How To Attach A Boutonniere – Step By Step Guide

How To Attach A Boutonniere

Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Guillermina

Today, we’re going to be looking at how to attach a boutonniere. It may be something you’re nervous about, or maybe something you have no idea how to do! After all, we only ever use them on special occasions, so it may not be something you’re familiar with. Don’t worry, we’ll be taking you through each step with a step-by-step guide to make it easy as possible for you. Attaching a boutonniere to a lapel or a shirt is done in slightly different ways – and we’ll be covering them both.

What Is A Boutonniere?

More often that not, the male members of the wedding party should be wearing a boutonniere. A boutonniere is a spray of flowers that you wear in your buttonhole or your lapel. It can be a single flower, a bud, or something more extravagant. They are typically worn at weddings or formal dances, such as a prom.

What Side Does A Boutonniere Go On?

When wearing a boutonniere for a wedding, it should always be worn on the left. More often than not, this is where the lapel buttonhole is. There are a lot of theories around why this is the case but it’s most likely because of this. In men’s clothing, the buttonholes are always on the left. And on women’s clothing, the buttonholes are always on the right. It’s very uncommon for clothing to be any other way.

So if you’re a male, be sure to pin the boutonniere to the left. And if you’re a female, be sure to pin the boutonniere to the right.

How To Pin A Boutonniere

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide – you’ve come to the right place! We’ll be taking you through how to pin a boutonniere to a lapel and to a shirt. Let’s take a look.

Lapel Method

Here’s how to attach a pin to the lapel.

  1. Positioning. As seen earlier, it should always be on the left side for a male. Position the flower so it’s facing outwards on the left lapel. The flower should be facing you and it should lay in the center of the lapel. Find a position that works, and is comfortable for you. After all – you’ll be wearing it all day!
  2. The Pin Begins. Firmly hold the boutonniere in place, lift the lapel, and pin upwards. Be sure it’s fully through the lapel.
  3. Keep Pinning. While still holding your pin, pin through the widest part of the stem of the boutonniere. Insert at a slight diagonal angle. This helps to keep it in place.
  4. Push Back. The other end of the pin should then come back through the other side of the lapel. When you lift the lapel, you should see both sides of the pin – and it should be at that slight diagonal angle.
  5. Does it Need Another Pin? Check how secure it feels. If it doesn’t feel as secure as you’d like, or the boutonniere is particularly large – add another pin the same way you added the first.
  6. Your boutonniere is ready for your big day!

If you prefer to do things visually, Floating Leaf Studios have a great video on How to Pin a Boutonniere.

Shirt Method

Putting a boutonniere on a shirt can be slightly trickier and more fiddly. However, it’s perfectly doable. Let’s see how to attach a boutonniere to a shirt.

  1. Pin Positioning. Finding the right spot is a bit trickier without the help of a lapel. It should be just above your heart, and ideally, around the place, the lapel would usually be.
  2. Pinch and Pin. Once you’ve found the right spot, pinch a piece of the fabric between two fingers and insert the pin right to left. Be sure that it goes into the fabric, and then out the other side.
  3. Repeat. Pinch another piece of the fabric for the pin to go through and slide it in. When it’s inserted both times, there should be a gap wide enough for the end of the boutonniere to fit snugly in to.
  4. Position the Boutonniere. Insert the stem of the boutonniere into the gap you’ve made with the pin. It acts as a little pouch for your boutonniere.
  5. Secure. Check that the boutonniere is secure and gently press around the boutonniere to straighten out any marks that may have been made when attaching it.
  6. Your boutonniere is ready for your big day!

This will likely leave a small hole in your shirt. So be prepared for that!

Read more about Free Color Swatches For Bridesmaid Dresses: Where To Get Them

How To Put On A Boutonniere: Buttonhole Style

An easier way to do this is if your suit already has a buttonhole in your lapel. If it does, it makes the job a whole lot easier. Here’s a step-by-step guide if you’re lucky enough to have one!

  1. Place the stem through the buttonhole. There is often a piece of string behind the lapel to tuck the stem into and keep it secure.
  2. Tuck the stem into the string behind the lapel.
  3. Position the flower in the way you want it to look.
  4. Your boutonniere is ready for your big day!

That way is much easier, right?!


I hope this article has helped you to learn how to attach a boutonniere. It may seem tricky at first, but if you practice a few times before the wedding, you’ll figure it out in no time. Or ask a friend or family member to help if you’re still not feeling confident.

Boutonnieres look beautiful and really brighten up any wedding suit or shirt. And they make a statement that this is a special occasion. And what occasion is more special than a wedding?

Do you have an easier way to attach a boutonniere? Did you have boutonnieres at your wedding? If so, please feel free to let me know any answers to either of these questions in the comments below. I love reading through your responses.

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