I love holiday-themed food and decor. I’m not so fond of holiday-themed clothing, like turkey print scarves at Thanksgiving or Santa sweaters at Christmas. I don’t mind a tiny heart print for Valentine’s Day but mostly because hearts are relevant all year around. Most of the time, I advise sending greeting cards, not dressing like them. There’s only one holiday that entices me to break my fashion rule and dress like a party theme. That holiday is Independence Day. On the fourth of July, I’m all about red, white and blue.
Hypocrisy, you say? Hang on, let me explain.
First of all, I will admit that I do get a little caught up in this patriotic celebration because the U.S. is my adopted home. I’ve lived in countries with less freedom, justice, and opportunity, so I am grateful to be here. But this is not meant to be a political blog, so let me explain the fashion reasons why I break my own rule for this holiday: Red, white and blue is simply a striking but easy combination. It works for a number of complexions, body types, and ages.
The Right Shade Of Red
I’ve written about red before in my post What To Wear With Red. It was a popular color for spring and continues through the summer (and apparently appeals to the majority of men). Some of us love the color and would be willing to wear it from head to toe, but others find it intimidating. The trick is to find the right shade of red. Red can be light and bright, bold and true, or dark and stormy. The right red for you depends on your personality, the season, and your hair and skin color.
To find the right shade of red, try on a few different red tops and decide what you (or a trusted observer) find flattering to your skin tone and hair color. You can also have a color analysis done. I still refer to the tried and true Color Me Beautiful system. To learn more, read this post: 3 Colors To Buy Before Spring Arrives.
The Right Shade Of White
If you’ve ever picked out white paint for your home, you know how white can be deceiving! Standing alone, a paint chip may look white, but next to pure white (such as “ceiling white”) you’ll see that it is actually green or yellow or gray.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have darker skin and hair you can wear pure white. If you have a fair complexion, you may want to look for an ivory (yellowish white) or champagne (pinkish white). Have you already shopped for a white wedding dress? Then you probably already know your ideal white.
I used to only wear pure white as it complimented my darker skin and hair. I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, pure white looks too stark, and makes my eyes and teeth look more yellow. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at whites (especially anything you wear near your face).
The Right Shade of Blue
I’ll make this one really simple. Most shades of dark blue are flattering for everyone, they’re seasonless and tend to be slimming. Easy.
Red, White And Blue Color Mix
A simple formula to wear red, white and blue together is this:
- Hero color: pick the main color (for items like a dress, pants, or jacket or a top that just stands out).
- Side-kick color: pick the accent color (for items like a basic t-shirt, shorts or short skirt)
- Accessory color: pick the color that you use in small touches to finish the look (nail polish, part of a print, jewelry)
For me, the hero is almost always blue, the side-kick is usually white, and the accent is red.
Outfit 1: blue skirt (hero) + pure white t-shirt (side-kick) + true red earrings and nail polish (accessories).
Outfit 2: navy midi skirt (hero) + off-white wrap top (side-kick) + coral red printed handbag (accessory).
The skirt seems to have sold out since I ordered it last week, but you can still buy a midi-dress or a sheath dress in navy eyelet from Banana Republic. For handbags in the same print as mine, take a look at Kate Spade New York.
Outfit 3: orange-red camisole (hero) + navy shorts (side-kick) + ivory sandals (accessory)
As much as I love red, this season, designers have used an orange-red or coral red, and I look much better in darker reds. This camisole works for me because the orange-red is in a print. I wouldn’t wear this color in a solid top as it just doesn’t flatter my skin tone.
Pick your hero color based on what is most flattering to your coloring and what you feel most comfortable wearing.
One More Reason Fashionistas Love July 4th
Now here’s the other reason to love July 4th. While most of us think of it as the beginning of summer, retailers are seeing it as the end. Yes, my friends, summer sales have begun and are especially steep for swimsuits, straw accessories, and sandals. You’ll also find red, white and blue pieces that you can wear all summer long, and into the fall.
As always, let me know in the comments below if there’s something you’re looking for and I’ll start searching. I shop every day, so you don’t have to!
Happy Independence Day!