By now the only left over from St. Patrick’s Day is your lingering hangover. Sit back, pour your Guinness breakfast and take a fast paced jaunt into the world of Leprechaun fashion. From the runways of wherever the mischievous Leprechauns hold their secretive fashion shows, I got to see what isn’t working at the 45th Shamrock Run held in Portland on Saturday, March 12th. This was a great reason to leave the house, for a good cause and I suppose the fashion faux pas were an added bonus.
I’m sure there were real Leprechauns in attendance monitoring the Shamrock Run event. They may have been hiding behind the graffiti strewn pilings under the Steel Bridge as we made our way towards the Tilikum Crossing Bridge. We took the path of least resistance–a brisk walk. The event included competitive running events like a 5K and a half marathon with the stride walk. We took the slower option which allowed us a chance to enjoy our surroundings.
Other signs that people were trying while putting their own spin on Leprechaun fashion featured some of the efforts I spotted:
Leperchauns on socks peeking out of rain boots
A green beard
Traditional Hats–the Pilgrim variety with buckles
Leprechauns are persnickety about their hats. There is really only one kind of hat that earns their seal of approval and yet those celebrating and marketing St. Patrick’s Day fashion and decor insist on trying to make any form of headgear acceptable. Fedoras with blinking lights were one attempt at subverting the Leprechaun hat rule. There were others, pork pie hats and bowlers and people thought that as long as they were green, they could get away with any hat being an official celebratory piece of head gear.
Size matters and it’s a very standard size. Miniature hats are adorable but they fall into parody because they don’t fit the strict size standard of Leprechaun headgear. These miniatures may not even be as fun to wear when paired with see through plastic ponchos. Mini hats are much cuter than they are water proof.
Mixing mythologies can make things even more confusing. Viking Leprechauns? This could be referenced on a page deep in a Norse mythology book. Scottish? You’re really going to make me research whether the Irish or even Leprechauns wear kilts? At least this kind of fusion makes an event like the Shamrun really interesting adding spectacle to fashionable fun. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what the Leprechaun’s think.
The Shamrun offered a wide variety of t-shirts and other souvenir gear for sale, including these rain absorbing, but warm knit hats with pom poms. When you’re at the back of the line for the striders walk you going to need head protection and warmth until the mass of people starts moving.
Leprechaun fashion shows are typically boring affairs. Due to stringent dress codes, the Spring collection is always exactly the same. People go rogue thinking they can wear what they want as if it won’t anger the Leprechauns. A shiny green jacket paired with a Leprechaun Seuss Hat while accompanied by someone wearing a tutu too, had the feel of a couple headed to the green carpet for a Leprechaun film premiere.
If you run with dogs of an Irish variety, you better break out the right suit. Shamrocks of many colors dipped in green is the sleek look that Leprechauns could, might, possibly appreciate, if they appreciate anything. You can get it right off the rack if you can find the right store. Perfect for Shamruns and Pogue shows.
Walk Into The Mystery
The undetermined attempts at unauthorized Leprechaun fashion were only obvious due to the Shamrock. This brought out crowds wanting to get into the spirit of things. The what and the why of it all doesn’t matter. This is what you’ll see sported on a Shamrun/walk and I’ll take it even though I know it miffs and mystifies me as well as the Leprechauns.
As far as anything I can tell you about the 3K walk that equaled four miles, we reached the halfway point where we were greeted by a middle school band playing The Final Countdown. Some of the trumpet blasts were sweet–and sour!! It motivated us to battle back despite hip flexor issues, hot foot and toe blisters. I sometimes feel bad for today’s youth having to take on their band director’s nostalgia trips but these kids took it on with relish and maybe even a bit of mustard.