Leprechaun Costumes for St. Patrick's Day
It's All About the Green -- And the Gold
If you'd like to do more than just go green for St. Patrick's Day, why not consider dressing up as a leprechaun? What a fun way to get into the St. Paddy's Day spirit! Attend a parade while wearing a costume, or better yet, be in the parade while wearing your costume! There's tons of fun to be had, so let loose and enjoy the day with your friends and family -- whether you're Irish or not.
This page will help you to find a costume to wear for St. Patrick's Day as well as giving you some history about leprechauns and their significance as Irish myth.
So let your (red!) hair down, don some green, and get ready to party leprechaun-style!
The Top: Your Leprechaun Hat
Your leprechaun costume starts with a hat. This hat is basically essential to your St. Paddy's day costuming, even if you choose not to dress as a leprechaun, so choose one carefully. They come in two basic styles, the bower hat (below right) and the top hat (below bottom).
The bowler hat has a more traditional feel than the top-hat, and comes in cheaper (and thus less expensive) versions because they are generally made of plastic. These can be obtained from shops like Party City as well as online through stores like Amazon. Products available on this page are from Amazon.
Choose a hat that suits you and is comfortable on your head. Make sure that its fit will allow you to wear it all day unless you plan on dumping it at some point during the festivities. Some hats aren't meant to last for years, but you should be prepared to wear it throughout the day at least.
This bowler hat (right) is made of polyester and cotton and is therefore of a higher quality than what you will be able to purchase from (for example) Party City. It is also more expensive, so if you're looking to save money, check out the party stores.
Get Your Leprechaun Beard for St. Patrick's Day
The next step to putting together a fantastic St. Patrick's Day costume is to get the beard for your Leprechaun. Some come attached to the hats, but these may be inconvenient due to the fact that the beard can become scratchy and when attached to the hat it's uncomfortable to remove.
A separate beard is preferred, but you can of course always look to see what's available on Amazon or at your local party store. Follow the link through to the right to browse Amazon, or check out Party City or your local party shoppe for what they have in stock.
What are your St. Patrick's Day plans?
Dressing as a Leprechaun isn't the Only Way to Go Green for St. Paddy's Day!
It's traditional to wear green for St. Patrick's Day, so if you're looking to have a traditional celebration, make sure that you dress up in one way or another, because it's also traditional to give a friendly pinch to anybody caught not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. Especially if you live in a highly Irish area, wearing green is almost mandatory!
So if you don't want to dress as a Leprechaun, make sure that you're donning green for the occasion. You can bet that the Chicago River will be!
What is a Leprechaun?
In Irish folklore, a Leprechaun is a type of mischievous sprite that haunts homes (and in particular attics and basements) and causes all sorts of problems for the people inhabiting the home. Like all faeries in Celtic Folklore, they aren't happy little Disney fairies, but are a frequently malevolent spirit.
For those who are choosing to dress as leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day, the idea of course is to represent Ireland, but bear in mind that these are not considered friendly spirits in any way, shape or form.
Legend also says, of course, that anyone who is lucky or tricky enough to capture a leprechaun can barter his freedom for his pot of gold, or for three wishes.
Leprechauns Smoke Pipes, Doncha Know?
Add a Pipe to Your Leprechaun Costume
In many depictions, leprechauns are smoking pipes. A long-stemmed pipe such as the one available on Amazon (to the right) would be very suitable for your costume. This one is relatively costly, but less expensive items are generally only available as add-ons.
You could try your local smoke shoppe to see what they have available to you in person, but if you wish to order online, you can always add the pipe onto another order.
The Leprechaun Clothing for your St. Patrick's Day Costume
Your costume needs to be finished off. You can't just do it with props, you know!
Black dress pants would do well for this costume. There should be no need to purchase something new for the occasion (unless you want to buy a complete costume below). Dress shoes will also fit this ensemble, but make sure they're comfortable if you're going to be doing a lot of standing.
A dress shirt underneath a vest will suffice. Choose something in yellow or green (black will also work) and then top this with a costume jacket to finish off your costume.
Alternatively, You can Purchase a Complete Leprechaun Costume for St. Patrick's Day
If you don't want to piece together your costume little by little, you can always opt to purchase a complete costume! Costume shoppes (or party stores) should have these available for you to buy in-store, or you can make your purchase on Amazon through the links below. The listed costumes are high quality, and if they aren't in the sizes that you need, you can browse through Amazon to find the right one.
Have fun choosing!
Do you think it's appropriate to dress children as leprechauns?
Dressing Your Child for St. Patrick's Day
Some people like to dress their children up as leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day, as evidenced by the abundance of children's costumes available online. While you're welcome to make this choice for your child, it may not be appropriate.
The girl's costumes are as risque, in general, as the costumes for adult women, and one must remember that leprechauns are frightening creatures, not benevolent at all.
It may be better to give your child a "pot o' gold" to fill up with coins or candy throughout the days festivities instead of dressing him or her up. The costumes may be uncomfortable as well, and if you don't want to be in costume all day, neither does your child.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti