Burgers, fireworks, family and friends— all the magical elements that come together for one of my favorite holidays. There’s nothing better than sitting out on the porch with something cold in my hand, hanging out with friends, and waiting for the first crack of fireworks. The Fourth of July is one of the best times of year because it right in the middle of summer, everyone is enjoying the outdoors, and we get to celebrate our beautiful country’s independence.
Every year we get invited to parties for the Fourth and every year I am scrambling at the last minute to find something of patriotic colors to wear. We mostly get invited to barbecues, pool parties and back yard fiestas– so the attire is always casual. Despite the casual nature of these parties, it is difficult for me to conjure up an outfit that is red, white and blue. I don’t wear a lot of red or Old Glory Blue. However, this year I plan on being prepared!
Since these last couple seasons have been all about resurrecting 90s grunge in fashion, I’m completely jumping on board and I have no shame in my game. Not only was I a real child of the 90s, I have an affinity for sunflower printed denim and I appreciate the minimalism of fashion from that era. Denim was all the rage and it was ripped, shredded, and loose. Tee shirts, cropped tops, lose tanks, shoes that were comfortable, yet fashionable– think Rachel from Friends. I remember some of my favorite outfits were denim overalls and white crew neck tank tops from Gap. I think I was always comfortable too. Unlike when skinny, cigarette pants came back in style… I digress.
So, when the influx of cut-off denim shorts and white crew neck tees started to make its way to the fashion streets, of course I jumped on that bandwagon.
Without consulting Pinterest, or scouring the internet for “Fourth of July outfits”, I decided to create my own flair of patriotism. I’ve seen shorts that have American flag pockets or glints of red, white and blue and I wanted to try it on my own without having to go out and buy a pair. How hard could that really be? I’ll tell you, the project is super easy and didn’t take me long at all.
Here’s how to get started:
- First, you need to cut the jeans into shorts. Rule of thumb: cut the shorts at an UP ANGLE. NOT straight across. This will ensure a better fit and that the leg opening of the short won’t squeeze your thighs.
- Squirt a half dollar amount of acrylic paint onto a plastic plate (of each color)or aluminum foil and mix with about a quarter size drop of water. This will dilute the acrylic paint so that it doesn’t dry too stiff on the denim.
- Choose where you want your American Flag decal to be placed. I chose the back pockets. It doesn’t have to be exactly symmetrical but make sure you reference the REAL THING before you start.
- Let paint dry, then wash on gentle in the washing machine. Air dry.
(After cutting the denim, wash after to allow the fibers to relax. They will naturally shred on their own to revealing that old, “worn in” look.)
Now I have something to wear to all of the backyard barbecues and I don’t have to stress about finding patriotic colored outfits at the last minute. I can wear these shorts with a white tee shirt and little white tennis shoes or sandals and I’m done! I up-cycled my old jeans too!
Written by Caitlin Cheatham