The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated days of the year: summer has officially begun, kids are out of school, and your social calendar is on full blast. Whether you’ve been stocking away everything red, white and blue for months, or didn’t even realize this birthday bash was just around the corner, what to wear will be the easiest thing to tackle on your to-do list.

Do I hear disbelief in your voice? Resembling the flag is not necessary, unless of course that’s your goal. This color combo has staying power and, with some creativity, will keep you looking chic all year long.

So, how will you decide what to wear? Begin your plan of attack with the activities on your agenda. Will you be barbecuing in the backyard or basking in the sun at the beach? Maybe you’ll be playing tourist in another town or planning a night out with friends to watch the fireworks. Whatever your plans entail, finding a stylish way to celebrate will make your day that much sweeter.

With that goal in mind, below are a few fresh ideas for looking less like The Star Spangled Banner and more like a style patriot.

Style Patriot

1. Work Wear Holiday

I’m a big proponent of getting as much mileage from a wardrobe as possible. Not only do you get more for your money, but it’s also a fun way to exercise your creative styling chops. New additions to anyone’s closet always feels exciting because they are exactly that: new.

But just because you’ve always worn certain clothes to the office or paired them a particular way, doesn’t mean that’s the only option.  Consider taking more traditional “work-wear” out for the holiday. For example, this skirt is office appropriate but instead of flats paired with a button down, I swapped in a crop top and statement heels. Changes like this will give you a fun holiday look that’s stylish and unexpected. This is a great option if you’re heading to a party or meeting up with friends for a night out.  

Style Patriot

2. Get Minimal with Color

Let’s say minimal is more your speed. You keep things in your life easy-peasy without a lot of fuss, which translates to your personal style as well. If you appreciate a clean palette, then keeping it minimal with one color is a super stylish option. An all-white outfit is on trend, modern and super fresh for summer, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer, go with all blue for a casual chic feel or try something bolder with all red. Once you’ve chosen a base color move on to accessories.

As seen here with my all-white attire, I added red sunglasses and a striped blue bag, but this look can be adapted for whatever color palette or overall style you choose. If you’re heading to the beach or a BBQ, this will keep your look relaxed and easy.

Style Patriot

3. Play in Prints

Some people live by the hard and fast rule that Fourth of July style can only involve the 3 S’s: stripes, solids and stars. Those may certainly be a more traditional choice, but fashion and style are not driven by tradition.
Instead, be a trendsetter and carve your own style path. Prints and patterns are especially popular for summer with their fun and festive feel. This is a perfect opportunity to combine traditionally patriotic colors with quirky prints for an out of the box holiday look.  It’s not that prints are groundbreaking on their own, but they’re generally not associated with the Fourth of July.

When you look closely, you may notice this print is actually of sailboats, but arranged in such a way that it’s not initially obvious. Though it happens to be nautical, any print or pattern involving red, white or blue will do. Since this dress combined blue and white, I added red shoes to complete the look. This would be a great option for playing tourist or just a fun day with friends and family.

Do you have memories of red, white and blue gone wrong? Or maybe you’ve been told this stylish combo is like a unicorn – just a figment of your imagination. No matter the reason it’s time to show everyone you can rock this look by breathing new life into this colorful trio. The best part? Not only will you look amazing on our country’s birthday, but these looks are also easy to sport during the other 364 days of the year. Become a style patriot and set off your own stylish fireworks!

Nicole Gordan

Excited by style in all its forms, Nicole Gordon is the author and creator of the blog Manners and Moxie, where she documents her style journey with travel photography and anything else capturing her fancy. Her career has been spent in the travel industry and as a stylist in San Francisco, where she currently lives. Nicole grew up in South Carolina surrounded by antiques, but is also enamored with clean lines and architectural details. Drawn to the juxtaposition of opposites, Nicole is both Manners AND Moxie! She believes what you wear should reflect who you want to be, and that much like travel, discovering style should be an exciting adventure.

Nicole is part of The Opener, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture, and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey.