Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Enough is Too Much

Gilding the lily. Enough is too much! It’s been years that I’ve had this debate with friends. Pocket square OR boutonniere is the way it goes. Two things inspired this controversial pairing: Another Man’s Poison and my firm belief that the worse you feel, the better you should dress. Don’t be surprised to see me turn up looking like I’m ready for the Royal Enclosure at Ascot one of these days.

I was walking to the garage when I spotted one of the four or five roses blooming on the bush in the backyard, plucked it and popped it through my buttonhole. (There is a small thread sewn in back of the lapel to hold the stem.) I think that the white of my collar, pocket square and the rose echo nicely.

So how do you wear a flower? Sort of the same way that you wear a bow tie or a hat. It takes some getting used to and a fair amount of getting stared at. It helps that I was on my way to my tailor’s, where they’re used to me by now.

Do you wear a boutonniere?

18 thoughts on “Enough is Too Much

  1. I will often wear a boutonniere when I have the spare cash for it. I’ll swing by the florist and just as for some flower, a little bit smaller than my lapel. It sparks things up, and gives others something to smile about.

  2. I wear a boutonniere when I feel like it, and when the occasion warrants it. Were I rich and could have my dream of lots of cut flowers delivered every day, I would have boutonnieres every day also!!

    As for the square/flower issue, to quote Sammy Davis, Jr., “its theatrical, it hurts noone”. I’d go for it.


  3. Armistice Day only, unfortunately. I’m the only one who wears a coat to work, as opposed to jeans and whatever was less dirty laying on the floor in the morning, as most others seem to. I have popped one into my linen coat while strolling through some local botanical gardens that I’ve plucked. Only because that’s my only coat with a fully functional buttonhole. I should probably correct that with my other coats.

  4. when the going gets tough, the tough wear a boutonniere! soldier on, but look damn good no matter what.

  5. To begin, I like your look, Chris – moreso knowing that your maker sewed a stem holder thread, of which I’m fully in favour

    I greatly appreciate boutonnieres and the touch of nature they impute to outfits. I’ll use any sort of available and fresh enough flower when I don’t have access to roses or carnations, and, as I think you’ve seen, I also own two sculpted rose lapel pins, which are often enquired after online and in the flesh

    Will at ASW is championing – and retailing – watered silk ones that certainly take the effort out of plucking

    All best,


  6. Mr. E you and your surroundings are top notch, but of that blue creature to your right?

  7. I wear a flower on my arm. I open the door for her, let her sit first at dinner, and just don’t think she would like to be buttonholed.

    But seriously, I have only worn flowers when forced to at a wedding. My life does not provide the appropriate occasion.

  8. “Do you wear a boutonniere?”

    Not as often as I could. Since I always wear a pocket square it would then be AND a boutonniere.

  9. Listen old sport…you have my blessings on the option of wearing formal dress every day for the next forever.

    Cheers from Old Town…Bobby From Boston silk robe with pocket square swathing me and my cup of caff.

  10. You gents are so pulled together and elegantly indeed! I prefer to see one or the other on a man.

    Chris thinking of your family.

    Art by Karena

  11. I love to wear a flower, but it sometimes attracts comments I’m not willing to respond to so I have to be in the right frame of mind, and more sociable than usual. But it looks fantastic.

    Our former Prime Minister of Canada, the stylish Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was known for the fresh rose he always wore in his lapel. I have a small glass vial on a pin made for this purpose, and often pluck a tiny flower from my garden to put in it. It stays fresh all day, and is very easy and quick. A pocket square and flower is not too much, but they should in some way relate or at least not clash. A flower in the lapel oozes class you can’t buy, and demonstrates an appreciation of nature, gardens and aesthetics.

    Excellent topic for a post. Thank you.

  12. Brohammas, that’s the nicest thing I’ve heard this morning.

    ADG, a perfect morning.

    Karena, thanks!

    SwF, my pleasure. And I know what you mean. Sometimes it’s a question of “smudging the monocle” in order to avoid the looks. Best,C

    initials CG, you’re an officer and a gentleman. Thank you.

    Mary, many thanks!

    The rest of you gents… . Well, thank you.

  13. Accessories are akin to a smile in my book. Flowers make life happier.
    Flowers in the hair, on a lapel or on the table! You look so debonair.

  14. My father wore one a lot when we were growing up. We had several gardens, so there was always something in bloom for him to choose. My mum recently had lunch with an old friend whose husband’s signature was always wearing a gardenia in his lapel.

    thinking of you all!

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