The 50 Most Stylish Southerners
From heirloom-loving designers to trendy eyewear icons, the South is filled with men and women who are redefining what it means to embody Southern style. Here, we’re celebrating the 50 people behind the blogs, brands, and Instagram feeds that highlight the best of Southern style right now.
New York, by way of Charleston, South Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @overthemoon
She curates the dreamiest collection of real weddings (plus knockout gowns, planning tips, and beauty tricks) on the World Wide Web.
“In the fall, I can’t live without my Burberry trench coat. It’s a great top layer when the weather starts to turn a little chilly. My husband gave it to me years ago on my birthday. I was thrilled, but when I went into the bathroom of our hotel room to check out how it looked in the full-length mirror, I discovered an engagement ring in the pocket. I was completely surprised. At first, I think I thought it was a grommet. He got down on one knee right then and there on the bathroom floor, and I said, “Yes!" It was really romantic, and as a result, the jacket isn’t only utilitarian—it has a lot of sentimental value, too.”
Follow her on Instagram: @amylberry
Her pretty, polished interiors infuse traditional patterns and classic shapes with a shot of whimsy.
“Southern style is timeless. It's having an understanding and appreciation of beautiful things both old and new...and knowing how to incorporate them both. Southern style is elegant but understated.”
Her bedding line takes classic florals and dials up their trendy factor with fresh hues.
“Countless times, I’ve heard people say that they can’t mix prints. More often than not, mixing prints just needs the right execution. I love nothing more than pairing a floral-chintz drape with trim with a small-scale patterned settee. Our bedding line is proof that one should not fear mixing in different scales and prints! The key is to pull in colors from existing patterns to make the prints vibe more cohesively. In many instances, I still think of leopard as somewhat of a neutral."
Ben Ross and Jeff Plotner
Charleston, South Carolina
Follow them on Instagram: @brackishbowties
Their take on the classic bow tie is made from hand-selected feathers for sustainable, one-of-a-kind accessories.
“The saying: ‘You can take the man or woman outta the South, but you can never take the South outta the man or woman" is extremely applicable here. The Southern style gets into your blood whether you are born and raised here, a newcomer, or just a one-time visitor. It is the epitome of a style that cannot be pigeon holed; it is true to each individual’s self and reflects the individual’s past, current and future selves. So really, Southern style is paying respect to your past, living to the fullest in the present, and all the while keeping in mind where you want to go and the individual you want to be.” – Ben
“Seasonal wardrobe guidance is effective to a point, but shouldn't be treated too seriously. If there's a non-seasonal piece that feels good, buck the trend.” – Jeff
Beth Aschenbach and Danielle Norcross
Palm Beach, Florida
Follow them on Instagram: @palmbeachlately
Their candy-colored Insta feed feels like an instant getaway to the land of Florida sunshine and vacation-worthy style.
The style rules they always break: “I always break the “no white after Labor Day” rule. In Palm Beach, white is always in style and I love white eyelet dresses, jeans and winter white coats all year long.” – Beth
"'Pastels are only for springtime.' Pastels like blush and mint are always in style down here in Palm Beach. My closet is filled with these hues, and I love decorating with them at home, like the pink striped awnings in our kitchen, our blush-trimmed duvet cover by Serena & Lily, and a pink plaid rug by our front door.” – Danielle
Bradley Agather Means
Follow her on Instagram: @bagather
Her blog features a timeless and of-the-moment mix of cultural, beauty, and design eye candy that’s infused with the former magazine editor’s trademark snappy sensibility.
“Southern women have an unapologetic sense of self. Decisions about what we wear or how we design our homes are forms of self-expression. Our choices are thoughtful and deliberate.”
Charlotte, North Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @charlottehlucas
The interior designer has a penchant for mixing classic fabrics with groovy mod furniture, and she’ll paint a library built-in glossy sage green (then organize its books by color) without missing a beat.
