For the duration of the nineties, we wore a good selection of pins and patches with near enough any outfit. We’re talking waistcoats weighed down with badges, and denim jackets with so many patches the blue barely showed through. Even our hats and handbags would usually come complete with a decent collection of pins to boast.
This fashion, once known as flair, was all the rage. If you didn’t have a decent collection, you weren’t worth the clothes you were wearing. But, along with bright colors and sportswear, flair went out with the nineties. When the noughties arrived, we were all about stripping back. Aside from the outdated waistcoats of diner staff, pins and patches went in drawers, never spoken of again. Until now…
Pinterest’s 2017 trends revealed that searches on ‘flair’ were up a whopping 800%. That’s a pretty large increase, and it’s a sure sign that flair fashion is making a comeback. Pinterest isn’t the only signifier of this, either. One look at Instagram reveals that we can’t get enough of these outfit additions right now.
The reasons for this sudden flare-up vary. For the most part, it seems that artisan sellers are behind the influx. Sites like Etsy are swamped with both pins and patches. Craft markets and the creative community have also embraced making things like these. In an age where we’re more willing than ever to support local creatives, it’s no wonder this fashion is spiraling.
The only trouble is, it can be tricky to make flair work for you if you weren’t a nineties child. If you were born past the turn of the 2000s, you might be wondering what on earth all this flair madness is about. Or, more to the point, how you can make it work for you. Fear not, because we’re here will the answers.
For one, you need to know where you should shop for these. As with any fashion, it’s essential you buy from the best to ensure lasting quality and appearance. Anyone and their mother are jumping on this trend right now. Even corner shops display all manner of pins at the moment. But, investing in cheap options is a false economy. For one, they’ll break in no time at all. You may also find that they simply don’t look the part. Instead, you should look out for handcrafted and high-quality options. As already stated, Etsy is a fantastic option for this as it allows creatives to sell their wares. If you search long enough, you may even come across sellers like Patches4less, who will enable you to customize your patches. This would allow you to get flair exactly right, and you should read more if it interests you. The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t settle on any old pin you can find. Far from being a small feature, your pins and patches should become the primary focus of your outfits. And, the only way to ensure that is to be careful from where you buy.
Consider where you display them
Once you have your top notch pins and patches, you need to think about where you display them. Tote bags have become a prime choice, and that makes total sense. How better to add a flair of fashion to an otherwise functional accessory? If you want to go all out, you may even benefit from returning to popular methods of old. Denim jackets have been back in style for a while now. Including pins and patches could ensure a retro outfit to die for. If you fancy something a little more subtle, collar pins are also pretty popular right now. These are fantastic because they incorporate this fashion without your having to go all out. This could also bring the benefit of helping you make the most of just one or two particular choices. Even displaying a few patches on your plain t-shirts could customize your clothing. What’s more, this is a pretty affordable way to take yourself to the heights of fashion.
Coordinate with your outfit
To take full advantage of your flair fashion choices, consider more than where you put your pins and patches. You should also aim to coordinate with the rest of your outfit. This may not have been such a priority in the nineties, but new flair means bringing everything together. A fantastic way to do this could be to match your pins to your jewelry, or the other way around. You could also change the colors you adorn with to match whatever your outfit is for that day. Get this right, and pins and patches could be the things which bring every outfit you choose together. Forget having to match your shoes with your t-shirt; just use a pin to bring the two together.
An option for every occasion
It’s also well worth investing in different flair options for every occasion. This could mean having pins for day and night. Or, it could mean investing in seasonal options you could change through the year. It could even mean having a professional and playful patch selection. Either way, changing for every occasion makes your fashion statements more personal. It can also provide an interesting opening to conversations if you’re meeting new people. Wearing educational pins to class, for instance, is a fantastic way to start chatting with fellow students. Wearing charity pins on a night out is sure to make everyone warm to you before you even start talking. Equally, wearing Christmas-specific flair when the time comes can be a whole load of fun. Political pins are also a fantastic way to bring old outfits into current affairs. Talk about a new-old way to keep up with the fashions.
Getting flair right isn’t all that difficult. The whole point of a fashion like this is to have fun. While these pointers are useful, they’re by no means a fool-proof guide. There are no hard and fast rules. So, play around, get creative, and flaunt your flair.