I love the idea of celebrating the Fourth of July: What’s not to like about a couple days off work, spending time by an ocean (or a lake or a pool; I’m really not picky), and eating delicious barbecue. It all sounds great… until I remember that I really don’t want to spend major dollars on suitably festive apparel I’ll wear once and then bury in my closet for another 364 days.
My gut tells me no one will be surprised that H&M is coming to the rescue with its aptly named 4th It Up collection, complete with affordable apparel ranging from subtly themed pieces to full-on Americana. I haven’t decided how committed I am to the patriotic palette just yet, but in the meantime, I’ve created five cool outfits for the upcoming holiday that are very much free of buyer’s remorse. Now time to shop…
The Mood: When you’re spending the holiday in the city but still would like people to know you’re patriotic AF.
The Outfit: Since you’re not lounging at the beach making s’mores with a bandana in your hair, you’ll want to swap that bikini-and–flip-flops combo for a dress-and-sneaker outfit worthy of a day off work. Layer the knotted tee and retro-tourist-vibe cap for a look that won’t make you miserable in the humidity, and can take you from afternoon hangs to evening fireworks in a snap.
The Mood: When you’re really only showing up because you were promised burgers and ice cream.
The Outfit: To get away with looking on-theme with absolute minimal effort, throw on this little cropped USA cami with your usual go-to summer pieces: clear acetate sunnies, a chic straw tote, white sandals, and tidy denim shorts. The best part is you can reinvent this look all summer long by just rotating in your favorite T-shirt, puffy-sleeve blouse, or scrunch top.
The Mood: When you score an invite on your friend-of-a-friend’s beach party, but there’s no way you plan on being talked into partaking in any water sports.
The Outfit: A beach day requires three things: sand-friendly slides, a tote you can find your sunscreen in, and a cute, protective sunhat that will stay attached to your head. Swap out these cute day shorts for your fave high-waisted denim and you can wear this look all summer long.
The Mood: When you’re hosting this year’s July 4th bash and your invite specifically says, “Dress Code: Red, white, and blue!”
The Outfit: You don’t take themes lightly, so now is the time to break out all manner of American attire, sparing no details. Since the epic bash you’re throwing will go deep into the evening (because fire works, duh), that NASA sweatshirt you’ll tie around your waist all day will become very useful when the sun sets. Plus, the bandana is easily transferable to the body of person who arrives claiming they “forgot” to dress up.
The Mood: When the Fourth of July is not really your thing (but a five-day weekend most definitely is).
The Outfit: You’d rather be spending the long weekend somewhere on the Italian coast, but you’ll settle for your friend’s yacht club. The red-and-white–striped bodysuit in this look says “Hey, I remembered why we’re all here eating an array of barbecue together,” while the accessories say “I’m most definitely prepared to hop on a catamaran, should the opportunity present itself.”
The Total: $111