3 Stylish Outfits to Wear on the Fourth of July

4th of July Outfits - LEAD
Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty

Often times when we think of festive dressing for the Fourth of July, images of stars-and-stripes bikinis and straw cowboy hats come to mind. Not that there isn't a certain time and a place for either of those things (American Gladiators and the rodeo, respectively), but our ideal outfits for Independence Day are a little more subtly patriotic.

No matter what might be on your agenda during this three-day-weekend, you can get into the spirit of the holiday without feeling like you're wearing a costume. Try incorporating navy blue instead of brighter shades, or adding just a splash of red (like your shoes!) to a mostly white ensemble. Use natural elements like a woven bag or a floppy hat to break things up, and don't be afraid to layer up the gold jewelry and metallics.

Scroll down to see three takes on Fourth of July outfits that work for just about any festive occasion whether it's a barbeque, a day on the beach, or a nautical escape.

1. For the Beach

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Build your whole beach day wardrobe around a bright red swimsuit. Incorporate elements of blue with your sunglasses and a roomy woven tote, and even a sweet, "Wish you were here..." message embroidered on the brim of your sun hat. Throw on an embroidered cover-up for drinks on the boardwalk, and you've nailed that breezy and patriotic balance.

Shop the look: Madewell bag, $40; madewell.com. Eugenia Kim hat, $485; eugeniakim.com. Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini, $325; net-a-porter.com. Lemlem caftan, $375; net-a-porter.com. Celine sunglasses, $363; matchesfashion.com. Carrie Forbes sandals, $300; needsupply.com.

2. For a Barbecue

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We love the way this silky J. Crew dress combines red, white, and blue in a subtle and trendy floral print. Wear it with a pair of stark white block-heel sandals (that will look great against a little tan) and pack your essentials in a navy cross-body bag that will allow you to deftly manage both a hot dog and a glass of lemonade with ease.

Shop the look: J. Crew dress, $148; jcrew.com. Le Specs sunglasses, $59; shopbop.com. Chloe bag, $795, net-a-porter.com. Gorjana earrings, $35; gorjana.com. New Look sandals, $30; asos.com.

3. On a Boat

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If hitting the high seas (or maybe the calm waters of an alpine lake) is on your 4th of July agenda, try a clean, crisp nautical look. Layer a cool one-piece swimsuit under a pair of white wide-leg pants for a look that works whether or not you ever take a dip in the water. For a finishing touch, carry a structured straw bag and hint at the holiday with red sandals and a cuff bracelet that resembles a star.

Shop the look: Elizabeth and James cuff, $195; shopbop.com. Vix swimsuit, $195; net-a-porter.com. Chloe pants, $393; matchesfashion.com. Chanel sunglasses, $515; chanel.com. Hat Attack bag, $112; shopbop.com. K. Jacques sandals, $240; kjacques.fr.

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