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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
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193 Consumers Consulted
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best kids’ Fourth of July clothes

What are your kids wearing this Fourth of July? The colors red, white, and blue go hand-in-hand with Independence Day, and what better way for them to jump into the fun than with kids’ clothing that celebrates the holiday?

If you know a youngster who would love to dress in something flashy and patriotic this July, you have come to the right place. In this buying guide, we explore your options, from sleeveless sundresses to cotton loungewear. What’s more, with a bit of planning, the children’s apparel you select this Fourth of July can also be suitable to wear in August, September, October, and beyond, making it a practical investment. 

In this guide, we touch on the types of celebratory clothing you can buy for kids and the prices you can expect to see. Don’t forget to check out our top selections to see what we’re raving about.

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A fun Fourth of July-themed shirt makes a great gift for a party host, the children of the party host … or yourself.

Key considerations

Types of clothing

When buying for a child, comfort is key. The good old-fashioned T-shirt reigns supreme in the world of Fourth of July apparel, but other choices certainly exist. Here’s a quick list.

T-shirts: For the star-spangled holiday, themed T-shirts for kids abound. Most feature a red, white, or blue background with a catchy phrase, pattern, or graphic on the front. Black is another common background color that contrasts well with the red, white, and blue aesthetic.

Tank tops: If the kids will be frolicking under hot sun, consider a tank top rather than a T-shirt. The wearer will appreciate an extra bit of breeze on their shoulders.

Polos: Although uncommon, a few collared shirts are available for kids with a patriotic aesthetic. Some are button-downs; others are pulled over the head.

Sweatshirts: The market offers sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts (hoodies), and thin “off-the-shoulder” sweatshirts with patriotic themes. For a child, a zippered hoodie may be the most practical choice because it can also serve as a jacket in spring and fall. Sweatshirt designs tend to be less flashy and elaborate than some other choices. Muted blues and reds as well as pinks, purples, and yellows are common.

Leggings: Leggings stretch with kids as they play, exercise, and sleep. For the holiday, some kids’ leggings feature flashy patterns with stars, stripes, rocket ships, or other designs. If you already have a holiday T-shirt, consider buying a solid-colored pair of leggings that will carry your child through several seasons of wear.

Two-piece outfits: If you’d prefer not to hunt for separate tops and bottoms, search for a coordinated outfit. Shirt/shorts sets are common, colorful, and cute, and they can be repurposed as pajamas later.

Pajamas: Holiday bonus: your child can wear their Fourth of July PJs on Christmas Eve and no one will know. Kids’ can never seem to own enough pajamas, and a matching set for the family makes a great photo op. If practicality is the goal, we recommend Fourth of July pajamas.

Swimsuits: Another practical option is a patriotic swimsuit with an American flag, stars, stripes, or a similar design. Even after the holiday has passed, no one blinks an eye when a child wears a patriotic bathing suit to the pool or beach.

Sundresses: For kids who love dresses, the sundress is a beloved summer style. Sleeveless sundresses are common, as are spaghetti-strap dresses and halter-top dresses that tie behind the neck. Your child might prefer an A-line that flares below the waist or a roomy baby doll dress for running and playing.

Shorts and skorts: In summer, a kid really can’t have too many pairs of shorts. Adding a patriotic pair or two into the mix is a great idea. If you’re buying for a toddler or baby, you might find a multipack of two or more pairs for a low price.

Socks, hats, and novelties: Though flip-flops are common in summer, a lot of kids are wearing socks with their open-toed shoes these days. Hats, particularly sun hats that will keep UV rays off of the skin and out of the eyes during an outdoor celebration, are another practical choice. 

Other fun holiday-themed novelties you might love include overalls, tutus, suspenders, hair scrunchies, and sunglasses.

Material and care

If you’re a busy parent or guardian who does not wish to spend hours separating laundry by color and ironing freshly dried items, take note of the material and washing instructions on your new garment.

Manufacturers understand that easy care is often the goal with children’s clothing. As such, cotton is a common material. Cotton is natural, easy to care for, and often the best choice for youngsters with sensitive skin.

Note that cotton can be thick like denim or thin like basketweave. Choose an item with a thickness that you believe will keep your child comfortable.

Sizing

A “kid” is technically anyone under the age of 18, but for our purposes, we are discussing clothing for young people between birth and approximately 12 years of age.

Baby clothes are often sized based on age. For a newborn, the tag should say “NB.” The next step up is “0-3 months.” Depending on the brand, sizes may go up through 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, or in some cases, 36 months.

In the US, labels often switch to the “T” system after 18 months: 2T, 3T, 4T, and so on. The “typical” two-year-old child would wear a 2T; the “typical” three-year-old would wear a 3T. Of course, some kids are larger or smaller than average, so shop accordingly.

