I saw an interesting sign in a florist’s window that said…

Order your boutonnieres a week in advance…

Now there’s word you don’t hear or see much.

A boutonniere is a spray of flowers worn, typically by men, in the buttonhole of their suit jacket, usually a single bud of some kind…roses, mums and carnations are the norm.  

Bouton, French for button, made me think of Vanderbilts and Astors, women in white gloves with parasols, and my pal Ed who’s the only one I know who could pull off anything floral in his lapel.

Since it’s prom and wedding season, and considered the male version of a corsage, that sign suddenly made sense.

After seeing it, boutonnieres popped up everywhere.  Pallbearers idling near a hearse with white roses pressed against their black mourning suits.  

A group of graduates on church steps, the young men with sprigs of lilies of the valley peeking from Brooks Brothers blazers.

A natty looking guy in front of me at a gourmet store with a woven circle of lilac, held with a pink straight pin you could purposely see.   

It made me dream of a different time when flowers spoke for the person they graced with cheer, celebration and alas, grief.  An adormement that, sadly, won’t last reminding us, neither will we.

Did John Jacob Astor have a boutonniere in his lapel when he went down on the Titanic?

Did he order his a week in advance?

I’ll bet he had them delivered daily, never leaving home without one.  I don’t really know, but it’s just a hunch.      







About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Fashion, grace, History, humanity, money, nature, New York City, words and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Buttonholed

  1. Another custom rarely seen these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    I never thought about it, but I bet you’re right Susannah. John Jacob probably did have boutonnieres sent over once or maybe twice each day. The daily boutonniere business in the ritzy part of town must have kept some florists busy. I have a hunch they didn’t stop at the local street vendor to get them, ha ha!
    By the way, I love the titles you come up with!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. when we were in San Diego, I had a florist that I visited regularly… for boutonnieres. Whenever hubby and I went to a formal event, I always made certain his lapel was decorated. I had such a great time working with the florist for different ideas for his lapel… I think they are great things… but, since we are retired, jeans and tee shirts or Hawaiian shirts are our uniform and no lapels are around! Great post as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the different styles of boutonnieres available today. I love looking at the different styles.They are making a comeback of sorts, wich is a wonderful addition considering the pajama bottoms as an outfit craze that exists today.

    Liked by 1 person

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