How to Wear a Boutonniere

Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Wondering how to wear a boutonniere? Learn more about how to wear small flowers on your lapel for special occasions.

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Wondering how to wear a boutonniere? Learn more about how to wear small flowers on your lapel for special occasions.

How to Wear a Boutonniere

A boutonniere is a small flower, typically worn on the lapel of a suit or coat. While they are often associated with formal occasions like your wedding day, boutonnieres can be worn for any event where you want to add a touch of sophistication.

The most important thing to remember when wearing a boutonniere is to keep it simple. A small bud or bloom is all you need to make a statement. Wearing flowers on your jacket lapel is a must in some situations.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to wear your boutonniere confidently.

So, what does the word boutonniere mean?

Boutonniere comes from the French word for buttonhole. In the 18th century, it was fashionable for men to wear flowers in their buttonholes. While the tradition has since fallen out of fashion, the term boutonniere has remained.

3 rose boutonnieres on the counter

History of boutonnieres

The boutonniere has a long and storied history. In the 18th century, it was fashionable for men to wear flowers in their buttonholes. While the tradition has since fallen out of fashion, the term boutonniere has remained.

In the 19th century, Prince Albert popularized the wearing of boutonnieres. He often wore a small flower in his lapel to add a dash of color to his otherwise somber suits. As a result, boutonnieres became a sign of refinement and good taste.

In the early 20th century, the boutonniere regained popularity among young men. It was seen as a way to add a touch of sophistication to their look. Wearing a boutonniere became a rite of passage for many young men.

Best flower for a boutonniere

Many flowers are suitable for a stylish look. When choosing a flower for your lapel buttonhole, it’s important to pick a bloom that will complement your outfit.

A good rule of thumb is to match the event’s formality with the flower’s formality. For example, a more casual event like a backyard barbecue would warrant a simple white bloom like a daisy, while a black-tie affair would call for rose boutonnieres.

Other things to remember when choosing a flower for your boutonniere include the season, the color of your outfit, and any allergies you may have. If you’re unsure which flower to choose, ask your florist for recommendations.

a boutonniere in a grey suit jacket

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Carnation boutonniere
  • Rose
  • Miniature roses
  • Miniature carnations
  • Tulip flowers
  • Calla lily
  • Fresh flowers

How many flowers are in a boutonniere?

As we mentioned before, less is more. A single bud or bloom is all you need to make a statement. However, wearing up to three blooms is acceptable if you feel you need a small bouquet on your lapel.

If you’re looking for something a little more elaborate, you can add some greenery to your bouquet. Don’t let the greenery or other flowers outshine your chosen single flower.

Filler flowers are a good way to add volume without going overboard. Just be sure not to crowd the small flower so it gets lost among the foliage.

a woman making a small bouquet

How to assemble a boutonniere

Once you’ve chosen the perfect bud, it’s time to assemble it. The first step is to remove any excess leaves from the stem. You want to leave just a few leaves near the base of the bloom, as they will help support the weight of the flower.

Next, cut the stem of your flower to the desired length. The stem should be long enough to poke through the buttonhole of your jacket but not so long that it hangs down excessively.

Once the flower stem is cut to the right length, it’s time to add the leaves. Place the leaves around the base of the bloom, and then use a piece of floral wire to secure them in place.

Finally, it’s time to add the boutonniere to your lapel. Poke the stem of the boutonniere through the buttonhole of your jacket, and then use the floral wire to secure it. And that’s it! You’re now ready to enjoy your event in style.

These boutonniere magnets are an absolute must.

a man wearing a suit jacket

Popular filler flower for a boutonniere

As we mentioned, baby’s breath is a popular filler flower for boutonnieres. The tiny blooms add volume and texture to your boutonniere without overpowering the main bloom.

Other popular flowers include ferns, ivy, and greenery. These fillers add a touch of nature to your boutonniere and help to support the main flower.

When choosing a flower for your boutonniere, it’s important to pick a bloom that will complement your outfit. A good rule of thumb is to match the event’s formality with the flower’s formality.

For example, less formal occasions like backyard barbecues would warrant a more casual filler like baby’s breath, while a black-tie affair would call for a more formal filler like ivy or fern.

Wondering how to wear a boutonniere? Learn more about how to wear small flowers on your lapel for special occasions.

