How to Dress Cool in Red, White, and Blue


Summer is a colorful season. Blooming flowers, green grass, crystal blue swimming pools, vibrant beach towels, and all-day sunshine make for a constant kaleidoscope of colors. For many, the 4th of July holiday is the focal point of the summer, and few hues symbolize the sunshine season quite like red, white, and blue. As the temperature rises, you'll need some airy summer clothes to keep you cool. It's easy when you incorporate natural fiber materials to create star-spangled outfits for the whole family that are both stylish and comfortable.

Patriotic Apparel:

  1. Red cotton: The classic T-shirt is a wardrobe staple and a crew neck or V-neck option in red is a perfect complement to blue jeans and 4th of July style. Still not cool enough? Look for a stylish cotton tank in red, white, or blue or a printed top with the three patriotic colors combined into stripes or a print; it's a perfect Independence Day look.

  2. White linen: Made of flax fiber, linen wicks away moisture and absorbs sunlight to keep you cool when the temperature soars. In its pure form, it tends to easily wrinkle. Choose linen-blend fabrics for a look that provides the same breezy cooling effect with less wrinkling. Linen pants or shorts are a great option.

  3. Blue denim: There's nothing more American than blue jeans. Stick to jeans in a lighter wash and a looser fit; your dark, skinny jeans could end up being stiflingly hot. Of course, denim shorts or cut-offs are always a great summer basic for the whole family.

  4. Silk anything: If you're looking for a look that's a bit more dressed up, opt for silk in any piece of clothing. Silk provides a smooth, body-skimming fit that feels cool against the skin in even the most sweltering heat. Silk blends also provide all the same slinky coolness with the benefit of added breathability. Pair a silk top in red, white, or blue with a pair of blue denim cutoffs for a cool and comfortable summer look.

  5. Canvas shoes: Warm weather and soft grass make it tempting to walk around barefoot all summer, but a stylish pair of sandals is a great way to tie together any summer look. Canvas espadrilles and boat shoes are lightweight and breathable enough to wear without socks. A pair of blue and white striped wedges or flats would complement the season well. Canvas sneakers are good choices for kids, especially if you choose slip-on styles that don't need to be worn with socks.

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Updated December 12, 2014