“Anything of my grandmother’s is a can’t-live-without-it piece for me. I am an old soul, and she was all about family heirlooms. She kept a strict diary of every single family piece so no detail would be lost on the next generation. My most cherished possession is her wedding dress, which I re-made into a rehearsal dinner dress for my wedding.”
Christine Le Sesne and Mary Delpit
Raleigh, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, respectively; originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Follow them on Instagram: @the_blush_label
The sister act’s kaftans, silk scarves, and throw pillows deliver a dose of colorful retro resort style to closets and homes.
“Southern style, to us, is embracing bright colors and bold patterns, and being unafraid to incorporate them into your home and wardrobe. It's also about admiring the women who came before you, like wearing that beautiful necklace your mother bought in the ‘70s, and pairing it with a new outfit. We have so much old fashion jewelry from our mom and grandmothers that we still wear to this day."
Clay Simpson and Tyler Jury
Follow them on Instagram: @claytonandcrume
Simpson made the company’s first belt with scrap leather and a dog leash in his college dorm room. Today, he and Jury hand-make a range of full-grain leather goods – from koozies to totes to belts – in their NuLu studio, where they also host belt-making workshops accompanied by beer from Great Flood Brewing Co. just down the road.
“You'll rarely see us sporting the latest "trend." In our opinion, timeless is king and beats what's trendy any day. When we craft leather goods, it's our hope that our customers enjoy them for a lifetime. We favor simple, clean design that can whether the change in trends and the passing of time.”
Colin Hunter and Peyton Jenkins
Follow them on Instagram: @altonlane
The UVA graduates’ approach to designing so-dapper bespoke shirts and suits trades the traditional retail space for clubby showrooms with leather couches, bars, and flat-screen TVs – and 3D body scanners that ensure a uniquely tailored fit.
"Southern style is genteel, warm, and easygoing. It's at once button-downed, but also laidback. It's interesting because those two things seem at odds. But it's the ability to embrace the two at once that to me defines Southern style most closely. It's the kind of thing that you either get or you don't." - Colin
"Southern style is more of an emotional connection. It's a direct reflection of the pride you take in yourself and your family. My grandfathers were born-and-raised Virginians, but they were from opposite sides of the tracks. Honestly, though, income didn't really factor into it. They shared a common passion for how they presented themselves to the world, because they viewed their appearance as a direct reflection of the pride they took in their faith, family, and careers. As a little boy, I can remember both of them doing yard work dressed to the nines, gardening and mowing their lawns in a tie and a blazer. They were the kind of men that their shirt sleeves would only be rolled up if it was one of those humid Virginia summer days." - Peyton
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @thesouthernstyleguide
The blogger and mother of two puts together outfits that are as fashion-forward as they are practical and livable, plus she’s always dishing on her latest beauty faves.
Her can’t live without it piece: “A classic chambray button-up. Not only can you wear this wardrobe staple during any season, you can also dress it up or down and layer it over your favorite tee or under your favorite outerwear. The options for outfits are endless!"
Follow her on Instagram: @mi_golondrina
Inspired by her mother’s Mexican heritage, the Dallas native (and Oscar de la Renta alum) has made the hand-embroidered blouses and dresses of Oaxacan artisans a mainstay in Texas closets.
“Being from the South, I'm addicted to denim. My favorite jeans are my Levis Re/Done from the beautiful Dallas store, Canary. I don' t think you can ever own too many jeans. I love their versatility. I can throw on any Mi Golondrina top with them and be ready to go.”
Danielle R. Davis
Follow her on Instagram: @louwhatwear
The PR maven and mom of 3 captures a little slice of Louisville life on her Insta feed and blog, where she shares everything from shoppable looks to profiles on the creatives who give the Kentucky city its inimitable brand of cool.
