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Katie Jacobs from Nashville, TN
Credit: Robbie Caponetto; Hair and Makeup: Amy Kruse/Amax Talent; Location: City Farmhouse

A dress and heels used to be Katie Jacobs' daily uniform. But these days, you'll more likely find the Nashville-based stylist and photographer in jeans, chasing around 3-year-old daughter Emmaline or posting lifestyle shots on Instagram (@katiejacobsnashville). "Relaxed elegance" is how Katie—who just welcomed her second daughter, Joey Kate, last week—defines her style. This description also applies to how she entertains. Her first book, So Much To Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year Through, debuts in March. "It's about getting everyone together, with easy tips for everyday celebrations," she says.

My Outfit

I went really simple with jeans and a sweater, which is what I live in. I also pulled in a handbag and accessories from Music City designers to go with them. Local designers are important [for Nashville fashion]: Southern roots are the ones that last.

My Childhood Style Icon

My grandmother Kathleen, whom we called Honey Mama. Talk about presentable! She had on red lipstick, pearls, and starched button-downs all the time. We always had to be dressed around her. We wore Sunday clothes to Monday-night dinner at her house.

My Style Icon Now

You'll never catch Kate Middleton wearing sweatpants! But she combines her designer pieces with affordable clothing. I do a lot of that, too, like pairing Gap jeans with an expensive handbag. Mixing different price points is something that's not only approachable but also doable. Kate achieves that well and looks so put together all the time.

The Best Style Advice I Ever Received

"Choose quality over quantity." When I was growing up, my mother bought me some nice clothes that I kept wearing for years.

The Outfit-Making Accessories Everyone Needs

A stack of bracelets and a cute handbag worn with a white T-shirt and jeans can go a long way.

My Go-To Piece for Any Occasion

A little black dress. I have three in my closet that I always feel good in and know will be appropriate for everything—from work to a wedding to a party. You really can't go wrong with a classic black dress, no matter what time of year it is.

The One Thing I Can't Live Without

When we were dating, my husband gave me an antique locket from the 1800s (he bought it from Walton's Antique & Estate Jewelry in Franklin, Tennessee). I wear it every day—even for my wedding—and it really is one of my most treasured possessions.

The Beauty Trick I'll Never, Ever Try

I don't use dry shampoo. I cannot get into this beauty trend. I prefer to wash my hair every day.

Katie Jacobs at City Farmhouse Nashville
Credit: Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Hair and Makeup: Amy Kruse/Amax Talent; Location: City Farmhouse

The Style Rule I Always Break

"Classics have to cost a ton of money." I love sales and shopping at off-price retailers like Nordstrom Rack and T.J.Maxx to find real designer pieces for a fraction of the cost. If you shop smart, you can get great deals on items that are versatile and timelessly chic.

The Best Thing I've Ever Scored While Bargain Hunting

I once found a Dolce & Gabbana white pencil skirt, and I've worn it probably a hundred times. It was maybe $40, and this staple would still be a great find even if it weren't made by Dolce & Gabbana. This one just happened to be by a high-end designer.

The Pieces I Don't Mind Splurging On

Definitely handbags and jewelry. You will wear those over and over again. I invest in the pieces that I know I can mix and match with everything, and then I buy trendier items (like a top with cutout shoulders) at stores with lower price points.

My Current Fashion Struggle

I try to dress Emmaline well, but she's the most rough-and-tumble toddler I've ever seen! She blows through her clothes, so we will have no hand-me-downs. My mom says she's a lot like me, though, so I guess it's payback.

Katie Jacobs Quick Picks
Credit: Southern Living

My Southern Style Trademarks

Growing up and living in the South, I've realized there's just a dressier sensibility here. Women embrace a more feminine, traditional style but don't take themselves too seriously. Oh, and we would never leave the house without makeup on!

WATCH: 5 Beauty Products Every Southern Woman Should Own

Nashville Favorites

Shop your way through the best of Music City with a visit to these hip spots.

  1. The Perfect Pair
  2. AshBlue
  3. Judith Bright
  4. Ceri Hoover
  5. White's Mercantile
  6. Peter Nappi

Favorite Quote

"Be silly. Be honest. Be kind." —Ralph Waldo Emerson