July 4 colors keep well in the closet
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
Red, white and blue are at the heart of the Fourth of July holiday. Mix them. Embrace them. Wear them — and do it again on July 5. You can do it all year long.
The colors are a classic combination that celebrates summertime in all its glory, say style experts, and it's infinitely more wearable than the other pairings that define other specific days on the calendar. Together, the shades are chic not costume-y, a much higher risk with, say, the orange and black of Halloween.
“Red, white and blue are iconic,” said Tommy Hilfiger, who weaves the colors into seemingly every collection no matter the season or trend. “These colors reflect freedom, optimism and a youthful spirit.”
And, added Tim Baxter, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of apparel at Macy's, the colors aren't just a source of American pride. The Brits and French also use it for their flags, he notes: “It's a very bold and powerful color combination.”
The crispness of the colors — and the sharp contrast they offer — works in their favor, explained Alia Ahmed-Yahia, chief style director of the Loft. It's not the same with other holiday-specific palettes.
First of all, she said, it's grounded in white, which is an easy base for any summer outfit. White is flattering to most people, it's polished but not severe like a black would be.
Baxter said navy is getting its due as a fashion color, too, and shoppers are using it as they would a black. “I think we're shifting into a period of fashion where navy will become a more influential base color throughout the year.”
Whatever it is, choose “a hero color,” Ahmed-Yahia said. “You don't have to be equal parts red, white and blue.”
A red headband or scarf ties an everyday white T-shirt and jeans into a barbecue outfit.
Colorblocking remains a strong trend in fashion now, too, and that works with red, white and blue. Think mod — and use white as the ground.
There's a way to keep it all feeling fresh, even if it's familiar, Hilfiger said. “Over the years I've looked at the iconic color palette in so many ways — we used rich burgundy and deep navy for fall while royal blue and ‘Tommy' red defined the spring collection. There are an endless number of ways to work with these colors.”