We've made our list. Now check your closet for these Southern staples.
Whether you prefer to drape them around your neck on special occasions or wear them every day in your ears, pearls—in any form—are an essential part of a Southern lady’s wardrobe. We love J. Crew’s multi-strand necklace that’s under a hundred dollars.
2. The Perfect Pair of Jeans
If you’re looking for quality-crafted, American-made denim, you don’t have to look any further than your own back yard. From Marc Nelson denim in Knoxville, Tennessee to Raleigh Denim in (you guessed it!) Raleigh, North Carolina, Southerners are designing jeans right here at home and proving that they know a thing our two about great design.
3. A Classic Fit-and-Flare
Universally flattering, and eternally stylish, every Southern woman should have at least one in her closet. We recommend investing in a few in varying fabric qualities—lightweight cottons to thick tweeds—and let them become your year-round wardrobe go-to.
4. A Gingham Button Down
Southern designers like Ledbury, Claridge + King, and Ann Mashburn all have their own takes on the classic gingham button-down—further supporting it’s status as Southern fashion hall-of-famer. This widespread staple can be found in every color, cut, and cost. Stock up.
5. Sparkly Accessories
Take a cue from Southern showstoppers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. A little bit of sparkle can take any look from ordinary to outstanding.
6. Eye-Catching Prints
From small-scale pastel florals to big bright geometric motifs, colorful prints are a Southern must. We like them all in both small and large doses—simply accent your outfit or turn every head in a room.
7. An Eyelet Top
Southerners have long embraced lace’s country cousin, eyelet, which was once prized as a way to show off made-by-hand openwork details. We recommend wearing all summer long.
8. Wide-Legged Linen Pants
You might be surprised at how incredibly versatile wide-legged linen pants can be. They run the gamut of formality—easily transitioning from casual bottoms with sandals and summer knits to polished formal wear with heels and sparkling accessories.
9. A Seersucker Dress
Invented in New Orleans in 1909 to beat the relentless humidity, seersucker is arguably the most iconic of Southern fabrics. In dress form, the fabric has long been Easter Sunday favorite. These days designers are thinking outside the box and using the breathable material for everything from swimwear to tailored tops.
10. A Family Heirloom
We Southerners like to hold onto little pieces of the past, and there is no better way to keep them close to our hearts than to wear them on ourselves. Your grandmother’s monogrammed locket, a passed down signet ring or even a rediscovered broach can be a sentimental way to finish any outfit.