dressing for an evening of sentiment and tradition with a chance of defiance

For the first time in a few years, we're attending a St Patrick's Day event.

I'm told that some of my elderly Irish relatives refused to march on St Pat's until all Ireland was free. Other, more contemporary friends and colleagues, refuse to march until all Irish are welcome.

I've also heard that the Celts invented stubbornness. Could be.

My naive and sheltered generation celebrated St Pat's with acts of defiance - for the time, that is. The green streaks in our hair, the green freckles and shamrocks painted on our faces, and the very vivid green outfits down to the socks would probably not even be noticed on any Casual Friday, but we were daring the teachers to make remarks, itching to provoke dispute. One teacher of English was notorious for showing up in an orange tie. While he was grimacing at the high-spirited leprechauns-for-a-day, his windshield was being painted green in the teachers' parking lot. Ah, tradition.

Just about every little town out East has a St Paddy's Day parade, they are staggered, I mean the dates are staggered, so that all the pipe bands and fire departments can participate in as many parades as possible. The parade in a town not far from Flintstone Manor is small, neighborly, serious and charming, and that is why I committed an act of genteel violence a few years ago. A couple we knew slightly were standing next to us and apparently hadn't expected a parade when they came downtown and were annoyed. "Disgraceful," she said, "just look at them, reeling drunk like that so early in the morning."

"That's the Brownie troop," I replied.

"Well, you know what I mean."

I knew what she meant all right.  Somehow my coffee accidentally slipped from my clenched fist and spilled onto her shoes. Oops.

Well, really, who wears shoes with high heels and red soles at the beach?

Anyway, the impending event has engraved invitations, and "cocktail attire" is specified, so I'm guessing there won't be a reading of the Speech at the Grave of O'Donovan Rossa nor of the last words of Robert Emmet.

To this respectable gathering, therefore, I am wearing a lace dress. Green, of course. And green suede KS sandals (eBay), weather permitting, and some gold jewelry. Considering a torque - assuming it works with the neckline.

And my greeny-hazel eyes will be festooned with Armani's green-black mascara, which I like to think makes me look mysterious and soulful, at least in the mirror of my mind. This mascara was a limited edition product last spring, and when I saw how it looked on, I went back to the store and bought another 3 tubes. Given how rarely I go out in full warpaint, this may be a lifetime supply.

Decided that my emerald satin Invitation Clutch would be overkill,  playing with the idea of the tweed clutch with studs (above), and have also decided not to put green polish on my toes. The next step would be trying those green streaks and freckles again.


Oh, and when Himself opens his closet door to hunt up a tie, surprise! he'll find a cute navy number with green shamrocks sprinkled all over it. Which he will be wearing

Update: here's a shot of a torque that's very close to mine:


25 comments:

  1. Oh you will look a treat! Love the dress!

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  2. hi Wendy, thank you, I think I'll be spending the next 8 or 9 months trying to find a Christmas or other late winter event to reduce the cost per wear... but it really is very well cut to disguise the blubbery bits.

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  3. Still can't get over the teacher wearing an orange tie on St Paddys Day!!! Egad.

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    1. yes, for a man who was entrusted with the molding of young minds....

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    2. A tradition on the Scottish side of my family . . . . my orange and green 2011 J.Crew driving scarf covers both bases.

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    3. Well, that sounds a woman who can fine-tune the art of compromise !

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    4. Yes orange and green is a peaceful sign! Although I have a friend of Indian origin who grew up in Belfast and he was always asked what religion he was to which replied Hindu. But the follow up question was always - Aye, but are you Hindu protestant or Hindu catholic?

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    5. PTeehee, not touchn' that one!

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    6. Naomi, exactly, best avoided here unless you want to get into a physical fight.

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  4. Sounds like you are ready for fun. What is a torque?

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    1. i'm updating with a picture of one that's very like mine - there's a poker game going on downstairs which I don't want to interrupt!

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  5. That is a gorgeous dress! I say go with the studded clutch, just the right contrast to the lace. Love the shamrock tie, too. Have a wonderful time!

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    1. Thanks, shopalot, studded clutch it is!

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  6. Beautiful dress, love the neckline! I'm sure I've never been to a fancy StP's Day event, but lots of little parades. Up here, the fire departments go over the top, festooning the red engines with every green decoration.

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    1. I'm actually interested to see if any local politicians will be stopping by.

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    2. Lane on St Patrick's day in Maine, I didn't pay for anything I ever ordered in a coffee shop!

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  7. You're going to look fabulous and have a great time...I say go for the green toe nails.

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    1. Can't, just realized that my good green nail Polish is by ButterLondon, and it's called British Racing Green. It's such a great color that someone might ask for the name.

      So in the spirit of harmony, I'm going with Chanel's Alchemie.

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    2. Hilarious Fred, that is fightin' talk!

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  8. Wow that dress is so cool - and green - so special. I bet you go to loads of amazing this living In New York? Luckee! Just saw some pictures of celeb yoga class and Kate Beckinsale was wearing pink pumps so maybe its opposite day as well as St Pat's

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    1. Actually a cool thing did happen last winter -- found myself sitting two seats from DVF herself at the theater. It was probably not one of her better nights. She looked like she really didn't want to be talked to, and was hissing orders at her PA who looked beat up. I felt saddened by the whole scene.

      So, pink pumps to yoga? When some enterprising celeb opened a Pilates studio in Paris, Frnech Vogue published a pic of the studio featuring a model in black leather corset, lace garter belt - and dangling a cigarette! Perfect gift for one's instructor, right?

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  9. You have definitely found the perfect dress. The color is so rich. You will stand out even in a sea of green. We will also attend a Saint Patrick's Day party but it will be casual. I am still trying to talk my dad out of marching in the NYC parade this year since he is now 87 and broke 3 bones in his foot this summer. He loves the tradition and takes great pride and enjoyment in the parade.
    Also thanks so much for your information concerning my Bloomies incident. It was so nice of you to take the time and interest. Enjoy your party and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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    1. Thanks, Teacups, and good for your dad!

      I was furious at Bloomie's for mistreating you, and I hope you'll follow up. Let us all know.

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  10. Oh a torque, utter Celtic perfection! St Patrick's Day doesn't get a look in here, even hubs who has family there would have no idea that it falls on monday, yet it's huge in the US. When I lived in Maine, I loved it, everyone just assumed that my accent was Irish and I would be given free everything all day from complete strangers - don't think it would work now that I am no l longer a young cutie!

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  11. Hi, Tabs, yes, I prefer jewelry that looks as if it's been dug up. None of this dainty modern stuff here!

    And what's all this about not being a young cutie? Havers!

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