While during the ’70s and ’80s it wasn’t strange to see somebody repping their favorite band on their lapel or sporting bright yellow smiley faces patches on their knees, the fad dwindled. But over the past few years enamel pins and embroidered patches have come back into favor in a big way. From emoji to celebrity faces and song lyrics, tropical dreams and sad vibes for curmudgeons, there’s a pin or a patch for everybody (and their feels) these days. A fun and affordable gift, they’re also small enough to take on trips home or to pop into your bag for a workplace Secret Santa. Check out a bunch more of these accessories in our complete Pins and Patches Gift Guide.
Feeling Salty Patch
For Mondays and any other times when it’s critical to warn people of your attitude before they mess with you, Rosehound Apparel’s “Feeling Salty” ($6) patch is nasty but nice. The 100% cotton patch measures 2.75 inches, is iron-on and is available in a peachy pink or black.
Rep your favorite beverage with this beer can lapel pin ($6) by Night Watch Studios. Cast in red, blue, cream and chrome, it’s a simple design that recalls the classic beer commercials of yesteryear.
Making reference to NASA iconography while keeping it all about New York City—the center of the universe for many—Micah Spear’s NYC Galaxy Patch ($12) offers the best of both worlds. It’s charming for residents and non-residents alike and easy to iron onto any piece of apparel—space suit or not.
Blending the art of sport and the art of actual art, Toronto-based Just Visiting’s Neobasketism pin ($6) is simple yet bold. The brass enamel pin with black nickel plating is for basketball fans as much as it is for art lovers, blending ball with Mondrian.
Anxiety Ghost Pin
When you can’t find your chill-out medication and need a like-minded friend to lament all your concerns to, just affix this Bad Vibes (aka Matt Darling) “Anxiety Ghost” pin ($10) to your lapel for a bit company. The hard enamel and chrome-plated nickel pin has the words “overthink everything” shedding some tears across the ghost’s chest. Share your woes with this friendly little spook and face the day with a friend.
Jeff Goldblum Appreciation Society Patch
Designed in Winnipeg, this “Jeff Goldblum Appreciation Society” ($6) patch is self-explanatory and essential for any Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Igby Goes Down or almost any enjoyable movie from the past 40-odd years. It’s easily ironed-on, measures three inched and comes in a cutesy colorway of peach, yellow and pale blue—making it easy to spot fellow fan club members from afar.
Over It Patch
Whether it’s a cheerful statement letting the world know you made it over the rainbow or a colorful way to tell them you’re done, “Over It” patch ($6) by These Are Things is a delight. With an iron-on adhesive backing, it’s easy to attach to your favorite denim jacket or backpack and will have you singing like Judy Garland in no time.
Ace of Spades Lapel Pin
Luscious lips, a pink tongue, gold tooth and an ace of spades combine for this Explorer’s Press lapel pin ($5), designed by the talented Chloe Kovska. The one-inch pin (made from enamel and brass) combines luck and lust in a delightful design that will look excellent on the lapel of your leather jacket.
Whether wishful thinking or genuine posi vibes, this OK enamel lapel pin ($9) by London-based illustrator Maria Ines Gul is one for anybody who need a little optimistic mantra in the mornings. Measuring approximately 30mm by 16mm, this miniature A-OK hand-gesture pin spreads the smiles. (Just don’t wear it in Turkey or Brazil where it sometimes represents negative expressions, including “asshole.”)
Equal parts sweet and heartbreaking—just like the movie—this ET patch ($7) from La Barbuda will show your age (the film was released in 1982) and your emotional state. With an iron-on adhesive backing, the 9cm patch boats merrowed edges to prevent fraying.
Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image also courtesy of