Maybe it was all the Old Navy flag tees I was forced to wear for family photos as a child. Maybe it was the silliness of the fuss over which politicians wear flag pins. Maybe it was Jessica Simpson's flag bikini. Either way, I've developed a decided ambivalence towards patriotic apparel—except when it comes to anything one wears to a pool party. A wet, hot, American summer just calls for red, white and blue. Spangle yourself with stars and stripes if you like, or stick to the color-blocked basics—after all, a nautical look never goes out of style. 

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