It's that time of year again; when the beer is flowing, the sky is filled with fireworks, and no meal is complete without a slice of apple pie a la mode. With the 4th of July around the corner, the Americana style trend is hot to trot. At once timeless and nostalgic, it evokes opportunity, optimism and strength. Whether you were born and bred in the land of the free or simply want to chase your own (American) dreams, this look is sure to make you want to take a road trip in a beat-up Cadillac and get lost in the Wild West.
If you want to be a full on American ambassador, there is no better place to start than with the iconic stars and stripes. Fly the flag proudly in a printed sweater with some distressed denim cutoffs, or pair some hot pants emblazoned with the Star Spangled banner and an over-sized white or blue tank for casual yet coordinated cool. Round off with well-worn baseball shoes or an impressive pair of platforms depending on whether you're headed to the sports stadium or the bar. Oh heck, the platforms will look amazing anywhere. There are bonus points available for those who really commit to this look by wearing cowboy boots.
If you want to reference American culture in slightly less literal ways, look to Prada's Spring/Summer 2012 collection for 1950s glamorous inspiration. The muscle-car print, mimicked elsewhere at ASOS and Primark, is cute and knowingly kitschy, while the leather pieces add a touch of sophistication to the fun. Make like a beauty school dropout with swing skirts in pretty pastels and prints, topped with bandeaus and gingham tie blouses. Add a headscarf and some cat eye sunglasses for a vintage sex appeal that never gets old.
The Pink Ladies inspiration doesn't need to stop there. Hunt for a leather bomber jacket and customise with your favourite badges and pins, and go for waist belts to accentuate your curves in those flattering and go-with-everything pencil skirts. Shop for a classic Birkin-esque oversized handbag to perfect a look that's more Stepford Wives than Desperate Housewives. Include lady-like printed blouses on your wish list so that you can easily pair separates for a capsule wardrobe to die for. Perfect for a cross-country journey on the highway!
This isn't a look that you need to wear from head to toe. In fact, only those feeling particularly patriotic may want to. You can easily hint at your enthusiasm for all things Yankee by considering classic symbols such as Eagles, Uncle Sam, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty (among many, many more). Clothing and jewellery incorporating these motifs are easy to find and throw a subtler salute to the States, incase you're worried about looking like a walking flagpole. For an all-American vibe that's even easier, just think preppiness and simplicity. Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren have been showing the world how it's done for decades, and who are we to argue with these American greats?