Lapel flowers aren’t just for proms and weddings anymore, and a man doesn’t need a special occasion to wear one. The lapel flower, or boutonniere as it’s also known, has a long and storied history dating back to ancient times. Lapel flowers have been used to indicate everything from wealth to military affiliation. In today’s world, men are more likely to wear one to add that extra detail to an ensemble. But as with everything in life, it must be done right!
General Lapel Flower Rules
What Side Lapel Should The Flower Be Worn?
Quite simply, it should be worn on the jacket’s left lapel.
On most jackets there is a button hole, or at least a stitched button hole outline. If there is not, you can still use pin(s) to attach a man-made or real flower to your jacket (this is common for tuxedo jackets and sports coats).
Why The Left Lapel?
There’s no definitive answer as to why the left lapel is appropriate, but it has become an accepted element within sartorial lore. Many believe it is because the heart is on the left side of the body, which is quite a romantic notion.
How To Apply / Wear A Lapel Flower
Dapper Lapel exclusively sells hand-made lapel flowers, so we’ll address those (for a real flower boutonniere the principals are relatively similar, depending on the stem size and jacket’s lapel button hole).
There are two ways to wear a lapel flower pin: with the pin showing or concealed. Either way, please be careful of the pin’s sharp tip, especially with more robust fabrics such as tweed!
Pin On The Back Side Of The Lapel
This is the more conservative way to wear a lapel flower. It may also be preferable for certain types of fabric, as the pin can irreversibly damage some fabrics, and leave noticeable pin holes. It’s always best to check the pin’s effect on a non-showing piece of the jackets fabric, before you apply it to the lapel itself.
Pin Showing On The Front Of The Lapel
Having the lapel flower’s pin showing through the lapel adds a little more pop (and remember to match the metal color to your other accessories, such as your watch and belt buckle).
Lapel Flower Style Tips
Lapel flowers come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and materials to suit any eye and occasion. There is something out there for everyone, but the main thing to be concerned with when wearing your chosen design is to wear it with the utmost confidence!
Correct Lapel Flower Size
We would suggest keeping the size of your chosen lapel flower in proportion to the rest of your outfit. If in doubt, favor smaller ones. If you wear one that engulfs your lapel it will look clownish, detracting from your overall style and drawing attention away from your face (which by the way is the entire intention of the jackets “V”, drawing the eye upward to the face and promoting a masculine v-shaped physique).
Selecting The Right Lapel Flower Color
As with selecting the right size for your lapel flower, its color should be in keeping with the rest of your outfit (and, perhaps more importantly, occasion). Use a color wheel to select complementary colors (ones directly across, or beside your main color). If in doubt, go with something neutral, like off white. The use of a lapel flower should add to the overall elegance of your ensemble, not add a shock factor!
When To Wear A Lapel Flower
Whenever you like!
As stated above, many men will wear a lapel flower to proms and weddings, but they are much more versatile than that. It can be worn down, and not even be attached to a jacket’s lapel! Several of our clients like to wear them attached to their sweaters or waistcoats. We would recommend starting in more formal gatherings and dates, then introduce them into your work outfits as you become more confident. As for the clothes you should wear it with, one of the best things to do is look at what other guys are doing and copy it! For example search Instagram or Pinterest for #LapelFlower and get some inspiration, or even check out my Instagram @BespokeUnit.
Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below, and here are a few last looks for your enjoyment….