molly and colleen hurford channel their past lives as Irish stepdancers and talk about the Celtic influence on fashion as well as some necessities to being “Irish for a day” …
It’s that time of year again: a time when rainbows are there to be chased, when little Irish children set traps for the leprechaun, and everyone is Irish for the day. And of course, anyone who has stock in Guinness watches their shares skyrocket. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day! As ex-Irish stepdancers and some of the best leprechaun trappers in the U.S., we love this holiday with a passion. And in keeping with the holiday, we’ve decided that “Irish” is the latest and hippest new trend, and to honor that, we’ve come up with a list of surefire ways to celebrate the day in style:
Scally Cap: Brought back in by the ska scene in the 1990s, these dapper caps are a great accessory to any outfit, whether you’re rocking checkered pants and suspenders or a button down with a tweed blazer.
Red/Curly Hair: Okay, you can’t control this one to any great extent, but red hair is definitely always in style. Look no further than Nicole Kidman, Gillian Anderson or Lindsay Lohan (if you must) to see how iconic having flaming red hair can make you — and how upset fans get when you dye it blond! And curly hair is perpetually cute and classy, even if it seems like straight hair is en vogue. Trust us, those straight haired girls just wish they had crazy curls. And in Irish dance competitions, curly hair is mandatory. Seriously, we had huge curly wigs that were actually considered part of the costume, like how palace guards in the U.K. have those silly hats.
Kilt: Our stance is that real men wear kilts, and look sexy while doing it! If you’ve never known the joy and freedom of wearing one of these “man-skirts,” then make sure you get yourself one in time for St. Pat’s! Don’t believe us? Go to any Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy show and tell a kilted guy that he’s not so tough. Chances are he’ll toss you out of the club like he would toss a telephone pole during the Highland Games. Want to get in on this trend? Check out http://www.utilikilts.com/ for kilts for everyday wear, proudly made in the U.S.
Fair Isle Sweaters: These super-thick, super-cozy and, frankly, super-cute sweaters look great with leggings, jeans, skirts and even shorts. They’ll keep you warm like your favorite super-cozy sweatshirt, while looking ultra-fashionable. Seriously, if you follow one Irish trend that we mention, pick this one. LL Bean has great ones that are fairly inexpensive (for example,http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/65068?feat=sr&freeText=brushed%20lambswool%20fair%20isle%20zip%20cardigan)
Highland Games: This may not be a fashion, but it’s certainly a trend. Have you ever wished that you could throw a telephone pole? Hurl a hammer? Slam a stone? Well, look no further than the Highland Games! Designed for large, burly Scotsmen to showcase their impressive strongman talents, these games have come to America, and they’re … well, they’re hilarious. Check out some YouTube footage, and if it prompts you to go out and throw logs around with your friends, while we won’t claim responsibility, we hope you’ll take pictures and send them in.
Beer: Guinness is Good for You! Or at least, it is one day a year. Enjoy some great Irish beers, including Guinness, O’Hara’s Irish Stout, Smithwick’s, or if you prefer domestic, Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale. To be really Irish, order a black and tan at your local pub (a mix of ale and stout, layered together). Delicious!
Jig/Reel steps: (This comes after the beer for a reason!) As Irish dancers, we were forced into St. Pat’s parades all throughout March. We don’t recommend wearing the ridiculous wigs or dresses, but hopping around to a reel is a pretty great way to celebrate. Just hop along to the beat — 7 count is a reel (“Bag Of Bricks” by Flogging Molly) and 8 count is a jig (“Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly)
An Irish Brogue: Seriously, who can resist a guy (or girl) with an Irish accent? It’s charming, it’s sweet, and it’s sexy as all get out. Clearly the best way to meet some fine lads (or lasses) on the 17th is to show up at a bar in your scally cap and sporting a utilikilt and say loudly, in your Irish brogue, “Top of the morning!” and demand that they start playing The Pogues. Two words: chick magnet.
So enjoy your green milk that the leprechaun leaves, eat a few chocolate gold coins, stuff yourself with corned beef and cabbage, and drink some Irish beer. It doesn’t matter if your Swiss, Australian, Chinese, Canadian …on March 17, you’re Irish for the day!
And for anyone who says that clichéd Irish style isn’t the latest trend, all we can say is “Póg mo thóin.” Which, for all you non-Gaelic speakers out there translates loosely to “kiss my (Irish) a$$.”