July is a big month for the United States. Canada Day is brushed aside to make way for July 4, and then the MLB All-Star Game (July 15) sees the best of America’s Past Time take to the field to show us what they’ve got.
So, throw in fashion’s 2014 obsession with old-school Americana, and we’ve got ourselves a trifecta.
It’s true: Americana is everywhere. Thanks to chains like American Eagle, Aeropostale, and the Gap, we celebrated our neighbours to the south with red, white, blue, stars, stripes, and pieces that would make even Dolly Parton proud. So without further ado – and because July’s going to end soon – here are our favourite tributes to the U.S. of A., in terms of style (because otherwise this gets way too political).
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Let’s face it: it’d be weird (sacrilegious?) if an iconic shoe company didn’t buy into the Americana trend – especially since Chuck Taylors are just so inherently American. In this case, they offered (and are currently offering), both a high top “Stars and Bars” style ($60), and the “Distressed Flag” look, which runs for a bit more ($75). (And we all know that if the 2014 Americana vibe is anything, it’s “brand names looking a little worse for wear.” Like tattered flags waving in a field somewhere in Kansas.)
2. American Eagle
American Eagle has meant business for the past couple seasons, and only added to their existing clout with their Spring/Summer 2014 focus on Americana. Stars-and-stripes shorts, stars-and-strips shoes, Coca-Cola brand tank tops, and U.S. city-themed t-shirts were just a part of their collection, while the AE logo itself began looking less business and far more patriotic. (Which, in retrospect, is actually just the same thing.)
3. Brandy Melville
But look, Americana doesn’t just have to be an interpretation of the American flag. Enter: Brandy Melville, whose Spring/Summer and current collections focus more on the ‘90s and the grunge movement. Flannel, floral print, and basic t-shirts help create a look on par with Alicia Silverstone’s in the video for “Crazy,” while the brand’s collection of graphic t-shirts flaunt the images we associate not just with Americana, but with some of the most important aspects of pop culture.
4. The Gap
Believe it or not, there’s a way to do Americana subtly and the Gap hit it right on the head. Distressed denim, solid colours (red and blue, especially), and wardrobe staples like denim vests made up most of their Spring/Summer collection, which actually caught the eye of outlets like Refinery29, and helped make the Americana trend less a one-or-two chain phenomenon, and more a legitimate aesthetic.
Or maybe subtle isn’t your thing. Maybe, fuelled by Aeropostale’s "Pretty Little Liars" collection, you embraced their line of flag print tank tops, crop tops, and red, white, and blue scarves. And if you did, we can’t blame you.
6. Tommy Hilfiger
Considering Tommy Hilfiger is synonymous with a brand of Americana most of us will never know (financially comfortable), we had to include him – especially since his Spring/Summer collection represented both the athletic component of the United States, and the patriotic-albeit-rebellious themes of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Ultimately, Hilfiger delivered the wardrobe of a teen movie – which makes even more sense when you remember that he teamed up with Zooey Deschanel this season to channel an even more exciting decade in American (movie) history: the 1970s.
7. Old Navy
Of course, the idea of America is supposed to offer promise. We get that, because we've seen "Titanic." And while we’ve all treated ourselves to more Americana prints than we could’ve possibly imagined, Old Navy offered a(n affordable) reprieve with its collection of graphic t-shirts, ranging from Aerosmith band tees (any band that opens "Dazed and Confused" is Americana to us), to American flag prints, to the words “liberty” repeated over and over (which could also work for Bastille Day, let’s be real).
If you weren’t sure if Keds constituted as Americana, then the brand’s recruitment of Taylor Swift has – we hope – answered your question. The current Taylor Swift collection embodies the singer perfectly (stripes, polka dots, bright colours), while the “Champion Bow Stripe” style shoe gives a little “hey what’s up” nudge to the American flag. However, it’s a little less subtle than the brand’s “Champion Patriotic” style, which is not so much a nudge as it is a salute.
9. Urban Outfitters
It’s true: Urban Outfitters brought its A-game to the Spring/Summer party, peppering its pieces with stars, stripes, flags, and even a BDG knit halter top. (Which is as American as it gets.) But since Urban Outfitters, of course, plays host to many brands, its variety was noticeable: while Adidas’ high top Americana sneaker didn’t scream “America!”, the faded muscle t-shirt by LIFE did (because it actually said “USA.”) Arguably, America is actually just a brand now.
10. Forever 21
Like most chains we’ve gone over, Forever 21 stocked a good number of Americana-themed shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops (see: stars, stripes, red, and blue), but what sticks out the most is this: its two Captain America t-shirts. One with sleeves, one without. And if those don’t scream Americana 2014, we don’t even want to know what does.