Come July, retailers and bakers are equally stocked with red, white, blue, striped, starred collections that literally blow up into your face – shoes, bags, cupcakes, frostings, cookies, tees, bracelets, watches, socks, pizzas, fruit pies, cocktails, chewing gum and everything that’s in between.
Even social media explodes with the colors, the tweets, and the plethora of vine and instagram witnessed fireworks. My favorite is Pinterest, inspiration and source for this musing, where the visual medium truly brings the theme to life.
While I enjoy the trio of colors red white and blue all year round, this phase mandates a few basic rules to bear in mind when dressing up both yourself and your food.
Highlight the stars
Without stars, it could be a Dutch party, French fiesta or British bash. So, highlight the stars. Sprinkle the food, stylistically chop the fruit, work towards embellishing or accenting clothing once you have the right colors, or simply buy fabrics that are starred out!
My infatuation with bling continues, and festivity begs for it. So why not have red, white, blue and sparkle… or stars, stripes and studs? While studs can replace the starry aspect in fashion, sparkling sugar goes a glinting-ly long way with food.
Color out of proportion
Its often eye catching when the spread of colors isn’t in proportion to the flag, but rather out of proportion. Like a dominantly red sweater with sprinkles. Or vanilla macaroons with a hint of red and blue. Or playful natural white popcorn with a speckle of stars. Simplicity is truly in vogue.
Accent colors with brevity
You often don’t need the entire palate to be strictly red, white and blue. While too many colors may distract, a simple highlight of the right trio while exposing another color can signal the spirit tastefully. Be it via an entirely white mousse parfait with berry and fritter accents of likely hues, pretzel sticks with their natural color and dipped in the trio, or golden crackers with a hint of yellow but with aptly colored berries. And of course, red rimmed sunglasses with blue frames to look at it all. Obviously, you can also go the literally brief route, by sporting stars and stripes strictly as underwear or beachwear: just keep it classy.
Learn the drink science
Different hues can be dispersed into different fluids. And some alcohols have different densities and can thus float or sink in mixtures. Some can be translucent, and illuminate the ice. There are so many tricks up the sleeve of your science loving friends and bartenders alike (changes the definition of nerd doesn’t it?), so make sure to learn from them for a spectacular beverage selection.
Trend watch in pop culture
Celebrities will adorn outfits that you should both be inspired by, as well as laugh at. Celebrity spotting is a good way to seek out what you can concoct yourself, as well as what will inevitably be a fashion faux pas.
Don’t be freaky
Spirit is the taste of the season. But don’t dress up like a spirit. Some can pull it off with the right amount and precision of flair in their makeup, but several cannot. And with food, go easy on the chaos and food coloring – nobody wants to feel like they’re eating lipstick frosting. Red is my favorite color, but the overuse of it (with my second favorite blue) can make it seem like you’re celebrating Halloween early.