Woman sitting on a couch on a boat

Red, White and True to You







By Michelle Crowe



Lilly Pulitzer is summer goals.


Most years, Independence Day seems to sneak up out of nowhere and I find myself surprised that it’s time for fireworks and a hometown parade.

This holiday, like so many, seems to have grown both larger, with the proliferation of themed merchandise available at every turn and smaller, with stores open and less of that “special day” feeling.

This past week I dug out my very favorite cookbook of all time, Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays. This 2005 tome, written by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney with fab photographs of Lilly’s family and friends and illustrations by the wonderful Izak Zenhou is a treasure.


Essentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays


For each included celebration, Lilly gave a bit of history on how she experienced the day as a girl and there are travel suggestions for spots with wonderful traditions. July 4th includes a list of presidential libraries and reminisces of Cooperstown, New York.

There’s also a fab recipe for tomato sandwiches with basil mayo and lemon bars with blueberries.

It’s ideal for the last-minute party planner like me.


Martha Stewart and friends in an image from Martha Stewart Living.


And because it features a menu and day designed around a beach picnic in Palm Beach, it’s not too strict with the red, white and blue. This is great because while it is chic to celebrate our Independence, it is also easy to veer into the territory of “too much” rather quickly.


Gal Meets Glam, Julia Hengle, sets the scene for a chic soiree.


Better to stick with all white, or blue-and-white stripes, which we all have handy. That way when a well-meaning Girl Scout tosses a handful of star beads your way during a parade or a hostess with the mostest offers Uncle Sam headbands, you’ll still feel like yourself when you pop them on in the spirit of the day.


Street style that works for this week and all summer long.


Here’s hoping everyone enjoys a lovely holiday from the city, the shore or a beloved hometown.