Baxter says navy is getting its due as a fashion color, too, and shoppers are using it as they would a black. “I think we’re shifting into a period of fashion where navy will become a more influential base color throughout the year.”
Whatever it is, choose “a hero color,” says Ahmed-Yahia. “You don’t have to be equal parts red, white and blue.”
A red headband or scarf ties an everyday white T-shirt and jeans into a barbecue outfit.
Costume designer Eric Daman often put Leighton Meester’s “Gossip Girl” character in red, white and blue, but, he says, he also was keenly aware of balance, which doesn’t mean even. Stars are OK, stripes are OK, and sometimes they’re even OK together, but it’s easier to wade into overkill territory.
His favorite trick is a nautical theme: It could be a blue-and-red striped bateau neck top with white jeans, or a blue-and-white striped rugby with washed-out red chino shorts. “It’s a very Nantucket way to do it,” says Daman, a style adviser to retailer Century 21. A navy blazer, red tank and white pants offer a slightly dressier look.
And then he kicks it up with accessories, maybe a red shoe or red bag, but probably not both.
Colorblocking remains a strong trend in fashion now, too, and that works with red, white and blue. Think mod — and use white as the ground.
There’s a way to keep it all feeling fresh, even if it’s familiar, says Hilfiger. “Over the years I’ve looked at the iconic color palette in so many ways — we used rich burgundy and deep navy for fall while royal blue and ‘Tommy’ red defined the spring collection. There are an endless number of ways to work with these colors.”