How do I Wear Large Ribbons & Medals?

Updated July 20, 2017

Ribbons and medals can be worn with great dignity and pride. A large medal or ribbon can be slightly tricky to wear well. It is easy for the medal or ribbon to look out of place on an outfit, and it is sometimes difficult to figure out how exactly to fasten it onto your garments. Many ribbons and medals have a specific proper position, especially if they are military medals.

Decide on which garment you will wear the medal or ribbon. If it is a military medal, the most appropriate place to wear it is on your dress uniform. For other awards, a dress shirt is acceptable as long as the fabric is strong enough to support the weight of the medal or ribbon without causing either to droop. A jacket may be a better choice upon which to secure the award because it provides a sturdier anchor.

Arrange the medals or ribbons on the garment where you wish to secure them. For military medals, the appropriate place to wear the medal is on the left breast. Multiple ribbons are traditionally arranged on a military ribbon bar worn on the uniform. Other types of awards are traditionally worn on the left side over your heart.

Sew or pin the ribbons or medals in place securely. Medals should have an attachment point somewhere on them which will make it possible to sew them onto a garment. The choice of sewing or pinning is determined by how long you wish to wear the award on that particular garment.


If you are displaying more than one medal or ribbon on your garment, try different ways of arranging them. For example, you could arrange medals in a row so that they overlap.

Things You'll Need

  • Medals or ribbons
  • Safety pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Metal bar (optional)
  • Shirt or coat
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About the Author

Jyoti Jennings has covered topics ranging from literature analysis to vegetarian diets and ozone therapy. Her work has appeared in the university publications "Howl" and "Sketchbook." Also a certified yoga instructor, Jennings holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, San Bernardino.