You don't have to dress in a leprechaun costume to wear green for St. Patrick's Day. These are some of our favorite grown-up ways to incorporate the color into your wardrobe.

By Emily VanSchmus
Updated February 19, 2020
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Americans often wear green on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick's Day, but have you ever wondered why? The St. Patrick's Day tradition started back in the 17th century when people would wear green ribbons and shamrocks on March 17 to honor Ireland's patron saint. The St. Patrick’s Day tradition was popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States, who believed that wearing green made them invisible to leprechauns— the classic fairy creatures who pinch anyone they could see. Pinching people who didn't wear green reminded them that leprechauns could sneak up on them at any time, which is how the wear-green-or-be-pinched tradition began.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is on a weekday this year (it’s Tuesday, March 17th), many of us will be in the office instead of drinking green beer at the local pub. Even if you can’t don a green feather boa and sparkly headband for work, it’s still easy to avoid being pinched. These are some of our favorite grown-up ways to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Courtesy of Target

Wear Festive Socks

If you’re looking for just the right amount of green to avoid being pinched, opt for a pair of socks that can be worn discreetly under a pair of slacks. They’re subtle enough to wear anywhere, so they'll work for the office but are also suitable for an evening drink at a St. Patrick's Day party.

Buy It: Sparkly Shamrock Socks, $4, Target

Courtesy of Amazon

Go Green

Skip the impractical tee you'll wear once and invest in a spring staple piece instead. This green polka dot dress (with pockets!) can be worn with heels to the office, then paired with casual sandals or flats for an after-work celebration. If you’re heading to a St. Patrick’s Day parade, the dress can easily be paired with a denim jacket for chilly weather.

Buy It: Swing Midi Dress, from $19.99, Amazon

Courtesy of Etsy

Add Accessories

Dress up a sophisticated ponytail with a gorgeous green velvet scrunchie. It's stitched with gold thread to add sparkle, and the velour material slides easily over your hair to avoid breakage. And while it's perfect for a pop of green on St. Paddy's Day, it can be worn year-round.

Buy It: Velvet Scrunchie, $16.85, Etsy

Courtesy of Target

Lucky Loungewear

If your St. Patrick's Day plans involve staying in or lounging on the couch, you can still use the holiday as an excuse to treat yourself. This loungewear set from Target is appropriately adorned with a shamrock, and the drawstring shorts and breathable long-sleeve tee will keep you comfy all spring long.

Buy It: Women's Pajama Set, $24.99, Target

Courtesy of Amazon

Grab a Jacket

Jackets are another spring staple we can't get enough of, and we'll be using St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to add a green one to our wardrobes. This faux leather jacket from Levi's is a gorgeous hunter green and has an asymmetrical zipper. Dress it up with green accessories for a parade or party, or pair it with a work-appropriate top for the office.

Buy It: Asymmetrical Motorcycle Jacket, $ 56.92, Amazon

Courtesy of Target

Get Graphic

If you're in search of a casual look, Target has several printed tees in their St. Patrick's Day line. And they're not all about leprechauns and shamrocks: This animal-print shirt will give you a festive look for the holiday, but isn't so specific that you can only wear it one day a year.

Buy It: Animal Print Graphic Shirt, $14.99, Target

Comments (2)

Anonymous
March 7, 2020
Not to be negative....no self-respective Irishman or woman would drink green beer. If they do imbibe, it would be black beer...Guinness. Secondly, a shamrock has three leaves, unlike the four leaves on the item advertised. Get your facts straight please.
Anonymous
March 7, 2020
Not to be negative....no self-respective Irishman or woman would drink green beer. If they do imbibe, it would be black beer...Guinness. Secondly, a shamrock has three leaves, unlike the four leaves on the item advertised. Get your facts straight please.