How to wear green this spring (not just on St. Patrick’s Day)

Nina Prommer
Amy Poehler is a celebrity who has embraced green.

Spring, when it finally arrives, is a time for rejuvenation and growth. From budding leaves to wisps of grass, everything seems to be green — and this season, fashion is no exception.

Emerald green was named color of the year by Pantone, sparking one of the season’s hottest fashion trends. The hue is infusing color palettes for designers, who describe it as “lively,” “radiant,” and “lush.”

“They [the color and spring] both represent a feeling of optimism and moving forward,” said Lydia Santangelo, founder of TESstylist, a Boston-based styling company. “The color really brings a fresh feeling you can’t go wrong with.”


But while designers like Vera Wang, Gucci, and Zac Posen have no qualms about sending models in head-to-toe emerald down the runway, the Emerald trend poses a bit of an issue come March 17.

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“There’s definitely a fear of green looking costume-like around St. Patrick’s Day,” said Santangelo, whose company has styled shows for Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Nieman Marcus, and Saks. “But there are plenty of ways to still embrace the look without going over the top.”

Santangelo recommends pairing a monochromatic emerald garment such as pants or a dress, with a citrus tone or cobalt blue.

“It’s a stand-out against a lot of the bright, punchy colors and they really complement each other,” she said.

Santangelo also suggests trying green with Day-Glos and neons for a bold approach to a daytime look.


“Green jeans, which were really popular last fall, are also making a comeback with this trend,” she adds. “People are holding onto that look and kicking it up a notch with a wider, streamlined leg.”

But for those who still worry about going to the office looking like a St. Patrick’s Day parade participant, wearing emerald-based patterns may be the solution.

“Bring the color in with stripes or a different simple pattern, and pair that with jeans,” suggests Laura Macris, cofounder of Crush Boutique on Newbury Street and Beacon Hill. “Or try a chambray shirt and a metallic belt with an emerald dress. That way, you’re still getting to be on-trend without feeling like you’re going overboard.”

Accessories, adds Macris, are another understated way to go green.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of emerald and turquoise clutches this season,” said Macris. “And as more of our clients start to get ready for wedding season, emerald earrings and jewelry has been popular, too.”


Santangelo also recommends channeling your inner Liz Taylor for an emerald-style cut in jewelry and clothing details.

“It’s such an iconic cut,” she said. “And it can be found in traditional earrings or a necklace, but it’s also seen in shoulder and collar detailing. The cut is just as relevant as the color.”

As for the “don’ts” of wearing emerald green, Macris has just one.

“Being too matchy-matchy is definitely one — but that’s good,” she said. “I think we’re in a place now where you can kind of get away with anything, as long as you have the confidence to pull it off.”

Erica Thompson can be reached at