Hand-Selected Recipes and Stories Straight to Your Inbox

Girls by lake

Vineyard Vines Facebook


What to wear to all of our favorite Southern Fourth of July parties

Independence Day is one of the South’s favorite holidays. After all, it involves many of our favorite activities: celebrating patriotism, cookouts with the entire neighborhood, outdoor activities, fireworks and, of course, family.

While there are so many ways Southerners celebrate the Fourth of July, some of the most common (and most fun!) are gathering your friends and family for a party and heading to the lake or a beach. We’ve rounded up a few outfit ideas perfect for each patriotic occasion.

Prepford Wife in nice blue and white dress

And don't forget that ace already in your pocket — the 5 rules of the Southern dress code. With that and our guide below, you'll be ready for anything.

The cookout/barbecue/block party visit
Prepare your seersucker and gingham, y’all! Southern men and ladies are going full prep for summer 2018. Don’t be afraid to put on a day dress or a blazer/khakis combo and present yourself in the best light. Don’t worry — you can still be comfortable. Pack an easy breezy frock with bow details, sandals and statement earrings to coordinate, but don’t get too matchy-matchy with it!

This year you also cannot forget a straw bag — they are stylish, functional and are sure to inspire plenty of compliments while you’re dining on barbecue pork sandwiches or learning your way around a crawfish boil. Throwing your own cookout? Here’s the scoop on how to do it right.

Mackenzie Horan at a lakeThe lake trip
Depending on if you’re heading to Lake Travis or Lake Burton, you may have very different experiences, ranging from spotting the boozing bachelors of Austin to running into Alabama football coach, Nick Saban lounging outside his $11 million Georgian home.

In either scenario, you’ll still want to look put-together, but not, of course, as if you’re going to church. Don’t be scared to layer up —you never know how weather in the Southern states will behave this time of year. Pack a swimsuit, a cover-up like Lake Pajamas or a dress you don’t mind getting wet, and a stylish boater hat. Fill a large tote bag (straw works here, too!) with easy-to-pack snacks and extra water, and you’re all set. Blast the Allman Brothers and don’t forget to pack some frosé in a stainless steel tumbler to keep it as cool as your lake-casual look.

Abby Capalbo at the beach on a boat

The beach vacation
No summer is complete without a road trip or flight to a beach destination. Whether you’re heading to 30A or the Maldives, we’ve got your packing list covered.

Y’all — one-piece swimsuits are finally in fashion, regardless of your age or size, and we’re all for embracing a more modest approach to swimwear. Celebrate America’s birthday with a red, white and blue one-piece swimsuit for ladies, and for men — chubbies trunks are the Southern man’s go-to. These go hand-in-hand with Croakies to keep your sunglasses secure while boogie boarding.

If you’re jetting off to any of the above events this July Fourth, you’re going to need some tasty and portable food, and we’re all for packing the perfect Southern picnic, especially when Virginia Willis is planning it. Invite any northern friends you can find and show them how the celebrating Independence Day in the South is superior.

Once you’re packed, planned and ready, all you need to remember is to be careful around sparklers — after all, you’re wearing the finest red white and blue attire a Southern lady or gentleman can find.

Lake Pajamas

Photo credit (hero): Vineyard Vines Facebook
Photo credit (barbecue attire):
Victoria Ford of Prepford Wife

Photo credit (lake attire):  Mackenzie Horan Beuttenmuller of Design Darling
Photo credit (beach attire):  Abby Capalbo and Erin McGinn
Photo credit (last image):  Lake Pajamas Facebook

Author image

Lindsay Davis is the Digital Audience Development Specialist at Southern Kitchen. She is the czar of all things content distribution with a background in digital marketing and analytics. She has worked with brands including StarbucksVeuve Clicquot and Florida Department of Citrus. A native of the Empire of the South itself, proud former Georgia Bulldog and American University alumna, she returned to Atlanta after exploring her education and career (and the food scenes) in Washington, DC and New York City with a fresh perspective on life and dining.