People have always worn flowers;
The ancient Greeks wore flowers at wedding ceremonies because they believed that the scent would ward off evil spirits. The bride and the other women at the event would all carry bouquets or attach flowers to their clothing.
Flowers have always been associated with festive events and other important family or civic occasions.
Events are not “dressed” unless they include flowers in some capacity.
So how did the corsage evolve as a fashion and must have item specifically for women to wear at weddings, school balls, and other important occasions?
Here is a brief history:
Corsages were not always worn on the wrist as they usually are today, the word, “corsage,” first appeared in the 15th century, it didn’t refer to any sort of flowers or bouquet, but described the size and shape of someone’s body.
A strong man would have been described as having an imposing corsage. A slim young lady would have been described as having a delicate corsage.
As times progressed this word came to mean only one specific part of the body, namely a woman’s bust.
By the 1800’s, this had evolved to people using the word, “corsage,” not to describe the bust itself but rather the part of a woman’s dress that covered the bust, the bodice.
The origin of the word corsage is French, and comes from “bouquet de corsage” or “bouquet of the bodice,” referring to the blooms being tucked into a woman’s cleavage.
Protocol for this period dictated a gentleman arriving to court a young lady would bring a large bouquet of flowers to her family. This was considered the proper sign of respect. After presenting the family with this gift, the gentleman would remove a single flower from the bouquet and pin it to his date’s dress.
By the 1900’s, corsages moved from the bodice and waist up to the lapel, during the mid-nineteenth century corsages were very much larger than what we see today.
As fashion changed, the corsage was forced to change along with it. Spaghetti straps and strapless dresses became popular, so there was less room for the corsage to fit, the corsage moved away from the bodice and waist to a much smaller arrangement for the wrist.
Although the placement of the flowers might have changed, the name has become synonymous with any small bouquet of flowers worn on the body.
Today the corsage is a must have fashion item to be wore at the school ball, often the first formal occasion young adults have, to embrace tradition and formal social practices.
It is a lovely tradition that allows the young man to give a gift of appreciation and respect to his partner. He may also wear a matching button hole to compliment, although this is less wide spread.
A corsage is a carefully constructed mini bouquet, each one individually crafted to compliment what the young lady is wearing, mini spray roses, mini orchids Singapore orchids and other tiny blooms, pieces of colourful foliage combine with sparkles, ribbons, diamantes, etc, are used to create these mini marvels, each corsage takes half to three quarters of an hour to produce.
Hence the need to order early so the florist of your choice has time to prepare and create a corsage for the occasion, if it’s a local school ball the florist may have several corsages to make and they will need to allocate time for these, so don’t forget order a week in advance to make sure you are on the priority list.