How to wear your pins + patches

Wear your flair.

You’ve probably noticed that pins and patches are punching above their weight these days. But how to wear the tiny but mighty accessories? We turned to Valley Cruise Press and These Are Things, pin-makers extraordinaire, for some background and inspiration—and tricked out a few examples of ways you can wear your flair.

  1. Hats off


Add pins to your headgear for a real hat trick.


2. Jacket jockey



Pin up your pocket and add life to a wardrobe basic like a denim jacket.

3. Go big or go home




Why would you wear a regular old jacket when you could wear one adorned with a giant pink cobra? We rest our case.

4. Collared


Perk up a collared shirt with a pair of pins—we’re major fans of this sad worm + sad phone combo.

5. So clutch

More is more when it comes to pins and patches—we love piling them on to a statement clutch. Add a tasseled keychain and you have a one-of-a-kind, personalized piece of your very own.

We talked to Jen Adrion of These Are Things about her patch habit:


Why did you start making pins? How do they fit in to the rest of your practice?

Omar [TAT co-founder] and I have been making art together for the past 6 years, mainly designing illustrated posters. In 2015, we challenged ourselves to to branch out from our usual ink-on-paper medium and make one new product every day for 100 days. We made our first batch of pins as a part of that project. Our strength as designers has always been in taking a concept or an idea and distilling it to its visual essence. Pins turned out to be a great way to use those strengths to make a simple, iconic piece of jewelry. I love that our designs can become a physical, wearable, collectable piece of art.

How do you wear your pins? 

Pins are great because you can pick one (or more!) to match your outfit or your mood. I have a huge bowl of pins – our own designs, plus a bunch by other artists and friends – and rotate them out almost daily. In the winter, I’ll group 3 pins on a sweater or put a couple on a jacket pocket. And in the summer, I’ll pin ’em all over a denim vest.

Do you have a favorite pin?

It’s too hard to choose! Right now my favorite is probably our new Letter Pins. We designed them to look like vintage typewriter keys with shiny gold and black enamel. It’s so fun to mix and match them to create your own wearable message.
And we ran the same questions by Kelley Feighan of Valley Cruise Press:

Why did you start making pins? How do they fit in to the rest of your practice?

Valley Cruise Press originally started as a zine publisher, working with artists to put out their work and splitting the profits. Pins were a natural extension of that. We wanted a way to reach a broader audience with the artwork we loved and pins were the perfect vehicle. We created our first pin, the chill coozy, in time for the 2014 Vancouver Art Book Fair and it did so well that we decided to reach out to the artists with whom we had been working to see if they would be interested in adding pin designs. They were and thus the artist collaboration was born at Valley Cruise Press and we expanded our pin collection.


How do you wear your pins? 

I wear at least one pin every day. My favorite place for a pin is actually on the pocket of my jeans. I think it’s a really fun, understated way to jazz up an outfit. Other places I have pins are on my purse, my wallet and, of course my lapel.


Do you have a favorite pin?

We made pins for one for one of my favorite bands, Allah Las, a while ago and one design in particular has always had a special place in my collection. It’s a gold sun by Robbie Simon. I love how simple yet interesting the design is.