St. Paddy's Day Outfit Ideas That Aren't Cheesy

Green might remind you of storybook pastures, but it might also remind you of Martians or mold (or insert your other favorite icky associations here). Like orange and neon shades, green is a divisive color — which is what makes St. Patrick's Day outfit ideas a struggle for a lot of people. Unlike orange and your fluorescent friends, there comes a day every year when you're expected— or at least encouraged — to wear it.

"Oh, American St. Patrick's Day," you moan, "if you're not going to even pretend to observe Irish traditions, could you leave the celebration at cute green drinks? Or even just about green food like Dr. Seuss's birthday?"

Nope. We go all out here in the US of A, even if it's not really our holiday to celebrate.

St. Patrick's Day requires a no-excuses fashion commitment, too. Pull out your green or else you're getting pinched. Especially since this is a holiday big on alcohol, you might get pinched in one of your no-no zones by an overzealous stranger at a party or bar. So much for innocent shamrocks and pots of gold.

Hopefully fun is a bigger concern than sexual harassment. St. Patrick's Day is fun, darn it! And it's even more fun when you actually get into the festive spirit. That's the real reason you should wear green!

If you're not too hot on chartreuse or jade, though, or think it makes you look blah, here are a few work-arounds for your green woes.

1. Do The Bling Thing

It's hard to say no to an emerald (or, ahem, colored glass lookalikes, like this cubic zirconia). Slip a green cocktail ring on your finger and flash it in front of any would-be pincher's face. Much more versatile than Mardi Gras beads, huh?

Try: Sugarloaf Ring, $38,

2. Pack It Up

There are many great things about bags. One, you can lug all your crap around in them. Two, they complete any outfit (though don't fret about matching your bag to your shoes). And, three, you can always take them off. One green bag in a shade that complements the rest of your wardrobe will get a lot of mileage, and not just on St. Patty's year after year. Might I suggest a dark kelly green?

Try: Camp Director Tote in Grass, $59.99,

3. Play with Olive

Olive green is still green, but just barely. If you steer clear of bold colors, olive may be your green cheat of choice. And when it's not St. Patrick's Day, olive is a great alternative to black. (Chill, Goths. I'm a thrift witch.)

Try: BDG Porter Slouchy Ankle Pant, $59,

4. Look for Fringe Benefits

Whoever said you had to wear head-to-toe green really just wanted to pinch you. If there's a touch of green on your scarf, if there's a green feather in your cap, if you have on green shoelaces, you're safe. Really and truly. There's no reason to resemble a leprechaunette, unless that's your style. If that's the case, party on, leprechaunettes. If not, party on regardless. It's St. Patrick's Day.

Try: Square Printed Scarf, $14.90,

Images: darkbird/Fotolia; Helen Stoddard