The Style Blog

How To Put On Your Boutonniere For Prom

Written by Diana Ganz February 28, 2020

One of the most common mistakes teens make when getting ready for prom is poor boutonniere placement. We’ve seen it everywhere from the center of their lapel to inside the front pocket of their jacket. It’s understandable. Most guys will only wear a boutonniere a few times in their lifetime. All it takes is one person to be an expert on how to pin a boutonniere for prom and after this article, you’ll be that guy.

1. Where does the boutonniere go?- The key to wearing a boutonniere for prom is proper placement. Boutonnieres are always placed on the left lapel of your jacket. The largest part of the flower will be placed over the buttonhole with the base of the flower where the ribbon covered stem begins laying on the lapel below the button hole. The stem of the boutonniere should be aligned with the sides of the lapel so it angles in the same direction. (#Geometry #Parallel)

Where to put a boutonniere on your prom tux

FUN FACT: Boutonniere is French for button hole which was originally designed to let men stick single flowers through their lapel.

2. How do I hold it? – Placing your thumb under the backside of the lapel, use your index and middle finger to pinch the boutonniere stem and lapel together. Be firm with this to ensure the flower doesn’t move as you turn the lapel over to start pinning. 

where to attach your prom boutonniere to your tuxedo jacket

3. How do I Stick It? – Once the boutonniere is firmly placed and you have a good hold on it, you will gently fold the lapel back exposing the underside. From the outer edge of the lapel, you will push the pin through the fabric into the top of the ribbon covered stem. You will continue to push the pin through the stem towards the inner edge of the lapel until it reappears through the fabric under the lapel. To make sure you don’t poke the guy you’re pinning, it’s best to keep the lapel folded back to ensure the pin is only going through the fabric on the underside of the lapel and not through additional layers of his suit, shirt and skin. One pin should be enough. 

how your pin should look on your prom boutonniere tuxedo jacket


Common Questions:
  • What if you don’t have a button hole? Because tuxedos have a satin lapel there won't be the buttonhole landmark to look for. Instead, look to the buttons on the shirt to guide placement. The boutonniere should be placed with the base of the flower even to the second button down from the top of the shirt with the stem aligned with the lapel edges.
  • Does it matter if you don’t pin it toward the top of the stem? Yes. Pinning it in the middle of the stem is not secure and will cause the flower to flop around. Putting the pin through the top of the stem where the ribbon begins and stems are thickest is the most secure position.
  • What is the right size? The flowers used in the boutonnieres should complement your date’s corsage and also compliment the size of the guy wearing it.
  • How do you incorporate the colors of your date’s prom dress? There are so many ways to incorporate dress colors into your florals. Flowers vary by season and the time of year. For example, burgundy dresses are stunning next to a guy in a black suit with a burgundy calla lily boutonniere. Color can also be added in the ribbon choice.
  • How do I care for my boutonniere before prom? Ideally, you will pick up the corsage and boutonniere for prom the day of, right before photos. If you pick them up the night before instead, store them gently in the refrigerator close to the door. 
  • Can a boutonniere be worn along with a pocket square? Yes. Although many guys choose one or the other, there is no reason a boutonniere and a pocket square can’t complement one another.

navy suit for formal high school dance with floral tie and yellow and orange boutonniere ideas

About the Author

Diana Ganz - The Groomsman Suit

Diana Ganz is the co-founder of The Groomsman Suit. Being a passionate advocate for the TGS brand, Diana oversees marketing and branding efforts to bring maximum visibility and growth. She enjoys building relationships with engaged couples and industry partners and is committed to creating a fun, easy and thrilling purchasing experience for all TGS customers.