and with custom lapel pins now gaining popularity, they are a classy way to show off your personality.

Whether you’re using custom lapel pins to show love of country or a love of pop culture, they’re sure to make a statement. Here are six fun things you didn’t know about the history of lapel pins, brought to you by The/Studio.

The Decor on Lapel Pins Dates Back to the 13th Century

Precursors to the lapel pin were made using a specific metalworking technique called cloisonné that was developed around or near the Byzantine Empire in the Near East, and was later popularized in China during the Yuan Dynasty. This specific enamel technique has been refined over the years and is also used to make other decorative items, such as hair pins, jewelry, fine art, and decorative housewares.

Lapel Pins Have No Actual Purpose

While some may argue that lapel pins can make a political statement, in actuality, they are simply a form of fashion for the debonaire man or woman looking to make a personal statement. Lapel pins don’t hold anything in place or have any actual function; they simply offer a way to adorn an outfit.

Lapel Pins May Originate from Boutonnieres

The small hole in the lapel of men’s suits was once used to hold fresh flowers. The boutonniere, or “buttonhole flower” in English, became popular in the 16th century as a way to repel bad luck. In the 19h century, jeweled pins, watch chains, and cigar cases joined the boutonniere as a part of everyday dress for men.

Lapel Pins Are Actually Brooches

Lapel pins only really got their name in recent years as a way to distinguish them from brooches, which are technically the same thing. Pins – including safety pins and sewing pins – are used hold things together, whereas a brooch is a decorative pin or clasp.

Lapel Pins Were Used to Denote Affiliation

Lapel pins or brooches have been used for hundreds of years to show affiliation to a specific sector of society. In fact, in the sixteenth century, Italian men wore a form of brooch called an enseigne on the brim of their hats to represent a successful religious pilgrimage, as well as a charm for protection after visiting a particular shrine. Pins and brooches can also reflect affiliation or rank within a particular group, such as military insignia.

Lapel Pins Have Evolved Tremendously

While lapel pins have been used historically for many purposes, today they’re used as a fashion accessory. They come in many forms including floral lapel pins that mimic a boutonniere, badge pins that show an affiliation (such as the American Flag lapel pin), collar pins that go on either side of a tie, and even personalized custom lapel pins.

Check out the custom enamel pins from The/Studio today. We offer custom lapel pins manufacturing with no minimum quantity and fast turnaround.

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Lapel Pins