Sunshine, fireworks, BBQ's, music, liberty… among the many things that I love about Independence Day is that although the holiday lacks a formal dress code, somehow the Fourth of July demands a little attention to detail from its patriotic observers.

In the spirit of Fourth of July fashion, I have taken the liberty of making a little outfit guideline that may be helpful or inspiring when planning out an outfit for any one of the following typical Fourth celebrations. Bonus points if something red, white, AND blue makes an appearance in your outfit for the Fourth!

1. The barbeque: A social gathering inspired by grilled food, cold drinks, and good company calls for an outfit as relaxed as the atmosphere. And as I have been known to say, nothing says "casual chic" quite like a maxi dress. How to style: Layer on some big bangles or a long necklace, step into some summery wedges, and top it all off with a cool fedora-like hat.

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Chevron Maxi Dress: Gap. Espadrille Wedge Sandal: Stuart Weitzman (Nordstrom) was: $298 now: $177.90. Hat: Halogen (Nordstrom) $28. 

2. The clambake: Two words: white pants. No summer wardrobe is complete without a pair of tried-and-true white pants. Just about anything will look sharp with a pair. How to style: White top on white bottoms is a classic combination that will be just as dressed up as your dressiest accessory. A bold color or fun print top will provide a playful contrast to the stark white bottoms. A striped sailor top will never steer you wrong when paired with... well, anything,  #trustme. Finally, a crisp tunic will look great too, and provide a little extra coverage. However, *keep in mind that if the top is loose-fitting and flowy, the bottoms should be slim.

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My Go-To White Jean: AG Stevie Straight (Anthropologie) $164.

3. The beach/pool/lake/boat: Yes, bathing suit shopping can be a bit of a daunting process, but trust me, it is far better to subject yourself to the process early on and find a suit that is comfortable and flattering, than to avoid the situation completely. The latter will only ensure that when your friends plan an impromptu day of beach/pool/lake/boat, you will be kicking yourself for not having done so, which may lead to funny tan lines as you may be less likely to remove your bathing suit cover-up. When trying on suits, branch out and try styles that you consider "out there", it may just be your most flattering style...

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Swimsuit: Badgley Mischka (Swim'n Sport) $110. Beach Cover-Up: J. Crew $68.

 

...You might see me strolling around Boston taking my own advice in a maxi dress, my new fedora-like hat which is pictured above and after many failed attempts at finding a fedora that fit my head (why are they all so small?), I stumbled upon this one when I was looking for sunglasses... #truelovehappenswhenyouleastexpectit, and some espadrilles. What are you planning on wearing?