Share Your Flair: How to Wear Enamel Pins

What do Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, every U.S. President since Richard Nixon, and Jason Momoa have in common?

They all know how to wear enamel pins.

Enamel pins aren’t just flair for the Hollywood and Washington, D.C., elite, though. Not to overstate it, but we think pins are the single most versatile and accessible fashion accessory in the world because they
  • are small so they fit everywhere;
  • have unlimited design potential, so they match every outfit;
  • allow you to make a statement; and
  • don’t cost a lot, so you can change them out often.
Take that, every other accessory.

To really let your flair flag fly, you’re going to need some creative ways to wear all those amazing and adorable enamel pins you’ve been collecting. Whether it’s on your bonnet, belt, or backpack, here are some of the most creative ideas we’ve found for how to wear enamel pins.

Liven up your lanyards

Spice up your work or school lanyard with a few favorite pins. Or if you’re headed to a place where other #pinheads gather, fill a lanyard with the pins you’re ready to trade.

Lanyards for pin trading

Lanyards are now standard kit for serious traders at pin-centric locations like pin expos and Disney parks. So when you’re gearing up to go, fill a lanyard with your most tradable pins and you’ve got a mini-billboard, instantly showing everyone that you’re down to trade.

Here’s an example from Steven Miller, a communications manager for Disney who’s helped design many Disney pins.
Disney enamel pin lanyard

Cast members at Disney parks tote these “lanyard pins” so they can trade with willing guests.

The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood blog shows you how to make your own Disney pin lanyard, so you’re never without a place to place your favorite pins.

The pin-trading hustle goes way beyond the House of Mouse. Here’s a lovely lanyard from the Olympics, another hotbed of pin-trading action.

Olympic enamel pin lanyard

If you’ve got trading on your mind, a lanyard is a great way to wear your enamel pins.

The pin/lanyard set

You can get super stylish with a made-for-each-other lanyard and enamel pin set.

For example, this sushi-themed combo is of-fish-ally the cutest collaboration ever.
Sushi themed enamel pin and lanyard set

Of course, there are plenty of Disney sets available as well.
Disney themed enamel pin and lanyard set

Now you can find lapel/pin sets from other pop-culture brands, like Marvel and Star Wars. Wait ... those are Disney, too. Everything’s Disney!

Lanyards for school or work

You don’t always get a lot of opportunities to flaunt your personality when you’re on the job or in the classroom. One way to do so is by decorating your lanyard with pins that show off your style.

University of Northhampton blings up their school lanyards:

Lanyard with heart shaped enamel pin attached


And this retail employee took their lanyard to the max with just a few friendly pins.

Retail lanyard with enamel pins attached


If you have to wear a lanyard anyway, why not give it a bit of pin flair?

Beautify your badge holders

Don’t wear lanyards but need to keep your badge visible? No worries. Just add a little extension on your badge holder, and voila! Plenty of space for your pins.
ID Badge holder with pins attached

If you’re a manager, and your team wears badge holders or lanyards, you could even give them some pins as recognition for their loyalty and hard work.

Jazz up your jackets

Enamel pins were made for jackets. They’re literally called lapel pins, as in the lapel of a jacket. From basic to bad-ass, here are several ways to wear enamel pins on your favorite coat or jacket.

Jean jacket

Jean jackets are the most versatile, durable fashion trend in history. For 130 years, everyone from pop stars to cowboys, from runway models to train conductors, has donned these denim duds. Take this iconic outerwear to the next level with a healthy dose of your best enamel pins.

A single pin on the lapel or pocket is an understated option.

Instagram screenshot of an enamel pin on a jean jacket collar


Or you can fill it up with loads of pins.

back of a denim jacked with several enamel pins attached


But if you really want to make a statement, go full meta jacket with a jacket-full of pins that look like jackets that have pins on them.

Enamel pin shaped like a jean jacket


Ita jacket

An ita jacket is a new spin on the ita bag. Ita jackets have a pouch specifically designed to hold your pins.
ita jacket with enamel pins attached

Ita jackets are getting popular. The Kickstarter campaign for this jacket raised over $180K, or 7,236% of its goal.

Suit jacket

You can’t get any sharper-dressed than the pointy end of an enamel pin. No matter the formal-wear occasion, the right enamel pin will be an icebreaking conversation starter.

Pins with a purpose are a popular choice. Justin Timberlake shows us the way.
Instagram screenshot of Justin Timberlake with an enamel pin

You can’t beat the polished, high-quality look of a hard enamel pin for formal occasions. But remember, there are rules to how you wear them on suits. They should always be placed on the left lapel, and in most cases, you should keep it to a single pin.

Create stylish straps

It really doesn’t matter what they’re holding up (your pants, a guitar); if you see a strap, it’s ready to be pinned.


Belts have holes. Pins fit in holes. The synergy is obvious.

Belt with an enamel pin attached


We never thought of it before, but a belt loop is also a great spot for a pin.

Jeans with an enamel pin attached to the belt loop


It’s securely fastened and the pin back won’t dig into your skin.


Suspenders are a quirky fashion statement to begin with. Lean into the offbeat aesthetic by adding a handful of your favorite enamel pins.
Woman wearing suspenders with enamel pins attached

A word of caution: the snapping of suspenders gets a lot more serious when they’ve been weaponized with pin-backs.


If jeans, a shirt, and suspenders got together to make one super-garment, you’d have overalls. And those straps are just begging to be decked out with some enamel pins.

