As we’ve said before, a few well-placed trinkets can be the best way to bring a suit down to earth. The trick is finding a trinket that’s every bit as handsome as your suit.
Well, we’ve found one. It’s a studio exclusive lapel pin from Occulter, made from gold and 80-year-old piano ivory. The key point: when you open it up, you’ll have room for a pair of scrimshawed initials and one of those locket photos you’ve see in movies. It’s gentlemanly style circa 1800, which isn’t something you come across every day.
And if you’ve incurred the wrath of your significant other recently—or plan on doing so in the near future—it’s not a bad peace offering.
One of the pleasant surprises of this round of Fashion Week shows was how many gents showed up with a little flash on their lapels. Of course, we’ve already sung the praises of the tie pin, but the lapel pin gives you a lot more room to work—and there’s a tribal element that never quite made its way to the tie pin. In days of yore, this was where you’d show your allegiance to the Kiwanis, Electricians Local 229 or the Cleveland Browns. Nowadays, all you’re likely to see is the cable-news-approved flag pin, which is the opposite of the personal touch you should be looking for.
The best pins hew closer to nostalgia than kitsch, like a vintage brass eagle or (if possible) your granddad’s local 229 pin. Something with a story behind it. Something personal. Throw enough of them together and you’ve got a fair portrait of where a man’s coming from. It’s a way to elevate your suit out of the sharp-but-forgettable limbo where most gentlemen find themselves. And if, along the way, you get the chance to rep the Kiwanis, all the better.
Of course, finding them is easier said than done—especially if you want something with a bit of history—but the first step is to start looking.
We’re not usually much for coin collecting, but the latest plans for the penny just caught our eye.
Starting this year, you’ll start to see pennies with this symbol on their back half, thanks to some timely nostalgia at the U.S. Mint—and we couldn’t be happier. The symbol in the middle, far and away our favorite part, is called the Union Shield. It dates back to the 1780s, and you can see a few of them around the frescoes of the Capitol if you're the touring kind, making it one of the cooler retro revivals of the year so far.
We’ve never been thrilled about the flag pin revival of the 00s, but if everyone threw these on their lapels (this one, for instance), we would definitely be game.