A Fashionable Fourth

If you’re like me, you love a theme party. And a Fourth of July barbecue, beach day, or potluck in the AC is a great opportunity to flex your sartorial chops while taking part in the good old, cheesy all-American fun. Get your stars, stripes, reds, whites and blues ready for a fun outfit opportunity no one wants to pass up.

Casual:
Having friends over or headed to a family BBQ? Keep it casual and comfy for maximum running-around-with-kids, dancing-under-the-stars, and munching-on-grilled-meats enjoyment. If you’ve been dying to try denim shorts and a midriff baring top, now’s your chance. Or keep it more girly in an open-back sundress with plenty of room to breathe.

shorts

I ask you: why the hell not? These cheerful, star-spangled denim cutoffs are super-cute and will look great no matter what you pair them with. $17.80, forever21.com

dropwaist

Kimchi Blue drop-waist white sundress is a no-brainer. Breezy and roomy but still flattering, this pairs well with a blue statement necklace. Add red lips and you’re perfectly on-theme. ON SALE for $19.99, urbanoutfitters.com

One Step Up:
So, your boyfriend’s boss (or grandma!) is throwing the shindig? Whatever the reason you might have to look more polished on the 4th, there are plenty of ways to do that while still feeling cute. Go for a slightly longer hemline or more classic silhouette in your party dress, or reach for red linen shorts instead of star-spangled cut-offs. Ballet flats, skimmers, or platforms are all great options.

jcrewshorts

These are great to have, anyway. Treat yourself to a structured pair of bright red shorts and you will live in them all summer long. ON SALE for $35, jcrew.com

crisscrosscorded

This lovely Crisscross Corded Perf dress from Saturday by Kate Spade is an absolute homerun. Bonus: you can totally wear this to a wedding later in the season. $160, saturday.com

Poolside:
There’s nothing that instills as much fear into the heart of the American woman as the swimsuit. But if you’re headed to a pool party, suck it up and tote one, or you’ll spend the afternoon feeling bored and sorry for yourself while everyone else frolicks around in the water. Word to the wise: there is not a person on earth who loves everything about themselves in a swimsuit, so you’re in good company. Leave your hangups at the door and cool off in something cute.

4thsuit

Underwire construction and a removable halter strap give you the support you need up top, while an adjustable tie cord on the bottom allows you to loosen things up if you need. $14.99 & $17.99 (sold separately), target.com

zinke

Craving more coverage? One-pieces are so cute these days! I adore the plunging, sexy neckline and ruffle detail on this one from Zinke. ON SALE for $106, asos.com

Fireworks:
Everyone knows that the best part of the day is the night, when the sky lights up in celebration of our beautiful country. But if you’re scantily clad and maybe even a little sunburnt, the change in temp can throw a wrench in your fashion plans. I always like to have a basic white cardi or really cute hoodie on hand for this moment. Then again, there’s nothing so romantic as stealing one off your man. Mine, however, is not big on sharing outerwear… he usually makes me bring my own!

rag&bone

Absolutely perfection selection, stylish yet laid back. Rag & Bone/JEAN cardigan with v-neck and artful hole detail throughout. $255, shopbop.com

Nails:
Yay! Nail art, nail art, always so much fun. Get your digits decorated in a flag theme or just a fiery red for a fun, spirited look. Or you can board the Jensy train and go nuts doing your own at home. So, my stripes are not perfect and the paper stars I tried to affix fell off, but I’m loving this whacky manicure nonetheless. Have fun!IMG_1537 IMG_1539

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New Obsession: Snapseed

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My Joshy and Me, post Snapseed manipulation. Cute right?

I am a massive Instragram fan and have been known to while away the hours manipulating my favorite photos into Instagram sensations. Recently I noticed that a friend had uploaded some seriously awesome photos onto Facebook via Snapseed, so I decided to give the app a try.

I’m very much for the free apps, but I found I was more than willing to pay the $5 fee for this app. Beyond the little tricks that Instagram uses, Snapseed lets you sharpen, adjust, and otherwise update your photos in ways that are not just gimicky but professional looking. I tried my hand at the app this week and am already thrilled with the results. Even though I haven’t had a ton of time to play with my photos, I’m already excited to flex my Snapseed skills. If you’re a photo buff, I suggest scoping out this not free–but cheap– app. Let me know what you think!

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I was very impressed by how professional I was able to make this one look. It was snapped with a cell phone in poor lighting!

DIY: Floral accents

Remember that season of Sex and the City when Carrie wore huge flowers affixed to her outfits in almost every scene? Okay, well I do. And it’s not only because I don’t have cable right now and most of what I’ve been watching is S&TC on DVD… more importantly, it’s because this look is a fun, feminine, out-there and cheap way to brighten up any spring outfit.

Simply stunning with floral accents...

Over the weekend I wrote a post for All Things Chic on the new florals, from jeans to skirts and shoes. This got me thinking about the other floral, the more-than-floral. The flower. Now, this is not a trend for simple girls. Or wallflower girls. Or girls who don’t like attention. But if you’re ready to hit the streets of your hometown and receive raves on your accessorizing skills, it’s time to hit up your local craft store and get to work.

If you’re not up for DIY time, there are plenty of options ready for purchase at our favorite mass retailers. H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Aldo (to name a few) have had some pretty cute, under-$20 flower accessory options prime for the picking recently. But if you want to spend under twenty minutes and WELL under 20 bills, you could make your own flower brooch or headband at home, ensuring that no one else will sport your same look.

Creating your own floral accents is a cinch. Head over to createforless.com and check out their selection of silk flowers. A personal favorite of mine is the PETALOO brand of products. Starting at around $4, you can nab faux blooms to suit your personal style and working-girl budget. All you need is a flower, a pin or headband and some craft adhesive. Get your glue on, girls! And send me photos of yourself sporting your fab new flowers.

Thank you for the photo, lushlee.com