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Pins, Patches & Cufflinks

Coco Chanel once famously advised that before you leave the house, you should take off one accessory. She also said that you only live once, so you might as well be amusing. With that in mind, if you do take off one thing before you leave, make sure it is anything but a pin, patch or set of cufflinks from Toynk.com. Small details like these mean you're always blessed with a bit of amusement. Read more

Lapel pins, by and large, are a way to show that you are a part of something, whether it is an organization, a movement, a general ideal, etc. These days, you're most likely to find an American flag lapel pin affixed to pretty much any politician' or politician-adjacent staffer's jacket as a symbol of patriotism. It's fitting that such a prominent symbol of national unity truly got its start in this country during the Civil War. Soldiers wore a brass pin stamped with their unit number on the front of their uniforms in order to find each other if they were separated. After the war ended, the feeling of unity remained, and soon we began honoring our military heroes with pins for their valor.

Decorative embroidered patches got their modern start in America in much the same way. Starting in the branches of the military somewhere between the Civil War and WWI, patches were later worked into the 1960s counter-culture and haven't left that spot since. The flowery peace and love patches of the 1970s gave way to the rise of punk and anarchist patches through the 80s and grungy 90s. These days, patches can still signify a social cause, but they're also a bit more "mainstream." You can, for example, buy a Domo embroidered patch from Toynk.com. No anarchy pledge needed.

As for cufflinks? Blame (or thank) the British royals, the French, and once again, the American Civil War. By the 1800s in England, the rich's affinity for cufflinks and ornate sleeve buttons had trickled down into the working class, but it wasn't until the rise of the French cuff in the 1840s that cufflinks became a staple of men's fashion. Then in 1882, along came a machine based on a Civil War cartridge shell that could mass produce one-piece buttons and cufflinks, making them much more available to the poorer classes. Those cufflinks from your grandfather are more than just a family heirloom-they're an important part of utilitarian fashion history, too!

All copyright merchandise is officially licensed.

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