Hello! I’m Sven Raphael Schneider the
founder of the Gentleman’s Gazette and Fort Belvedere, and today, I’m going to talk about
boutonnieres. Yes, those little lapel flowers. And I’m going
to tell you how to wear them, why men wear them, and how not to wear them.
Alright! Let’s start a little bit with the history. There are various theories about
boutonnieres and who invented them and who wore them first. It dates all the way back
to the fifteenth century when people in Naples had flowers, but it’s not really clear whether
that’s true or not. The first time we saw some evidence was in
a painting from Gainsborough in 1771 when you could actually see a lapel flower in a
buttonhole because at that time, jackets didn’t really have lapels; they were just buttoned
up high and that’s how the lapel eventually developed but that’s an entirely different
story and I’m not going to go into too much detail today.
If you’re a history buff and you’d like to learn about the entire history of the boutonniere,
please check out my article that deals with it in all details.
Alright! Enough talk about history! Let’s talk about boutonnieres. First of all – what
you should never, ever do, no matter whether it’s real or not, and pin it on your lapel
[sic] because that’s just not the way it’s done and it looks odd, especially if you have
a shiny, metal part there that reflects the light. People are more prone to look at your
flower than looking at your face. The reason we dress up is so we wear the clothes
and the people see that and the clothes should never wear us. Alright! Rule number one: Don’t
pin a flower onto your lapel. So now how do you wear it? Ideally, you should wear it always
through your buttonhole. As you can see here, there’s a buttonhole
and it’s open because it’s actually a real buttonhole so that’s how you’re supposed to
wear it. [The] flower goes through… Alright. Alright! What do you do if your jacket has
no buttonhole? Well, in that case, I would suggest you go to an alterations tailor and
have one sewn in because that’s what you need. It’s traditional because it actually evolved
as top buttonhole that would be buttoned. And people would flap open their lapel, and
that’s how it came to be there. And that’s the only place you can wear it.
So if you don’t have one, go to an alterations tailor and have one made. Now, if you buy
a jacket off the rack, it often has a buttonhole sewn, but it’s sewn shut. So, what you have
to do then, is you have to open it. And… you need a knife – a little pocket
knife. Or a box cutter, or maybe a sharp razor blade. Of course, be careful. Don’t cut yourself.
But I’ve done it really often for other people, even on wedding days, and it always works
like a charm; no problem. So have your knife, ideally a small knife or a small pair of scissors.
Locate your buttonhole. Look at it. Is there any opening? In this case, it’s kind of a
keyhole and it has a little opening. So, I start carefully. I look that I don’t damage
the threads of the buttonhole. And you can see: I cut it neatly open. I don’t cut it
too far because I don’t want to ruin the seam of the buttonhole.
Alright, once you have an open buttonhole on your jacket, the flower is just put through.
So you have it like this. And now it’s in the back. And you put through the flower.
The procedure is the same with real flowers or silk flowers that we have here from Fort
Belvedere. It’s always the same procedure. The idea is you have a protector or a “stem
keeper” in the back of your lapel so your lapel stem doesn’t hang out of your lapel.
Like, in this case, I left it on there so you see, you don’t want to have that happen
with your boutonnieres. That’s why you really want this stem keeper and if you don’t have
one, please check out my article with detailed instructions on how to make one yourself.
If you don’t want to do that, your alterations tailor could do it. Or if you’re in a position
where you really don’t have time and you need a solution right away, get a simple safety
pin. The safety pin helps and has the same function. So all you do is, you open the safety
pin. Once it’s opened, you just pin it through
your lapel. Make sure it doesn’t peek out in the front. So, double check – nothing peeks
out in the front! Then you close it at the back. And now your boutonniere stem just goes
through […] there. Nobody’s going to see it from the front and you can easily remove
it afterwards and it’s very inexpensive and you can always do it that way. It’s a really
great way to, yeah, get a quick solution – an inexpensive solution and it works in any jacket,
any time. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you check
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like the video, leave a comment if you have questions. I’ll get back to you. And, most
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