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Sunday, May 1st 2016

12:48 PM

Feeling and Dressing Patriotic, in Red, White and Blue, for Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Day

        

Victoria Moore in red, white and blue flag sweater

 

   The day before I had to put together another "required" outfit to celebrate Read Across America Week and Dr. Seuss was a little more stressful than when I coordinated a green ensemble for Green Eggs and Ham day because the students I subbed with weren't just blase about reading, Dr. Seuss, and dressing in red and blue to "celebrate his book One Fish, Two Fish, Red fish, Blue Fish they were downright hostile. The slightest reminder to read 20 minutes a day and fill out their monthly reading logs were also fraught with stubborn silences, eye rolling and attitude. Since I'm a die-hard bookworm, professional writer and fashion lover I wanted to come to school in something that wasn't just red and blue, but patriotic as well.

   From my clip files I selected a J. Crew ad featuring a model wearing a red blazer over a red and white striped shirt and faded denim jeans and a super funky DKNY ad with various models in red and blue outfits accessorized with sneakers, to get ideas from. Finally, to round out my search, I studied a Vogue layout from the January 2016 issue in the What to Wear Where section called Anthems. It's focus was "all-American dressing with an eccentric and cool twist."

   Still reeling emotionally from the way the students dissed Dr. Seuss on Green Eggs and Ham I went to Forever 21 in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for a little retail therapy and some inspiration. On one of my favorite Sale racks I found a red, white and blue flag sweater, and snatched it up immediately. I knew I remembered I had a red, white and blue knit cap I'd bought at The Surplus Store years ago and a red, beige, white and blue web belt I'd bought at a thrift store too, that would look perfect with the sweater. Once I got home,I pulled out my hat,and my belt, then decided to layer the sweater over a denim button-down shirt and navy-blue skinny pants.

   With history being taught sporadically in elementary schools today, at least compared to when I attended, I hoped this outfit would make our students want to learn more about U.S. history and Dr. Seuss. Published in 1960 by Random House, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a wonderful starter book for new readers because it has a "simple rhyming text" and two fun main characters, Jay and Kay. It was also selected as "one of the Top 100 Books for Children by teachers through the National Education Association," and it's been translated into various languages including Spanish ("Un pez, dos peces, pez rojo, pez azul").

   On March 1, when I wore the outfit to school, I was very pleased that it received a lot of compliments and our students seemed a little more enthusiastic about Dr. Seuss. Now my next challenge was to get them excited about reading The Cat In The Hat, in an attractive and challenging striped outfit, on Wednesday, March 2, where we were "required" to wear stripes to celebrate this famous book.

Fashion Coordination Tips for Red and Blue:

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  • You can either pair two solid colors, like a red dress with a blue denim jacket or prints that compliment and reflect a patriotic flair, such as a red, white or blue blazer, jacket or sweater over a red and white striped long-sleeved shirt or blue and white striped shirt and jeans, then accessorize with red framed shades, a red or blue bag and red, white and blue sneakers.
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  • Creative combinations, such as a blue and white striped button-down or white button-down shirt, blue shirt and red cardigan either worn over the shirt or tied around the waist of the skirt or a white tank top and red, white and blue track pants also look good without being kitschy.
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  • If you want to be daring and mix patterns, you can try a red, white and blue print jacket over a red and blue plaid or polka-dotted dress and blue and white striped knee socks or a red and white striped short-sleeved jacket over a red and blue striped dress.
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