About that lapel buttonhole

It seems a bit odd to have a lapel buttonhole on your jacket, but no button on the other side, doesn’t it? Why is it even there in the first place?

Like so many things in menswear, there are a handful of origin stories, many of which have very practical beginnings. The story of this button hole is no different.

Apparently, there was a time when men would wear dress hats that came complete with a small elastic cord with a button on the end. This button on a string was used to fasten to your jacket lapel, such that in windy conditions, you wouldn’t lose your hat if it blew off!

Another story is that at one point there actually was a button on the opposite suit lapel — but on the underside — such that you could button the coat all the way up in very chilly conditions. I think this is a great idea, especially since you can’t see the button with it being on the underside of the lapel.

Yet another origin story is that Prince Albert (1819 – 1861), when presented a small bouquet of flowers by his bride, Queen Victoria, cut a small hole in his jacket lapel and wore the flowers. His tailor then made the smart move to include a small hole on the left lapel of all of his jackets. Needless to say, the trend caught on.

Fast forward to today, and that buttonhole is used largely for flowers or boutonnieres. By the way, in Europe this lapel buttonhole is called a boutonniere, while in the US, a boutonniere refers to the floral arrangement.

It’s important to note that whether you opt for a single flower or a boutonniere, that you put it through the lapel buttonhole versus pinning directly to the fabric. There are some cases, however, where it may be best to let your florist arrange the boutonniere as he/she likes, but generally speaking, you should always place a flower directly through this hole. And if you look closely on well made jackets, you’ll see that there is a small bit of thread running horizontal on the backside of your jacket lapel, just below the the lapel buttonhole. This is where your flower stem goes. It’s a neat little trick to keeping everything in place.

So, there you have it! A little helpful background on your lapel buttonhole. Consider having your tailor install a small button on the backside of your opposite lapel such that you can button up all the way in the fall and winter months. And during summer, don’t forget to put that buttonhole to good use and put a flower in there!

Our interview with Chase Moore, of Trilogy Financial

Over recent months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Chase Moore, a financial advisor with Trilogy Financial. Aside from having a penchant for fine cocktails, we both share a passion for road biking. But when I learned that he used to work in the construction industry in southern Colorado, I knew Chase had an interesting story to tell…

[Ryan] You have a background in construction, right? How did you find your way into the financial world?

[Chase] Yes, growing up, my Dad built custom timberframe and log homes in Southwestern Colorado and I was always running around job sites sweeping sawdust and learning from his example of how to work hard and to do the job right the first time. When I graduated from college and moved to Denver, the construction market was booming, and it was a great place to start my career as a project manager.

My entry into the financial world started when I became a client of Trilogy, the firm that I work for now. My wife and I didn’t have a lot of money left over at the end of the month, but we were motivated to get started early with a financial plan. Trilogy took our motivation seriously, and we got started with a debt repayment strategy and a meager savings plan. Over the course of 3 years, we saw progress in our savings and also became debt free!

Being a construction project manager in one of the hottest new housing markets in the country means two things; good money and loads of stress. The stress of the job was beginning to affect my personal life, and I knew that I needed to make a career change. Project management Is all about looking into the future and planning each step that is needed to accomplish a specific goal, ie: Knowing a solid foundation is needed before the walls can be built. I realized project management was very similar to being a financial planner and with my personal experience of having our lives changed by the financial planning at Trilogy, I wanted to be able to help with this important service for others. I reached out to my advisor and simply asked, “How do I become a financial planner like you?”

What is it about your work with Trilogy that you enjoy the most? 

The most enjoyable aspect of my work with Trilogy is the mentorship based internal structure that we have. Transitioning from a career in construction management and into financial planning, I began a 12-month training program before I ever earned the right to begin taking on my first clients. The 12-month process was full of internal training & skills tests, sitting in on senior advisor’s client meetings, case planning and preparing paperwork. It was a full immersion into financial planning with the collective help of senior advisors.

Once I earned the right to begin taking on my own clients, I continued to work on a team of advisors to ensure that it’s not just my knowledge that is making a financial plan, but it’s a wealth of knowledge working together to ensure that we’re doing our best work for our clients. Constantly being challenged to grow, having access to my team, and being mentored by senior advisors to do my best work has been life changing!

I think that a lot of guys know that they need to be saving more but aren’t sure where to start. On a real practical level, what are some of the big things that men should be doing to prepare for the future, say 10, and 20 years down the road? 

The key to getting started is to create the habit of saving, regardless of the amount. Most guys tend to think, “I’ll start saving once I get this bonus…” or “I’ll make sure to transfer a few hundred bucks to savings at the end of the month.” A few months later, the bonus check got spent on a weekend trip to the mountains, and the few hundred bucks ended up becoming a sushi dinner with friends.

