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Lapel Pin Etiquette

Updated April 17, 2017

Lapel pins are a popular fashion accessory for men and women. Lapel pins are available in a variety of designs, including awareness ribbons and holiday themes. They are subtle way to accessorise a business ensemble while also expressing your interests. Look more polished and professional by following a few rules of lapel pin etiquette.

Clothing

Lapel pins are typically be worn on suit jackets and blazers. They may also be worn on coats, silk scarves, blouses and other clothing. Etiquette guidelines are primarily concerned with lapel pins on jackets and blazers.

Size

Avoid wearing lapel pins that are too large, because they may look awkward and unprofessional. Most lapel pins are about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter and are round or square in shape. Irregularly shaped lapel pins may be larger.

Placement

Wear lapel pins on the left lapel. Both men's and women's lapel pins should be worn on the widest part of the lapel, centred horizontally. Try wearing the pin in different locations on the left lapel, moving it up and down until it looks right. If the lapel pin features words, a picture or an insignia, wear it with the words or picture facing right-side up.

Significance

Wear a lapel pin with personal significance. Pins featuring an insignia from a corporation, fraternity, community organisation or religious order are popular choices. Lapel pins often act as conversation starters in business and social situations, so avoid wearing a pin without personal significance, because this may lead to awkward conversation.

U.S. Flag Pins

Wear U.S. flag lapel pins on the left lapel, right-side up with the stars on the upper left and the stripes running horizontally.

Special Considerations

Wear only one lapel pin at a time. Multiple lapel pins worn together can appear cluttered and be distracting. To avoid piercing and potentially damaging clothing, choose lapel pins with magnetic closures.

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About the Author

Lane Madison is a freelance writer and editor with over eight years experience as a corporate paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English and a paralegal certificate. Her writing has been published on various websites.