5 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Lapel Pins

From honoring special achievements to practicing self-expression, lapel pins are a great way to wear a stylish accessory with pride. If you're wondering where the lapel pin came from and what it means, look no further.

1. The collar pin was inspired by the corsage
As men's suits began to become a fashion staple, tailors and designers added a hole to the lapel. This hole was originally used to grow flowers, giving people a feeling of wealth and honor. Over time, the hole also became known as a corsage, known as a "button eye". It originated in the 16th century and is considered a symbol of wealth, luck and protection.
In the 19th century, the corsage was accompanied by other accessories on the lapel, such as jeweled pins and bracelets, which eventually led to the lapel pin as well. What better way for men to express themselves than by adding a unique and shiny pin to their already well-made suits?

2. Pins as status symbols
Brooches and lapel pins have been used for centuries as a way to show off someone's connection to a particular part of society. Women tend to wear jewelry to show off their wealth, while men tend to wear pins. Italian men love pins because they wear fancy brooches, also called sacred. This pin is usually worn on the brim of the hat to indicate that they made a successful religious pilgrimage.
For some people, a pin is a protective talisman that helps protect against danger. However, the most impressive ways people wear lapel pins is to show affiliation with the military or as part of a specific group.

3. About pins: soft and hard enamel
Lapel pins today are often made of enamel, which combines color, durability and economy. Soft enamels are generally more affordable and are perfect for casual wear or for team awards. Lapel pins made of soft enamel are the most widely used due to their colorful design and practicality. While hard enamel lapel pins are similar to soft enamel, they do have some differences.
Heat hard enamel pins to increase their strength. Once the pin dries, it has a smooth, clear surface that helps reveal more intricate details. These pins are aimed at the more fashion-conscious wearer, but both are equally durable and can come in any design.

4. How do the lapel pins stay in place?
The pin's clasp or backing allows it to be neatly attached to lapels, hats, bags or any other item of your choice. These attachments come in many different designs, depending on the manufacturer and your preference.
Bar stitches are the original lapel stitches that are easy to use due to their simple design. The pins themselves are attached to elongated metal rods, which are then placed directly into the grommets. The thin needle on the top slides up and down to secure or loosen the stitch for easy access.
Lapel pins today are often used with butterfly clutches. Popular in the military, this mechanism features a pointed tip on the back of the pin with a metal "butterfly" attachment. You just squeeze the sides of the butterfly to loosen the pin, then press down to reconnect it.
Other examples of lapel pin attachments include magnetic designs. Using two strong magnets, the wearer simply places the pin on the outside of the garment, then glues another magnet to the back to hold it in place. The safest form is called a screw and nut, you just screw the nut behind the pin into place to fit it neatly on the lapel.

5. Pins can be used for anything
One of the wonderful things about pins is that they can be created with almost any design imaginable. This makes a lapel pin a great way to recognize achievements, give out awards, or use as a fashion accessory.
Many sports teams use badges so fans can show off their team, or they can give the team as a reward. You'll also find these pins on police officers, firefighters, and others who work in the public sector.

Brooches can be worn as symbols of specific groups, as a sign of military rank, or even by employees to show off the company logo. And, since these pins can be made into just about anything, they're easy to customize. Many artists create their own unique designs in the form of lapel pins. From animated characters to your favorite rock band, these accessories are the perfect form of self-expression.