Whether your Memorial Day plans are a casual family barbecue or a cocktail party at the yacht club, dressing patriotic chic will put you in the mood to gather with friends and family on this special holiday. What is “patriotic chic?” To be chic is to dress with style and elegance. Chic can be trendy or classic, but it is never over the top or gaudy. Dressing chic with a patriotic flair means different things to different people and depends on the event you’re dressing for. But one thing it does not mean is to dress head-to-toe in red, white and blue or prints that replicate the American flag.
One way to show your patriotism on Memorial Day is to dress in clothes made by American designers and/or manufactured by American workers. Choose a pair of blue jeans made by Levi Strauss, Wrangler or Lee and top it with a white T-shirt from J. Crew or L.L. Bean if you’re attending a picnic or casual get together. Even if your outfit isn’t overtly patriotic, you will feel very chic knowing that your clothes were made in America and provided jobs for U.S. workers. Ralph Lauren is well-known for designing men’s and women’s clothes with a casual “Americana” style that may not scream patriotic but are definitely chic.
For a more formal event, select your outfit from Brooks Brothers or DKNY. A sleeveless red dress can be dressed up or down according to your needs. Include some layered gold chains, gold earrings, a dark-blue cashmere sweater and a pair of red heels if you need an evening outfit. Accessorize the same dress with flat metallic-toned sandals in gold, bronze or platinum, a white scarf and metallic hoop earrings for a dressy daytime look.
You can rock the nautical trend this Memorial Day for a chic look that is both patriotic and on point for summer. Nautical-style clothes include items that are inspired by naval wear such as pea coats, bell bottom pants and striped T-shirts. To carry off this trend without looking like you’re appearing in the chorus of Guys and Dolls, choose one nautical focal point and layer it with less stylized pieces or unexpected colors. For instance, wear your white, nautical wide-legged shorts with a blazer-cut jean jacket and yellow top or pair a navy-and-white striped T-shirt dress with gold sandals and accessories.
Dressing patriotic chic can be as much about what you don’t do as it is about what you do. Avoid using red, white and blue in the same outfit. Choose one or two of these patriotic colors and accent them with something more neutral or subdued; like using a brown leather belt with your navy blue pants. Keep embellishments to a minimum. Items like flag jewelry, star-spangled socks or red, white and blue striped shoes may be fun and perfectly appropriate for certain events, but are not necessarily chic.
Remember that chic is not busy or loud. Chic won’t go out of style next season. When choosing your patriotic chic outfit this Memorial Day, ask yourself if you were to look back on photos of yourself next year would you wonder what you were thinking? If the answer is yes then reconsider your clothing choices. Set a goal to dress chic with a patriotic flair and you're sure to look fabulous.