When I wake up every morning, I have (as I’m sure most people do) a certain routine that I must follow, in order to ensure the most positive of starts to my day. A quick catch up on any email or social media interactions that need responding to, followed by the arduous task of pulling myself out of bed and into the shower, succeeded by my boringly uninspired bowl of high-fibre cereal and a large black coffee. It is only once this strict routine has been completed that I truly am ready to start using my brain and face the first of many important questions of the day.
The first question, if I am completely honest, tends to be – “Why am I sitting at my kitchen table completely naked, when I am meant to be on the M4?” (It seems my morning routine needs refining). One poorly washed up bowl later and I face an even greater question in terms of outfit selection. What suit do I opt for and once decided, what shirt, tie and pocket square do I choose in order to project confidence and professionalism?
Usually, by this point the coffee has kicked in and I am quickly arranging an outfit so astonishing it would have Gok Wan applauding from the sidelines. Then I have the most enjoyable decision to make of my entire morning – What, if any, accessories shall I add? I keep banging on about it but remember – the devil is in the detail.
It’s the little things that make the difference. At work today, everyone is going to be wearing a suit, shirt and tie. It is often the little things that show character and individuality, helping you to stand out. For me, these little things depend on what watch I decide on. Do I go old school and opt for braces or just a smart belt? And something much less regularly seen nowadays (which instantly makes it more appealing) is the option of a tie bar or even rarer, a lapel pin.
The lapel pin is an accessory which has grown in popularity over the last few seasons. Prada’s Fall 2012 collection really caught my eye. I remember looking at the various metal pins and badges on display, reinforcing the military feel of the entire collection and I loved it. Although it was Prada, who I am a massive fan of – they probably could’ve let Bob the homeless guy walk down the catwalk and I would have been straight out rolling around in the gutter and burning cigarette holes into my trousers.
Luckily, I wasn’t alone in my adoration of Prada’s collection and it showed me how the addition of something so small could totally transform a look or help to emphasize any image which you wish to portray. Since then, I have always ensured that if suitable I have one of these pins mounted on my left lapel.
The great thing about the lapel pin is how suitable it is for all occasions. I will wear a lapel pin to work so long as it isn’t too fussy or loud. Alternatively, I will often wear one on a night out. A blazer or sports jacket worn without a tie can instantly look unique with a lapel pin and it can also serve as a practical solution to a wayward scarf for example.
Available in a huge variety of shapes and materials, the options are almost unlimited. There are however a few considerations that I would advise before adding one of these to your outfit.
Less is more. Try not to overload the outfit. Avoid putting on too much metal by combining the pin with a lot of other jewellery. If I wear a tie bar for example, I will try to match it with a small lapel pin or I’d dismiss it all together.
When attending a more formal occasion, it may be advised to opt for a smaller more conservative style. Enough to still project an air of individuality and confidence but without screaming LOOK AT ME! I tend to go for darker colours with more of a block pattern and design.
Make sure whatever lapel pin you choose works well with the tie or pocket square. If the tie or pocket square selections are particularly loud in terms of colour or pattern, a more reserved pin with a smaller head will match better than say a large colourful flower. If you do fancy giving the large colourful flower pin some air time, add it to an outfit with a more conservative tie/pocket square combination to spice things up.
Remember lapel pins do not need be kept exclusively for suit jackets or blazers. They can also be utilised on other items of clothing. Shirt collars and even overcoat lapels are equally suitable terrains to find one of these pins residing.