How to Wear Vintage Stars & Stripes in Style

by Sammy in Comment — Updated December 30, 2019

vintage vogue cover

Hello and happy Monday … and 4th of July, everyone!!!

For some reason, having the 4th of July on a Monday doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because it fell on the weekend for the past 3 years … and I’ve just been desensitized since 2008. Or, perhaps it’s because I don’t officially have “4th of July plans” today/tonight [it’s true!]

But whatever the reason for this holiday limbo I’m experiencing, I’m certainly not experiencing a lack of style inspiration from the day. No ma’am! I just spent the past hour lusting over the selection of patriotic apparel available on Etsy, wishing I had thought to research sooner so I could buy the perfect stars & stripes vintage piece to wear [somewhere?!] tonight!

So alas, perhaps it’s because I don’t have my vintage 4th of July wardrobe in order that I’m not feeling compelled to celebrate the holiday in its full glory. So, it’s up to you vintage lovers to live the American VINTAGE DREAM for me today.

Keep reading after the jump for more on how to wear YOUR stars & stripes in style today — and once you’re inspired to rock those S&S with pride tonight, be sure to snap a pic and send it to me via email or post on the Facebook wall!

OK, so you’re probably all wondering right now: WHY AREN’T YOU DOING SOMETHING FOR THE 4TH, SAMMY?!?!

I know, I know! I think I’m crazy too. But thankfully, I’ve had PLENTY of great 4th o’ Julys to satisfy my stars & stripes style. Just check out the pictures below: The first captures a sliver of a circle skirt perfect for today’s holiday, and the next shot captures how I DIYed denim, a red tee and flag print touches to create a casual nod for today’s celebration.

So as you can see, I’ve definitely celebrated like a champ in the past. But tonight I’ll most likely be researching for the site while sipping tea, and listening to the BOOM BANG OOH AAH coming from the East River fireworks festivities. Just living in NYC feels like I’m celebrating this country’s deep seeded energy for opportunity and unity everyday!


Looking forward to hearing how all of your BBQs, beach trips and fireworks bonanzas went!

xx, SD



4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

1 / My friend Darla and I on my rooftop at a party I hosted last summer. It actually was August — and not the 4th — but this skirt was too epic NOT to wear. I remember making literal vats of sangria that night. I think we had nearly 100 people on my rooftop, with great views of the city from where I live in Spanish Harlem!

2 / Last summer I DIYEed my heart out with an oversize red tee, J.Crew bootcut jeans and these crazy awesome American flag spandex pants. The jeans were cut and distressed into shorts, the oversize top cut and tied at the sides into a slinky tank, and the pants cut into oh-so-many-things, like this decorative belt looped in my shorts.



4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes

4th of july clothes1 / I love this top because of its de-emphasis on navy. The white base helps soften the frenzied design you sometimes see with reinventions of the American flag. I’d cut off the sleeves and wear this as a stand alone vest!

2 / The perfect crop top with fringe sleeves — a nice touch of trend without falling prey to super long fringe that covers the stomach and potentially makes you look like cousin IT.

3 / A patriotic striped ’80s day dress — glam it up with black wedge pumps and a super chunky patent leather square buckle belt.  Wear a headscarf for some rockabilly edge, if so desired!

4 / If I owned these shorts I would wear them Not just the 4th — I think I’d wear them on Christmas!

5 / While they haven’t made a full blown appearance in stores, jean jumpers ARE making a comeback. And this is a great example of one that can totally be styled as a throwback piece: Wear a white crop tee below to show some tummy, and to show off the stars & stripes design of the straps simply unbuckle one strap and let it hang down your back. Oh-so-90s and TLC-inspired!

6 / For a girl who cares about her details, this nautical red-white-blue anchor is a great touch to summer whites, like on a white blazer or a decorative piece on the strap of a shoulder bag.

7 / My intern was just poking fun at me the other day for being a closet hippie. I’m LOVING patchwork-anything — especially these real McCoy patches circa the Woodstock era. Give me 15 and I’ll passionately patch all over!

8 / I know what you’re thinking: ridiculousness! I see potential. This poncho version of stars & stripes style can be worn like you see in the picture [showing some tummy is optional] or you can rock it as an open jacket belted over black tights and killer wedges. Wear lace below for the girlie touch you need to minimize the Nascar-feeling this jacket emanates.

9 / I’m blanking on what this type of neckline is called. I’ve seen it in mainstream stores here or there but it hasn’t quite made a full-fledged everyone-must-have-it revival. Either way, this is unique in that it quite honestly looks like you ARE wearing a flag because the top has “design blocked” the stars from the stripes. I’d wear this tucked into a black skirt, or even cut off stripes 1-6 and wear with high-waisted shorts and some exposed tummy. This top has great pin-up “Victory” girl potential if you so choose to channel it!

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