POSTED ON JUNE 26, 2013:
Red, White, & Without a Clue?
Top shopwping for the Fourth
It's about that time of year to develop our best farmer's tan at the lake, spill mustard and ketchup on ourselves at cook-outs, and get hammered while blowing things up.
Yep, the Fourth of July is upon us, my friends. Whether enjoying our freedoms from school and work or our centuries-old independence from Great Britain, we must relish them in our full-fledged nationalistic attire. It goes without saying that in our Oklahoman hometown, Mother Nature happens to be menopausal. Her emotions span the spectrum of sunny skies to depressing downpours at the drop of a hat. Mindfulness of that fact led me to include clothing for whatever weather needs one may have during this outdoors holiday.
As is tradition, most people typically celebrate the Fourth of July surrounded by their loved ones. Who celebrates holidays alone? It only makes sense to first describe the two stores that cater to everyone in a family-friendly way. Plus, one-stop shopping can save the time and effort of traveling to individual stores.
Old Navy's entire mid-section possesses a patriotic theme, which creates an easily accessible shopping trip while hunting for Americana finds. Old Navy overflows with their classic flag logo emblazed on accessories and tanks for the entire family. The store provides simple fashion solutions for customers preferring more cut-and-dried threads. For instance, Old Navy offers the red, white, and blue color scheme in both plaid and stripes from top to bottom. Basic, flat color pieces enable one to mix and match as needed, and are available in every hue. Browse through here before hitting the lake -- stars-and-stripes beach towels, baseball caps, flip-flops, and swimsuits.
Surprisingly, Wal-Mart takes a textural approach to patriotic duds this season -- one that I did not see in other chain stores. For example, I found some boy's tees reading as though someone painted an American flag on the shirt in tactile materials. The neon-colored emblem popped on a black background, finished out with uneven paint drips. I also dug the super adorable little girl's skirts. They came in the form of red and blue ballerina-esque tulle or all-American pinstriped layers.
Why don't they make these clothes for adults?
Duh. Because I would find myself on peopleofwalmart.com. Regardless, Wal-Mart is my pick for children's clothing, yet all family members can find Independence Day articles here.
OK, enough about all the mainstream stores. Let's face it -- corporate juggernauts don't really need more money. They're obviously doing just fine. By shopping local, we can keep Tulsa money right here where it belongs. After all, the smaller fish in the pond need to eat, too. Indie kids, hipsters, and those looking for a change of pace can support their community at several clothiers.
More so than any other boutiques in town, I found more Americana clothing at Cheap Thrills on Cherry Street. Vintage stores often require sifting for hours through random items until finding a treasure. However, all I had to do was look skyward for patriotic gear, since most dangled from the ceiling. Also, friendly shopkeeper Kristen Casey will probably lend a helping hand during the dig. Mostly, I found relics from the 1970s -- like the Evel Knievel-inspired red bell bottoms with blue stars, or the Alabama concert shirt featuring a flag on the back. I even ran into nautical-themed garb, such as the wide-collared sailor suit dress or the maritime mini decorated with red and blue anchors. Old-school, patriotic pins for under $1 add a finishing touch to any look.
The Must Stash at 3724 S. Peoria Ave. provides a less literal way for someone to rock their celebratory apparel. For example, the shop supplies oversized, pink sweaters flaunting a large anchor as well as blue-and-white-striped hot pants. I also discovered several styles of men's swim trunks mimicking the American flag's colors and shapes. Both of these stores carry unique pieces, which can be a pro or a con. This practically promises arriving at a party without a "Bitch, you stole my look" moment. However, these shops run out of amazing items fast, so get them while the going is good.
Last but not least, the downtown Dwelling Spaces takes a more indigenous angle with their showcased goods. As a Native American myself, I really appreciated their marketing gesture towards an underrepresented race. The store combined worn-in, thrift store fabrics with a modern twist, like added-on sleeves. These T-shirt depictions symbolize, to me, the original American -- the Native American. I especially loved the watercolor-like portrait of a wise Native chief flanked by a flying eagle. But other Independence Day-themed tees could be had, such as falling stars, banner-carrying eagles, and arrowhead montages with the slogan, "American made war paint."
Fun, firework extravaganzas call for playful accents to match. I discovered statue of liberty crowns, Uncle Sam hats, and patriotically colored floral head wraps at Target. Walgreens has even more accessories. Cowboys can rock blue and red starred cowboy hats -- it is Oklahoma, right? -- and the American gangstas can get crunk with it by sporting the monster LED star necklace bling. Walking into any party wearing U.S. flag light-up glasses guarantees getting laid. Trust me. I also stumbled upon striped, canvas tote bags at both stores, perfect for outside shindigs. Dollar General's selection boasts red, white, and blue leis, bracelets, and glow stick jewelry. DG also has small pin packs with true-blue slogans and images, like "Land of the Free," and freedom bells.
Nearly all the stores I checked out had sales going on, or merchandise for bargain prices, and as we get closer to the Fourth, many storefronts will fill up with red, white, and blue outfits and embellishments. Whether going picnicking, swimming, or to concerts, hit up all these stores beforehand for a comfortably unique patriotic ensemble. Insert Katy Perry reference here.
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