When it comes to accessories, guys kinda get shafted. The rules of man jewelry are a topic for another day, but while women get choose from all manners of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, men are, for the most part, limited to watches.
Don’t get me wrong, watches are an incredible way to show off your personal style. There is a watch for every wrist, whether you lean towards modern or classic, sleek or chunky. But a man’s style evolves from year to year, season to season, and day to day. Amassing a collection of watches that reflects those changes can easily set you back a few G’s, and if you really get down the rabbit hole, prices rival those of a new car.
That’s what makes lapel pins so awesome. They make a statement, but not too loud of one. I like to think of a pin as an “in the know” wink. Because of its diminutive size, not everyone will notice it, which is kind of the point, but those that do are more likely to show their appreciation.
The price of a pin makes it probably the most accessible accessory there is. When you get tired of an old one or just want to cop something new, you can easily do so without having to worry about making your rent. There aren’t many things in life that you can get for less than $20, let alone ones that will garner you plenty of compliments.
Pins are also incredibly versatile. While they were traditionally placed on the lapel of a suit jacket or blazer, today they go just about anywhere, from the collar of a jacket to the breast of a T-shirt to the pocket of a backpack. A guy can rock just one or assemble a bunch of pins in a collage. The result is the same: Because most guys want to wear a uniform of some sort (whether that’s jeans-and-a-T-shirt or suit-and-tie)—but don’t want to be “uniform”—adding a pin becomes a subtle way to stand out from the pack.
It helps that we seem to be living in the golden age of pins. Brands like Pintrill and Prize Pins make pins their primary focus and not an afterthought. The larger fashion world has taken notice, as evidenced by the raft of pin collaborations that are constantly dropping.
So as you start adding layers to your wardrobe now that fall is arriving, it’s also time to start adding pins to those layers. These eight pins will get you started. Just be ready, once you start pulling together a collection, you will probably want to go all Pokémon and try to catch ‘em all.
1. PINTRILL “FOAMS”
More than anyone else, Pintrill has been pushing the pin movement forward by capturing the cultural zeitgeist. Its sneaker pins are some of the most popular and it’s easy to see why with this Supreme x Nike Foamposite one.
2. GEORGIA PERRY “BOWIE”
Ziggy Stardust lives! Georgia Perry specializes in immortalizing cultural icons in pin form. The Larry David one is another favorite.
3. THE HILL-SIDE “RAMEN”
Every time you wear this pin, you’ll instantly want to eat ramen. And there isn’t a damn thing wrong with that.
4. PRIZE PINS “RAZOR”
This razor pin will definitely keep your look sharp, just don’t try to open any boxes with it.
5. SUPREME “BLADE JOINTMAN”
It’s a cowboy with a joint for a body playing music. Don’t overthink it. Just enjoy it.
6. NO FUN “FUCK OFF”
While it may not be ideal to wear on a first date, No Fun’s unambiguous pin is good for those days when you just don’t want to deal (and allows you to say it without saying it).
7. PAUL SMITH “OK”
For those days when you want to convey the opposite sentiment of the “Fuck Off” pin. You can also flip it upside down and rock it as a “Knockout” pin.
8. PINTRILL X NATUREL “CASH WINGS”
Pintrill also stands out for its collaborations. Capturing the multifaceted work of artist Naturel isn’t easy, but Pintrill pulled it off with this flying cash pin.
9. VINTAGE THUNDERBIRD
Obviously, this costs a lot more than the other pins on this list, but some items are worth the investment. The vintage pin is made of silver rather than the standard enamel and features a small turquoise stone.