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Go Fourth in Style

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AS HOLIDAYS GO, there's no question that Halloween has the market cornered on dressing up like a fool. However, there's something about the Fourth of July—maybe it's the heat, hotdogs, and day drinking, maybe just old-fashioned patriotism—that inspires one to don sometimes ridiculous ensembles of the red/white/blue variety.

It's a day of stars 'n' stripes Speedos and plastic top hats (sometimes worn together), and wresting in blue and red tubs of Jell-O while wearing Old Glory bikinis. (At least that's what my parties are like.) Alternative to the gag-gift party store scene or anything that connotes "Kid Rock video ho," you could argue that simply wearing Made in USA from top to bottom is a perfectly patriotic method of dressing for the occasion. Besides, our nation's forefathers would most assuredly disapprove of throwing money at anything that's not going to be put to plenty of good use, so perhaps the wiser course for your Fourth-outfitting funds would be to use it as an excuse to throw some color into your everyday wardrobe and get something you'll wear on the other 364 days of the year. Here are some suggestions for holiday-appropriate style pieces, all available at friendly, all-American small local businesses:

AS HOLIDAYS GO, there's no question that Halloween has the market cornered on dressing up like a fool. However, there's something about the Fourth of July—maybe it's the heat, hotdogs, and day drinking, maybe just old-fashioned patriotism—that inspires one to don sometimes ridiculous ensembles of the red/white/blue variety.

It's a day of stars 'n' stripes Speedos and plastic top hats (sometimes worn together), and wresting in blue and red tubs of Jell-O while wearing Old Glory bikinis. (At least that's what my parties are like.) Alternative to the gag-gift party store scene or anything that connotes "Kid Rock video ho," you could argue that simply wearing Made in USA from top to bottom is a perfectly patriotic method of dressing for the occasion. Besides, our nation's forefathers would most assuredly disapprove of throwing money at anything that's not going to be put to plenty of good use, so perhaps the wiser course for your Fourth-outfitting funds would be to use it as an excuse to throw some color into your everyday wardrobe and get something you'll wear on the other 364 days of the year. Here are some suggestions for holiday-appropriate style pieces, all available at friendly, all-American small local businesses:

1: This all-purpose, cherry-red, full bodysuit available at Yo Vintage! can be worn alone to express the zany exuberance of your homeland the day of (just add some blue and white accessories, or if you're feeling modest, add a pair of blue denim cutoffs), and it will get plenty of action as a layering piece for the months to come. Red all-in-one dancing suit, $58, Yo Vintage!, 413 SW 13th, yovintage.com

2: Celebrate the States' variety with this new take on a Hawaiian shirt, a collaboration between Bridge & Burn and makelike. It reads like an island print from afar, but when you look closer it shows the Doug firs and rhododendrons of our own fair corner of the country, in the shared color way that unites these disparate ecologies. Hawaii 503 short-sleeved shirt (print available in two colors and four styles for men and women), $88, Bridge & Burn, 1122 SW Morrison, bridgeandburn.com

3: You should really be wearing a hat to shield your scalp from sunburn, because I know 84 percent of you are too lazy or vain about your hair to be squirting sunblock on your dome. The Marlené, made right in Northwest Portland at Bonnet, will shield your pretty face for all the river trips and gardening to come, and you can always skip or switch out the scarf the next time your government embarrasses you. Marlené straw hat, $130, Bonnet, 1129 NW Flanders, bonnetboutique.com

4: Don't you even say "England" at me. Think of this as one of our spoils from winning the revolution. We stole their sneaker style, and they were forced to start making them in the image of our national banner in order to appease us, even throwing in textile references to the all-American letterman's jacket. Gola Quota Varsity, on sale for $54.95, Louie's Shoes for Men, 3426 SE Hawthorne, imeldas.com

5: I've been lusting after the red, white, and blue (and black, so as not to be so literal) stripes on the Beatrice skirt all season, whipped up by the design team at Garnish, and I can't think of a better occasion for which to snap up one of the remaining specimens before they're gone. Beatrice skirt, $195, Garnish, 1524 NE Alberta & 404 NW 12th, garnishapparel.com

6: Instead of, or—better yet—in addition to repping the flag on your person, consider giving your home some flair with a graphic accent that's reminiscent of Old Glory. These metal sculptures from local Clifton Metal Works do the trick in any combination. Clifton Metal Works steel sculptures, $79 (small), $129 (medium), $149 (large), or $349 for the set, Boys Fort, 902 SW Morrison, boysfort.com

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