We’ve all seen the shirts before: “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” No, thank you. I’d rather kiss a frog than someone tacky enough to wear the most unoriginal T-shirt on St. Patrick’s Day.
With each holiday, it’s all too easy to fall prey to the stereotypical holiday fashion trap. Avoid committing the St. Patty’s Day fashion faux pas this year and pass on the head-to-toe green outfit, alien-esque shamrock ears and handmade “drinking team” T-shirt.
I’ve enlisted the help of an expert who has seen it all to ensure you’ll turn heads in a good way come Thursday.
“It will be insane in here,” said Erin Quinn, manager of the New Deck Tavern, an Irish bar popular with college students in West Philadelphia at 3408 Sansom St. “A lot of people are out, drunken fights … we have vomit everywhere.”
With seven years of bartending experience, Quinn can truly say she’s seen it all in good and bad bar fashion. So don’t be naive: the bartenders, including Quinn, do notice what you’re wearing. If you and your sorority sisters decide to play pretty with puffy paint and make team drinking shirts with “McSlutty” on the front and a number on the back, that bartender may have more reason, thanks to your shirt’s message, to flag you early in the night.
“We usually tell girls, college girls, to lay off the puffy paint on St. Patty’s Day shirts,” Quinn said. “I just think it’s so cheesy.”
On March 17, you won’t wake up doing the Irish jig, so don’t think you can wear a shirt demanding sexual favors from others based on your falsely-advertised ancestry.
“The ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’ shirts … It’s just so worn out because everyone has them,” Quinn said. “You can buy them I think even out of Target, you know?”
Attention all males: St. Patty’s Day is not Halloween. Don’t wear all green and don’t tell people you’re dressed as a leprechaun.
Like a sorority girl’s drinking team shirt made with smeared puffy paint, your all-green ensemble is not the classiest way to attract the opposite sex. If you happen to meet the female version of the Jolly Green Giant, yes, but the likelihood of that is pretty slim.
With wall-to-wall people and drunks attempting Celtic dance moves like there’s no tomorrow, it’s wise to dress comfortably. You don’t know what’s on the floor or, even worse, what’s in your neighbor’s cup (or stomach) that could wind up on your lap.
“We have the random girls who come in who are going to a club somewhere and they’re just all decked out,” Quinn said. “They’re like, ‘Ugh, you spilled beer on me!’ Well, what do you expect?”
Guys should shed the dress coats for a relaxed sweater or novelty tee, and girls are advised to avoid ensembles consisting of heels, mini skirts and the latest, cleavage revealing top from [insert favorite cheap club-attire store here].
“We tell the girls that come in all decked out that you’re out to get drunk and not to get a husband,” Quinn said.
St. Patty’s Day accessories can be appropriate and stylish. A shamrock sticker on the cheek or hand, a green collared shirt or crewneck sweater for the guys or green eye shadow for the girls is just enough color to get the point across.
If you’re out this 17th, it’s logical to assume everyone else is out for the same reason as you and inevitably, just like everyone else, you’re going to look sloppy in pictures from the night.
With the right style decisions and just a tad of Irish pride, you can save yourself some face before your puffy paint or multiple green-tone outfit is tagged on Facebook.
Sammy Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.