published Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Red, white and blue fashions for the 4th of July

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    From left: Misty Heinsman is in a dress and shoes from Dillard’s with a scarf/sash from Gap. She holds Eden Lee Smith, 2, who wears a dress from Cracker Barrel and sandals from Gap. Olivia Mayes, 8, wears a sailboat dress and silver belt from the Gap. Sandals are from Target. Ellie Rose Heinsman, 8, wears a bandana shirt and ruffled jean skirt from the Gap, with sandals purchased online. Lorean Mays wears a blazer, skinny jeans and tank from The Limited and red pumps by Rampage from Belk. Mays' son J.A. Heard, 4, wears a Ralph Lauren Big Pony oxford shirt and Ralph Lauren Patchwork shorts from and All Stars White shoes from Dillard’s.
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• More than 160 million Americans will celebrate the Fourth of July by hosting or attending a cookout, barbecue or picnic, the most in the survey's history.

• Nearly 115 million people will attend a fireworks or community celebration.

• 35 million will attend a parade.

• 30 million will go out of town to celebrate.

• More than 48 million will purchase patriotic merchandise, including apparel.

Source: National Retail Federation

You'll be seeing red on Wednesday. For that matter, a lot of white and blue, too.

Whether it's combining red, white and blue separates or clothing decorated with stars and stripes, wearing the colors of the flag is a visual display of patriotism for the Fourth of July.

According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGinsight, more than 48 million Americans will purchase patriotic merchandise, including apparel, this year.

Former Miss Black Tennessee Lorean Mays said three generations of her family choose patriotic attire for the Fourth.

"We always go with the theme for Independence Day," she said. "I feel that it is important to show your patriotism on July Fourth, showing that we are united as one and most importantly showing that we believe in our country."

Typically, Mays pulls together red, white and blue pieces already in her wardrobe.

"I love white jeans and navy blazers," she said. "Red is usually a pop color for me with accessories, my belt or shoes."

Mays said she'll generally buy something new for her 4-year-old son, J.A. Heard, to wear. Red and blue are her favorite colors to dress him in, "so he has quite a bit in his wardrobe."

Misty Heinsman, of Chattanooga, said she, too, will pull patriotic colors out of her closet, perhaps accessorizing with something new, such as a scarf or hat, "and always cute sandals."

Heinsman said Target is a good source for themed T-shirts for daughter Ellie, 8. And husband Rich will also wear a red, white and blue T-shirt, she said.

Local artist Daniel Swanger said his choice of patriotic colors also shows his support for religious freedom.

"I'm wearing red, white and blue to St. Stephen's (Catholic) Church this weekend as our U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops proclaim 'Fortnight for Freedom' to protect religious liberty and be patriotic at the same time," he said.

Rossville resident Ann Dendy, a Realtor, said her church, Parkway Baptist Temple, celebrated the holiday Sunday by singing patriotic songs and swapping out their typical choir robes for red, white and blue clothing. Dendy said the church is also decorated for the holiday.

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at or 423-757-6396. Follow her on Twitter at Subscribe to her posts on Facebook at

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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