How to Pin a Boutonniere on a Jacket: Expert Tips for 2023

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how to pin a boutonniere on a jacket

Proper Way to Pin a Boutonniere on a Jacket

Pinning a boutonniere on a jacket is a small but important detail that can elevate the overall look of an outfit. It is essential to do it correctly to ensure that the boutonniere stays secure and does not damage the fabric of the jacket. The proper way to pin a boutonniere on a jacket involves selecting the right jacket, choosing the appropriate placement, and using the correct technique to secure it.

Choosing the Right Jacket

Not all jackets are suitable for wearing a boutonniere. It is best to choose a jacket with a lapel wide enough to accommodate the boutonniere without looking overcrowded or awkward. A suit jacket or blazer with a notch lapel or peak lapel is typically ideal for pinning a boutonniere as they provide enough space for it.

Selecting the Appropriate Boutonniere

The choice of boutonniere should complement your outfit and personal style. Consider factors such as color, size, and style when selecting one. For formal occasions like weddings or black-tie events, classic flowers like roses or carnations in neutral colors are often preferred. However, for more casual events or creative outfits, you can experiment with different types of flowers or even non-floral options like feathers or fabric accents.


  • Ensure that the boutonniere complements your overall outfit and does not clash with other accessories.
  • Consider any dress code guidelines provided for the event when selecting your boutonniere.
  • If you are unsure about which type of flower or accessory to choose, consult with a florist or stylist for guidance.

When to Pin a Boutonniere on a Jacket

Knowing when to pin a boutonniere on a jacket is essential for creating a polished and stylish look. Typically, boutonnieres are worn for formal events such as weddings, proms, or black-tie affairs. It is customary for the groom, groomsmen, and fathers of the bride and groom to wear boutonnieres during weddings. Additionally, individuals attending formal events may choose to wear boutonnieres as a fashion statement.


For weddings, it is common to pin boutonnieres on jackets before the ceremony begins. The groom and his party should have their boutonnieres pinned on at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the wedding. This allows time for adjustments and ensures that the flowers remain fresh throughout the event.

Formal Events:

When attending other formal events such as proms or galas, it is best to pin the boutonniere on your jacket just before arriving at the venue. This prevents any potential damage or wilting that may occur during transportation.

Suitable Jackets for Wearing a Boutonniere

The type of jacket you choose can greatly impact how well your boutonniere stays in place and complements your overall look. Here are some suitable jackets for wearing a boutonniere:

Tailored Suit Jackets:

  • A tailored suit jacket provides a clean and structured canvas for showcasing your boutonniere. The lapel of these jackets is typically wide enough to securely hold the flower without overpowering it.
  • Herringbone Blazers:
  • Herringbone blazers add texture and visual interest to your outfit while still providing an appropriate lapel size for pinning a boutonniere.


  • Tuxedos are a classic choice for formal events and provide an elegant backdrop for a boutonniere. The satin lapels of tuxedo jackets offer a smooth surface to attach the flower.
  • Sport Coats:
  • Sport coats can be a more casual option for wearing a boutonniere, especially for daytime or outdoor events. Look for sport coats with notched lapels that allow enough space to secure the boutonniere without distorting the fabric.

Placement of the Boutonniere on the Jacket Lapel

Choosing the Correct Side

When it comes to placing a boutonniere on a jacket lapel, it is important to choose the correct side. Traditionally, boutonnieres are worn on the left lapel. This tradition dates back to medieval times when knights would wear flowers or ribbons on their left side as a symbol of honor and chivalry. However, in modern times, it has become more acceptable to wear boutonnieres on either side. It is ultimately up to personal preference or any specific cultural or regional customs.

Positioning on the Lapel

Once you have chosen the side for your boutonniere, it is important to position it correctly on the lapel. The boutonniere should be placed just above the buttonhole on the lapel, with the stem pointing towards your shoulder. It should be positioned at a slight angle, with the top of the flower slightly tilted towards your face. This creates a more visually appealing and natural look.

