To start off, I want to address the issue of wearing flowers and masculinity; there are men who will dismiss the boutonnière as feminine which is not true.
Nowadays, it goes without saying that there are hardly men who wear a boutonniere on a daily basis. Most of the time, the little buttonhole flower is reserved for special occasions and celebrations like weddings, horse races, elegant banquets and so forth.
The boutonnière is always attached above a man’s heart, and it should be worn at the left lapel’s button-hole, a 1 to 1.5 inch opening that is a vestige of when a man’s jacket lapels closed to protect his neck. Go for an authentic looking, smaller flower that does not overload your coat.
1. Wear the boutonnière when you feel it is appropriate.
Some men would be very uncomfortable wearing a boutonnière anywhere, some only at the office, and some can wear them all the time. A flower will not be frowned upon at a black tie event. Likewise at a professional business meeting. A man with a flower in his lapel stands out and shows real flair for appearances.
Think also about your work environment. If you wear a suit every day, a flower in the lapel will show some real verve; if it’s a jeans workplace, showing up in a suit with a boutonnière would be awkward.
2. Wear the boutonnière with a pocket square.
Well-dressed gentlemen agree that a suit jacket without a pocket square is naked. If you’re not totally comfortable with a pocket square either, try a white pocket square with a white carnation — these will go with nearly any suit/shirt/necktie combination.
3. Wear the boutonnière with confidence.
Once you have decided to wear a boutonnière, let it be as the jacket to you. It’s another item on your body, it’s neither weird nor hammy. Install the flower into the jacket lapel and leave it alone unless it requires adjustment.
Heads will turn to the man wearing a boutonnière, so don’t feel self-conscious, rather, let the attention bolster your self-confidence. Don’t fidget with the flower or remove it in the middle of the day, unless its appearance is significantly diminished or the flower is damaged.
With that being said, how do you wear a flower on your lapel when you have no buttonhole or the hole is uncut? You have a few options. First you can do what most people do and that is to pin the boutonnière to your lapel. Once considered unsightly, it has become more acceptable because florists have done a great job making the stem look attractive. A second option is to have the buttonhole cut – this is a good solution if you have the time and the jacket is yours (if it’s a rental…pin it).
Boutonnière is not only meant for suits, you can equally wear it on your shirt…
How to wear a boutonnière on a shirt
Place the boutonnière on the left side of the shirt, about 4 inches below the collar bone.
Hold the boutonnière in place with your non-dominant hand and hold the pin with your dominant hand.
Stick the pin through the shirt carefully, making sure not to stick the wearer. Send the pin back through the shirt. Put the pin through the stem of the boutonnière. On the other side, send the pin back through the shirt and back outside again.