How to keep my boutonniere upright?

If you’re worried about your boutonniere drooping, you can do a few things to keep it upright. Start by cutting the stem of your flower at an angle. This will give the stem a larger surface area to grip the jacket fabric.

Next, use a small piece of floral tape to secure the stem in place. Start by wrapping the tape around the stem just below the bloom, and then continue wrapping it down the stem until you reach the desired length.

These boutonniere magnets make it so much easier.

Finally, use a small wire to secure the boutonniere to your jacket lapel. Start by poking the wire through the back of the boutonniere and wrapping it around the front of the lapel. Be careful not to wrap the wire too tightly, as this could damage the fabric of your jacket.

With these simple tips, you can rest assured that your boutonniere will stay in place all night long.

When to remove a boutonniere

While a boutonniere is a great way to add style to your outfit, there are some occasions when it’s appropriate to remove it. For example, if you’re attending a funeral, you should remove your boutonniere during the service.

Another time when you might remove your boutonniere is during a meal. If you’re attending a formal dinner, keeping your boutonniere on during the meal is considered rude. Instead, wait until you’ve finished eating to put it back on.

Of course, sometimes, you simply want to take your flower off for a few hours. If you find the stem poking you or the flower is getting in your way, feel free to remove it. You can always put it back on your sport jacket when you’re ready.

a woman attaching a boutonniere to a lapel

Boutonniere placement is key.

The boutonniere stem should be fastened to the left side of your jacket, right above your heart. Make sure the boutonniere is not too high or too low on your lapel for the best look.

The boutonniere should be attached using a small metal pin that comes with the flower. You can use a straightened paperclip if you don’t have a pin.

Be sure to secure the boutonniere well so it doesn’t fall out during the event. You don’t want to be fidgeting with your lapel all night! You can add a second pin if you need to.

Why the left lapel?

Traditionally, boutonnieres are worn on the left lapel. This is because most people are right-handed, and it’s easier to reach across your body to put on a boutonniere when you’re getting dressed.

How to attach a boutonniere with no lapel buttonhole

Not all jackets have a buttonhole on the left lapel. If yours doesn’t, you can still wear a boutonniere by attaching it to the left side of your jacket using a small pin.

Just be sure to position the pin so it’s not visible while wearing your jacket.

Traditionally, a suit jacket will have a boutonniere latch or loop on the back of the lapel near the button hole to keep the flower upright. Otherwise, your flower may be permanently tilted without a boutonniere latch on the back of your lapel.

This may also be called a silk latch if it is part of the inner lining. These boutonniere magnets are an absolute must.

a pink rose in a lapel pocket

Do’s and don’ts of boutonnieres.

Now that you know how to wear a boutonniere, here are some general do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do:

-Choose a small flower or bud for your boutonniere. A rose is a classic choice for formal events, but any flower will do.

-Wear your boutonniere on the left lapel of your jacket or coat.

-Attach the boutonniere with a small pin.

-Make sure the boutonniere is not too high or too low on your lapel.

-Secure the boutonniere well so it doesn’t fall out during the event.

Don’t:

-Wear a boutonniere that is too large or overbearing. Remember, less is more!

-Wear a boutonniere that is wilted or dying. You want your boutonniere to look fresh.

-Wear a boutonniere that doesn’t match the rest of your outfit. Coordinate your boutonniere with the color and style of your clothing.

-Forget to remove your boutonniere before you go to bed! You don’t want to crush it in your sleep.

How to wear a boutonniere with a pocket square

If wearing a white pocket square, put it in your breast pocket before adding your boutonniere. This way, you can avoid crushing the flower when you reach into your pocket.

First, choose a flower that compliments your outfit. If you’re wearing a suit, look for a flower in a similar color family. For example, pair a white rose with a light gray suit.

Next, remove any leaves or extra foliage from the stem of your flower. You want to focus on the bloom, so trimming away any excess is key.

Now it’s time to pin on your stylish boutonniere. Start by finding the center of your lapel and gently pushing the flower’s stem through the fabric. Then, turn the lapel over and pin the stem in place.

Finally, fluff up your boutonniere and adjust it to sit upright. You’re ready to take on the world – or at least that special event you’re attending!

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