In my experience, wearing a lapel flower tends to draw more compliments than usual. On one occasion a compliment was given by a passerby but was then followed by a comment that the individual felt that they couldn’t wear one because it’s just too flashy for them. That made me stop to think, is a lapel flower a bit too much?
As I pondered an answer to this question it made me wonder aloud about the origins of the lapel flower itself. According to Harrison Blake Apparel, CO, the wearing of lapel ornamentation can be traced all the back to 2000 B.C. when the Aztecs used colored flowers to show their affiliation during times of war. The modern interpretation of the lapel ornament or boutonniere can be found with the War of The Roses. During this war, soldiers on the side of the House of York wore a white rose while those that fought on the side of the House of Lancaster wore red roses. It is astonishing to think that something that we look to as just an accessory has its origin as a practical implementation of war.
My first instinct is to say that of course it’s not too much. However once I step back I can see two distinct circumstances where a lapel flower can be seen as to flashy. The first circumstance is one where you as the wearer are a bit self-conscious of how others will perceive you. Maybe you are concerned that others will think that you are trying to show off or that you just don’t want to “stand out” in the crowd. Well I have news for you, if you are reading this site or any others like it on a regular basis they more than likely you already stand out. Your style is an extension of you and your personality. I don’t know about you but I dress the way I do because of how it makes me feel, not because of what others think. You should dress for you and no one else. Don’t be afraid to be the best dressed man in the room.
The second circumstance is one that is directed toward those that are in a very conservative corporate climate. Depending on the corporate culture and the office politics, stepping outside of the normal homogeneity of that environment with any “flashy” additions could be look down upon. Now this is in many ways similar to the first circumstance in that the perception of others is at the root of the issue, however this is driven by a climate that encourages and mandates as sort of vanilla style when it comes to the traditional suit and tie. In this case you can either conform to the norm or be a risk taker and challenge the status quo.
Style is one of the greatest forms of self-expression that we have. It is quite literally the most visible way that you can tell the outside world something about who you are and what you are about. The slightest addition can tell a story or convey a mood. Is a lapel flower a bit too much? Not if you see it as your way of showing the world that you are in a constant battle to make your dreams, hopes, and aspirations become a reality.