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How to Dress on St. Patrick’s Day – Think Green: Some Great Irish Costume Ideas for Parties and Parades

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and dressing the part is just one of the ways celebrants across the globe honor the vibrant, verdant spirit of the Emerald Isle. The tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day comes directly from the man for whom the day is named. Credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, St. Patrick used the country’s abundance of three-leafed Shamrock to explain the Trinity to the pagans. After his death and in remembrance of his ministry, Irish gentlemen and women tucked shamrocks into their clothing. Over the years, this tradition evolved into wearing anything green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Shamrocks and green continue to play an important role at March 17th festivities. Dressing up to honor Ireland’s culture doesn’t have to break the bank – there’s room for every budget and endless ways to be creative when crafting a costume. Here are five great green looks to sport on St. Patrick’s Day.

Magical Irish Creatures Are Always a Hit on St. Paddy’s Day

A lucky leprechaun is a perfect option for men or women. Spray paint a thrift store suit bright green and cut the trouser legs off at the knee. Pin the pants into a taper at the knee. Wear this over a collared white shirt, green and with white striped tights, a shamrock covered bow tie and a green bowler hat. Make gold and black buckles from construction paper and attach them to black shoes or wear elfish-looking boots. Top the look off with a beard or an old man mask. Carry a sack of gold chocolate coins to share with adults and kids alike or to throw as favors during a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

An Irish woodland fairy is a terrific look for women and men who love drag. Transform into a wood sprite by jaggedly cutting off the bottom of a silky nightgown and stapling leaves and flowers all over it. Extra foliage can be woven into hair. Elven ears and fairy wings can be purchased at any costume store to complete the outfit.

Men and Women of the Cloth Are Great Looks for March 17th

A Catholic priest outfit is the right choice for pious men and women who love rebelling against authority. What better way to honor the man who ushered in the kingdom of Christendom? Don plain black vestments with a white color and accessorize with a large green cross, a bible and a jug of sweet port Communion wine. Party-goers looking to move even higher up the papal chain can craft a Bishop or Pope costume.

Green, white and orange togas work for men and women, and one or two Irish flags can be used to make a great original splash. Depending on the weather, flags can be worn over other clothing or just a birthday suit. Wrap them around the body toga-style and pin in place. Finish this costume with a wild green hat or wig (or both) and a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” sash made from inexpensive crepe paper.

Rugby Player is a great look for athletic men and women. Ready to get into a green beer-fueled scrum with some mates? It’s not hard to dress the part of this popular Irish sport. Rugby shirts and shorts come in many different styles, so check out photos of rugby players to get some ideas. Use fabric stencil letters from any craft store to print “Irish Rugby Team” on the back of a rugby shirt. Complete the outfit with a football and smear black reflective makeup under the eyes.