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J Crew Nolita Jacket in White

Whether you prefer spending your holiday weekend at a backyard cookout, a cocktail soiree, or on a sandy beach, chances are you'll want to good.  Sporting some stars and stripes without looking cheesy can be tough, and it's usually best not to go too literal (i.e. that flag baseball cap circa 1986).  Take this as an opportunity to declare you independence from any poor fashion choices!  These summer trends are so hot, they'll have you turning heads even under the biggest fireworks display.  

The Basics

Focus on putting together an ensemble that is appropriate for the season and wouldn't have you looking out of place any other day.  One of the best ways to integrate Red, White, and Blue into your wardrobe without looking like you wandered off from an Independence Day parade, is to start with a foundation of two colors and then accessorize with the third.  Patterns and stripes are in full force this Summer, so finding pieces that combine basic colors is easy and will have you looking fashion-forward to boot. Nautically-inspired pieces exude classic American flavor,  and tailored

pants are perfectly chic for a breezy Summer evening.  Marc Jacobs' 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck sweater and Classic Pant are a great balance of preppy and modern, and a bare midriff screams Summer (reason #46 to hit the gym).

Marc Jacobs Stripe Boatneck Sweater and Pants
Marc Jacobs Stripe Boatneck Sweater and Pants
Equipment Slim Signature Star Print Shirt
Equipment Slim Signature Star Print Shirt

For an all-American backyard cookout complete with brats and beer, a long button-down shirt is a great way to go casual but still look put together.  Linen, denim, and silk are ideal for staying cool in the sweltering summer heat.  Equipment's Slim Signature shirt offers a long, feminine fit in silk and the Star Print option is a match made in patriot heaven. Roll up the sleeves and throw one on over a pair of shorts, capris or even as a bathing suit cover-up.

DVF Janey Printed Chiffon Dress
DVF Janey Printed Chiffon Dress
BCBG Eleanora Asymmetrical Evening Gown
BCBG Eleanora Asymmetrical Evening Gown

If watching the fireworks on an evening cruise or at a beach-side dinner is more your style, you can do no wrong with a breezy wrap-dress.  A tailored fit will keep you looking sophisticated, but stick to a shorter hemline so you don't look like you belong at the office.  Diane Von Furstenburg's Janey Printed Chiffon Dress is both dressed up and flirtatious with details like a side ruffle, belt, and back neck tie.

Sometimes a girl will look for any excuse to put on a party dress, and the 4th of July is no exception.  Even if your idea of celebrating your independence is a decadent night out, there's no reason why you shouldn't express your patriotic spirit.  Bold colors like red and blue are favorites for evening wear any time of year, and white looks stunning against a good tan.  Try something that incorporates draping and transparent silhouettes like BCBG's Eleanora Asymmetrical Evening Gown for a look that's sexy and glamorous.

The Shoes

Valentino Couture Patent Leather Bow d'Orsay Pump
Valentino Couture Patent Leather Bow d'Orsay Pump

Pair your outfit with shoes that complete your red, white, and blue theme.  Wedges and espadrilles are a versatile choice that compliment any summer ensemble.  A comfy pair of Converse are always in style if you want to keep things ultra casual, and they even feature a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Star's in Flag print.  If you plan on going glam from head to toe, pick a pair that has some sparkle or shine, like Valentino's Couture Patent Leather Bow d'Orsay Pumps.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star's in Flag Print
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star's in Flag Print

Finishing Touches

Milly Addison Tote
Milly Addison Tote

Accessories are always a necessity and in this case they're a great way to add in the third color to complete your theme.  Have fun playing with your look, throwing in everything from trendy hairpieces to funky jewelry - get creative!  Paint your nails in alternating red, white, and blue, and throw in some celebratory glitter.  Handbags add an extra touch of style to even the most casual outfit, so ditch the promotional beach-bag you got at the makeup counter and opt for something more special.  Milly's Addison Tote is big enough to carry all your essentials and the cut-out details give it a Summer-friendly vibe (instead of heavier leather bags that are best reserved for cooler months).  Throw on a string of pearls to add in white with a touch of Upper East Side flavor, or combine more color by layering bangles or a leather bracelet like the Tory Burch Logo Wide Double Snap Cuff.

Tory Burch Logo Wide Double Snap Cuff, ($125)
Tory Burch Logo Wide Double Snap Cuff, ($125)

Be ready for an evening breeze by having a cardigan or jacket on hand.  A traditional American favorite, denim is always in style and can be easily paired with most looks.  Instead of a classic wash, J. Crew's Nolita Jacket in white offers a  modern, Hamptons-chic twist.

J Crew Nolita Jacket in White, ($128)
J Crew Nolita Jacket in White, ($128)
Alexander McQueen Studded Sunglasses
Alexander McQueen Studded Sunglasses
American Apparel Floppy Summer Hat in Red
American Apparel Floppy Summer Hat in Red

Since no summer look would be complete without a pair of shades, protect your bright-eyes from the suns rays in some colored frames.  Gold embellishments on a pair of Alexander McQueen Studded Sunglasses add some festive flair.  If you really want to create some shade, show confidence that will rival even the most photo-savvy starlets by throwing on a bold Floppy Summer Hat from American Apparel (the bonus: this hat comes in more colors than a box of crayons).

No matter how you pair you Independence Day look, the most important thing (as always) is to have fun with it!   And don't worry about being to matchy-matchy; this is one day you can afford to get away with a specific theme.  Happy 4th, fashion friends!