A few months ago, we had a sample sale at the Put This On office in Los Angeles. A nice young man was taking a look at our jewelry case, and he asked about a stickpin. “What is that?”
I helped him tuck it into his lapel. A few days later, he sent us an email: “this is awesome! I[’ve gotten so many compliments! Can I come over and buy more?”
In the dandified goldrush of the last five or eight years, I’ve seen a lot of creative accessories. Bracelets. Tie bars. Pocket squares, of course. Wool felt flower boutonnieres. But stickpins are, I believe sincerely, an untapped resource.
Stickpins originally were made for cravats. An abundance of silk around the neck needed something to tame it, so Victorian and Edwardian gentlemen often planted things in place with a stickpin.
By the mid-20th century, a simpler tie pin controlled the simpler necktie, and the stickpin had migrated (mostly) to the lapel. Ever seen an American flag on a politicians coat? That’s what we’re talking about – but the absolute worst case scenario.
I started wearing a stickpin in my lapel pretty regularly a couple of years ago, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I have a diamond that I wear for special occasions, but mostly I like figural pieces in non-precious metals. Ones like the acorns above. A pearl is nice, too – goes with everything. If the jewel isn’t too intense, it can be a nice compliment to a pocket square, rather than a replacement. It’s tough for men to wear jewelry, especially if you don’t wear double-cuff shirts. Stickpins are a nice way to incorporate something special into your wardrobe.
If you’re looking for stickpins, try antique shops and flea markets where you live – you’ll often find them stuck into a pincushion with some ladies’ hat pins. You can also try collectibles websites like 1stdibs.com or eBay.