How to Wear Green for St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day tradition holds that if you're not wearing green on March 17, you'll get pinched. Find out the history behind the tradition, and check out our subtle, simple ways to wear green to avoid a friend's pinch.

Why We Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day

A male and female spectator wearing tall green top hats at the Chicago South Side Irish Parade in the Beverly, Illinois Neighborhood

Wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is a tradition that started in the 17th century, when green ribbons and shamrocks were worn to celebrate Ireland's patron saint. The tradition was popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States, who believed that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see. Pinching those who didn't wear green was meant to remind them that leprechauns could sneak up at any time. Still, only around half of Americans choose to deck themselves out in green for the holiday.

Looking for subtle ways to show your Irish spirit for St. Patrick's Day? Read on for the different ways that you can wear green for the holiday.

Editor's Tip: Make sure whatever green you wear can be easily seen from afar, or you'll fall victim to a few unsuspected pinches.


5 Ways for Women to Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day

Women can accessorize easily with green without going over the top. Here are five things women can wear on St. Patrick's Day so they won't get pinched:

  1. Green jewelry: necklaces, earrings, rings, and pins
  2. A green scarf
  3. A green headband
  4. Green nail polish
  5. A green scrunchie or ponytail holder


5 Ways for Men to Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day

Since many men won't wear jewelry, they might have a slightly harder time accessorizing for St. Patrick's Day. Here are five things men can wear on St. Patrick's Day so they won't get pinched:

  1. A green necktie
  2. Green socks (make sure they can be seen!)
  3. A green watch
  4. A green undershirt
  5. Green cufflinks