There’s an awesome photo of me on my 14th birthday where I’m posing with about a dozen of members of my extended family. It’s awesome because I look incredibly pissed-off and teen-angsty, with my tanned arms crossed in a “humph” position.
I was annoyed pretty much all of the time back then, but the specific reason for this angry look had to do with the fact that my entire family was wearing Old Navy flag shirts that one of my aunts had bought discounted after the Fourth of July. (My birthday is August 2.) I refused to partake in the t-shirt party because a) they looked lame and were celebrating an event that had already passed and b) what red-blooded American teenager wants to wear a flag t-shirt? Not a good way to rebel against authority.
While I still think my family looked ultra-cheesy on that day—really, why did they have to do that to me?—I must say that I’ve changed my mind about wearing red, white and blue in one look. In fact, I wear them almost exclusively, save for a few other neutrals I’ve let creep into my wardrobe now and again.
The truth is, red, white and blue hold up far beyond the Fourth of July, despite what pretty much every fashion site says.
My reasoning? Blue, and navy in particular, is the most forgiving neutral. It looks good on everyone, and also pairs easily with both black and brown. Red is a little harder to pull off, but as an accent color it’s always doable, and isn’t trendy, which means it usually looks pretty fresh. Out of the three, I wear white the least, and that’s mostly because I’m a slob and tend to spill something on my clothes pretty much every time I go out to dinner.
I’ve found that if you make these three colors the basis of your wardrobe, getting dressed in the morning is infinitely easier. Wearing blue-and-white, or blue-and-red, or red-and-white, or yes, red-white-and-blue, ensures I will leave the house not regretting my outfit choice. It’s always appropriate, and usually very chic. Because after all, what wearing red-white-and-blue really does is make you feel French, which might be a totally unpatriotic answer, but it sure is a fashionable one.