There’s no better time of the year to wear your patriotism on your sleeve, but it’s easy to go way overboard with the red, white, and blue on Independence Day. The World Cup is a great place to swaddle yourself in a giant flag (or, you know, dress up as Teddy Roosevelt), but for your friend’s rooftop BBQ, you might want to dial it back. In part because spilling barbecue sauce on an American flag is a huge bummer.
We find that the logic behind the very best Independence Day outfits is actually the opposite of the best fireworks shows: Less is more. Go for something patriotic but understated: Say, a blue and white look, with a small red pop—it could be your shoelaces, a bandana, or just a hint of a red undershirt.
What’s your go-to July 4th outfit? Tell us in the comments below. And for more tips on making this month the best July ever, check out the Birchbox Man To-Do List.