Did you just Google “What side does a corsage go on?” If so, you’re in the right place. When it comes to hosting (or attending) events there can be a lot of ambiguity between the old and new styles of decorum.
Whatever the situation – you want to show up with your best foot forward, so we’ve created this quick-hit reference guide including common questions for event attendees and hosts.
How To Set A Table
Hosting a dinner party? Don’t fret – Remember the following acronym to set a proper table every time.
F – The Fork is placed far left in the order of operations
O – The “O” represents the dinner plate
R – The R signals the shift to the right side of the plate
K – The Knife sits closest to the plate on the right side
S – The Spoon rounds out the standard table setting as the last slot on the left
Bonus: As a dinner guest, you should eat from “outside in” – starting your meal with the salad fork (small fork, far left) and/or Soup Spoon (large spoon, far right).
What Side Does A Corsage/Boutonniere Go On?
The tradition of wearing corsages and boutonnieres traces back to the 18th century. While many modern couples opt out of the tradition, the recent popularity of shows like Bridgeton & Hamilton might indicate a resurgence among millennials and Gen Zers.
Corsages are floral accents traditionally worn by women. There are two types of corsage – a pin and a wrist brand. Opinions vary on “which side is right”, but generally wrist corsages are worn opposite of the dominant hand and pinned corsages are worn opposite of the male’s boutonniere – on the right side of the dress.
Honestly, we recommend wearing it wherever YOU feel it looks best 🙂
The boutonniere is the floral accent traditionally worn by men (again, no rules here – shoutout to the groomswomen!) on the left lapel of the suit jacket. Pinners should aim to position the boutonniere on the upper lapel, above the pocket square.
The Dress Code
So your event invite has a “dress code” and you’re not quite sure how to interpret it, right? No worries! With the wide variety of styles and guides, it can be difficult to identify what classifies as “brunch chic” these days.
To help – we’ve summarized the standard special events dress codes below to help you show up in the right fit.
White Tie: White time is the most formal of the dress codes: Think: Royal Wedding or debutante ball. These events are typically more conservative and call for a black tuxedo and floor-length evening gowns.
Black Tie: Black tie is the most popular dress code for weddings and similar special events. (Think: 007). Men should still lean towards the traditional tuxedo but have some flexibility to pair a nice dinner jacket with traditional tuxedo trousers. Ladies should opt for floor-length gowns or dressy cocktail dresses.
Semi-Formal/Cocktail Attire: Semi-Formal (also called “cocktail attire”) is a step down from Black Tie – more dressy than what you’d wear to work, but not as fanciful as Black Tie. With this dress code, men can consider a tailored suit with loafers (no sneakers). Ladies’ options range from shorter cocktail dresses to maxi dresses or even dressy blouses with trousers.
Color Theme: If the event curators are requesting a specific color palette – WEAR THE REQUESTED COLORS! Showing up in neon lime green when the couple has requested “jewel tones” translates as blatant disregard (and even disrespect). If you’re unsure what color to wear – google, ask, or opt for black (that’s always safe).
Patterns: Generally we recommend shying away from obnoxious patterns unless they adhere to a theme (e.g. floral patterns for a garden party/wedding).
Can I Wear White? Unless explicitly stated – the answer is no. And “no white” includes all ranges/shades of white (off-white, cream, ivory, or even really light silver that looks white)
Cultural Considerations: If you are invited to a religious/cultural event (e.g., Shaadi or Bar Mitzvah) be sure to google/ask the event hosts about dress code. Some ceremonies require full coverage or specific attire based on the event. (it’s always safe to lean more conservatively).
Etiquette Wrap up
So there you have it, folks – a quick and easy reference for special events etiquette! While it might seem “old school”, understanding the foundations of proper etiquette is core to putting your best foot forward whether planning or attending a special event.
Check out Class & Cosmos: Etiquette 101 to learn more tips on etiquette from LesLo Events.
To find out more about event planning, go to our home page at LesLoevents.com