St. Patrick’s Day Fashion Faux Pas


I am half Irish (on my dad’s side) which requires some display of my Irish pride on this most revered day, St. Patrick’s Day. Alas, a frenzied search through my wardrobe for green clothing produced only teal, aqua and chartreuse garments. None of these shades proclaimed, “I am Irish!” with enough gusto, so I ended up in one of the zillion blue-colored outfits I own. (While ‘zillion’ may seem like a fanciful number, soon zillion will be the new billion at the rate our economy is going).

My frustrated quest to join in the wearing of the green is ironic in two ways:

  1. Each year I engage in the same frantic and futile hunt. What do I think happened in the intervening year? A leprechaun tip-toed into my closet and deposited a lovely emerald green shirt or sweater for me to wear on March 17th? Actually, if I’m going to be visited by a leprechaun, I’d rather he left a pot of gold to replace my now paltry 401(k).
  2. The color blue – not green – was originally associated with St. Patrick. According to Wikipedia, St. Patrick’s Blue appears on the Irish Presidential Standard (i.e. the flag of the President of Ireland) and the Coat of Arms of Ireland. The blue and gold color scheme is said to represent “the Ancient Colours of Ireland” and is found on the coat of arms of “the Ancient City of Dublin” the Flag of Munster, the Flag of Connacht, and serves as the colors for the University College Dublin.100px-coat_of_arms_of_irelandsvg

So, I’m not out of step with the rest of the green-wearing, Irish wannabe world. I’m just retro in my color scheme. How have you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day – past or present?


  • Cindy L Says:
    3-17-2009 09:21:28

    Yes — being Irish (Finney) on one side, and Scottish on the other, my red hair is my ongoing nod to St. Patrick’s Day! But I absolutely refuse to drink green beer.

    Here’s my favorite Celtic blessing:

    “May those we love, love us.
    And those who don’t love us,
    may God turn their hearts.
    And those whose hearts won’t turn,
    may God turn their ankles,
    so we’ll know them by their limping.”

  • Barb Says:
    3-17-2009 12:56:00

    When I was a kid my dad used to make us Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. Only the scrambled eggs were green — a little food coloring did the trick. Sounds pretty disgusting when you think about it too much, but we thought it was fantastic then.

  • Anne Says:
    3-17-2009 17:48:03

    I must say I don’t get caught up in any regular routines on this day – although typically do cook the obligatory corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes, and always enjoy it more than I’m expecting.

    However, a really CUTE idea that my nanny used to do when my older kids were younger is spread gold fish aquarium stones outside in the yard and patio – and the kids would get very excited to think the leprechaun had visited with his pot of gold.

  • Sharon Says:
    3-17-2009 19:13:48

    When I was a girl, my mother encouraged me to wear a bit of orange, as well as green, on March 17. She said it represented the strong English heritage I have on both sides. I don’t know if orange was appropriate, but it was a good conversation starter.

  • Joanne Says:
    3-18-2009 12:54:23

    I’m liking your Retro fashion explanation! Very unique, raising my coffee cup to you in a belated St. Patrick’s Day toast!

  • Maya Says:
    3-18-2009 14:09:20

    I’m not one bit Irish, but am convinced some long lost ancestor was because I’ve always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, and I usually start as soon as February ends. During my misspent youth, I would spend most of March at one of Washington’s famous Irish pubs and down Guiness and sing Irish tunes like I was born in Dublin.
    For the past three years, on St. Patty’s day, I head to the 9:30 Club to see “The Pogues” with their own brand of Irish-punk rock. And I keep on singing Irish tunes until April rears its head.

    My English husband is puzzled, my Greek parents are amused, but my oldest son wishes that I hadn’t taken my fascination with Ireland out on him, by giving him the middle name of Lochlain.

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