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Next Sunday is Saint Patrick's Day, a day when people celebrate the true meaning of the holiday: wearing green and getting wasted. Yes, it's a bit odd that this Christian holiday somehow became associated with drunken revelry, excess, and gluttony, but I don't see anybody complaining.
In addition to the age-old tradition of getting schnockered, Saint Patrick's Day is also a time when people pull out their festive green outfits and their terrible fake Irish accents. Top 'o tha mornin' to ya, Lassie! See what I mean? Awful.
Green outfits covered in four-leaf clovers are equally bad, but that's part of the fun, isn't it? St. Patrick's Day isn't about looking professional and elegant, it's about letting your hair down and spilling beer on your shoes as you sing drinking songs in a bar full of strangers. Plus, everybody knows that if you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day you run the risk of getting pinched.
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St. Patrick's Day presents an annual marketing opportunity for companies, especially for businesses like bars and restaurants that cater to drunken revelers. Many businesses pull out all the stops with St. Patrick's Day-themed specials and deals to attract party-goers. These festive decorations attract tourists and encourage people to open their wallets and buy a few extra rounds.
Chicago serves as a perfect example. Every year, city workers dye the Chicago River a rich shade of shamrock green. On the surface, the stunt is a celebratory acknowledgement of the holiday season and Irish heritage. In reality, it's just a clever marketing stunt that pulls in tourists from nearby communities in order to stimulate the local economy.
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Depending on your business, you might want to cash in on the upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations with some festive green uniforms. This is especially true if your business is situated along a parade route or if it's near your town's party area. If you own a bar or a restaurant, then you really should pull out all of the stops and decorate your servers in vibrant green uniforms. It may cost a bit of extra cash up front, but it's an investment that will pay itself off many times over if you establish your brand and your business becomes the go-to dive for drinking and partying.
My recommendation is to go with screen printed t-shirts. Unlike polos and dress shirts, t-shirts will fit in nicely with the informal atmosphere of a St. Patty's Day celebration. Don't get trapped into thinking that you have to go with an all-green t-shirt. You can always select a different color as the base (white or green, for example), and then decorate the shirt with green words and pictures.
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Hats are also a good match with St. Patrick's Day. People have a tendency to wear bowler hats, Gatsby hats, and top hats (all dyed an appropriate shade of green, of course) as part of an over-the-top Irish ensemble.
Really, the details of your St. Patrick's Day outfit are up to you. Just remember that it's pretty much impossible to go too far -- if anything, March 17 is a day when people do their best to look as ridiculously Irish as possible.