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What are your thoughts on the boutonniere? Is it an antiquated practice? I was thinking of it trying it out maybe once a week . I’m getting the feeling it’ll seem a little contrived. Seems like something that the Cary Grant generation would have done more often, but I thought I’d get your point of view to see what women would think…
I did a bit of research (i.e., using Google and looking at movie stills from the first part of the last century–nothing but the loftiest journalistic standards here) to find out how common it has been for men to wear flower boutonnieres in their lapel over the years. The impression I got was that long, long ago, men of great wealth and status often placed flowers in the lapels of their rather extravagant coats. Later on, movie stars like Cary Grant–as you mentioned–did occasionally sport them in studio photos. Today, as you are aware, someone wearing a boutonniere is typically standing at the front of a church, or sitting in a glitter-covered throne in a high school gym.
Now, you know I love old things. Vintage style, old movies, aged wine, my ancient neighbor who greases the top of his fence so the squirrels fall off it. So I want to embrace your interest in reviving the boutonniere…but I’m struggling with it. Maybe you could get away with it in your overcoat on a cold December evening, on your way to your office holiday party, the boutonniere a fresh sprig of holly. Or at a special dinner celebrating your anniversary, the boutonniere a casual echo of the lily you wore on your wedding day.
But on a day-to-day basis, I agree, Al, it will look contrived. You didn’t mention with what you’d be wearing the flower–a suit jacket, an overcoat–but I can’t imagine an “everyday” outfit (like khakis and a blazer) in an “everyday” environment (like the grocery store or the subway) in which a boutonniere wouldn’t stand out. In a bad way.
The boutonniere is sooooo associated with very specific occasions–weddings and high school dances–in this current time period and culture, that you’re going to look like a weirdo.
Our fearless Dappered leader found this link about making your own silk lapel flower. I’m not a fan of the look myself, but it is definitely less conspicuous. Maybe it would satisfy your desire for sporting flora on your lapel. Readers, I’d be interested to know what you think of Al’s question?
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