The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. Our family always spends the Fourth in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It is a quaint little harbor town, aka “God’s country,” that swells to ten times its size on its most popular day of the year. With the parade, the art fair, the fireworks over the harbor, and tunes of “America the Beautiful" floating from the church, this picturesque harbor town is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. (These were many of the reasons we chose to get married here at this time of year, but more on that later.) Many of my nearly fifty first cousins come to visit and enjoy the ideal northern Michigan weather, meaning there is no shortage of fun, from backyard volleyball to ice cream bike rides to Yummies. In my opinion, there is no better place to celebrate America. With such an emphasis on the Fourth, it comes as no surprise that Independence Day outfits are highly anticipated in Harbor Springs.
The Fancy Outfit
While cut-offs and a tee are the classic look for Independence Day, I always love to dress it up a little. Most of my Fourth of July outfits have been dresses, as they are nice and breezy in the July heat. If you find any dress with red and blue—even if you think the style or the fabric is slightly too fancy for the Fourth—dare to wear it! With red nails, a red bow, red-framed sunglasses, or "just little red lipstick" (like I’m wearing here) a red and blue dress is sure to be perfect for a patriotic picnic or parade. Bonus points for a flare that challenges the flares in the night sky.
- Styling with a little grace: The flare at the bottom of this dress takes it from schoolgirl plaid to party. While the stretch cotton allows it to be worn casually, this English Factory number has serious re-wearability thanks to the flare at the bottom. I'm already planning to wear this dress to a wedding this summer, and can't wait to see it twirl on the dance floor.
- Styling with a little grace: These white eyelet shoes complete the red, white, and blue ensemble while their slingback kitten heel maintains the retro vibe of the dress. The real cherry on top, though, is the hand-stiched fireworks on the coin purse that was hand-crafted by the uber-talented, Caili Dalian of Dilly Dalian.
The Nautical Outfit
I know many Americans spend their Independence Day lakeside (like we do), on either coast, or at the pool, which is why this nautical number is so fitting for the Fourth. While the sail boats and nautical striped shorts scream patriotism and parades, the outfit is equally comfortable and versatile for a game of backyard whiffleball or volleyball (I can attest to this). Bump, set, spike.
Styling with a little grace: Going for a victory dip after the volleyball game? The red and white striped shorts work perfectly with a navy and white one-piece swimsuit, like mine in this post, which can double as a top.
Styling with a little grace: I throw on a linen white blazer to make this fun summer look a bit more polished, or if the weather turns chilly on me. I bought this whole outfit a few summers back at J.Crew Factory (the just-as-cute but won't-break-the-bank version of J.Crew). The holiday weekend is a great time to stock up on your red, white, and blue. But don't you dare buy anything there full price—they are known for big sales, especially around holidays (we're talking 30%-60% off).
The Outfit Already in Your Closet
In a time-crunch before the Fourth, but looking at your closet thinking "I have nothing to wear"? Well, I bet you've got some of this. If you have any striped article of clothing—shirt, shorts, dress, or romper—in any shade of blue—baby blue, periwinkle, royal blue, true blue, or navy—then you have an outfit for the Fourth. Most women have blue and white stripes of some sort sitting in their closest, but simply overlook them. Just like this stretchy, packable Saint James striped dress that doubles as a cover-up, all you need is a patriotic or red headpiece, and you're off to the races.
- Styling with a little grace: Missing red, white, or blue? Grab a patriotic headband, like this turban style from The Quiet Sunshine Shop (my college roommate's Etsy store!) to complete your Independence Day look. My headband was at my doorstep just two days after ordering, and it fits the music festival trend that is all the rage right now, too.
The Night-Time Fireworks Outfit
Whatever you wear during the day, the American flag scarf is sure to match your red, white, and blue (isn’t that the point?). For less than $10 this patriotic scarf can take your outfit from day-time barbecuing to night-time fireworks, without compromising style. I just ordered one for my mom (surprise, Mom!) because she was eyeing mine on Memorial Day.
Styling with a little grace: Still too hot for white jeans? Substitute white shorts instead. A button-up can be easily rolled up or unbuttoned a little to accommodate the heat. The scarf can serve as both an accessory to keep you warm, or a blanket to sit on in the grass when watching the sky explode
Styling with a little grace: This look can easily be reversed if you don’t have white jeans or a blue/chambray shirt. Just throw on a white tee and jeans (I know you have that!) and this flag scarf will tie it all together and take the look from blasé to beautiful.
With a little grace,
Happy Fourth of July! Please share comments below! I am happy to provide more outfit details or recommendations on where to buy, if desired. A huge thank you to Ashley Bernet for beautifully photographing all four outfits! (All photos courtesy of Ashley Bernet)