Different people have different reasons for wearing lapel pins. It is interesting to break down the very many ways society has found to put the ubiquitous lapel pin to good use.
To make a political stand. Lapel pins have for years been used in political propaganda all over the world. Organizations and parties of various persuasions have all used these pins as one of the materials in their campaigns. In some countries, it was a requirement for citizens to wear the pins as a sign of allegiance to their leader or to the ruling party. In more open and democratic environments, the pins are used to show force or numbers supporting a specific political figure, a political party or a cause and advocacy.
To advertise a product or service. Lapel pins are used extensively in business. Pins help in promoting brand awareness by having as many people as possible to wear pins that bear the name of the brand that companies want to popularize. These pins are often given as giveaways and tokens to customers and potential clients during business gatherings. The pins are also worn by service providers to identify them and indicate the type of service they offer. This also makes them easily recognizable. Have you had problems looking for a waiter in a crowded party area? Caterers usually have their staff wear lapel pins so guests will know who to approach for their needs and other requests.
To denote affiliation. Groups, clubs and a lot of other forms of organizations often have signature pins that members can wear. For large groups, this is a handy tool to recognize bona fide members from those who are not. Some people wear this as a badge of honor, especially if one happens to be part of an organization that is very popular in the area. Others are just happy to announce their affiliations and show off their colors for the public to see.
To identify authority. In the military, lapel pins serve a higher purpose than just as decorations. Different ranks in the different branches of the military have specific pins to denote their position and level of authority. The pins provide a subtle yet effective form of communication within the establishment in as far as identification of authority is concerned.
To promote a cause or an advocacy. Like the political pins, a big number of people wearing pins for a specific cause can be a good propaganda strategy. An advocacy can benefit from having as many people carrying the message to reach a larger audience and garner more support. This can help catch the attention of other personalities that can provide an even wider platform for the campaign, such as celebrities and media personalities. The lapel pins can amplify the message despite its small size. Trendy designs will also help organizers bring in young people to the cause. The young are always valuable in campaigns as they are very energetic and usually have spare time for volunteer work.
To make a fashion statement. No matter what the form or message the pin takes, a pin on a suit or on a casual t-shirt can make a rather boring outfit interesting. A brightly colored one can add highlight to a plain suit in solid color and adds an air of authority to the wearer. A pin with an intricate design can substitute for the traditional brooch, add sophistication and also can give a modern look. Others also use multiple pins as extra accessories and they are not limited to accessorizing the lapel area. The pins are also increasingly used to accessorize hats, bags, pants and other forms of clothing.