Overalls with enamel pins attached


Anything with a strap

Look around your home. How many things do you see with straps? Don’t just leave them bare. Get to garnishing them with your enamel pins.

This guitar strap is instantly improved with a pin.

Guitar strap with an enamel pin attached


And just look at how photogenic this pinned camera strap is.

Camera strap with enamel pins attached


There are millions of pin designs in the world. It won’t be hard to find some that match your passion. For example, picture your camera equipment tricked out with this perfectly paired Polaroid pin.

enamel pin shaped like a polaroid camera


You’ll not find a better match than that.

Add some sass to your shirts

Enamel pins can add flair to just about any top, from a Saturday-night favorite to a laundry-day sweatshirt.

There are no rules for pinning casual tops. Just stick ’em wherever you feel comfortable.

Instagram screenshot of an enamel pin on a shirt


Placing a matched set on shirt collars is just an adorable look.

woman wearing two enamel pins shaped like bowling ball pins


Don’t think we didn’t notice that these are pin pins. Brilliant!

If you have a little extra time, a pair of vice grips, a metal grinder, and some epoxy, this tutorial will show you how to turn your enamel pins into cuff links.

Fill your hat to the brim with pins

Sometimes it’s a fashion statement. Sometimes it’s an alternative to washing your hair. Either way, hats are a staple in everyone’s wardrobe. Why not seize the opportunity to lift your lid game and decorate your derby with some of your most prized pins?

Stocking hat

The big knit of stocking hats and beanies (or toboggans if you’re in the southern U.S.) allows you to pin them up without damaging the material.

Kind of like the belt loop idea, placing pins on the outer fold of your hat will provide protection from pin-on-skin interactions.

stocking hat with enamel pins attached


Since we have a side theme of pins shaped like the things they’re pinned to, how about these knit-hat pins?

An enamel pin shaped like a stocking hat


We haven’t tried it yet, but you could probably even pin the pom-pom.

Ball caps

Ball caps are the most casual of headwear, so you can go crazy with any pin theme that tickles your fancy and place them anywhere you like on the cap.

The brim is fertile ground for planting a bunch of pins.

Girl wearing a cap with an enamel pin attached


But it isn’t cheating to have a little side pin, too.

Cap with several enamel pins on the brim


Really, the entire cap is a blank canvas waiting for your creative pin expressions.

Tyrolean German hat

We’re digging deep here, but if you happen to be into historic German Alpine hat culture, then here’s another option for wearing enamel pins.
German hat with several enamel pins attached

It’s become quite the rage to cover your green felt head-spread with pins of all shapes and sizes. Dig out your best beer-stein bling and let’s do this.

Make your best vest festive

What are vests for? To keep your core warm while your arms are left out in the cold? No, they’re for weighing down with all the shiny things. Oh, and battle vests are a thing you should know about.

Disney vest

From the people who brought you trading-pin lanyards comes the next evolution in enamel collectible display outerwear.

Vest filled with Disney enamel pins

The sheer square footage of a vest just means you can show off a dazzling number of pins.

They’re not just utilitarian. Oh no. These bad boys are stylish as well.

Vest and jacket filled with Disney enamel pins


At Disney, to be dressed like the best, you’ll need a vest like the rest.

Work vest

Lots of jobs require you to wear a vest to let customers know you work there. A few pins will say, “Sure, I’m going to get the job done, but I’ll have fun while I do it.”

Walmart vest with enamel pins attached

This expression of flair would make any greeter even greater.

Battle vest

The origin of battle vests dates back to the bomber jackets World War II pilots wore, which they decorated with pins and patches. Nowadays, they’re worn by bikers, metal-heads, and pin people looking for more creative ways to flaunt their flair.
Denim vest filled with patches and enamel pins

No need for envy. This DIY video will teach you how to craft a battle vest of your very own.

Bring your bags back from boring

Did you know there are backpacks and handbags made specifically for showcasing your pins? It’s true, and they’re kinda awesome. But with a little imagination, you can turn just about any bag into a mini-museum of your enamel pin finery.


A simple, inexpensive handbag transforms into an envy-inducing accessory with a few well-placed pins. Pick a matching collection of pins, then position them up and down the strap or on the bag itself.

Handback with several enamel pins attached

A single pin on the strap perfectly straddles the classy/sassy line.

Purse strap with an enamel pin attached

Go all in on purse pins with this specially made bag.

Bag with several enamel pins attached

Even with locking backs, losing pins is a real risk. This bag protects your collection while giving ample space to share it with the world.

Backpacks and messenger bags

Canvas packs and bags hold up well to being poked by pins. Create a constant collection or change them out often for a new vibe.

Canvas bag with several enamel pins attached

Like a bumper sticker, a pin on your backpack tells anyone following you what you’re all about.

Instagram screenshot of a backpack with an enamel pin attached

If your bag is waterproof, do not stick pins directly into the fabric.

Backpack with enamel pins attached to the zippers


Instead, hang them from the zippers, cords, and tabs. Your dry books and laptop will thank you.

Ita bag

Roughly translated from Japanese, ita bag means “painful bag.” It’s a reference to the pain that patches and pins inflict on the bag to which they’re attached.

In layperson's terms, an ita bag is a purse or backpack with a built-in pin window.
ita bag with several enamel pins attached

We dig how this creative soul inserted a blue felt backing to make her pins pop. Great idea!

Set your own trend with a pin you design

You have your own style. It’s surprisingly easy and affordable to design and produce a custom pin that reflects it.

Then, you can give your pin masterpiece away to friends. Or even start your own side hustle selling them to support your pin habit.
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