Is There a Sophisticated Wayto Wear Red, White, and Blue?


Your Fourth of July fashion questions answered.

In this week’s Fashion Q &A,’s style editor answers all your questions about how to look cute and patriotic this Fourth of July.
Q: Is it cheesy to wear American flag prints on the Fourth of July?
A: Not really. Sure, it’s a little costume-y, but who cares? It’s fun and it will help you and the people around you to get in the spirit. 
Clockwise from left: American Flag Leggings, ASOS CURVE, $35;American Flag Cape, FREE PEOPLE$148; American Flag Shorts,MOD CLOTH, $35; American Flag Cutoff Shorts, NASTY GAL, $58; Star-Print Sweater, WILDFOX, $128; American Flag Tennis Shoe, AMERICAN APPAREL, $46; Red, White, and Blue Bandeau, VOLCOM, $50 
Q: Is there a sophisticated way to wear red, white, and blue?
A: I’m a big fan of going all out and embracing the wilder, more theatrical side of holiday dressing (see above), but there are certainly ways to dress patriotically without wrapping yourself in a giant American flag:

1. Instead of stars and stripes, try plaids, polka dots, florals, and solid-color clothes and accessories. And if you do decide to go for the traditional star and stripe prints, look for ones that are a little more delicate, like tiny stars and narrow stripes.
2. Choose shades and tones of red, white, and blue that are different from the ones on the actual flag — brighter, softer, darker, whatever.
3. Mix in other prints and colors so that the red, white, and blue is just a part of your look and not the whole thing.
4. Add textures like lace, leather, and eyelet to make the whole look feel a little less flat and flag-like.
5. Build your look around either red, white, or blue, and use the other colors — or even just one of them — as accents.
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Q: Can I wear my swimsuit to a Fourth of July party if they don’t have a pool?
A: If you are planning to layer your swimsuit with other pieces, then sure — click here for some specific ideas on just how to pull it off.

Q: My boyfriend’s parents are throwing a fancy barbeque on the Fourth. What do you wear to a fancy barbecue?
A: It’s probably just like any other garden party, but with a little less denim. Just steer clear of cutoffs and flip-flops and you will be fine. Also, for your own sake and the sake of your host’s lawn, leave the stilettos at home and go for either flats or a nice, chunky heel or wedge, which is less likely to sink into the grass.

Q: I love all these red, white, and blue and American flag clothes and accessories, but I feel like I can only wear them on the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Is there a way to make them work the rest of the year?
A: Totally! Just because they get sold a lot around the Fourth, doesn’t mean they are as holiday-specific as, say, a Christmas tree print would be. Use them as layering pieces so they don’t dominate your look or wear other attention-grabbing prints, embellishments, and accessories to try to draw the eye.
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