Poppies - what side do we wear them on?

Avatar Image
doghandler | 09:14 Thu 11th Nov 2004 | History
14 Answers
A few years ago, most men wore their poppies on the left, whilst women wore them on the right.

I notice that more and more women are wearing their poppies on the left these days.

Is this feminism?

What are the rules for wearing poppies, with regards to which side to wear it?


1 to 14 of 14rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by doghandler. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.

As far as I know there are no rules.  Men traditionally wear poppies, any other flowers, medals, badges such as pilots' "wings" etc. on the left because the left lapel is the outer one and the decorations will not be squashed or hidden.  The breast pocket of a suit may flaunt a handkerchief, and that too is on the left.


Ladies' clothing is more variable and it's up to the lady where she chooses to wear her poppy.


I'd far rather see a person wear a poppy on the "wrong" side than for them not to show they care at all.

Why does there need to be a rule?? Does it really matter what side it's on?


Most men's suit jackets and 'posh' coats already have a button hole in the left lapel - prompting for any attachments to be placed there. The same is true with the breast pocket always being on the left when there is only one.


Why should people "show" they care, Ewood27.

Many people don't wear poppies, but do donate money to the British Legion.  I and my fiance always refuse stickers and badges from street collectors. We don't want sticky marks or pinholes in our clothes, nor do we have a use for paper tat. We arehappy to contribute to their cause without needing to receive something in return.

Why do you feel it is necessary to judge someone just by whether or not they *wear* a poppy?

I wear my poppy, not to remember because I do that anyway, but as a reminder to other people who see it. I see Rememberance day as being a communal thing. Wearing the poppy and stopping for 2 minutes at 11 am is a very small way to show gratitude and respect and hopefully it will show the people who have experienced war and lost loved ones that the rest of us are grateful. I am in agreement aboput those sticky badges though and always refuse politely.  
Question Author

Thanks to all that answered my question.

One small point to Loosh though;

There doesnt have to be rules, its just nice to know the correct etiquette.

It's what makes us British!


you wear a poppie on your left side because that is wear your heart is. but it doses not really mater all that maters is that we remmber the people who died
maybe more and more ladies are carrying handbags which go over their shoulder and the poppy worn on the right would get crushed or be pulled off by the bag straps - I know that is why I don't wear it on the right, I always end up losing them
To digress slightly, serving Servicemen wear them behind their cap badge.
i visited my grandma this afternoon who when i put my poppy on told me i had it on the wrong side - i had put it on my left, and she said it was about the lapel thing. it was the first i had heard of differing sides.   ??
I don't actually know what side i put them on but in all fairness they start to look a bit scabby as the day goes on as you brush against it etc, it would be much better if they did a gold one or red made from metal which you can keep and get out every year than cutting trees down and wasting paper!People are much more likely to wear them too as they look smarter and won't get all ruffled either, plus i wouldn't mind paying out just one pound to wear it every year, what u reckon?
Question Author
I reckon people wouldnt bother paying the pound every year and the British Legion would lose a lot of money.

The real reason for men wearing items on the left hand side is the same as ladies and gents having buttons on different sides.....In days of yore men would have been more likely to dress themselves and would at least have put the finishing touches to their attire themselves so right handed gentlemen (as ALL gents were as left-handedness was associated with the devil) would automatically put badges etc. on the left as this would be the easiest side to get to....Ladies would have had all their clothing put on for them and someone dressing them would put it on the other side....Simple

These days we tend to put the poppy wherever we like, but as I understand it, the reason - as I was told on joining the RAF - is that the poppy is a civilian decoration and as such, is worn on the RIGHT lapel. Whereas MILITARY decorations are worn on the left lapel.

1 to 14 of 14rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Poppies - what side do we wear them on?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.