I’m more impressed with someone who saves $50 a month consistently than someone who saves $500 sporadically because of the habit that they’ve created. It can be life changing. Once the habit is in place, when the eventual raises and bonuses come, it’s a natural progression to increase the monthly savings amount.

If you’re someone who already has the savings habit down, now it’s time to ask; “What’s the money for?” It’s great to be sitting on a pile of cash or a healthy investment account, but finding a purpose for the money will help guide your steps for the coming 10 or 20 years. Once you know what the money is for, it will then guide your investment choices, savings rate, and account characteristics to ensure that you’re being most efficient when saving toward your priorities.

What should people look for in a financial advisor? How can we find the person that’s right for us?

The first thing that you should look for in a financial advisor is whether they are a fiduciary or not. An advisor who is a fiduciary is legally obligated to act in their client’s best interests at all times. This is a crucial place to start when trying to find someone who is going to manage your hard earned dollars.

Once you’ve found your fiduciary, you need to establish the expectations of the relationship. Simple questions such as: “How often do we meet each year to review my accounts?”, or “What is your fee structure?” are all very important questions. It’s critically important to know what you’re getting into before you make your choice. At Trilogy Financial, I’ve made it a priority to be transparent and upfront with my clients about how we’re going to work together, what it costs, and exactly what to expect moving forward. By organizing all of my client’s assets into one, simple-to-use place, checking in with them on a quarterly basis, and consulting with them about non-investment concerns such as protection and estate planning, it’s my goal to provide the best planning relationship possible by putting my client’s interests first.

I would advise against making your choice of financial advisor based on the expected returns that they’re touting or if they have a magical product that will somehow solve your problem. Financial planning is about a long-term relationship that helps you make better financial decisions over time, not chasing returns or fancy products.

At the end of the day, it’s the long-term relationship with your advisor, not market performance or a fancy product, that will help you stay accountable to your goals and move closer toward your priorities.

Why is being well dressed in the financial planning industry important to you?

For me, dressing well communicates a sense of responsibility and that I take my job seriously. Wearing a suit that fits, a freshly pressed shirt and accessories that compliment my style all communicate that the work I do for clients is important and I take my role in their life seriously. As a financial planner, it’s important to make a good first impression, but more importantly, to be meticulous in the financial planning that I do for my clients and I want that planning to be reflected in how I am dressed.

chase moore trilogy financial

 

Advisory services provided by TrilogyCapital, Inc,. a Registered Investment Adviser. Separate advisory and securities services may be provided by National Planning Corporation (NPC), a SEC Registered Investment Adviser and broker-dealer. Member FINRA and SIPC. Certain registered representative with NPC are doing business under the name of Trilogy Financial. TrilogyCapital, Inc. and Trilogy Financial are affiliated by common ownership and are separate and unrelated to NPC. Please consult with your representative to confirm, on which company’s behalf services are being provided. The opinions voiced are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by NPC. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.

How to wear a sportcoat to the office (when no one else does)

Do you want to wear a sportcoat to the office, but you’d be the only guy wearing one and you are worried about rocking the boat? I know exactly what this is like.

When I was working as an engineer back in the day, there was a very standard, but largely unspoken, dress code. Officially, it was deemed business casual, but what it really meant was that you couldn’t dress too sloppy. Most guys would wear dockers or something similar with either a polo shirt or a simple button down dress shirt. And always tucked in. Jeans were OK too. Throughout my seven years as an engineer, I only knew two colleagues who wore a necktie and one that ever wore a sportcoat.

As you can probably imagine, I always dressed a little sharper than the average engineer. I only wore jeans on Fridays. Every other day was a pair of slacks and a nice dress shirt. But even I never wore a blazer or sportcoat to the office for fear of the impending gossip around the watercooler. I wish I could tell you that I was the trailblazer that didn’t care what other people thought about how I dressed, but I can’t. It was quite common knowledge that to dress too nice (i.e. with a necktie or jacket) was to imply that you were gunning for upper management and “trying too hard,” whatever that means.

That being said, I’m completely emphatic to all of you that may work in a similar office environment, one where it can be a bit of a risk to break the mold and walk through the front door tomorrow morning with a sportcoat on. Your colleagues are going to notice and probably ask you with a smirk, “when is the interview?”

Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have worn a sportcoat like I wanted to. Because the truth was (and is) that I have always felt good in a jacket. Plus, I like wearing things that have hidden pockets to put all of my things in. And let’s be honest with one another — conference rooms can get cold.

But here’s the thing: No one really cares if you suddenly start dressing better. If wearing a sportcoat is important to you, then I think you should do it!

Here’s how you make the transition without rocking the boat too much:

Start conservative

This is a no-brainer, right? If you work in a conservative work environment, it’s smart to keep your clothing somewhat conservative too, at least at first ;).

