By Shilo Urban
Every summer when the 4th of July rolls around, it’s natural to want to display your patriotism. It’s an exciting holiday: fireworks are booming, barbeque is on the grill, and the aroma of fresh-baked apple pie and freedom waft through the neighborhood with the happy screams of children….and the sound of your date’s footsteps as he approaches your front door.
Add this national fervor to the fun anxiety of a new date, and you may feel like donning a dress inspired by the stars and stripes, an Uncle Sam top-hat or perhaps a head-to-toe ensemble in red, white and blue.
But unless you are under 12 years old, marching in a holiday parade, an elementary school teacher or just want to look like one – forget it. The 4th of July suffers from the same stigma as other important days when it comes to fashion: the holiday curse.
Like ugly Christmas sweaters, pumpkin shirts at Halloween or Easter egg earrings, 4th of July get-ups fall into the category of the hopelessly un-hip and may leave your date wondering whether you ever matured past the mental age of 8. In fact, wearing a 4th of July outfit on a date might just be the kiss of death – not the type of kiss you want with your potential new beau.
For better or worse, holidays are connected with childhood in America, and dressing like the 4th of July exploded in your closet will make you look juvenile. In the southern part of the country and around military bases, patriotic attire is more accepted – but you must still tread lightly or risk looking childish.
Until 4th of July outfits come full circle like ugly Christmas sweaters and your friends start hosting parties to make fun of the gaudy red-white-and-blue fashion choices, it’s best to tuck those overalls printed with Old Glory under your bed – and keep them there.
Dear dating Americans: there are plenty of ways to show love for our great country this July 4th and display your patriotism proudly – just don’t do it on your body!
1. Hang a flag outside your home. Be sure to bring it in at night (the flag should never fly in the dark). This is how healthy, mature adults express their patriotism – not by tie-dyed flag unitards and George Washington wigs.
2. Create a 4th of July dessert, like strawberry & blueberry shortcake with cream or perhaps a berry-pudding parfait. You will be getting in the holiday spirit and quite possibly winning over your date with your keen cooking skills.
3. Watch a fireworks display. Find the best 4th of July celebration in your town and take your date there. Arrive early for a great viewing spot, and bring along a blanket and easy picnic to pass the evening hours. Once those blazing bursts of color hit the nighttime sky – you won’t know if it’s because of the holiday celebration or from your date’s blazing hot kisses!
4. If your internal patriotism is so fervent that you MUST express yourself externally with fashion on the 4th of July, just choose ONE: red, white OR blue, and make it your signature color for the day. OR: date a soldier. Our fine men and women stationed stateside or fighting overseas need love too, and you will never be reprimanded for wearing a hat made from a replica of the Declaration of Independence.