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Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi Dishes on Iconic American Trends

America: land of the free, land of the fashionable. 

That's right, we said fashionable!

Foreigners may make fun of our undying penchant for sneakers when we travel abroad but as it turns out, our casual sense of style has helped launch many a global trend. 

And since Fourth of July is just around the corner, we tapped Marie Claire magazine's senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi to tell us all about our country's fashion forward history. And because she's British born, we know can trust her for a totally unbiased opinion!

So, what did Roberts Rassi pick out as the quintessential American style staples that have stood the test of time?

 

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You might not be surprised to learn that blue jeans topped her list. After all, a good pair of jeans is about as American as apple pie! And though there are scores of brands and styles—from skinny to flared to distressed and more—to choose from nowadays, denim got its humble beginnings back in the day.  

"Way back in 1873, a guy called Jacob Davis and a guy called Levi Strauss, a businessman, created the first blue jean," Roberts Rassi explained.

As with other trends, a little celebrity helped launch America's love affair with denim. 

"One of the first big celebrities who really put the denim cut on the map was James Dean," Roberts Rassi told us. "Cut to the 1980s, when Calvin Klein introduced, really, the first pair of denim designer pair of jeans. This was modeled by Brooke Shields and this campaign catapulted denim into a different stratosphere. The famous phrase, 'Nothing comes between me and my Calvins," said by Brooke Shields in this amazing photo shoot by [Richard] Avedon really did set jeans on fire.'

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And it was another celeb who helped popularize another one of the U.S.'s other classic wardrobe staples: the white tee. 

"When you think about Marlon Brando—that iconic T-shirt. He started the fad. This very simple, single piece." 

Modern day celebs continue to reach for the fuss-free, piece that goes with just about everything. 

"Today, you look at someone like Jennifer Aniston—she's like the poster child for the white T-shirt. You know, she wears it for ad campaigns, she wears a white T-shirt on the cover of magazines, she wears a white T-shirt walking down the street."

And if it works for the always flawless Aniston, we'd say it'll work for you this Fourth of July—paired with a pair of blue jeans, of course. 

For more on American style, tune into E! News on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Do you agree with Roberts Rassi? What other items do you consider classic American style staples? 

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