Rock St Patrick’s!

For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow...

For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow…

The wearing of green must not be entered into lightly. It’s a difficult color against most skins, but to foist it upon the pasty Irish was a harsh blow. We are, however, an enthusiastic people and we got into the spirit of things. “Style be damned, at least for today!” we said, followed by “Slainte!” I see no need for such recklessness. Keep your fashionable wits about you even when faced with green beer rivers.

170px-Irish_cloverAccording to legend, Saint Patrick used the three leaves of the Irish shamrock to explain the idea of the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans. So, in the spirit of our roots, before we swallowed religion whole, and lost the power to think as individuals,  I say “Rebel!” Do not conform to one school of thought. Lose the dodgy leprechaun hats and shamrock printed boxers and wear green with a giant’s strength. The men of ancient Ireland were warriors, the women shape-shifting goddesses with the power to cast spells on the menfolk with the flip of a griddle cake.

On St Patrick’s Day, walk like Fionn Mc Cool, strut like Ériu who gave her name to to our fine island. St Patrick, himself, was no slouch; look how dapper he looked in the stained glass above.

IMG_5926IMG_5927On Monday, I will be donning my battered vintage leather biker jacket, to represent the ravaged beauty of our rolling green hills and rain dashed faces of our people. But we Irish have a soft heart; a mushy, sentimental interior. In that case I will wear this exuberant floral chiffon top underneath, vintage Dries Van Noten, speckled with the promise of Spring and evoking the joy of upcoming Easter eggs hunts. Don’t forget on St Patrick’s Day, you can temporarily quit Lent and eat all the chocolate your heart desires.

Before you toddle off to get another round in, may I please draw your already bleary eyes to the painstaking finishing on the hems and seams of Van Noten’s chiffon. No. you are not seeing things. Yes, it might just be the work of fairy fingers.IMG_5880Later, when most of you have toppled yahooing into the green river, I will undergo an outfit change. When darkness falls, there is no reason to abandon our good sartorial manners. Green can be very seductive under a certain, albeit dim, light. How’s this for a patriotic little number?IMG_5724I made it out of a pair of my mum’s net curtains when I was at college and dyed it the noble hue, reminiscent of when Scarlett O’Hara, another heroine with a proud territorial connection to her plot (you can’t get more Irish than Tara) instructs Mammy to tear down the velvet curtains and make her a dress.

Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind

Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind

I admire a woman who’ll go to any lengths to look good in green.

Now I think we all agree there’s no excuse for this, come Monday:st.-pats-gals-e1331309110381Slainte! My novel about an Irish lass navigating the complicated waters of the international fashion industry is now available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.


  1. But that is YOUR green leather jacket, or? Looks great!
    And I admire all the people who will go totally green on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate accordingly in style 😀
    HAPPY weekend! 🙂

    • I bought that jacket in Milan in a vintage leather store. I was smitten immediately and we have travelled extensively together, my zippered partner and I. But it feels particularly special and well thought of on St Patrick’s Day. Happy weekend!

  2. Fantastic! You are set for the 17th. What fun!
    I am an oddball who wears most shades of green well. I will lift a Guinness in your honor — “To a lovely Irish Lass named Jackie” wearin my forest green Phillip Lim sweater dress, with UO green tights and green Stuart Weitzman suede 50/50 boots.
    Can miss me…

  3. Brussels is all set for St. Patrick’s: the party starts already tomorrow, I can just about hear the bagpipes, green scarf unearthed from the back of the closet and Manneken Pis’ green costume dry cleaned and pressed! Cheers!

  4. What a wonderfully patriotic St Paddy’s Day look you’ll be rockin’ down the streets of NYC on the 17th…
    adore your vibrant shamrock coloured jacket and ‘exuberant’ Dries Van Noten floral scarf…
    there’s no doubt your Irish eyes will be smiling as you enjoy a glorious emerald day!!
    Sending you back lots of ‘lucky’ hugs along with a wee Irish wish….
    “For each petal on the shamrock
    This brings a wish your way –
    Good health, good luck, and happiness
    For today and every day.”
    ~Author Unknown

    • Thank you for the lovely wishes on this fine sunny celebratory weekend. In the spirit of sharing and good will, I offer this one back to your good self (wise words for all of us St Patrick’s Day and beyond):

      May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
      the foresight to know where you’re going
      and the insight to know when you’re going too far.

      • Happy, Happy St Patrick’s Day Jackie!! ♣
        Thank you and adore the words of your lovely wish…
        can’t begin to tell you how appropriate they are for me at this time…
        so thank you, thank you for them from the bottom of my ♥
        And thought I’d send you an extra Irish hug today via this painting by Barrie Maguire…
        can’t help but imagine I’m looking at a young Kat, lovingly tucked in by Da…
        settling down for another dreamy night’s sleep~ xo

      • That might just be the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. How cute. I’ll be smiling all day. Kat as Ireland! Whyever not!

  5. Love the Dries and the jacket both, but the top from the net curtains is pure genius. I, too, shun all the silliness of the hats and green beer. After all, Grandma Mary was Irish and stylish to boot. I have to work so I won’t be wearing anything nice to get ruined BUT I will be wearing a magnificent green tulle hair bow I fashioned myself. Dinner is enchiladas with green chile sauce, avocado mango salsa and a green herb rice. Green all the way across the board. As for the dress? That remains to be seen…

    • What an exotic green feast! And not a spud in sight. That mightn’t fly so well with my mum’s generation (your Grandma Mary was way ahead of her time) but I would request a spot at that dinner table any day. Green herb rice… Jesus Mary and Joseph and the wee baby donkey, my mouth’s watering!

  6. I’ll be looking for that jacket on 5th Ave. during the TV News (assuming the wearer is upright of course).
    “…in the spirit of our roots, before we swallowed religion whole, and lost the power to think as individuals” – I’ve never seen it so ingeniously writ.

    Beannachtí lá Feile Pádraig Jackie.

    • A wee traditional greeting for a poetic soul like yourself, Mike. Although I bet you could create a nimble, tailor-made little shanty perfect for the auspicious occasion:

      May you have warm words on a cold evening,
      a full moon on a dark night,
      and the road downhill all the way to your door.


  7. Love the jacket, you will look fantastic. I studied in Dublin for a year many moons ago and had the pleasure of spending a St Patricks Day there – such fun, the Irish really know how to throw a good party! X

    • I’ve never been in Dublin at this time. Here in NYC it’s mayhem. I tend to keep to the corners of a quiet little alehouse and then head home as the chaos level escalates. My days of gawping at parades of New York’s bravest fireman and cops are long past. I raise my glass to you from over here…in the corner. Slainte! 🙂

  8. Boy you do take your St Patrick seriously. Kudos for the outfit. Will be wearing the only green outfit that has ever looked good on me: a silk Miu Miu whose shade of green does not make me look dead!

  9. Top o the mornin to you and your greenery!! X

  10. Slainte indeedy…in lust with the biker. Damn it!! xxx

  11. An outfit change?!! I take my (green) hat off to you 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Paddy’s weekend

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