Skip to main content

How to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day — style tips you need to look your best

Your St. Patrick's Day style guide

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, kidnapped and brought to the island as an enslaved person at 16. He eventually escaped but returned later and is believed to have brought Christianity with him. One thousand years later, he is still celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day, the accepted date of his death, March 17. And how do we celebrate it? By wearing the color green on St. Patrick’s Day, of course. Wearing the color symbolizes the patriotism of the entire island.

Now, whether you are Irish or not, you can show your support for the island by donning green on St. Patty’s Day. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go all out and look like you jumped right off the box of Lucky Charms. Here are a few tips to help you celebrate the patron saint of Ireland without sacrificing looking fantastic.

Related Videos
Barney Stinson in green suit

Keep it simple

Here is the truth, green is a color that can be tricky if you don’t do it right. The green family has a broad spectrum of hues; from yellow-green pastels and citrus hues to Earth and gem-toned emeralds and forest, greens can evoke all sorts of feelings and ideas. Where you live can determine which of these spectral ends you should focus on to ensure you look your best throughout the day. 

If you live in an area where March 17th is a warm day most of the time and spring has sprung most years, then the brighter colors will suit you best. If you are unfortunate to need snow shovels, coats, and scarves still, then the earthy tones or the gemstone colors can help distract you from the fact that spring feels months away. 

Keep it subtle

The next thing to remember now that you have figured out which hue you will go with is to work it into your outfit. In Season 3, Episode 12 of How I Met Your Mother, the always suited up Barney Stinson dons his special St. Patrick’s Day suit. To the delight of all of us fans, his wick-awesome St. Patty’s Day threads were an in-your-face green color, and it was a full suit. The pants and jacket stole the show, which is typically what Barney does. 

In truth, most of us can’t pull off wearing an entire suit of bright green. Therefore, it is best to work it subtly with a more toned-down outfit. If you think about the color wheel, the colors that complement it the most are on either side of the green on the wheel, yellows and blues. If you are going with the springtime greens, then opt for muted yellows to complement (be sure not to go too bright on both, or you’ll look like a Sprite can). If you are electing to go with the Earth or gemstone hues, try pairing it with browns (that’s what the Earth is made of, after all, right?

Keep it classy

The best way for you to keep your greens classy is to let them speak for themselves. If you try to stack your hues on top of each other, that’s when you start looking like a leprechaun, and you can expect a healthy dose of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow jokes. Instead, add classy items in just the right hues. Here is an excellent sample idea for each of the possible weather-focused outfits. 

man in green pants and navy blazer

If you haven’t been in a Ralph Lauren store lately, check out the opportunity to pick up some of their signature green chinos. While you can wear them any time of the year, they work great on St. Patrick’s Day when paired with a navy sportcoat (complimenting colors on the color wheel, your high school art teacher would be proud!). If this feels too formal for your festivities, you can ditch the jacket and tie but stick with the white top with a polo or button-up.

Man in tweed olive sportcoat

When you live in the north (or anywhere else that spring hasn’t melted off the last of the snow), then heavier and more winter-focused outfits are in order. Tweed is one of the best options you can get. And while olive may not be in your regular rotation, this is the day to let it shine. If you need something slightly more elevated, a tweed sport coat in olive will do nicely. Stick to brown tones as he does above, and you will look fantastic in what we hope will be your winter’s last party.

You may be wondering why you should go all out to help another country celebrate the patron saint of the Irish homeland, and there are a few great reasons. The first is so you don’t end up pinched. The second is it is the same as wearing red, white, and blue in July. Just like we’re all Americans on July 4, anyone who wants to wear these green hues proves that on March 17, everyone can feel a bit Irish. When in doubt — pick out a St. Patrick’s day statement piece you can wear all year long.

Editors' Recommendations

Signature style: How to look your best no matter the occasion
You already know your Signature Style. Now here's how to bring it all together to look your best in every scenario
David Beckham

Whether you're James Bond, Indiana Jones, or Don Draper, the ultimate goal of men's fashion is to be the best version of yourself and deliver your unique personal image to the world. Sometimes, we believe that the best way to do that is to funnel ourselves into one uniform and strictly adhere to the style we see ourselves embodying.

The truth about men's style is that most guys box themselves into a specific look and don't allow themselves to grow or diversify. If that sounds like you, you can find yourself ready for any situation. Once you have experimented with the rest of the Signature Style archetypes, The Debonair Man is the highest level of style, the image we all should strive for.

Read more
The 6 best men’s watches you can buy for under $200
Don't break the bank trying to upgrade your watch selection with these reasonably priced options

Though dozens of very expensive watches are great investments, not all timepieces are astronomically priced. Plenty of elegant watches are both well-made and affordable, and these days, you can give a great watch as a gift at just about any price.

While we’ve previously focused on more expensive watches (check out our guide for the best men’s watch gift), we’re taking it one step further now with our guide to the absolute best men’s watches under $200. Some of these picks fall into more vintage silhouettes, while others are more modern, but the one thing they all have in common is that they won’t break the bank.

Read more
The best boxer briefs for men looking for both comfort and style
The 8 best boxer briefs for men of every lifestyle

For the longest time, there had always been the debate of whether a man was a boxer guy or more of a fan of briefs. Then came boxer briefs, and we finally had an option that fit the best of both worlds. Boxer briefs afford the luxury of a non-restraining fit while also providing additional support in areas where you want it. When picking the right boxer briefs a good number solely look first to comfort and material, which definitely is essential when purchasing a new pair of underwear, but nowadays you don't have to sacrifice style, either. Fortunately, we’ve found some of the best boxer briefs for men in 2023, with all selections from our favorite clothing brands which guarantee maximum all-day comfort, especially once the temperatures begin to rise during the middle of summer.

Read more