English dandies known as Macaronis started a tradition of wearing flowers in the late 1700’s; they discovered fashion innovations and brought them back to England. There is a story about when Prince Albert arrived in England in 1840, to marry Queen Victoria, she gave him a tiny bouquet of flowers. The Prince, noted for his charming little courtesies, took a penknife from his pocket, cut a hole in the lapel of his coat and inserted the flowers. Prince Albert had his tailor make them in all his suit jackets from then on.
FACT: The ”standard” lapel is 3 to 3 1/2 inches in width.
FACT: The Gorge is the seam where the collar meets the lapel.
FACT: A boutonniere is a flower for the buttonhole of the left lapel.
FACT: Lapels can be peaked or notched.
Men’s fashion isn’t as diverse as women’s fashion; Clothing for men follow basic rules in texture, shape, color, cut and design and these factors come into play with details that appear unique in every piece. A peak lapel, for example, automatically marks a suit as formal.
It may appear that peak lapel suits have a particular identity to live up to. It is normally worn in formal occasions or important business meetings but the formality that the peak lapel brings to a jacket is definitely firm and non-compromising. The characteristic “peak cut” at the jacket lapel creates a solid statement about a serious fashion and business position.
On the other hand, Spring has officially arrived and in 2011, we are hoping to inspire you to invest in a little “lapel garnish,” I.e. a flower in your lapel buttonhole (a.k.a. boutonnières), a pin and/or brooch.
Men have very limited options in terms of accessories; ties, belts, watches & scarves are all that you really have to choose from but expanding your options with your lapel will put you in a league of your own. Looking for ways to level the “Well Dressed” playing field for new & cool pieces that can add accents to your ensembles to create unique looks are a step away from the norm; brooches help to achieve this.
The “trick” to wearing boutonnières is to wear them with confidence. In casual venues, it might also help to hold back on other accessories, lest you look too busy with a tie, pocket square and flower.
Make a big statement with a small accessory; Check out the links to get your new lapel embellishments!