How to Put on a Boutonniere & Lapel Flower Pin The Right Way

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
out our other videos. It’s easiest to do that by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Also,
like the video, leave a comment if you have questions. I’ll get back to you. And, most
importantly, if you really want to learn about classic men’s clothing, if you want to look
better and dress better and be more confident, sign up for our free newsletter, and I’ll
even throw in a free ebook, Gentlemen of Style, that teaches you a little bit about how to
match colors, and how to overall create your unique style. Thank you!

34 thoughts on “How to Put on a Boutonniere & Lapel Flower Pin The Right Way

  1. Interesting. I was inspired this fall by the ubiquitous crappy plastic poppies found at every cashier's till. I worry though, that anything other than a real flower may run the risk of coming across as a bit tacky.What are your thoughts on that? Also, is there anything anymore in regards to reservng botonnieres for special occasions, such as your's or a loved one's birthday, or possibly an anniversary?

  2. Dear Sven,  
    I purchased a GANT boutonniere. It is a nice silk flower. However, it did not come with a stem (pin). How should I attach it to the lapel? Another question: can I wear a collar pin shirt,pocket square and boutonniere together? 

  3. Thanks for the advice, Sven! Mostly I was already aware of this sort of stuff, but it's good to have the information re-fed now and then. Plus it reassured me that I wasn't supporting some awful faux pas by using safety pins on the backs of my lapels… though I have been meaning to sew some boutonniere loops onto the backs of some of my lapels (I also have a few too many jackets which are missing the boutonniere holes, so I'll have to add those too).

  4. The Gentleman's Gazette is an invaluable resource. I sell mens suits and I will direct my clients to this wonderful site. Thank you very much.

  5. Your extensive knowledge in gentlemen's style is amazing. Great video,by the way. All the information I need to incorporate  Boutonniere into my outfit is provided.

  6. I love your channel and your web site and all the info there learning a great deal. I have two questions first I have bought 3 suits in the last few weeks, I enjoy dressing more dapper bur why is almost every one the button holes for the Boutonniere sewn shut? even vest pockets?? As well as even jacket pockets, what do people not use there pockets?

  7. I am very glad that you made this video but I still have some questions. First: When can you wear a boutonniere? And if I wear an waistcoat casual without jacket can I still put a boutonniere on my waistcoat?

  8. Awesome! What kinda coat are you wearing in this? Do you have a video talking about the details of this? Its back looks different 🙂
    Thanks :)))

  9. So funny to watch some of these older videos. Rafael has really stepped up his presentation game. The editing is much better now, too… 🙂 But the information is great no matter the production quality.

  10. Are you all going to be adding any more flowers to your boutonnière collection? I love it but after walking around my campus some the other day, there are a few that I immediately thought would be perfect on a lapel

  11. So it won't work well on a very thin lapel right?

    I bought the orchid one from fort belvedere but it looks misplaced when I wear it with my suit.

  12. Is there a way to hold the boutonniere without using pins? I can't add a buttonhole or damage the tux I'm going to use. Thank you!

  13. Okay – is it possible to claim this is a "classic" Gentelman's Gazette Vid? Can I use that term, here? Love it! Early development in delivery – and supreme ideas and 'tricks.' Genuine. Cheers!

  14. In old Europe, the sewage was in gutters in the street, running down to the river. As animal smells and one can imagine how offensive it was to walk in the street. …. Women carried a small bunch of flowers, called a “Tussy Mussy”. A gentleman wore flowers on his lapel. When the oders were particularly offensive, he simply lowered his head and buried his nose in the flower !

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