The Pen-Ultimate Finish

From:  Stationery Trends April 21, 2010 | ABBY HEUGEL

Move over shoes and handbags, it’s writing accessories that make an outfit

Perhaps you’ve never thought of a pen as a fashion accessory, but maybe it’s time to change that thinking. While it’s generally agreed that accessories add color, style and class to an outfit, helping create a certain look, they also may have practical functions.

At a basic level, a pen is one of the most practical and utilitarian inventions ever created. As National Stationery Show Manager Patti Stracher explained, the stationery industry is a highly personalized industry. People communicate in a personal way – whether they’re writing a thank you note, a letter or a card – and they need the instrument to provide the ink source.

“A pen is a very personal accessory and can reflect on one’s personality and taste,” agreed Shu-Jen of Taccia Pens. “We’re often looking for the perfect accessory to complement an outfit, like the right sunglasses, watch or bag.

Carrying a fine pen nowadays is so overlooked, and it’s the perfect accessory to make an impact. ”

Styling Stylus

Whether it sits on your desk or in briefcase, it makes a statement. Just as many want to have a stylish and fashionable Palm Pilot or cell phone, that thought is shifting back to writing instruments. People have realized that it’s not just ink on paper; this social and cultural shift favors pens once again becoming a personal fashion accessory.

“It’s part of an overall look and a lifestyle,” said Tara Keckeisen of YAFA Pen Company. “When you go into a meeting, a great suit, a great portfolio and a great pen just fit together.”

There was a time when the pen was seen as a highly desirable fashion accessory, with precious metals and gems sometimes used in their construction.

“People purchased pens that reflected their personality, taste and socio-economic status,” Stracher said. “When corporate casual attire arrived, it impacted the luxury writing sector, as people weren’t wearing formal attire every day. At the same time, executive women were entering the field and they realized how the accessories they used were a reflection of their personal style and values statement.”

A pen represents not just practicality, but also personal style. “The right pen can add a bit of color and flair to the monochrome business suit and fit in perfectly,” Shu-Jen said. “I just cringe thinking of all the times I’ve met people who carry a 10-cent disposable pen to go with a nice Italian suit or a stunning designer dress and bag. A nice pen costs about the same amount as a nice tie or belt and it serves just as important of a purpose.”