Patriotism pops 

Declare your fashion independence in shades of red, white & blue.

No matter how we feel about the symbol, we are all attracted to the colors. That’s because, according to color psychology, red represents energy, passion and action; white symbolizes new beginnings, purity, innocence, equality and unity; and blue signifies trust and responsibility. No wonder this trio shows up on the American flag.

Three ways to ROCK red, white & blue

Everything that glitters isn’t gold. And every ruby and sapphire is a form of the same mineral — something I was shocked to learn during a visit to Bruce Watters Jewelers. Put rubies and sapphires together in the company of diamonds and you’ve got red, white and blue. And if you’re a July baby, you’re perfectly timed to shine — the ruby is your birthstone.

>b>Three spots where you can score some serious sparklers

• Bruce Watters Jewelers, 224 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

• Robert Young, 250 N. Indian Rocks Road, Belleair Bluffs

• King Jewelers, 2223 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa (at International Plaza)

Three (more) ways to wear red, white & blue

Like fireworks, pops of color make for an exciting display. Red is so sexy, white is so peaceful (and ideal for breezy summer style), and blue is so smooth. Outside of what you may have seen in beer commercials, mixing and matching the three can be achieved stylishly.

• White jeans: If these are not already hanging in your closet, go get them.

• Pumped up kicks: There’s nothing quite like a red patent leather shoe to turn up the heat. A hot wedge or platform should do beautifully.

• Shades of blue: Next time you try on sunglasses, pull a pair with lenses in a cool blue hue.

Three occasions for red, white & blue

• Day at the beach: Bring on the navy and white stripes if you’re into the nautical thing, but I vote for a hot, white swimsuit worn with colorful accents — like red earrings and a blue sarong.

• Garden party: Peplum pairs perfectly with flowers and tea. Try a red or blue peplum top with crisp white denim.

• Picnic: Throw caution to the wind and wear whatever. Cutoff shorts, an airy tank top, and flip-flops or sneakers without socks are cool for copping a squat at local parks. In red, white and blue, you’ll look great in contrast to the green, green grass.

Three (Leslie Joy Original) rules for fashion independence

• Be creative

• Express your individuality

• Carry yourself with confidence … and you will rock a look.

Happy Independence Day!

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