Adding a boutonniere to your shirt instantly elevates your style and adds a touch of sophistication to any occasion. Whether you’re attending a wedding, a formal event, or simply want to spruce up your everyday attire, learning how to properly pin on a boutonniere is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process step-by-step, ensuring that you can effortlessly adorn your shirt with this elegant accessory.
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to understand what a boutonniere is. Derived from the French word for buttonhole, a boutonniere is a small floral decoration typically worn by men on the lapel of their jacket or shirt. It serves as a stylish accessory that adds a pop of color and personality to any outfit. Now, let’s explore the art of pinning on a boutonniere, ensuring you achieve a flawless look every time.
Choosing the Perfect Boutonniere
When it comes to choosing the perfect boutonniere, there are several factors to consider. The first step is to think about the overall theme or color scheme of the event. You want your boutonniere to harmonize with your outfit and the occasion. For formal events, such as weddings or black-tie affairs, classic options like roses or lilies in neutral colors like white or cream are timeless choices.
Consider the Season and Flower Types
Another important consideration is the season in which the event takes place. Different flowers bloom during different seasons, and incorporating seasonal blooms adds a touch of freshness and relevance to your boutonniere. For example, in spring, you can opt for delicate blossoms like tulips or daffodils, while in summer, vibrant flowers like sunflowers or dahlias make a statement.
When choosing a boutonniere, it’s crucial to consider the colors in your outfit and ensure they complement each other. If your shirt or jacket has a pattern or a specific color, select flowers that either match or complement those colors. For example, if you’re wearing a navy suit, a boutonniere with blue flowers or greenery can create a cohesive and stylish look.
Preparing the Boutonniere
Before pinning on the boutonniere, it’s important to prepare it properly to ensure it stays fresh and vibrant throughout the event. Begin by carefully trimming the stems of the flowers. Use sharp scissors or floral shears to make a clean, angled cut at the bottom of each stem. This angled cut helps the flowers absorb water more efficiently, prolonging their freshness.
Conditioning the Flowers
After trimming the stems, it’s time to condition the flowers. Fill a clean container with lukewarm water and add flower food if available. Place the trimmed stems in the water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Conditioning the flowers in water helps hydrate them, ensuring they stay vibrant and fresh for longer.
Removing Excess Foliage
While some foliage adds a nice touch to a boutonniere, it’s important to remove any excess leaves or thorns that may interfere with the pinning process. Gently strip away any foliage that falls below the stem where you plan to attach the boutonniere. This will create a clean and neat appearance.
Locating the Ideal Placement
The lapel of your shirt or jacket provides the perfect canvas for showcasing your boutonniere. However, it’s essential to identify the ideal placement to ensure it looks balanced and stylish. The most common placement for a boutonniere is on the left lapel, slightly above the heart.
Consider the Buttonhole
If your shirt or jacket has a buttonhole on the lapel, that’s usually the ideal spot for attaching the boutonniere. The buttonhole provides a secure anchor for the pin, ensuring your boutonniere stays in place throughout the event. If your garment doesn’t have a buttonhole, don’t worry – we’ll cover alternative methods in the following section.
Take Lapel Type into Account
Consider the lapel type of your shirt or jacket when deciding where to place the boutonniere. If you have a notched lapel, aim to attach the boutonniere just above the notch. For peak lapels, position the boutonniere slightly below the peak. By aligning the boutonniere with the lapel design, you create a harmonious and polished look.
Pinning a boutonniere requires finesse and attention to detail. There are several pinning techniques you can use, depending on the style and structure of your boutonniere. We’ll cover two common methods: the classic pin and the wire method.
The Classic Pin Method
The classic pin method involves using a straight pin to attach the boutonniere to your shirt or jacket lapel. Start by holding the boutonniere in place on the lapel, ensuring it sits at the desired angle. Then, carefully insert the pin through the fabric of the lapel and the stem of the boutonniere. Make sure the pin goes through the stem at an angle to secure it in place. Avoid pushing the pin through the front of the lapel, as it may damage the fabric or create a visible hole.
The Wire Method
If your boutonniere has a delicate or unconventional shape, using a wire can provide additional support and stability. Begin by wrapping a thin floral wire around the base of the boutonniere stem. Twist the wire tightly to secure it in place. Next, position the boutonniere on the lapel and use a pin to attach the wire to the fabric, ensuring the boutonniere stays in position.
Ensuring a Secure Hold
Once you’ve pinned on your boutonniere, you want to ensure it stays securely fastened throughout the day or evening. Here are some tips to help you achieve a secure hold.
Use Additional Pins
If you’re concerned about the boutonniere shifting or coming loose, you can use additional pins for added security. Insert small, discreet pins through the lapel fabric, being careful not to pierce through the front of the lapel. These extra pins will provide extra support, keeping your boutonniere in place.
Consider a Magnet Attachment
For those who prefer a non-piercing method, magnetic boutonniere holders are a great alternative. These small magnets can be placed inside your shirt or jacket lapel, providing a secure hold for the boutonniere without damaging the fabric. Simply position the boutonniere on the lapel and let the magnet hold it in place.
Maintaining the Boutonniere
Proper maintenance is essential to keep your boutonniere looking fresh and vibrant throughout the event. Here are some tips to help you maintain your boutonniere’s beauty:
Keep it Hydrated
If you’re wearing the boutonniere for an extended period, it’s important to keep it hydrated. Carry a small spray bottle with water and give the flowers a light misting every couple of hours. This will prevent them from wilting and ensure they stay fresh and vibrant.
Store in a Cool Place
When you’re not wearing the boutonniere, store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat or sunlight can cause the flowers to wilt and fade. Consider placing the boutonniere in a small container with some water to maintain its freshness.
Removing the Boutonniere
As the event concludes, it’s time to remove your boutonniere without damaging your shirt or the delicate flowers. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth removal process:
Gently Remove the Pin
To remove the boutonniere, carefully pull the pin out of the lapel fabric, ensuring you don’t catch or snag the material. Hold the boutonniere in place with your other hand to prevent it from falling or getting damaged during removal.
Handle with Care
Avoid pulling or tugging on the boutonniere when removing it, as this can cause damage to the flowers or their stems. Treat it delicately, and if there are any wires or additional attachments, untwist or unpin them gently.
In conclusion, knowing how to pin on a boutonniere on a shirt is a valuable skill that adds elegance and charm to your overall appearance. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to confidently wear a boutonniere for any occasion, leaving a lasting impression on those around you. So, embrace the art of pinning and let your style blossom!