At Nashville boutique Draper James, you’ll be forgiven if you make yourself at home. After all, the benches outside by the windows are meant to mimic a front porch; wicker chairs with comfy cushions await you inside; and you’ll be greeted at the front door with a smile and a cup of sweet tea. Southern hospitality is the whole point, and owner/creator/muse Reese Witherspoon wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Blue and white are the shop’s signature colors (#draperjamesblue is even a hashtag), and the effect is calming and cheerful, especially when there’s so much to discover on every shelf, table, and rack. Draper James stocks pretty things that’ll make you smile — like dresses covered in florals and stripes. Shop the look, and you’ll be mixing casual chambray shirts with flowing knee-length skirts, pairing denim with tailored shirts, and layering t-shirts on top of button-downs in a way that’s charming and a bit cheeky at the same time.
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You’ll find stacks of stationery and home décor like trinket trays, candles and soap sets, plus party supplies like cocktail napkins and table runners decked out in fun patterns. Quirky Southern sayings are celebrated at Draper James — their famous “Totes Y’all” tote bag is joined by a pack of Southern Enclosure Cards reading “You’re the Sweet in My Tea” and “Thank You Kindly,” and a pencil set includes gems like “Well I’ll Be” and “Thank You Ma’am.” Southernisms on everything from stationary to t-shirts make Draper James the go-to stop for quick birthday presents and hostess gifts, and with their dedication to source as many gifts as possible from the U.S., you can feel good about every purchase.
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At the cash wrap, you might find yourself wanting to stay and chat — that’s because designer Mark D. Sikes (who also designed Witherspoon’s Nashville home) developed the space to look like a kitchen island, the center of the home and the birthplace of gossip and great conversation. Behind the counter is a gallery wall of paintings by Southern artists. Before you say goodbye, be sure you’ve checked out every nook and cranny, and maybe even take a selfie or two — the patterned walls in the fitting room and the sweet sign outside are meant for just that.