Independence Day as a kid was all about pool parties and hamburgers, sparklers and fireworks. But while most of us were busy rough-housing, our parents were thinking of adorable outfits to put us in. There were certain Fourth of July clothes our parents made us wear in the '90s — all ranging between the good and the ugly. While most kids couldn't care less what they wore (as long as they were running wild and within 10-feet of some form of sugar), others were pretty particular on what they endorsed. Personally, I had a cousin who would throw a Level Three tantrum if her mom so much as tried to suggest a sock choice to her.
This kind of thing, of course, is exactly what made our childhood Fourth of July outfits so entertaining. Some years our parents gave up and just let us wear our bathing suits or Bermuda shorts, while other years they tried to wrestle us into red, white, and blue hair bows and patriotic dresses. Although experiences varied among us, one thing was for sure: All the looks were amazingly '90s. It was all bike shorts and acid wash jeans, Peter Pan collars and neon colors. Let's take a look at our parents' penchants... and judge. Below are 11 childhood Fourth of July looks the 'rents often forced upon us.
1. Anything With A Sailor Collar
I get it: What was cuter in the '90s than a little kid wearing an exaggerated sailor collar? Mix that with that fact that it gave a slight hat tip to the Navy, and you had yourself a cutie-patootie of a Fourth of July look.
This was the ultimate "go get dirty while mommy drinks a wine spritzer, IDC anymore" outfit. When the overalls came on, we were all like, "Challenge. Accepted."
3. Patriotic Head Gear
Fourth Of July Girls, $24.99, etsy.com
No matter what holiday it was, chances are your mom came at you with some kind of a monstrosity of a bow. The Fourth was no exception — the bigger, fuzzier, and more tricked out, the better. Bonus points if yours ate half of your head, and you spent the car ride to your aunt's pool party glaring at your mom in the rear-view mirror.
4. Tulle Skirts
4th Of July Girl Outfit, $16, etsy.com
My mom was an Eastern European foreigner, and she got such a kick out of the pageantry of the fireworks-laden holiday. Enter her obsession with putting red, white, and blue tulle over my stirrup pants. And me, being the epitome of a girly girl, not having it any other way.
5. Bermuda Shorts
While Hilary Banks' shorts were chic and streamlined, our kid versions were probably popsicle-stained and pattern-heavy, exploding with kiddie colors.
6. A Pinafore
While it would have been totally ideal that your parents dressed you up in nothing but red, white, and blue, chances are your mom just reached for the nearest clean dress and popped it over your head. That's where the pinafore dress came in: One of the staple looks of every '90s baby.
7. Plaid Anything
Boys 4th of July Outfit, $38, etsy.com
Whether it was a pair of shorts or a picnic-inspired dress, if mom or dad didn't have anything vaguely flag-esque, the next best thing was a colorful plaid. And while you didn't have majestic bald eagles on your shirt, it was still perfect for a barbecue and pool party aesthetic.
8. Jelly Shoes
Are jelly shoes symbolic of Independence Day in any way? Nope. Would you have screamed bloody murder if your mom tried to convince you to wear something else? Yep.
9. A Tricked Out Fourth Outfit
Girl 4th of July Fireworks Shirt, $25, etsy.com
Although some parents were fine with their kids just wearing normal tees and pants, others tricked out their peanuts in everything that was red, white, and blue. Whether you were a kid in the '90s or an early noughties baby, a mom who loved pageantry and flash was the same.
10. Cute Sunnies
Because what was more adorable than a kid wearing oversized plastic sunnies?
11. A Two-Piece Outfit
Two-piece outfits were all the rage back in our childhoods. A total no-brainer, they were as easy to put together as grabbing for a dress, but more play-friendly. They let us kids rough-house in pants and grass stains and were a jiffy to take off. All in all, an ace of a choice.
With the Fourth only a week away, let these nostalgic looks give you some inspo. I mean, jelly shoes never really went out of fashion, right?
Images: ABC (4); The WB (1); Etsy (4); NBC (1)