The wearin’ o’ the green

St. Patrick’s Day falls right smack in the middle of the work week this year, so you need to make sure your green garb is work-appropriate. Take a look at some snazzy finds available for purchase in town (and sure to keep those annoying pinchers at bay).

With St. Patty’s Day right around the corner, I got to thinking about this Irish holiday that we celebrate by wearing green. When I think of the Irish, a few things immediately come to mind: Guinness, U2, Notre Dame, Michael Flatley, and of course, how hot Leo DiCaprio was in Gangs of New York. I thought these were fair associations until I shared them with my boyfriend who happens to be 100% Irish and a dual citizen of the US and Ireland.  He was slightly mortified.

In an effort to save face, I sought to learn more about his homeland and to provide you all with some history, along with some fabulous green clothing options. I promise not to bore you with all the details, but the story of why we wear green will hopefully motivate you to get into the St. Patty’s Day spirit (if drinking Guinness guilt-free wasn’t enough already!)

“The Wearin’ o’ the Green” is an anonymously-penned Irish street ballad dating back to 1798 and has become quite famous over the years. In opposition to British rule, the bitter and discontented Irish Catholics began to organize, and in 1791 they formed a political group called the United Irishmen. The symbol of the United Irishmen was a green banner with a harp on it.

In 1798, the United Irishmen stood their final ground against the British at the Battle of Vinegar Hill. The Irish were greatly outnumbered, and thousands under the green banner died during this battle. From this time forward, green has been a symbol of Irish unity and identity. How the tradition of pinching started for those not wearing green, I’ll save that for another day!

So, that’s enough of a history lesson. Let’s get down to business! What will you be wearing this St. Patty’s Day? Green, of course, but with style this year, thanks to a little help from me. It’s not a color that some of us see much in our closets, so here are some great options to keep your look fresh. Remember, St. Patty’s Day falls on a weekday this year, so be mindful of selecting work-appropriate items. And don’t be too stuffy to get into the spirit of things! After all, you don’t want that creepy coworker pinching you for not wearing green.

For the ladies

$20 and under

Women’s Studded Ballet Flat, Old Navy, $15. Slip these on with some skinny pants and a jacket, and you are set for work.

Image courtesy of Old Navy

UO Leather Wrap Bracelet, Urban Outfitters, $12. This is a great option if you don’t want to flaunt too much green in the office. Leather bracelets were hot this season and are all the rage for spring and summer too!

Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters


Country Trench Coat, Forever 21, $39.80. I am totally in love with this coat — and it’s a great price and will last you through the spring. I can imagine myself in it walking the streets of Dublin. Be sure to check out the black gingham detail on the trim and buttons.

Image courtesy of Forever 21

Cherished Trinkets Necklace, Anthropologie, $38. This necklace would be perfect with a white blouse to make the green and gold tones pop.

Image courtesy of Anthropologie

Something to splurge on

Joie Petunia Silk Dress, Saks Fifth Avenue, $168. Pair this dress with some black leggings, a long sweater, and some ballet flats to get a work-appropriate look. Then you will have a killer dress to wear out on the weekends too!

Image courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Stella McCartney Dress, Roan, $695. I know, expensive, but really not that bad of a price for an off- the- runway look by Stella. Kelley green was huge in her collection this year, so you know this dress will be stylish through the summer.

Image courtesy of Cobblestone Couture

For the men

$20 and under

Tipped Multis-Stripe Sock, J.Crew, $12.50. Work in a really conservative office? Then a nice pair of green and navy striped socks might be your best option.

Image courtesy of JCrew

UO Spring Plaid Tie, Urban Outfitters, $19. This tie is definitely for the Fan hipsters out there. The super skinny tie is very Ryan Seacrest, but I love the blue and green plaid!

Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters


Cotton V-Neck Sweater, Express, $39.50. Wear a button-down underneath, put on some khaki pants, and you are set!

Image courtesy of Express

Something to splurge on

St. Patrick’s Day Tie, Peter Blair, $75. Don’t know Dick?…Fowlkes, that is. Well, you should!. He makes amazing, one-of-a-kind ties that are comparable to those by Hermes or Ferragamo. He’s been making men in RVA look great for years now.

Image courtesy of Peter Blair

Madras Sportc Coat, Brooks Brothers, $298. So, this look may not work for the average man, but it’s perfect for someone who doesn’t mind being a little over the top. Madras never goes out of style, and this particular pattern is about as Irish as it gets!

Image courtesy of Brooks Brothers

Remember, having fun, embracing Ireland for a day, and wearing green stylishly is the key. In my best Irish slang, “Don’t be a gobshite, up the yard!”

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Courtney Skunda

Courtney Skunda is a Marketing and Public Relations Manager in Richmond, VA. She loves Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus in that exact order. You can read about her fashion obsessions on her blog, Cobblestone Couture.

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