Securing a Boutonniere Without Damaging the Fabric

Using a Boutonniere Pin

The most common method for securing a boutonniere without damaging the fabric is by using a boutonniere pin. These pins are specifically designed for this purpose and have a sharp end that easily pierces through fabric without causing any significant damage. To use a boutonniere pin, simply insert it through both layers of fabric (the lapel and flower stem) at an angle, making sure it feels secure but not too tight.

Using Floral Adhesive

Another option for securing a boutonniere is by using floral adhesive. Floral adhesive is a type of glue that is safe to use on fabric and flowers. To use floral adhesive, apply a small amount to the back of the flower stem and press it firmly onto the lapel. Make sure to follow the instructions on the adhesive packaging and allow enough time for it to dry before moving or adjusting the boutonniere.

Materials and Tools Needed to Pin a Boutonniere on a Jacket

To pin a boutonniere on a jacket, you will need the following materials and tools:


Choose a boutonniere that matches your style or complements your outfit. It can be a fresh flower, artificial flower, or even a decorative pin.

Boutonniere Pin

A boutonniere pin is specifically designed for securing boutonnieres without causing damage to fabric. Make sure you have at least one pin available.

Floral Adhesive (Optional)

If you prefer not to use pins, floral adhesive can be used as an alternative method for securing the boutonniere.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Pinning a Boutonniere on a Jacket

1. Choose the side of your jacket lapel where you want to place the boutonniere.
2. Position the boutonniere just above the buttonhole on the lapel, with the stem pointing towards your shoulder.
3. Insert one end of the boutonniere pin through both layers of fabric (the lapel and flower stem) at an angle.
4. Make sure the pin feels secure but not too tight.
5. Adjust the position of the boutonniere if needed, ensuring it looks visually appealing and natural.
6. If using floral adhesive instead of pins, apply a small amount to the back of the flower stem and press it firmly onto the lapel.
7. Allow enough time for the adhesive to dry before moving or adjusting the boutonniere.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping the Boutonniere in Place Throughout an Event

– Use a second boutonniere pin for added security, especially if you are wearing a heavier or larger boutonniere.
– Avoid excessive movement or pulling on the boutonniere, as this can cause it to become loose or fall off.
– If using floral adhesive, make sure to apply enough and allow sufficient drying time to ensure the boutonniere stays in place.
– Consider spritzing the boutonniere with water occasionally throughout the event to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

Matching the Style or Color of the Boutonniere with Other Accessories or Clothing Items

Coordinating Colors

When choosing a boutonniere, it is important to consider how it will complement your overall outfit. Look for colors that coordinate well with your clothing items and accessories. For example, if you are wearing a navy suit, a white or light blue flower would be a classic choice. If you want to add a pop of color, consider matching the boutonniere to your tie or pocket square.

Matching Styles

In addition to color coordination, consider matching the style of your boutonniere with other accessories or clothing items. For example, if you are going for a more formal look, opt for a traditional flower like a rose or carnation. If you prefer a more unique and modern style, explore options such as succulents or feathers.

Etiquette for Wearing and Pinning a Boutonniere on a Jacket


Boutonnieres are commonly worn on special occasions such as weddings, proms, or formal events. It is important to consider the dress code and occasion when deciding whether to wear a boutonniere.

Matching Partners

If you are attending an event with a partner, it is customary for the boutonniere to match the corsage worn by your partner. This creates a cohesive and coordinated look for couples.


After the event, it is polite to remove your boutonniere before sitting down for a meal. This prevents any potential damage or staining of the fabric and ensures a more comfortable dining experience.

In conclusion, pinning a boutonniere on a jacket is a simple and elegant way to add a touch of style and sophistication to any formal attire. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, anyone can easily master the art of pinning a boutonniere and elevate their overall look for various special occasions.

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