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Right. You have one simple job. Sort the buttonhole and corsage. But where to begin with this dark magic that is only spoken about at times of weddings, formals and graduations? Well here at Bud Naked, we have hunted down the facts, the tips and how to get one that your date/partner/future betrothed will be delighted with! (And you can even impress them with your historical knowledge of why they exist. No more dark magic here.)

Wait up, what are they?

A buttonhole or boutonniere is a small flower with a wired stem that fits into the small buttonhole on the left side lapel of a suit. On the heart. Generally it is worn by males. A corsage on the other hand is traditionally worn by females and is a bigger flower arrangement, fixed onto a band that is most commonly worn on the wrist. Like the buttonhole, it is worn on the left side. Corsages and buttonholes at formals and graduations, are typically designed to complement each other. At a wedding, the buttonholes should tie in with the bouquets. 

A Brief History

Now you know what they are, time for a quick history lesson regarding this interesting fashion accessory. To get to the beginning we need to go back to Ancient times where the Greeks and the Egyptians were known to pop on a small cluster of flowers or herbs that they believed would ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Big expectations for such a small little arrangement! The Aztecs were also in favour of them at sporting events where they showed allegiance and support to their sporting teams. Think of them as the early day version of a beanie and scarf at a football match. 

Fast forward to the 1700s and buttonholes became known for warding off disease and bad smells. Not sure how helpful a rose or bunch of lavender would be if you had not bathed for months but hey, at least there was some effort. 

Victorian era shoulder corsages

Victorian era shoulder corsages

Then in the 1900s corsage and buttonholes became synonymous with loooooove. Courting to be more precise. Those sneaky Victorians would even put hidden messages into their buttonholes and corsages meant only for their lovers. Think secret flower codes. 

Corsages and Buttonholes Today

Historically corsages and buttonholes were worn as a daily items, however today they are worn with joy and nerves at weddings, formals, proms and graduations. While buttonholes still have a place on a lapel, corsages have moved around a little. Initially starting on the bust, they were then very popular on the shoulder. Fashion changes such as strapless dresses and finer materials, has meant that today they are most frequently worn on the wrist. At a wedding a mother of the bride and/or groom will most commonly wear a wrist corsage. All the fellas in a bride and grooms wedding party can pop on a buttonhole. 

Pretty modern wrist corsage

Pretty modern wrist corsage

Hints and tips 

Ok we got this buttonhole and corsage thing down pat now, right? Now we just need to choose the perfect one. Natalie, the florist guru at Bud Naked, has these tips to make sure you get it right.

  1. Ask the colour of the dress or suit (the flowers should compliment this and stand out without clashing with the outfit)
  2. Check if your partner would like a wrist or shoulder corsage. A good florist will put the corsage on a pearl or diamanté bracelet so it looks pretty and is secured well.
  3. Speak to the florist about the type of flowers that are in season. These will look the freshest and be more cost effective. 
  4. If possible, get your corsage and buttonholes on the day you will be wearing them. Store them in the fridge to keep them looking fab until the last possible moment that you need to put them on. Handle with care as many flowers bruise easily ie. don’t bear hug your mum as you walk out the door. 
  5. Have a fantastic night! 

Still need some more inspiration or ideas? Then give Natalie a call on 07 54405259 or visit us at Even better if you are in Noosa living or visiting, come in and see Natalie and the team. We can help you choose the perfect buttonhole or corsage for your special day. Job done.