Fashion on the Fourth: bright colors, stylish accessories

I love to go all out on the Fourth of July, dressing up in one of my favorite color combinations — red, white and blue. When you get ready on the Fourth, keep in mind where you’ll be going (barbeques, boating, fireworks, pool parties, drinks downtown…), but most of all, have fun.

Read the style tips below for some perfectly patriotic outfit ideas:

Pool party or day at the lake:

If you’re planning to spend all day in the water, look for a stars-and stripes swimsuit. If it seems too over-the-top, wear your favorite navy or red suit instead. Also, many tops and bottoms made for the Fourth of July can be mixed and matched (striped bottoms, striped tops, star-patterned bottoms and tops). If you want a suit that you can wear for the rest of the summer, consider purchasing two tops or bottoms with the same pattern so that you can wear a matching set on the other 364 days of the year. Check out some cute, basic swimming suits by Eres (my favorite is a high-waisted, solid red bikini with simple, feminine details).

Also, if you’re feeling crafty, check out “How to Create Your Own Fourth of July Bathing Suits” on eHow. Author Gail Cohen provides a step-by-step guide for adorning any swimsuit with nautical buttons, silver edging, stars, stripes and even bald eagles!

Backyard barbeque:

Fourth of July parties with relatives and friends are usually fun, light-hearted and casual. For this celebration, basic and comfortable favorites are the best dress code. A cute top and a pair of cutoffs is easy and cute. If shorts aren’t your thing, a sundress with sandals is another great option. Dress up these simple looks with straw hats, espadrilles, gold jewelry and red nail polish.

One more thing — I always think about pesky mosquitoes when I’m getting dressed and ready on the Fourth of July. If you are loading up your car and driving out of town — or even across town — don’t forget to pack some extra items for nighttime. Throw a pair of jeans, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and some closed-toed shoes in the car in case your country-picnic turns into an all-nighter.

More fun ideas:

• Nautical-inspired clothing and accessories are stylish and patriotic. Think wide-leg trousers, blue and white striped shirts, cute white purses and tortoise-shell sunglasses (OK, OK …the sunglasses may not be totally sailor, but they would look great!).

• A straw purse is country-chic and perfect for carrying your camera, water-bottle, cell phone and sunscreen.

• Look for all-American clothing by designer Tommy Hilfiger. Find patriotic polos and shirts on And check out American Apparel for year-round basics and plenty of red, white and blue to wear on the Fourth of July.


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