When your child outgrows the T sizes (5T is the largest toddler size in most cases), they will wear regular children’s sizes. These may be found with numbers from 4 to 16, depending on the brand. Between the ages of 10 and 12, many kids move into adult sizes.

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For Your Safety
Kids are susceptible to the ill effects of dehydration, and those ill effects can creep up with little warning. Keep your kids (and yourself) hydrated during the Fourth with plenty of chilled water, lemonade, popsicles, or whatever you enjoy.
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Features

Parent/child sets

If you’re hoping to be twinsies with your offspring, you can find matching Fourth of July clothes made in both adult and child sizes. It can be a fun bonding experience for you and your child, and it’s also a great photo opportunity. What’s more, it’s not difficult to find holiday T-shirts in child and adult sizes. 

On the other hand, if you are hoping to find a matching sundress or pajama set for you and your kid, you might need to search a little harder. Whereas T-shirts are pretty mainstream, manufacturers don’t always want to risk the expense of making adult versions of less-common types of apparel.

Embellishments

Tassels, fringe, jewels, glitter, and sequins often embellish this festive wear. If you select an item with tassels or fringe, use extra care when washing and drying. Better yet, wash the item by hand to avoid twists and rips caused by the machine.

Jewels, glitter, and sequins are attached to clothing with varying degrees of security. Depending on the quality of the garment, you may expect to see wayward sequins or other bits in your washing machine lint trap or rubber filter.

Words, pictures, and patterns

Cute, sassy, or fun? Holiday apparel is designed to embody all sorts of moods. Some kids love clothing with stars, stripes, hearts, unicorns, or other designs. Others appreciate the chance to showcase their favorite animal or pop culture character (Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse, Star Wars).

Casual vs. formal

It’s safe to say that most Fourth of July apparel is casual in nature. However, if you want something patriotic and formal, you can find it — it just might take some searching.

If your kids are crafty and want to design their own holiday wear, let them jazz up plain white T-shirts with sequins, puffy paint, or even a tie-dye kit.

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Pricing

Lower cost: A trick to finding the best inexpensive Fourth of July clothing for kids is buying off-season. A collared shirt or sundress that sells for $30 in late June might be marked down to $8 in November or December. However, if it’s early June or July and you need something now, expect to pay a minimum of $10 (and up to around $20) for a T-shirt or a simple pair of leggings.

Higher cost: If you’re willing to spend more than $20, you will enjoy more choices. Whereas lower-cost items tend to be simple cotton T-shirts, leggings, and novelties like socks and hats, you can find a large array of items between $20 and $50, including sweet sundresses, snappy polo shirts, and adorable overalls for kids.

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Caution
Before you set off fireworks, check local codes and ordinances. In some areas, fireworks may only be set off on personal property or on certain dates or are prohibited entirely.
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Tips

  • Dress kids in light colors to reflect the sun. If your child will be spending the day outside, consider a shirt with a white background. Some Fourth of July clothing has a black background, which looks cool but can feel extra hot and sticky on a balmy day.
  • Consider the dress code. Many schools employ a dress code that prohibits clothing with spaghetti straps and short shorts. However, most kids are not in school by the Fourth of July. Still, if there is any sort of dress code in place, you will want to make sure their new items are compatible.
  • Remember the sunscreen and bug repellent. Slather sunscreen on yourself and the kids to prevent sunburn, and don’t forget the mosquitoes that will be hanging around looking for their next meal.
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Throwing an outdoor Fourth of July party? Keep bugs at bay by strategically placing citronella candles or tiki torches in your party zone.

FAQ

Q. What is the most practical clothing item I can buy for the Fourth of July?

A. If you’re looking for something your child can wear again and again, even after the holiday, we suggest an item that does not specifically mention Independence Day on it.

Items that we find to be particularly versatile throughout the seasons include T-shirts (pair with a turtleneck in cold weather), hoodies, pajamas, and bathing suits. Further, if you will be vacationing in a sunny spot in the winter, you can pack your child’s Fourth of July summer gear for your trip.

Q. Are there other appropriate days when my child can wear their Fourth of July clothing?

A. Yes. Several established days of celebration throughout the year in the US would be appropriate: Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June, Constitution Day in September, Veterans Day in November, MLK Day in January, Presidents’ Day in February, and any election day throughout the year.

Q. How can I prevent the bright red in my child’s new clothing from bleeding in the washing machine?

A. Your best bet is to read the care instructions, which may advise you to wash the item in cold water, launder it separately, wash it by hand, or even dry clean it.

To keep your colors brighter longer, separate lights from darks. Consider doing a “red load” with nothing but red items. Turn clothing inside out to minimize fading and, if possible, add a “color catcher” sheet to your laundry. 

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