How To Pin a Corsage or Boutonniere

The corsage and boutonniere are beautiful and classic accessories to formal dress attire. Nothing offsets the dull black of a suit or tuxedo like a boutonniere, and a well-picked corsage can complement your dress for the night. However, putting one on is well near impossible to do by yourself. You will need the help of your date when pinning on your corsage or boutonniere, and a lot of fumbling might lead to embarrassing moments later on. Save yourself the potential faux pas and follow this easy and simple to understand guide to pinning a corsage or boutonniere.

  1. Start with the proper care and storage of your corsage/boutonniere. It won’t do you any good to pick out the perfect corsage or boutonniere and just have it fall apart during the day of the event. Make sure you store it in a cool, dry place, preferably the refrigerator. Do not, however, place it inside the freezer, as the extreme cold will destroy its petals.
  2. Know the proper placement. The corsage and boutonniere should be on opposite sides, so they don’t touch each other when you start dancing. The boutonniere is traditionally pinned over the left side, directly over your heart. A corsage, on the other hand, is placed over the right side of your dress.
  3. Face your date when placing the corsage or boutonniere. Handle the flower arrangement by its stem to prevent any damage. When you begin your approach, make sure the flower is facing you, and away from your date.
  4. Approach the clothing at an angle. You shouldn’t be pinning the corsage or boutonniere directly onto your date. This may result in embarrassing pinpricks. The corsage or boutonniere should be placed at a distance of around 4 inches from the shoulder, and at an offset angle for maximum visual appeal.
  5. Make sure that you place it evenly before securing it. Take some time to step back and see if you’ve correctly placed the corsage or boutonniere before you fasten it with a pin. The corsage or boutonniere must sit evenly on the lapel or dress before securing, otherwise, it will look lopsided and require frequent readjustment.
  6. With your non-dominant hand, secure the flower’s placement. Your dominant hand should take hold of the stickpin that will secure the flower, to provide maximum control.
  7. Take the pin and stick it through the fabric at the bottom left corner of the stem. When the needle point emerges, pass the pin over the body of the stem, before sticking it into the fabric on the opposite side.
  8. You should be sure that the stem is firmly in place before you let go of the corsage or boutonniere. The pin should not be left sticking into the fabric, as this may potentially prick the skin. To avoid this, make sure the needlepoint is directed outside the fabric.

The pinning of a corsage or boutonniere is a simple task that is daunting for most because of the lack of familiarity. Just make sure you focus on the task at hand, and steady your nerves and hands before attempting the pinning.


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