Navy, red and polka dots
Happy (almost) Fourth of July, America!
I love Independence Day. When I was a kid, we used to day trip to my Uncle Mike’s house every Fourth to spend the holiday there.
My Uncle Mike wasn’t biologically my uncle; he was my dad’s best friend — and actually, my dad’s best man, too. He was a pretty prominent figure in my life growing up, so calling him my uncle always came naturally.
Anyway, Uncle Mike lived right on Strawberry Lake back in Michigan. Like, right on it. So every summer, my parents would pack us up and take us over a handful of times each year. We’d spend days learning how to waterski behind the speed boat, afternoons dining at Zukey Lake Tavern and nights catching fireflies, barbecuing and jumping off the rope swing into the canal behind Uncle Mike’s backyard.
And, the Fourth of July was no exception. Almost every year, we’d take the pontoon out for the day, park it at a sandbar and allow ourselves to sunburn waiting until dusk. Once night fell, we’d watch the fireworks show while fishing cold melon out of the cooler with our sandy hands.
Fourth of July was always a summer highlight growing up.
And, while I won’t be spending tomorrow docking the pontoon and lounging with a drink in hand, there’s something to be said for celebrating the Fourth here in Chicago, too. Miles of beaches along Lake Michigan, drink specials on rooftop bars across the city and the Navy Pier fireworks show?
Chicago is not a bad place to celebrate America’s birthday.
But, it begs the question: What do you wear?
Short of those Old Navy flag tees that every kid ages 5 to 13 was forced into every July 4, I’ve never really been one for themed holiday outfits. I dig a good Christmas sweater every so often, but you probably won’t catch me wearing anything covered in stars and stripes on Independence Day.
I was joking around with my friend Caitlin the other day about how — since I tend to wear red, white and navy on repeat during the summer months — I wasn’t sure whether to break from tradition for the Fourth for fear of being too cheesy, or whether I should just go with it and wear what I always wear on any given summer day.
I’ll try not to overthink it. After all, I’ll probably spend most of tomorrow somewhere on a Lake Michigan beach rocking this swimsuit!
Sadly, this dress is sold out — unless you’re a lucky size XS that doesn’t mind buying secondhand. It’s a drag. Madewell usually offers some variation of a navy-and-white polka dot shirt dress each season, but there isn’t a single iteration this year. It’s a huge bummer, because nothing beats a lightweight silk dress on a hot summer day.
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