With the rise of brands like Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James and the resurgence of classic fabrics like gingham, it’s clear that Southern all-American style has found a home amongst the masses. And because you’ve always wanted to have that effortless air of charm and hospitality, here are five classic fashion rules to adopt from the region.
Handbags are Meant to be Held (Not Schlepped)
Consider ditching your carryall tote in favour of a chic clutch or basket bag. Straw and wicker handbags are especially trendy and versatile enough to pair with almost anything in your closet—from dresses to distressed jeans. If you can’t bear to part with a larger bag (your makeup bag isn’t going to transport itself), then choose one with a structured top handle—it’s called a “lady bag” for a reason.
Don’t Shy Away from Colour
Any Southern lady worth her salt knows a good way to spice up an outfit is to wear an eye-catching hue. But before you go on trying to don chartreuse, consider your skin tone. If it’s warm, you’ll want to stick with honey yellows, turquoise and purplish reds (like magenta and orchid). If your skin tone is on the cooler side, choose colors like emerald, lavender and ruby. Draper James carries a slew of swoon-worthy dresses that’ll give you whatever fix you crave.
You’re not Dressed without Accessories
While the rest of the country is weaning itself off the minimalist wave, Southerners have never given up on their statement pieces. Take a cue from the accessory lovers and sport a pair of drop earrings, a wrist’s worth of bangles and a few cocktail rings for good measure. Just make sure the metals and stones are complementary so that the look is cohesive.
A Little White Jacket is the New Black Blazer
The quickest way to elevate any outfit is to throw on a great blazer—you know this. And while a black blazer is your usual go-to, it can start to look a little heavy as the weather warms up. That’s where the little white jacket (or as we’ve dubbed it, the LWJ) comes into play. It’s the perfect replacement for the spring and summer months.
Dressing Down Still Means Wearing a Dress
A tunic dress, that is. While we’ll never fully give up on sweatpants (we really love our Outdoor Voices leggings), we do like the idea of a breezy, throw-on-and-go cotton frock. It’s perfect for the increasingly warm days as we all start to emerge from hibernation ( hallelujah ).