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How to Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Without Looking Like a Sick Leprechaun

‘Go from leprechaun to lepre-HORN,’ is a sentence someone got paid to write

Its St. Patrick’s Day, which means a tide of green-clad frat bros have probably already kicked down your front door and puked in your shoes. This survival guide is designed to get you through the worst day of the year in as few pieces as possible.

Historically speaking, green is a commanding color that embodies both Irish nationality and independence. Fashionably speaking, green is a foul, bilious color that makes you look like a leprechaun who drunkenly stumbled into a luminous vat of radioactive waste.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid the green gear entirely come St. Patrick’s Day. Follow these tips from L.A.-based stylist Rayne Parvis to unravel the ancient mysteries of not looking like a vast green turd.

Stick to Subtle Shades of Green

“Choose different shades of green — like olive, sage, lime or pine — rather than kelly, emerald or any other typical ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ greens,” Parvis suggests. “That way, you don’t get pinched and can still be festive.”

Fun fact: Legend holds that, in the early 1700s, Irish-Americans believed wearing green could make you invisible to leprechauns, who were thought to pinch anyone they could see. Thus, the incredibly annoying tradition of pinching the people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day was born. (Please don’t pinch me — I literally only own black and gray clothes.)

Avoid Green-Black Pairings

“Don’t pair your St. Patrick’s Day green garments with black ones, like a green shirt with black pants,” Parvis explains. “That would resemble a leprechaun outfit. Instead, pair your greens with dark denim, gray or navy. It’s all about what color you pair your greens with: Cool-toned greens go best with blues, whites and grays, whereas warm-toned greens — like khaki and olive — go best with earthy neutral shades, like mustards and browns. Another quick tip for color combinations: Avoid wearing only green up top and only brown bottoms, or else you’ll remind people of a tree.”

Keep Things Casual

“Style your green with casual clothes — like dark-colored jeans, chinos, bomber jackets and hoodies — when possible,” says Parvis. “When you pair green with a suit, especially a black one, you start to resemble the typical leprechaun-style tuxedo, which is what you want to avoid.” Plus, who the hell wears green with a suit? And more importantly, who the hell wears a suit on St. Patrick’s Day?

Consider Accessorizing with Green Instead

“It’s easy to wear green as a pop of color, or an accent color, rather than as one of your main pieces,” Parvis explains. “For example, dark-denim jeans, a white T-shirt, a black bomber jacket and then a pop of green from your sneakers that acts as a statement piece is so stylish and simple.”

Finally, might I recommend wearing dark colors in general — that way, when you inevitably spill (green) beer and liquor on yourself, those stains won’t show up as much in the morning, later in the night or in any of the regrettable photos you take while drunkenly floating down the green-dyed Chicago River.

You can thank me later.