From festive makeup to handy accessories: What to wear on St Patrick’s Day if you don’t have any green

On 17 March, millions of people across the globe will gather, forming massive seas of green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Parades will fill the streets, crowds of people will rush to their local pubs and families will chow down on traditional Irish delicacies after church. Chicago will die its river green, while Boston, Philadelphia, Savannah, and New York will clear the way for thousands of people to march in the middle of the roads, singing the praises of Irish culture. But whether you choose to revel in the boisterous outbursts or not, there’s no doubt you’ll see green all around you that day.

Since its origin, people have been donning shades of green on St Patrick’s Day as a nod to Ireland’s nickname of the Emerald Isle. Even those who don’t have familial ties or an ancestry link to the country partake in the festive fad. Some pull out verdant hues to avoid the pinch of a leprechaun since one Irish legend claims the colour will make you invisible to the folklore creature.

Between plain t-shirts and head-to-toe ensembles, St Patrick’s Day revellers have long assumed they must paint themselves in the hue.

However, if your closet is mainly made up of an achromatic palette with only a few vibrant pops here and there, does that mean you need to buy green garments to participate in the party?

Well, if you’re a superstitious person, maybe. But, if you’re not one to buy into folklore fears, then no.

For the green-deprived bunch, there are plenty of other styles you can sport to commemorate St Patrick’s Day.

Here are a few fashion tips for anyone who doesn’t have anything green to wear on St Patrick’s Day.

Festive makeup

Adding colour to your wardrobe is hard in general, especially in mid-March when spring hasn’t fully sprung, and jackets are still the order of the day. And if your bright attire only relies on warm weather, you may need to think outside of the box.

Rather than rushing out to purchase green accessories, get creative with your makeup. Add a bit of green sparkle to your lids, or use paint to draw four-leaf clovers around your eyes. Take green eyeliner and craft an abstract beauty look, Euphoria-style. Sprinkle gold dust on your roots like you just had a run-in with a leprechaun and their pot of gold – or go one step further and dye your hair red.

Rainbow items

For those who own a kaleidoscopic closet except for green (because maybe it’s just not your colour), piece together a flashy outfit reminiscent of a rainbow.

Play into the leprechaun theme of St Patrick’s Day by dressing in garments that reflect the rest of the colour wheel.

Gold accessories

In-keeping with the traditional tale of leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold, dress up your outfit with gold jewellery to personify a pot of gold.

Pull out your favourite gold shoes or metallic bag for the occasion but keep your base light and simple to highlight the shiny hues.

Undercover leprechaun

Those who don’t own any suitable colours should assume the ultimate mystifying character – the leprechaun.

Of course, the traditional fairy is said to wear all green, but swap the hue for one in your closet and stick to the outfit structure. Who says you can’t be an undercover leprechaun?

Pick a suit from your wardrobe and layer a white button-down underneath. Throw on matching socks and tuck the pant legs into them. Belt the bottoms. Dig out an old bowtie and a pair of pointed-toe or rounded boots (if they have some sort of buckle on them, even better).

Lastly, though it may not be likely, finish the look off with a top hat you have handy. If you don’t have the accessory, you could always carry around a little bag of shiny coins to make the costume a bit more obvious.