What this means for men’s jackets is that you’ll want to keep your sportcoat relatively traditional. Stick with earth tones. Your greys, tans, and browns will be a lot easier to pull off than anything real colorful and attention grabbing. Also, stick to a notched lapel, as opposed to the more style-forward peaked lapel.

Furthermore, if your intention is to wear a sportcoat to the office, then you may want to stick with a conservative dress shirt too, like a white or a similar earth tone.

If you need inspiration, take a peek at our lookbook here or on Pinterest. And of course, a great example of what I would call a conservative and versatile jacket is the one in the featured image, above.

scottsdale mens clothing pocket square

Be consistent

Depending on your office environment, you may want to start wearing that sportcoat between one and three days a week. It may not seem like a lot, but keep at it. And maybe you only want to wear a sportcoat once or twice a week anyway. That’s perfectly fine. But whether your goal is once a week or everyday, stay consistent and ramp up your frequency over time.

Consistency is key. After about a month or so, your colleagues won’t even notice you wearing a jacket!

Take it off when at your desk

Here’s a practical tactic: Start out by treating your sportcoat like a traditional jacket. That is, wear it to the office and when you get to your desk, take it off. Either hang it over your chair or, ideally, use a hanger and give that lonely hook in your cubicle something to hang.

This way, if any of your style-challenged office neighbors give you a hard time, you can say something like, “oh, this thing? It’s just my new jacket.”

Then start wearing your jacket longer and longer before you take it off in the morning. After about a month, no one is going to notice that you’re wearing your blazer for the majority of the day.

Wrap up – wear a sportcoat to the office

What do you think? Does this sound doable? I think you can do it!

If you’re like me, then you know that it’s fun to wear a sportcoat in the office and that there’s nothing wrong with being the sharpest dressed guy on the team.

Resources

What you need to know about boutonnieres — Posies and Poms Floral Designs

Recently, I had an opportunity to work alongside one of Denver’s most talented floral designers, Genevieve Metzger of Posies and Poms Floral Designs. She operates the company alongside her sister, Jacqueline, and together they are making quite a name for themselves.

Admittedly, I know very little about flower arrangements. But when I saw the pieces that Genevieve put together at a recent styled shoot, including the boutonnier, I was blown away. Really, really, spectacular work.

I followed up with Genevieve to ask her some questions about boutonnieres, including what grooms need to know to look their best when wearing one.

[Ryan] I think that for many of us guys, we wear boutonnieres only twice in our lives: Once for the prom and once for our wedding. Obviously, we don’t know much about them, can you give us a little background? The history, the best times to wear one, etc?

[Genevieve] It is understandable that men might not know the purpose of a boutonniere since it is something usually done out of tradition rather than a sincere act from the heart. The history of the boutonniere is actually quite interesting! The boutonniere’s creation dates to the 16th century. Boutonniere is the French word for “buttonhole.” Initially, the sole purpose of wearing the boutonniere was to ward off bad luck or evil. The boutonniere was the equivalent of the bridal bouquet, having the same significance and purpose of protecting the bride and groom against odors and diseases.

posies and poms floral

Image credit: Jenna Nicole Photography

Is it up to the groom or the bride, or both, to select a boutonniere?

I am always surprised when I am meeting with an engaged couple and the groom-to-be has a strong opinion about his boutonniere, but this does happen! I actually love it when the groom-to-be has thoughts on the look and style of flowers we use on the boutonniere. Selecting a style of boutonniere should be up to both of them, although the bride makes the decision most of the time.

posies and poms floral

What do men need to know about wearing one?

Hold really still when it is being pinned on! Pinning on these boutonnieres is not an easy task and you don’t want to be poked. Glance down at your boutonniere periodically, especially before picture taking time, to ensure it is still facing upright. Although the boutonniere is significant to the formality of the day, don’t think about it too much. After the group pictures are completed and you are at the reception, the importance of the boutonniere is practically non existent. You can dance the night away without a worry!

How should the boutonniere for the groom be different from that of the groomsmen, if that all?

Many times the grooms boutonniere will be slightly different from his groomsmen. This sets the groom apart and he will sometimes even have a flower in his boutonniere that is also in the bridal bouquet. The cohesiveness of the florals are important and it seems to make the boutonniere more sentimental and meaningful if it mimics the florals in the brides bouquet. This is not a requirement though and we often receive requests to create all of the boutonnieres to be the exact same, especially in our more casual weddings.

Contact information: Posies and Poms Floral

Here’s Genevieve’s website and you can reach her and her sister via this contact form, or:

Phone: (719) 209-3386

Email: info@posiesandpomsfloral.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/posiesandpoms/