Boutonniere Guidelines

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    I have an event coming up, and while it isn’t very formal, for some reason I really want to sport a boutonniere.

    I’m just wondering what sort of guidelines to follow in terms of matching the boutonniere to the rest of the outfit (tie, pocket square, etc.).

    Should I go same color or should I pick a different one as to not have to much of the same color so close together?

    As of right not I have a blue sport coat (think between navy and sky blue) with a burgundy tie and am looking for a burgundy pocket square. So I was thinking either go burgundy boutonniere or maybe something white/off-white to contrast.

    Or should I just forget about the pocket square? And in that case do I match the boutonniere with the tie?

    Let me know what you think and thanks in advance!



    So the main thing with the tie/ps combo:

    1) Never match them exactly. This has been rule #1 since the dawn of time.

    2) I wouldn’t do a burgundy tie and burgundy ps. If you wanted to use a ps that had *some* burgundy in it, that would be ok. But generally, you want a ps that complements the tie. So think of color wheel stuff. You could do burgundy and brown or burgundy and rust. Or you could do burgundy and purple. Or go opposite and do burgundy with sea green.

    3) Another good rule with ps matching is to pick a fabric that’s not the same as the tie (or jacket, though that’s much easier to avoid). So a silk tie goes well with a linen, cotton, or wool square. Or, a silk square in a different weight of silk. One reason why people say a white linen ps is the most versatile, is because linen suits are rare, linen ties are rare, and white suits/ties are rare. White ties are almost always silk. Play with the fabrics to help ensure they are not too similar.

    Finally, if you have to ditch one or the other, I personally would ditch the bout. It sticks out more, whereas the ps has a 100+ year old history. That said, treat the bout like the ps. Don’t try to match it. Be careful that you don’t go overboard if you do all three, like a red tie, blue ps, and yellow bout. If you do the bout either way, make sure it’s not huge. Color is good, and contrast from the tie is great, but you wouldn’t want a medium blue suit, dark burgundy tie, all mostly conservative colors, and then a sunflower; it would stick out like crazy.

    Put This On has a shop with lots of cool vintage-y quirky lapel pins that are more subtle with color since they are mostly metals, might be worth checking out. After that, try a few things out and check IG and Pinterest for inspiration.

    This guy is a bit too much for me sometimes – – but at least he does that extra-detail style right. You’ll notice some lapel pins and bouts as you scroll through.



    Default advice:

    1. White TV fold pocket squares are 100% legit at all times. Bonus points if linen fabric.
    2. Boutonniere can be had from a local florist, again, small white flower is fine. It should go through the button hole, not outside it and a tailor can make a fake buttonhole functional and even add in a belaying string [×1024.jpg](×1024.jpg)

    If you go this route, you will be 100% fine in 99% of all use cases.

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