Giving dates corsages or boutonnieres before heading out to the prom is a lovely tradition. These flowers look and smell wonderful, helping to complete the look of the couple as they prepare to enjoy themselves at a dance that marks the right of passage for many high schoolers across the country.
Although these flower adornments are commonly associated with the modern prom, along with a few other formal events, the history of using wearable flowers stretches back for thousands of years.
Men once wore flowers to show their support for different athletes in sporting competitions. Many even believe that flowers were used to distinguish one side from the other during the English Civil War.
Over time the flowers began to be strongly associated with dating. Men would often present their dates with flowers to help protect them from evil spirits. It even became common for them to give a small arrangement to the girl’s parents as a sign of respect, and then select a few flowers for the date herself to pin to her clothing.
By the 19th century it also became customary for men to pin flowers to their jackets for particular formal events. These flowers served more than one purpose– not only were they believed to protect the wearer from disease and evil spirits, they also smelled pleasant. The latter was particularly helpful during these periods when people did not bathe very often.
As women’s fashions became dominated by strapless and thin-strapped gowns, the woman’s wearable flower generally moved to the wrist, where it has remained. Men still wear their boutonniere on the left side of their jacket.
Finding the right corsage or boutonniere
When it comes to finding the right corsage or boutonniere, it is important to look at the colors used in the woman’s gown. Both flowers should match or complement the dress.
Red rose corsage
The red rose corsage will look lovely with a number of different color gowns. The red rose is also known for being particularly formal and will look elegant for an evening event like the prom.
Red Rose Corsage
White calla lily boutonniere
The white calla lily is a lovely choice for a boutonniere. It offers a simple beauty that will match a variety of different color gowns.
White Calla Lily
Selecting the right wearable flower can help bring the entire outfit together for both dates and help everyone look their absolute best. At Central Square Florist, we find the history of this tradition to be interesting and wonderful inspiration for finding the perfect flower for the prom. Prom at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is May 9th! Order your prom flowers early!