Red, White and Woo Hoo!: What To Wear To A Fourth Of July Barbecue

Ah, the Fourth of July — friends, fireworks, and crazy delicious all-American backyard barbecue. What could be better? Looking fabulous, that’s what–in an Independence Day-appropriate ensemble that a) won’t have you melting in the crazy summer heat and b) doesn’t make you look like you ARE the Fourth of July parade on two legs.

The truth is, it’s totally fine–nay, expected!–that you’ll sport the old red, white and blue, but there are ways to display your patriotic joie de vie while still looking cute and current. Of course, what you wear depends in part on just exactly where you’ll be celebrating said holiday, so we’ve picked pieces for some likely settings in which you might find yourself scarfing down hot dogs–er, we mean celebrating freedom.

Fourth of July Outfit Ideas

The Family Backyard Barbecue

Picnic tables, Weber grills and melting rocket pops–we don’t know about you, but this scenario is both scary and a little slice of heaven all wrapped up into one. The upside: if you’re a girl who’s all about comfort, this is about as laid-back and informal as it gets. The downside: being at, say, your mom’s house, it would be tempting to just show up in your pj’s.

The Boss’s “Morale-Boosting” Fourth Of July Barbecue

Sure, there are other places you’d rather be on the Fourth of July (um, like, anywhere) than at your boss’s crib, but like our forefathers, we sometimes must make sacrifices for the greater good (which, in this case, is a steady paycheck. The trick here is to look appropriate for hangin’ with your co-workers (as opposed to your hometown peeps) but still be fun and comfortable.

A chic dress-me-up/dress-me-down, well, dress is the perfect style note for this particular setting– personalized with cute accessories–to ensure that, the day after, you’ll be the talk of the office without being the TALK of the office, if you know what we mean.

The Fourth of July Barbecue at the Park
Spending July 4 chilling in the park with coolers, Frisbees and iPads (well, it is 2012 after all)? NICE. Since it’s you and your best buds, you could go with your weekend uniform of a Hanes white v-neck and those artfully-shredded cutoffs, but since you will be in public on a national holiday, why not take the opportunity to show your holiday spirit with a little red, white and blue-inspired cuteness that’s just slightly more put-together?

Think fun separates and shoes you can play in, and be sure to include something cozy to pull over your shoulders should it get cooler when the sun goes down (gotta be ready for the fireworks– holla!).


Angela is a senior writer who's been hanging around TBF since way back in 2007. When she's not weighing in on the merits of, say, feathers as a fashion statement, Angela works as a bridal consultant in the St. Louis area. She also enjoys sunsets, and long walks in Target.