It’s your duty to wear red, white & beauty!
Push the layering pieces, long sleeves and pastel colors toward the back of the closet to make room for the patriotic hues and symbols of the new season that is upon us. There are several holidays, including the Fourth of July, that present the opportunity to show off your love for America. But don’t fret the techniques involved in mixing star-spangled patterns; we’ve broken down the top 7 methods to successfully pledge allegiance to your own personal style!
- Fly the Flag: For those looking to set off their own fireworks this fourth, avoid merely wrapping yourself in a cotton, polyester or nylon flag and instead pick up a piece that will make Lady Liberty herself jealous. Show off the melodic arrangement of red, white and blue, stars and stripes, allowing your individuality to shine through like the rockets’ red glare. From hats to pants, shoes and more, retailers are finding new and unique ways to print the patriotic symbol on all sorts of wearables. In other words, there will be plenty of options to choose from, so take your time and find the one that speaks to your personality. Francesca’s American Flag Pocket Tee & Americana Stars & Stripes Kimono are incredible pieces that will reflect your respectful nature. Worn with a simple pair of denim shorts and understated accessories, this ensemble is effortless and worthy of a four-star general.
- Stars: Show off your national pride in a colorful, star print romper. Although this trendy style makes us [at least those old enough to remember] flashback to the 90s, it’s showing up in storefronts from sea to shining sea. With different variations available – one piece or two, belted, wrapped or otherwise – this frock can be worn by many age groups and shapes alike. Plus, it allows you to spend the holiday in comfort as you hop from picnic to party, boat to beach. New York & Company offers the Tie-Waist Romper in navy or red with miniature star print and is finished with a flattering waist cinching self-tie detail, classic shirt collar, partial button front closure and front patch pockets.
- Stripes: Although not always worn with confidence, the standard horizontal stripe is a staple of maritime months. Established long before a tea party was thrown in Boston, this conservative design can be worn by any age and thereby can most likely be found in an American-inspired color pallet carefully selected by your favorite retailer. Plus, you can extend the life of these pieces by incorporating them into a post-summer collection with additional layers, in solid colors of course. Buckle’s foil stripe tank offers an unexpected twist on this conceptually typical style. The combination of stripes with the lacy feature instills onlookers with intrigue and adventure, making it possible for any fun-loving and youthful feme to attend even the most free-spirited outdoor party with enthusiasm.
- Summer Whites: When graduations and weddings with sparklers are a weekly occurrence, it’s safe to say that white can make its official debut in your wardrobe. Skirts, shorts & even denim are common, but don’t shy away from a beautiful blouse just because you’re frightened of letting a little mustard slip off your brat and onto your bosom. Add flair with texture or cutouts for an edgier version and compliment with colorful accessories for an outfit that will surely let freedom ring. We love the Embroidered Floral Top from Ann Taylor. With a jewel neck and short sleeves, this look can be completed with a pair of navy cropped pants, cute red stilettos and accent necklace. When it’s all put together, you’ll look like first-lady fashion icon Jackie O, and that’s an accomplishment to brag about!
- Polka Dots: The red-blooded history of the polka dot is fascinating and honestly deserves a blog all of its own, but for now we’ll share the cliff notes. Several sources report America’s love affair with the polka dot beginning in 1926 when Miss America was photographed in a polka dot swimsuit. The sultry romance was endorsed in 1928 when Disney created Minnie Mouse with her memorable red and white polka dot dress. In fact, the LA Times told its readers that year that “you can sign your fashion life away on the polka-dotted line, and you’ll never regret it.” Many combinations exist within the spectrum of red, white and blue which make finding satisfyingly spotted attire a fairly easy assignment. The Dashing Navy Dots Shirtdress from Talbots is stunning. And fellow shoe connoisseurs, you will want to dress up this look with a solid red wedge.
- Color blocking: If you’re looking to incorporate your love of country into the professional arena, there are many applications including color blocking that can communicate your sense of mindful fashion. This technique blends the biggest colors of the season, even if they are opposites, and arranges them together in the most contrasting way imaginable. Red, white and blue tend to make sense to the brain in the context of patriotism but oftentimes are overlooked when planning your work-week wardrobe. Embrace the chance to push the comfortable boundaries of the standard black, brown and neutral workplace dress code and you’re sure to be the topic of conversation at the water cooler – for all the right reasons of course. J.Crew Petite Rhodes blazer & pencil skirt in red is as graceful and unforgettable as Annette Bening in The American President. The exquisite seam detailing throughout, fully-lined interior make these pieces worthy of the investment. Finish with a broach adorned with crystals and you might even qualify to be president herself.
- Denim: What do McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola and denim have in common? They are staples of American pop culture, a way of life for so many of us. So if you’ve gotten to this point in the article and are still stumped as to how you are going to pull off a red carpet worthy look, simply fall back to the old adage: “When in doubt, defer to denim.” Choices in washes and colors have expanded over the last twelve months with the resurgence of the must-have material, providing possible alternatives to the more traditional red, white and blue apparel. A widespread affinity for the denim-on-denim trend has also grown, especially as industry leaders have taken to utilizing the fabric in so many of their everyday ready-to-wear collections, thereby solving the ‘what to wear’ dilemma with a mix and match game that is more fun to play than the classic Nintendo game system. A denim shirtdress is lightweight and Belk sells one complimented by a curved hem and pocket at left chest. Paired with their Americana scarf and leather sandals and even Princess Peach herself would agree that this look is red-blooded perfection!
So cheers to the land of the free, the home of the brave and the love of all things fashion! May your parties be stylish, your friends plentiful & your outfits take you well into the dawn’s early light. Happy 4th of July!
Story by Paige Somervell
About the Author: As you can see Paige loves all things fashion, but she is also passionate about sports, with the Carolina Panthers being her #1 team and rightly so, they made it to the SuperBowl. Whether she is at work or at play she is always in style.