Ah, Independence Day—the holiday when many of us have been known to drink too much rosé before 5pm and ’gram photos of ourselves with #MERICA captions. It’s a glorious weekend, right at the peak of summer, when there still seem to be an infinite number of 80-degree, sun-filled days stretching ahead, which definitely contributes to the feeling of revelry.
In anticipation of one of the best holidays of the year, we polled seven staffers about how they plan to make the most of it. From popping bottles on city rooftops to beach lounging and s’mores-making, we all have different—and equally awesome—ideas of what makes a perfect Fourth.
Jess Teves, Editor in Chief
I’m having a staycation this year—there’s nothing better than summer in the city, when everyone departs for beachier locales and you can dine at all your favorite restaurants—without a reservation! Plus, there’s nothing I love more than tennis in Central Park when the weather is nice.
- You’ll never catch me outside without a layer of CoTZ’ insanely effective sunscreen—it has 20 percent zinc, so I wear it under my makeup and layered on thick for tennis, too.
- My roof deck has the best views of the east river, so this Fourth I’ll be entertaining friends, drinking lots of chilled Gavi di Gavi La Scolca.
- I’ll be wearing this new dress from Zimmerman—consider it, along with the sandals in #7, my summer uniform.
- We’ll be noshing on salad and this super-easy summer pasta made with fresh Roma tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella, Basil, and olive oil.
- When I’m entertaining, I always use starched linen napkins, no matter what.
- Watching Wimbledon is easily my favorite July Fourth weekend activity—pray for my hero Roger Federer.
- I love these comfy yet chic Aquazzura fringed suede sandals.
- I’m not big into themed holiday décor but I never miss an opportunity to add hurricane lanterns to a setting.
Perrie Samotin, Editorial Director
I’ll be escaping the city crowds in South Hampton, New York.
- I plan to breeze through Local Girls by Caroline Zancan.
- My two favorite for-face products—bronzer and highlighter–got married and the result is MAC’s Gleamtones Powder from its summery Vibe Tribe collection. It’s all I plan on wearing.
- The phrase ‘rosé all day’ will take on a new meaning—as in, that’s exactly what will happen with cold bottles sourced from local vineyards, like Wolffer Estate.
- Back in college, I remember this tall blonde sorority girl showed up to a party in a Budweiser one-piece bathing suit with jean shorts and I’ve never forgotten it. My 2016 take? This slightly less literal one-piece that can take me from the pool to the bar.
- July 4th weekend isn’t really a time to pick at a kale salad, IMO. I plan to get down with a serious American repast—we’re talking burgers and dogs right off the grill, Budweiser from the can, and maybe a classic bomb pop. My forefathers would have wanted it that way.
- A loose-fitting gingham dress easily doubles as a cover-up by the pool.
- I have to be in control of the playlist or I start to panic. This year, we’ll be listening to betablock3r, Travi$ Scott, Starrah, Zara Larsson, D.R.A.M., Gallant, Rihanna, Post Malone, and—sorry, not sorry—Justin Bieber.
- In case we dare leave the house—doubtful—I’ll wear my new silver leather slides with a one-inch heel from Zara with a pair of high-waisted jeans and a tee.
- I’ll be yammering on to anyone who will listen about ‘OJ: Made in America,’ ESPN’s absolutely stunning five-part ’30 for 30′ documentary that examines the athlete’s rise and fall in the context of race tensions in LA dating back to the 1960s.
Cristina Velocci, Managing Editor
I’ll be spending much of the holiday weekend in my parents’ backyard pool on Long Island.
- I’m thinking my contribution to our family BBQ will be homemade boozy ice pops, because why the hell not?
- One of my favorite authors is Jhumpa Lahiri, and her second novel Lowland has been on my reading list forever. The time has come.
- I’ve been obsessed with sparklers ever since I was a child, and it just wouldn’t be July Fourth without them—so much more fun than fireworks.
- I’ll be slathered in La Roche Posay’s Anthelios 30, which is pretty much the most perfect sunscreen, ever.
- If you need me, I’ll be lounging on this v. necessary lobster float.
- L*Space makes my favorite bikinis right now, and I can’t wait to break in this simple wrap-top version for the season.
