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Memorial Day 22

This outfit is simple, timely and appropriate. The colors consist of red, white and blue, the colors of the American flag. The broadcloth is beautifully full fitting, roomy in a perfect, most classic way. As you can see the natural wrinkle that emerges only after wearing a shirt for a few hours is revealing itself in the best way possible. This blue ribbon belt is simple and clean, reliably flexible. These red seersucker shorts are from Bills Khakis. I found these, believe it or not, at a thrift store for just a few dollars. It is hard to believe someone gave these up. Yet, they did.

On days like Memorial Day and Independence Day it seems that you can go one of two ways. You can either make a direct nod to the American flag as I did here, or you can orient yourself in decidedly classic Americana style. Perhaps it would mean seersucker of any color, or madras. It could mean boat shoes or maybe a bright summer plaid linen shirt. I think both are great options. The difficulty that can sometimes appear when making a direct nod to the colors of the American flag is the problem of kitsch. It is very possible to have your outfit appear as if it is too over the top. It can become like a costume rather than a simple nod.

The key to making sure this doesn't occur comprises of 2 steps. First, keep it simple. Notice I didn't choose a blue seersucker striped belt. That would be too much. There are no patriotic emblems on any of these pieces. These are all simple pieces when taken alone. Next, ask yourself - "Is this an outfit that I would wear on any other random day in the summer?" If the answer is yes then most likely it is not kitschy or over-the-top. If the outfit can stand alone on any other day and look great on any other day without any sense of it looking "out of place" then it is probably not too in-your-face. It is probably alright.

This outfit takes care of both of these steps clearly and easily. It is as simple and minimal as possible, considering the presence of red seersucker shorts (which are fairly bold). This outfit is actually not only a great choice for Memorial Day but also it is perhaps the best choice in terms of how to wear this particular pair of shorts when it comes to any day of the summer. This outfit is, I think, most likely, the best option, period. A variety of belts could be changed in here. Light brown, tan, dark brown etc... You could take a tan belt and then put a light blue broadcloth or OCBD on top but personally this is a bit too rich for my taste. I think these shorts need a white shirt on top most of the time. I think this is the ideal way of wearing these shorts.

I could throw a navy blazer over this as well to make it more formal. Seersucker shorts, white broadcloth, a navy blazer & boat shoes. That is a bold look. Putting a blazer / sport coat over shorts is very bold and ultra-uber-hyper [you get it, right?] preppy. Personally, I love this look even if it isn't for everyone, even if it brings great ire from some, and even if it brings with it a heavy dose of friction between the formal blazer and informal shorts. I should also note that while this is a very simple, minimal and suitable for any day of the summer outfit, it is still on the more bold side for a Memorial Day outfit that chooses to make reference to the American flag. A lesser bold version of this is just an inversion of the shirt and shorts, meaning a red seersucker shirt paired with light chinos. In fact, that is what I wore last 4th of July.

As you may note, the reverse outfit is a bit more conventional. Seersucker shirts are more often found than seersucker shorts. Striped shirts are more common than striped shorts. Both outfits are great. Both satisfy the 2 steps detailed above to ensure you are not drifting into kitsch or over-the-top-ness, and I love both in their own way. Although, I have to say, I love the extra bit these shorts have. I love that these shorts are a bit more bold, a bit more unabashed in themselves and their bright Americana-ness all while still being classic and iconic.

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