If you’re somebody who enjoys the dapper life, then you have no doubt heard about lapel flowers. These popular accessories can often be found online for a small price and add a splash of colour to your ensemble.
In this guide, you will learn all about lapel flowers as we touch on the following points:
- What Is A Lapel Flower?
- How & When To Wear Lapel Flowers
- Different Styles Of Lapel Flowers
- Where To Buy The Best Lapel Flowers
Use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all.
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What Is A Lapel Flower?
A lapel flower is a decorative accessory a man puts on the lapel of his jacket. A style of lapel pin in the shape of a flower, they’re available in a multitude of colors and are most commonly made of silk or cotton. They may be long stem or button style.
Echoing back to the old days where a red rose would be paired with a white tuxedo, lapel flowers are reminiscent of stars such as Cary Grant or Sean Connery as James Bond.
However, they predate both these cultural icons and supposedly began at Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert.
Lapel flowers’ popularity has jumped significantly in the past few years. Many big brands have gotten on the lapel flower train, and quite a few smaller brands and even Etsy shops make them too.
This should come as no surprise; they’re small and don’t have any specific requirements around sizing, so they lend themselves well to being crafted artisanally.
Price-wise, they can range from as little as $8 to as high as $45-$50.
Theoretically, they are a substitute for a boutonnière or a real flower attached to a jacket’s lapel via a pin. This seems reasonable, given that one thing is a flower, and the other thing is made to look like a flower.
How & When To Wear Lapel Flowers
Some countries may have customs were a specific type of lapel flower is worn during certain times of the year. For instance, the United Kingdom observes the Great Daffodil Appeal in March as well as the Poppy Appeal in October and November
Otherwise, wearing a lapel flower isn’t complicated by any stretch. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of information to go over if you want to do it not just properly, but well. To that end, please have a look at our page on how to wear a lapel flower.
Different Types Of Lapel Flowers
Not all lapel flowers are created equal.
Firstly, from a color perspective, know that they are available in simply any color under the sun. They can be found in all manner of reds, blues, purples, pinks, greens, yellows, oranges, and any variation or combination thereof.
Secondly, they’re made in various materials. The “flowers” themselves are often fabric like silk or cotton, but they can also be made of plastic or some other synthetic material that’s a bit harder or shinier.
Furthermore, the “stems” of the flowers -the pins that you use to secure them to your lapel- are often made of nickel or some other silver-looking metal, but they may also be crafted from a material that looks gold, like brass for example.
Thirdly, the different styles you’ll most often encounter in the lapel flower world are mentioned below.
Long Stem Flowers
Long stem flowers have long, thin pins to which the flower itself is attached. These are quite common and comprise much of what’s available on the lapel flower market.
Suits with functional lapel buttonholes will also have something called a “keeper” or thread loop that rests on the backside of the lapel about two inches beneath the buttonhole.
This is the ideal place to put the pin of a long stem lapel flower, as it will keep it from moving around too much or falling out.
Your lapel buttonhole needn’t be functional to use a long stem lapel flower.
Button flowers are the other main style of lapel flower. These have a button on the backside of the flower, and that button is used to fasten it to the jacket’s lapel. Note that your lapel buttonhole must be functional for one of these to work.
Thankfully, that’s a very easy job for any tailor to accomplish, and if you’re careful and somewhat experienced, you might even be able to do it yourself with a seam ripper.
Boutonnières are actual, live flowers that are often worn with black tie and white tie ensembles. While they are elegant and stylish, they’re not the same thing as a lapel flower, which is a variation on a lapel pin based on a material arranged in the shape of a flower.
Although fresh flowers are indeed elegant, they also have their drawbacks. Over the course of the day, flowers have a tendency to wilt and will need replacing regularly.
Furthermore, they’re also quite fragile and can easily get crushed or damaged with sudden moves. Meanwhile, pinned flowers are quite robust and can be worn for as long as you like.
If you’re looking at wearing a boutonnière, head to our full guide on the subject.
Where To Buy The Best Lapel Flowers?
With their fashion renaissance, lapel flowers have become much easier to buy. Nevertheless, they tend to be reserved to online retailers and it’s still rare to find them in-store.
Nevertheless, we’ve done our research in order to present you with the best lapel flowers to buy online:
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to learn about them all!
Founded in 1913, Hawes & Curtis is best known as a Jermyn Street shirt brand.
However, it also offers a strong but modest collection of silk lapel flowers. A variety of colours are available so you can pick up a selection that will match with different garments in your wardrobe.
"Excellent value for money and well-made silk lapel flowers for the dapper gent."
Brooks Brothers has its own collection of lapel flowers that have a unique style. Unlike other lapel flowers, they’re woven into small and discreet knots. These will allow you to add a pop of colour on your jacket without standing out too much.
The Tie Bar is an excellent one-stop destination for neckwear and other accessories. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it retails a vast selection of lapel flowers in different styles and colours.
They’re also very affordable so it’s easy to pick up a few of them in order to alternate depending on your shirt and tie combination.
Ties.com is very similar to The Tie Bar. While it’s usually slightly more expensive, it does offer an extra layer of quality in its goods. If you’re looking to go on a spree, we would recommend The Tie Bar.
However, if you want to curate a solid but limited choice of lapel flowers, Ties.com has a beautiful selection in a rich variety of colours and styles.
A tradition dating back to the First World War when Madame Guérin sought to raise funds for widows, orphans, and veterans, it is now mostly observed by the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Nations.
The British Royal Legion launches a Poppy Appeal campaign every year where people receive a small paper poppy in exchange for a donation, which is worn up to and including the 11th November. Metal pins and other styles have recently become available as well. While not exactly a fashion accessory, we thought it relevant to include it in this list.
Another yearly cause to raise awareness, the Marie Curie Foundation launches its Great Daffodil Appeal fundraising campaign every March. On this occasion, the UK-based charity uses the springtime flower as its emblem and fabric pins are exchanged for donations.
Returning to the theme of fashion lapel flowers, Amazon has one of the largest selections on the internet. If you want to get lots of bang for your buck, third-party sellers retail dozens of lapel flowers at very attractive prices. There’s a dizzying array of lapel flowers on Amazon so we couldn’t pinpoint a single retailer that we wished to recommend in particular!
What Next: Other Lapel Resources
Lapel flowers are a great way to decorate your suit in a tasteful, sartorially correct way, and every man could use a few in his rotation. Even with that said, it’s good to have knowledge about the other ways to dress a lapel and other parts of a suit.
Therefore, we invite you to take a look at our other guides: