Go green: How to wear our national colour stylishly year-round

Forget St Patrick’s Day groans. Bold greens are key shades in both spring and winter

Ask Irish people about wearing green and they usually say, with a groan, “Oh God, not St Patrick’s Day”. But our national colour – and we are the only nation associated with a single colour – is a key fashion shade of both the spring and winter seasons. And the bolder the better.

Green is used sensationally on the haute-couture catwalks – just see Valentino, Givenchy and Gucci. The fearless Irish designer Richard Malone used it beautifully in his spring-summer collection this year, and another Irish designer thinking hard about green must be Louise Kennedy, who will be unveiling her new uniforms for Aer Lingus later this year. Green is also on this month’s cover of Vogue.

It is the colour of the moment in another way, too: green evokes images of the countryside and environmentally friendly politics. And even though people think of this as the Emerald Isle, the tone they most often have in mind when they think of Ireland is spring-grass Kelly green.

This version of the colour is the one that can be harnessed with other shades to great effect. “Kelly green goes with navy, red, warm grey, tan and beige, or with coral – which is the colour of the year – or with canary yellow,” says the image consultant Maria Macklin.

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So brighten up the last days of summer, or add a shot of saturated colour to an outfit, with some simple daywear pieces and accessories.