March 13, 2013

Dressing for the Occasion: St. Patrick’s Day

Some things are easier to stylishly dress for than others. When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day however, typical sartorial choices that come to mind include leprechaun hats, green t-shirts with only-funny-if-you’re-drunk phrases screened on them, and a slew of other bad choices. Personally, I try to actively not wear green on March 16th, but I understand the impetus to want to celebrate. Whether you want to infuse some green into your outfit for a night out on the town or just to avoid getting pinched, the good news is you can do it stylishly without too much hassle.

Whether or not you’re Irish, showing up well-dressed is more likely to get you kissed than a blinking button or t-shirt. Sometimes color can hide in plain sight and there are a lot of different shades of green, so don’t think you are limited to kelly green. A mint green chino will keep you from getting pinched, while making a subtler statement with a slim profile.

Not everything has to be solid green. Sometimes a little color goes a long way, and your accessories are a fantastic way to do that. A solid green tie is not only boring, but it can also be a little tacky on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, choose a patterned or plaid tie with a green base color to break up the color palette.

Sometimes you can find interesting pieces in some unexpected places. Repurposing a vintage handkerchief for a pocket square is a unique and dandyish touch that is sure to get you noticed. Alternately, you could pick up a nice rose bud or carnation to pop into your lapel.

Colored shoelaces are becoming a fast trend and are an easy way to make your shoes pop. For just a few dollars, colored laces can step up your look without being too brash. I chose emerald green to avoid clashing with the tie and pants, but there are at least two or three other shades readily available from Cole Haan and Allen Edmonds in addition to the many other options to be found online.

Jacket and belt by Brooks Brothers; Shirt and chinos by Uniqlo;
Shoes by AllSaints Spitalfields; Tie by Valentino (vintage);
 Tie bar by Link Up; Vintage handkerchief (women's) as pocket square;
Socks by Psycho Bunny; Laces by Cole Haan

There are a lot of ways to imbue your outfit with a festive color, and whether you choose one or four there are two important things to remember. First, don’t go head to toe green. Not only is it way too costume-y, but you will just look ridiculous. Mix in some neutral colors like black, white, or grey to keep your look grounded. Second, avoid anything printed with shamrocks, leprechauns, or pots of gold. I think that one is self-explanatory.

However you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, do it safely and stylishly.
- JJ

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