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by on March 16, 2011

St. Patty’s Day is tomorrow which means three things: 1.) Dave & Buster’s is going to have their busiest day of the year 2.) My own all-day drunkeness will be masked if not completely eclipsed by everyone else’s and 3.) There will be a sea of green flooding the streets…followed by a sea of vomit. Sure, the Irish have only so much to be proud of* — a potato famine and Bono, I mean, I get it — so they want to show off their pride the only way they know how: by wearing head-to-toe green and getting sloshed beyond comprehension. I’m all for that. But there are ways to wear green — even in a head to toe fashion, which, not gonna lie to ya is tricky and best left to the masters. How many ways, you ask? Let’s say 5…and discuss.

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

1. Accessorize. Sometimes subtlety goes a long way. But it never really goes long enough, so if you choose to wear a simple green pin or earrings, make them as fabulous as possible. After all, thousands of leprachauns died to make this holiday possible…that is what St. Patty’s is all about right? The St. Patrick’s Day Massacre of 17-whatever?

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

A paltry $75K saphire, peridot and diamond bluet clip at Tiffany's

2. Layer. March is a notoriously tricky month to dress for because it’s torn between two seasons. It’ll be 60 degrees one day and will snow the next — this kooky global warming. So a good trick is layering. Bundle up for the cold morning, shed a few layers for the afternoon sun and reapply after sundown. For St. Patrick, stagger your green for when you stagger out of the nearest tavern or pub.

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

Louis Vuitton Mens SS 2011 / Photo: GQ

3. Mix Shades. There are as many shades of green as there are voices floating around in Charlie Sheen‘s head: emerald, chartreuse, turquoise, forest, hunter, neon, lime, jungle, kelly, mint…and in listing them it’s clear that they all have the gayest names possible. So why not mix a little kelly with a little spring bud and top it off with a shock of marijauana. That’s not technically a shade of green, but it’s my favorite kind, nonetheless.

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

Shala Monroque in Harper's Bazaar

4. Patterns. The more green you incorporate into your look, the more inventive you have to get. And thus, the more fun! Throw different patterns together: prints and polka dots, stripes and stars, this and that, etc. It’s totally easy to O.D. on too many patterns, however, so in these situations it’s best to follow Coco Chanel‘s simple rule: remove one item before leaving the house. And since it’s St. Patty’s, that item can easily be your panties. Just sayin’…makes things a lot easier come nightfall.

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

Prada's SS 2011 Ad f/ Mariacarla Boscono

5. Go Big or Go Home. You know how I said how tricky it was to pull off head to toe green? Well when in doubt, fair people of Ireland (and I really mean fair —  it’s like the Irish are literally allergic to the sun), look to national heroine Scarlett O’Hara. She needed to make a statement so she just took down some old curtains and sewed them into a gown (or rather, had her maid take down some old curtains and sew them into a gown). Sure, the gown bordered on bad taste but isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Getting drunk, embarrassing yourself, your friends, your family and then laughing it all off so no one suspects your rampant alcohol problem? So, wear those goofy green beer glasses and those goofy green top hats and those goofy green athletic jerseys —  let your d-bag flag fly! Bad taste is a look that the Irish have been pulling off  – and pulling off better than anyone — for centuries. Celebrate it.

How to Wear Green on St. Patricks Day (without Looking Like a D Bag)

Scarlett O'Hara Going Green with the Wind

*I really have nothing against the Irish…I don’t like anyone.


Contributed by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail