By Tanya Brown
Planning Fourth of July parties reminds us that summer is in full swing. We think about being with family and friends, having our favorite picnic foods and a sparkling display of fireworks we never seem to outgrow.
Americans also enjoy making a patriotic statement. I remember growing up as a child and my mom dressing my sister and me in the perfect patriotic fashion attire to show our U.S. pride.
On July 4, 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence declared our independence from Britain and created the United States of America. During this time, fashion was an important part of one’s financial and social status in society. Women wore beautiful gowns with detailed bodice at the waistline and a multi-layered petticoat, making the ensemble weigh several pounds. One-of-a-kind jewelry was handed down through generations and was quite expensive for the time.
Men made a fashion statement of their own during this time in history. They wore white wigs with a tricorn hat, also known as a three-cornered hat. The three-cornered hat was designed in a triangular shape, creating gutters to keep rain from falling into the face. White linen undershirts, breeches (a more formal way of saying “Britches”), stockings and a waistcoat or vest were also worn completing the distinguished look. As in women’s fashions, men’s fashions were very sophisticated and also expressed social and financial status.
Fashion has come a long way.
Today we dress for many reasons such as the season, the occasion, jobs or just for fun. For this month’s patriotic celebrations, I took a look at local shops in Frederick to find some star-spangled outfits.
Downtown Frederick’s Velvet Lounge offers a range of styles from sophisticated to funky, including a French duster scarf, perfect for a Fourth of July garden party. This works over a sundress or paired with capri pants and a tank top. The shop also has a Free Wheelin t-shirt that caught my eye. It pairs well with a pair of cutoff shorts and red flats for a patriotic look.
Next door, the Pitcrew shop has a pair of flag socks for sale. One staffer said these aren’t just for guys — the ladies are buying them as well. These eye-catching socks look great paired with cuffed jeans and sneakers or try walking shorts with a pair of slides. Another staffer, Davie, modeled them and said, “Wearing a pair of these are the most comfortable, high quality, fun and washable socks.”
Frederick’s Francis Key Mall has a variety of red, white and blue fashion options as well. One staffer at Zumiez said she bought a pair of dual-colored star leggings to wear to a Fourth of July concert. She said saying she wanted to be “festive, chic and comfy.”
To top off an outfit, the Dollar Store offers patriotic flip flops, festive sunglasses and star necklaces in silver, red and blue — all for $3. Necklaces in alternating colors work as decorations for the sides of the flip flops and the sunglass frames make great embellishments — Fourth of July chic.
And of course, shopping in our own closet to pull together a red, white and blue outfit is an option, too!
On this patriotic holiday, we can all find an option that allows us to express the day our way.
Editor’s Note: Tanya Brown is a Frederick native and works as a professional model and makeup artist. She owns Modeling A2Z, a company that hosts modeling camps, parties and kids programs.