“I love how in the South, people tend to dress for the occasion - no matter what that may be. From work to parties to tailgates to galas and everything in between, Southern style means coming dressed to impress. What that looks like for everyone is unique, though, and I love to see how people channel their personal style for each occasion. I’m always impressed with, and more often than not, a little jealous of, the outfits people in the South put together. The mix of classic and modern style really inspires me to bring my A-game to getting dressed everyday."
Danielle Mason Hosker
Charleston, South Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @masonhosker
In addition to her stunning bridal designs, she’s designed a Twiggy-worthy shift dress that we’re currently coveting in all 17 available fabrics.
The style rule I always break: “I love a good camel brown with black. I've even been known to pair navy with black!"
Follow her on Instagram: @danielledrollins
The consummate hostess’s second collection of elegant party-ready clothes just debuted this fall, with the standout piece – a ruffled jacket in textile house Brunschwig & Fil’s Veral de Belval Madeleine fabrics – earning a spot in Gucci’s spring lineup.
The style rule she always breaks: “Probably all of them! I think if it’s something you love, you can always make it work. Whether it is in personal, entertaining or decorating styles, as long as you do it with authenticity and passion and you pay attention to the scale, it’s all doable!"
Follow her on Instagram: @exvotovintage
The Montgomery-born jewelry designer creates one-of-a-kind pieces by pairing vintage finds (like lockets and charms) with everything from 18K gold to leather and freshwater pearls. Adams, who lost her daughter to a brain tumor in 2009, donates a portion of all sales to pediatric brain cancer research.
The style rule she always breaks: “Wearing black with brown or blue with black. If it is the right tone of brown or blue, you can always pair it with black. Also, the [idea] that you must match your art to your sofa makes me crazy! Art comes first. Match the sofa to the art!"
She designs and creates the patterns for all of her coats, from cashmere wraps to waterproof trenches, in her Cooper-Young studio.
“I don't do trendy. I say I like “slow fashion.” That is true in my personal style and the way I design my line. I like classic silhouettes with some edgy details. The first coat I designed was actually for myself, and I ended up getting orders when I wore it. It is still one of my bestsellers 10 years later."
Follow her on Instagram: @erickadotson
She gives women confidence – and dynamite ‘dos, to boot – by bringing gorgeous hair extensions to the market.
“Southern style embraces comfy classic design with the perfect mix of heirlooms and fresh, modern finds. There’s something special about the feeling a southern-influenced space brings to family gatherings and seasonal entertainment. The design is also a great investment because it's sensible and timeless.”
Katie McClure and Erin Breen
Follow them on Instagram: @mirthcaftans
The sister duo works with Indian artisans to create limited-run caftans and resortwear. Their designs do good, too: The work provides their Indian partners with a living wage and safe working conditions, plus MIRTH donates a portion of its profits to the Naam Dev School in Bagru, which educates children regardless of caste.
“In the South, we always get "dressed." Our mom taught us to at least put a little effort into your appearance every day, no matter how busy or frazzled you may be. We don't interpret this as a full face of makeup and perfect coif (an easy low bun is our go-to), but feeling good and somewhat together energizes your day and affects those around you in a positive way. This is one reason why we love caftans-- throw one on with no effort and you're done! Chic and easy."
Gabrielle Bratton Hall
Raleigh, North Carolina, and San Francisco
Follow her on Instagram: @gabriellejewelry
The jewelry designer takes fabrics and lace – much of it from vintage wedding dresses or family heirlooms – and uses a wax casting process to give the sentimental textile remnants a second life as delicate metal jewelry.
Her can’t-live-without-it piece: “Good shoes. I am a sucker for a new pair of shoes that I know I will have for years and can wear a lot of different ways. Right now, I am bouncing between two Freda Salvador pairs that both go with anything and I can wear them comfortably all day."
Hilary Rose Elrod
Charleston, SC, by way of Austin, Texas
Follow her on Instagram: @byhilaryrose
When she’s not introducing her blog’s followers to everything from kickback-casual jeans to dressy wedding-ready ensembles, she’s offering tidbits of style wisdom, like how to monogram like a Southerner and how to choose a flattering one-piece swimsuit.
