Saint Patrick’s Day:
That celebratory mid-March day when we gather to fete St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, to thank him for bestowing Liam Neeson upon the world – and forgive him for also saddling us with Colin Farrell.
(Note: I didn’t pay a ton of attention during Irish history class, but I’m pretty sure that’s accurate.)
Unlike Valentine’s Day, a made-up holiday that it seems like nobody enjoys, St. Patty’s is pure revelry.
There are few things more fun than tipping back a pint of Guinness on March 17th, but the day is not without its challenges.
Namely: how the hell do you make green look good?
Obviously you want to wear green on St. Patty’s Day, but your goal should be to work one or two stylish green pieces into your wardrobe, not blend in with the hordes of obnoxious partiers dressed head-to-toe in neon green.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to imbue yourself with the luck o’ the Irish without going full leprechaun. Below I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites.
What Guys Should Wear on St. Patrick’s Day
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A Stylish Green Sweater
There are few pieces more simple – or more stylish – than a well made, well cut sweater.
Find one in a dark shade of green (I don’t know what the green equivalent to navy blue is, but that’s what you’re shooting for), throw on your favorite jeans and pair them with dark brown boots.
But keep in mind that I live in Toronto, where St. Patrick’s Day is usually pretty frigid, which may explain my preference for warm layering pieces.
This year, guys who are a little more fashion-forward might want to opt for a turtle neck.
Turtle necks have been coming back in a major way over the past few years, and I strongly suspect that by next winter, we’ll all be wearing them.
So those who feel particularly bold can get ahead of the game by picking one up in forest green now, then break it back out when the weather dips again come fall.
Tie (A Green) One On
One of the best ways to partake in St. Patty’s without looking like an over-eager freshman getting morning-drunk for the first time is to dress in neutral colors, but accessorize in green.
One of the best ways to make this look work is to rock a green tie over a plain white dress shirt or oxford cloth button down.
If you go for the more casual oxford shirt, you can pair it with jeans and sneakers, which will help you keep from looking too “dressed up” even though you’re wearing a tie.
In that scenario I definitely recommend going with a knit tie, which also helps negate the inherent “fanciness” of a tie.
But if you’re in a more formal setting, a white shirt and dark green will pair well with grey pants (in pretty much any shade of grey) and even navy.
Green Ties Galore:
Green Watch Band
If you want to nod at St. Patty’s without doing too much, you could just swap out the band on your Timex Weekender (you did pick one up after reading my Timex Weekender review, right?) or any other watch that has a replaceable band.
Don’t have a green band?
For 12 bucks, Amazon sells a multi-pack that offers four different bands in various colors, including green and a red-white-and-blue option. (Spoiler alert: if this pops up again before Independence Day, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Where to Get a Green Watch:
As mentioned, in my hometown of Toronto it’s almost always too cold for short-sleeves on St. Patty’s, but if you find yourself in a warmer climate this year, you’re in luck:
Pulling on a green polo is as easy as it is timeless, to say nothing of stylish. Pair it with grey pants and brown shoes and you can’t go wrong—but you can go to pretty much any party, from a kegger to a corporate event.
Personally, I’m partial to Banana Republic’s Luxe Touch polos, which fit great and are available in green.
But in addition to being stylish and timeless, polos are also pretty ubiquitous, so there are plenty of great (and green) options out there.
Where to Get It:
Fortunately there’s an easy way to look stylish while meeting your green quota: the field jacket. Initially designed for the military, field jackets make the perfect in-between coat for late winter/early spring, and can often be found in a holiday-appropriate shade of army green.
I found the one pictured here on Amazon for just $30, and it certainly looks like it fits the bill.
It’s probably safe to expect that a jacket bought for 30 bucks won’t be of the highest quality, but if you only plan to wear it once or twice a year than it may well be worth the risk.
(I certainly had great luck on the $12 dollar Steve McQueen jacket I got off eBay, which is still going strong five years later.)
Where to Get It:
There aren’t many lessons that apply equally to dressing well and weightlifting, but one is this: don’t ignore your legs.
If the idea of buying a green shirt or jacket that you only break out once a year doesn’t appeal to you, why not consider going green from the groin down? (That didn’t come out right.)
A dark green pair of chinos like these ones from Dockers can be warn all fall and winter, and easily paired with any neutral tone shirt, sweater or jacket. They also work with multiple types of shoes, including sneakers, chukkas and pretty much any boots.
Rather than only wearing them once, St. Patty’s Day could be their swan song after two full seasons of consistent use.
Where to Get Them:
But if you’re looking for something more brogue than bro, there are few better choices than a classic rugby shirt.
The green and gold on this one are both in hues that are classier than the lime green t-shirts most frat-bros will be sporting, and the cream color gives it a classic feel.
Where to Get It:
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As the founder of Irreverent Gent, Dave shows thoughtful guys how to look sharp, stand out and feel confident. As an inveterate smart-aleck, he does it all with an irreverent sense of humor. And as a proud Canadian, he’s quick to apologize for all the lames jokes. (Sorry!)