How To Wear A Lapel Pin

Manu Luize
10 Min Read

A well-placed lapel pin can add that touch of refinement to your outfit and turn it from drab to dapper. Wearing an outfit that is put together well can show others that you have style and know how to dress yourself.

Custom lapel pins

Although lapel pins are small, they can be a lot of hassle to figure out. Do you have any questions about wearing a lapel pin? If so, we have the answers for you in our handy guide.

What Is A Lapel Pin?

A lapel pin is a small, often decorative pin that is worn on the lapel of a jacket. The custom made lapel pins come in all shapes and sizes, from small badges that represent someone’s affiliation with a group or cause – like the Monty Racing Club Lapel Pin Badge – to floral boutonnieres or long-stemmed pins perfect for a wedding.

But what are lapels? They are the folded-back fabric on either side of a coat or jacket, below the collar and near the front opening.

There are many different pins that can be placed on the lapel for a stylish flair:


The most formal lapel pin for men, the boutonnière, is made from either a real or fabric flower – high-quality ones often being crafted from silk. These are typically worn to formal events, such as weddings, funerals and black-tie occasions.

Long-Stem Pins

The long-stem is a fashion pin more tailored to the modern gentleman. There is a style for every occasion. You’re guaranteed to find something you like. flowers, feathers, and animals are just some of the many different types of designs you’ll find that are made from metallic materials. You can also be confident that each one comes with a long-stem pin to securely attach it to your lapel.

Badges/Mini Pins

Wearing a badge or mini pin is a fun way to show your personality through your clothing. Similar to cufflinks, they come in all sorts of styles; from precious stone pins, to personalized badges, to vintage pins.

Badges are an excellent way to show some personality through your clothing. The pin badges include the Original Monty Duffle Coat Pin Badge, which features the hero coat worn by General Montgomery in WWII. There’s also a retro-inspired Love Pin Badge, designed by Josh Parkin. You can pin them onto your satchel, jacket or jumper easily.

How To Wear A Lapel Pin

men lapel

What Side To Wear Lapel Pin

The only rule you need to remember when it comes to where your lapel pin goes is that it should be on the left lapel. Position it just under the collar point and closer to your shoulder than your pocket square, if you’re wearing one.

If your suit jacket has buttonholes made for boutonnieres, great. If not, don’t fret–you can just as easily pierce the pin straight through the material. Watch out so that you don’t accidentally damage your suit jacket when you’re putting it on!

Lapel Pin On A Tie

If you have a lapel pin but no jacket to wear it on, don’t fret! You can place the lapel pin on your tie instead. It’s most aesthetically pleasing to put the lapel near the middle of the tie. But if you do have a jacket, make sure to put the lapel pin on the left side of the placket.

Lapel Pin On Dress Shirt

If you’re not wearing a jacket or tie, place the lapel pin on your dress shirt. It can go near your heart on the left side of the shirt, where a lapel would typically be positioned.

Lapel Pin On Coat

You could showcase your lapel pins more often by adding them to your coat. For everyday wear, it’s common to use badges or mini pins as coat pins. Most high quality and more formal coats will feature a buttonhole on the left lapel. If not, you could pin these to the left lapel or even collar to give your outerwear look that element of individuality.

Lapel Pin Etiquette

How To Put On A Boutonnière

A debate that often occurs is whether the bottom of a boutonnière or long-stem pin should be hidden or visible behind the lapel. Although it is more traditional to keep the bottom concealed, showing it has been gradually becoming popular for a slightly edgier look – especially if the design is smaller. There is no correct way. Experiment with both and see which you feel looks best with your outfit.

With such a wide range of colors available, it can be tricky to decide which one to choose for your lapel pin. We think that the color of your lapel pin should enhance the rest of your suit rather than add unnecessary clutter with colors or patterns that match your tie or pocket square. If you’re unsure, go with a neutral color like off white or gray that goes well with most other colors.

When it comes to looking your best, sometimes less is more. Wearing multiple pieces of jewelry or lapel pins can come across as being messy, unless it’s for a good cause like wearing a Remembrance poppy. Achieving a look that says sophistication often requires minimalism.

When To Wear A Lapel Pin

Now that you know how to wear a lapel pin, it’s important to be aware of when it is appropriate or inappropriate to do so. Lapel pins come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Formal Events

More formal events, such as black tie occasions, are the perfect time to showcase your lapel pins. If you’re wearing a tuxedo to a formal event, the lapels will usually be peaked. While this type of lapel is generally the most formal and fashionable option, shawl collars are also acceptable. When opting for a shawl collar, it is customary to wear the lapel pin on the left lapel which should already have a working buttonhole. Wearing a tuxedo is also an occasion for carrying a boutonnière – ideally made with real blossoms in colors that complement the formality of the event.

The boutonnière, real or material, is also a fashionable choice to wear to a wedding. The most popular and traditional flower would be the carnation. However, other colors and flowers are slowly becoming more common. If it fits into the theme of the wedding, people often use alternatives such as lavender, roses and sunflowers.


Although not very common in recent years, it was once commonplace for companies to give employees a lapel pin to signify their accomplishments or show company loyalty. While two pins are the maximum you should wear at one time, they can be worn every day as a suit or coat pin.

Everyday Wear

A rose pin might be too flashy for a night out at the pub, but that doesn’t mean other types of lapel pins can’t be everyday wear. More subtle pins like our Monty Racing Club Lapel Pin Badge and Shield Lapel Pin Badge could give your suit some extra flair while you’re going about your daily routine at work. Badges and mini pins can even be worn without a lapel – just attach them to a casual jacket, sweater or duffle coat to add some personality to your outfit.

You don’t need a special occasion to sport a lapel pin! With the right styling, they can make regular appearances in your day-to-day life. They’re an excellent way to add some pizzazz to your outfit. Now that you know how to wear them properly, maybe you’ll feel confident enough to show off that new lapel pin at work or on your next date night.

Posted by Manu Luize
Manu Luize is a fashion and beauty blogger with over 10 years of experience. As an expert in fashion and beauty, she has been writing about chic outfits, stunning nail art, amazing decor tips, and great travel destinations.