The Corsage – A Brief Herstory

The corsage has been a staple piece in any formal ensemble, so as prom season approaches, let’s talk about where this firework of flowers originated.

Our friends at ProFlowers.com have provided some fantastic insight:

People have been decorating themselves by wearing flowers for many years.
The ancient Greeks used to wear flowers to weddings because they believed that the scent would ward off evil spirits, while the bride and female guests carried bouquets or attached flowers to their clothes.
Women in South India often braid flowers into their hair, not only for the looks, but for the gorgeous scent of the lush, native flora.

courtesy of southindianweddings.blogspot.ca
courtesy of southindianweddings.blogspot.ca

The bodice of a woman’s dress was called a corsage, some being adorned with fresh flowers to which the French referred to as a “bouquet de corsage”, and Wikipedia tells us that the corsage and corset are similar, but the corset is tighter, for example, a bridal ‘corset’ is often referred to as a corsage.

By the 1900s, corsages moved up from the bodice of a woman’s dress toward the shoulder. They were usually pinned on upside down, with the bow at the top, and were much larger than most corsages we see today.

The tradition of giving a girl a corsage at prom originated in the 20th century.
Escorts would pick up their dates and present her parents with a gift, like flowers. He would usually take a blossom from the arrangement and pin it on her dress. Now that dress styles have changed, with strapless and spaghetti straps more prominent, corsages are now usually worn on the wrist.

But how do you wear it?

Tradition dictates that the corsage be worn on the left wrist, although, creative rebels will do with it what they will as it is a gift.
Seen on upper right arms, pinned to dresses at the waist or even around the leg, it’s all about personal style (and watching out for those floral pins!).

Which would you choose?

courtesy of flowershopnetwork.com
courtesy of flowershopnetwork.com
courtesy of flowersbylana.com
courtesy of flowersbylana.com
courtesy of pinkcorsage.blogspot.ca
courtesy of pinkcorsage.blogspot.ca

And visit Shelly Spickler on Pinterest to see more great inspiration for wrist corsages!