From Coca-Cola advertisements and roadside diners to Friday-night football games, countless motifs define American culture. One of the most characterizing elements? The fashion, of course. Although America is in its youth, it has a rich history of distinct sartorial decades. As many current trends do, the Americana aesthetic looks to these past eras to inspire our present-day closets.
When we think back to iconic Americana fashion moments, the list is long. Just to name a few: Tyra Banks outdid herself in double denim outfits during the 90s. Or, Cher, wearing a Stetson hat on the dance floor and while strolling the streets of LA. Lastly, who could forget the rugged muscle tees and jeans that Geena Davis wore in Thelma & Louise? These women made the Americana aesthetic their own, and so can you. Whether you’re rocking timeless 501s or cowboy boots, Americana attire ranks as one of summer 2022’s hottest trends. Before we dive into our outfit suggestions, let’s further define the Americana aesthetic.
What is the Americana Aesthetic?
Are you asking yourself, “what is the Americana aesthetic?” The short answer is that it’s a fashion trend informed by American history and culture, often with a focus on the 20th century. Now here’s the long answer: It’s truly up to interpretation, but if you’re wanting a style roadmap, we’re happy to provide one. Imagine a woman in a vintage black and white photo celebrating the 4th of July. Or, a group of friends in the 70s huddled on the beach posing for a polaroid shot. What are they wearing? We’re looking at how we can meld old Americana influences into our modern ensembles. Think retro ankle socks with platform sneakers or bucket hats with classic striped crew neck sweaters.
If you’re unsure where to begin, choosing a color palette is a solid starting point. Rely on the American flag for inspiration. Crisp red, white and blue hues will help you achieve a timeless look, but feel free to explore various shades. Dusty reds, faded blues and creams lend to a lived-in, heritage feel. Then, borrow from a bygone age for elements and silhouettes that excite your fashion senses—like the A-line midi skirts of the greaser era or the far-out florals of the 60s. Whether you want to stick to the summery classics or seek something more evocative, we’ve got your back. Keep scrolling to see which Americana aesthetic is right for you.
Classic Americana Aesthetic
Are you looking for a quintessential outfit to wear on Independence Day? Don’t overthink it. Go with the classic Americana aesthetic. The style anchor for these summer staples is denim. So you can’t go wrong with jean skirts, overalls or a chambray shirt. For tops and dresses, opt for solids, nautical stripes, vibrant ginghams or ditsy florals. Extra style points for throwback details like puffed sleeves and off-the-shoulder necklines. Take it easy in high-rise denim shorts and an effortless crop top in navy and white stripes. Add a little prep to your step with chic ballet flats to tie the look together. Don’t forget to grab a woven hat or visor to keep you protected during a sunny barbecue luncheon.
Seeking a daytime dress to achieve the Americana aesthetic? A pink knit midi dress in a micro checkered pattern is casual at its finest. Pair your frock with red high-top sneakers for a sprinkling of streetwear. Summer nights can quickly turn to chilly evenings, so layers will come in clutch. A dress with a jean jacket is a marvelous match, so make your look pop with a crisp white wash. Boom—now you’re set to enjoy a fireworks show under the stars.
Western-inspired Outfit Ideas
Saddle up and get ready for a wild ride. All things western are back in style and are a nod to the Americana aesthetic. Whether you want to infuse southwestern charm into your wardrobe or your life revolves around horses, this one’s for you. Simply a fan of fringe and dream of an idealized farm life? Join the club, and live vicariously through these western-inspired fashion choices.
From ranches to runways, cowboy boots feature in designers’ collections everywhere. They’re the footwear of choice when you want to embrace your inner rodeo queen. Cowboy boots in neutral croc prints are no-brainers, but why not up the ante? Yeehaw meets modern with bold colors, funky prints and varying shaft heights to add a personal twist. For an effortless look, pair your boots with a tiered prairie dress suited for twirling. Swap the dress for a miniskirt in a statement cow pattern for added country flair. Your skirt will be the star of this sartorial showdown, so keep the rest of the outfit subdued. A white collared blouse and nude booties will do the trick. For an outfit that’s rough-riding-ready, you can’t go wrong with patchwork denim. Just add a plaid shirt that won’t show the dirt your trusty steed kicks up. Nashville, here we come.
Route 66 Americana Aesthetic
Are you packing for a road trip, or do you enjoy a spontaneous joyride from time to time? If you prefer your attire to match your wanderlust attitude, fasten your seatbelts. Route 66-esque outfits rooted in the Americana aesthetic are ideal for travel by car or motorcycle. Why? They resemble a carefree spirit with a mix of grunge and bohemian elements. Hit the highway in a weathered Harley-Davidson tee that will camouflage accidental stains from road trip snacking. A flannel borrowed from a family member or passed down from generations gives a wholesome, homegrown vibe. Keep it tied around your waist for easy layering, and opt for flares on bottom as a nod to 70s fashion.
Truth be told, dresses can be just as comfortable as sweats—especially in the summertime. Take your outfit to the max in a flowy maxi dress in a sunflower print to beat the desert heat. For extra-cooling ventilation, go with linen or cotton fabrications. This breezy style will keep you stylish during a road trip destined for old-school motels and eateries. Plus, you’ll stay comfy after indulging in milkshakes and diner food. When the top goes down on the convertible, tie your hair back with a bandana for true nostalgic vibes. Pop in your Bruce Springsteen, Eagles and Stevie Nicks mixtape, and you’re ready to cruise down the open road.
Retro Beach Styles
Put on your retro heart-shaped glasses and queue up “Surfin’ U.S.A.” It’s time to head to the coast. When it comes to the Americana aesthetic, we had to include beach-ready outfits inspired by yesteryear. For beach volleyball matches and sand dollar searches, reach for a one-piece swimsuit or high-rise swim bottoms and matching top. Keep things current with slides that are easy to kick off when it’s time for a dip in the tide. A crochet cover-up will come in handy for a quick rainbow sherbet run.
Are you more of an adventurous gal? Gear up for a bike ride along the pier in an outfit you can toss over your swimsuit. For a stroll down memory lane, pair ultra high-waisted shorts with a tie-front tank featuring a spunky Peter Pan collar. Tuck your essentials into a belt bag and buckle it diagonally across your chest in a trend-forward fashion. Lastly, secure your strands with a large claw clip or oversized hair barrettes just over the ears. Ready, set, cycle your way into the Americana aesthetic like a pro.
Have we sparked your interest in these all-American styles? Enlist the help of an expert stylist and take your style quiz to get started. A curation of five items will arrive on your doorstep, allowing you to try before you buy. Keep what you love and return the rest. For added fashion fun, head over to Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to instantly buy pieces curated for your style and size. As always, shipping and returns are on us.