Melissa Medvedich, Creative Director
My husband and I will be at a friend’s cabin in Petersburg, Pennsylvania.
- Before I head outside, I’ll be spraying on tons of bug spray…
- …and sunscreen.
- Our friends rented a 12-person pontoon, so we’ll be boating, and when we’re not, I’ll be chilling by the water.
- I’ll bring my healing crystals to charge and clear their energy in the sun.
- I’ll be wearing my new Alix swimsuit.
- I won’t be cooking, but I’ll show my patriotism and bring Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ritas—just kidding, kind of.
- Over my suit, I’ll throw this easy Zara romper.
- The best part of heading to the country is eating all of the s’mores.
Hilary George-Parkin, Fashion Editor
I’ll be hanging out in Manhattan, taking the opportunity to enjoy the city sans crowds.
- After a day in the sun, Red Flower rose camellia plum soft-water mist is the yummiest-smelling face mist ever—perfect for a little insta-refreshment.
- Margs, guac, and Tacombi fish tacos is my ideal meal 365 days of the year, but especially this weekend.
- You’ll probably find me nose-deep in Emma Cline’s debut novel The Girls, about a teenage girl in 1969 who gets wrapped up in a Manson-esque cult.
- Since I joined the cult of the one-piece last summer and haven’t looked back, I’ll be wearing my current favorite—this red one by Solid & Striped.
- I’m not going to lie: I’m a little terrified of biking in the city, and since I moved downtown in the fall, my bike has been gathering dust in my building’s basement. This will be the weekend I finally conquer that fear—maybe.
- I’d be remiss not to mention that it’s also Canada Day on the July 1st, so obviously I’ll be showing a little hometown love and blasting Drake and Justin Bieber on repeat.
- My apartment is in desperate need of some greenery, and a long weekend seems like the perfect opportunity to pick up—and learn how not to kill—a couple of plants.
Hannah Hickok, Lifestyle Editor
I’m celebrating the Fourth in Shelter Island, New York, where my college roommate’s family has a house. We’ll be beaching, hiking, boating, and doing a lot of reading on the screened-in porch.
- The old house we’ll be staying in doesn’t have AC—and who wants to deal with hairdryers and hot irons, anyway?—so I’ll be relying on this Bumble and Bumble surf infusion spray to give my hair frizz-free texture.
- Excited to devour this addictive new missing-person thriller, All the Missing Girls, on in the hammock.
- I plan to beach-lounge in this floral Rachel Pally one-piece.
- I’m a fan of classic, bright orangey-red nails any time of year, but July Fourth seems especially apropos.
- Since the friend we’re staying with is vegan, but her family isn’t, booze is often the one thing everyone shares in her house. I’m going to mix up a spicy cocktail featuring whiskey, ginger ale, pureed cucumber and jalapenos, and lemon juice.
- On the train and ferry, my boyfriend and I will catch up on our current favorite podcast, Trumpcast, hosted by Slate Editor in Chief Jacob Weisberg. It’s smart, funny, entertaining, and features excellent, parodying impersonations of Trump’s latest antics.
- These Rag & Bone espadrilles are comfy and casual, and go with pretty much everything (but look more pulled-together than flip flops).
- A vintage pair of distressed high-waist Levi cutoffs are the easiest thing to throw on over my swimsuit.
Lauren Caruso, Beauty Director
I’ll be sticking around New York City for the Fourth.
- I won’t be visiting the ocean, but this Ouai wave spray makes it hard to tell.
- I love America and all, but this super-pale gray-blue polish by tenoverten is about as festive as I get.
- When the rooftops get too crowded, I’ll be stationed at Union Fare on East 17th, sipping on this delicious pineapple mezcal drink.
- An off-the-shoulder dress should always double as a cover-up. This Pixie Market one ticks both boxes.
- If I have to be in a bikini while I’m eating sliders on a rooftop—I hate me right now, too—it’ll definitely be a high-waisted one like this Bower Swimwear number.
- As for my beauty routine, a smidge of this way-flattering RMS highlighter on the inner corners of my eyes and my Cupid’s bow’ll replace my usual 10-minute makeup routine.
- Hopefully I’ll be needing these shades.
- Sorry, Levi’s, but these 3×1 cutoffs reign supreme in my book.