"My mom always tells me how important it is to look appropriate for every occasion. It's always in the back of my mind when I'm choosing what to wear for anything. She says that being comfortable in your own skin is essential, and that starts with being properly dressed for whatever you're doing, wherever you're going, and whomever you may encounter. Dressing appropriately is also a form of good manners."
Raleigh, North Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @jamiemeares
Her blog, I Suwannee, is an electic mix of all the things that catch Jamie’s fancy, and Furbish Studio is one of our favorite corners on the Internet for discovering gotta-have-them home goods and accessories.
“My style, which I think is decidedly Southern, is grounded in tradition (we don't shy away from a skirted table, a chintz fabric or a monogram), but is continually evolving to incorporate and reflect my life experiences. As we travel and encounter new things, we add a layer to the mix in our homes and wardrobes that tells the story of who we are now, not who our mothers were. Southerners start with their roots and add-on when it strikes them."
Los Angeles, by way of Atlanta
Follow him on Instagram: @wolfandshepherd
The Dunwoody, Georgia, native – who was also a college track-and-field athlete and former Adidas designer – couldn’t find a pair of dress shoes that felt as comfortable as his running shoes, so he created them. Proof that he succeeded? A 23-year-old man won the Hotlanta Half Marathon running in a pair of them.
“To me, Southern style is founded in tradition, while being infused with contemporary aesthetics and a pinch of small town soul. I've always enjoyed the familiarity of Southern essentials, like Polo shirts and khakis. Also, light denim is a Southern trademark to me. Raleigh Denim is one of my favorite brands because they give you Southern cuts with layers of interesting texture, creating a level of sophistication. And, of course, a Southern wardrobe must include a seersucker suit.
Follow her on Instagram: @lonestarsouthern
The Texas native’s colorful sense of style masterfully mixes classic Southern style staples with the trend du jour. And she’s second to none when it comes to finding statement earrings that are as easy on the eyes as they are on the wallet.
“Call it cliché, but I can't live without a pair of pearl stud earrings. The faux kind, of course, considering how often I lose mine! This one accessory stands the test of time and trends, brings a brightness to the face, and adds an instant level of polish to any outfit no matter how casual or formal."
Follow her on Instagram: @katie_kime
She’s a jack-of-all-trades designer, dreaming up everything from furniture to clothes to paper goods – and all of it is infused with a playful, bright Southern sensibility.
“I just don't believe there are any rules about things that can or can't go together, and it's always the rooms or outfits where I've broken the most "rules" that are my favorite.”
Follow her on Instagram: @katiejacobsnashville
She’s got classic Southern style down to a T, plus her blog is chockfull of fun entertaining ideas for gathering together with the ones you love.
“Southern women embrace a more feminine, traditional style, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. Oh, and we’d never leave the house without makeup on!”
Kelly Wynne Ferguson
Follow her on Instagram: @shopkellywynne
The Ole Miss grad and Texas native designs a dynamite line of outfit-elevating handbags and wallets. Plus, she gives back: Each month, a percentage of sales of a designated Kelly Wynne piece is given to a charitable organization chosen by her team and customers.
The style rule she always breaks: “Wearing black and navy together. It’s actually my favorite color combination and design multiple Kelly Wynne bags with this color duo! You’d be surprised how many people think this is a fashion faux pas until they try on one of our bags and realize its versatility."
Laura Vinroot Poole
Charlotte, North Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @lauravinroot
She’s built a veritable fashion empire in Charlotte, curating the best of brands from Gucci to Ulla Johnson to Dries Van Noten in the three stores her architect husband Perry Poole designed: Capitol, Poole Shop (which occupies the second floor of Capitol), and Tabor. She also co-founded House Account in 2013, an app that lets you shop high-end local boutiques without leaving the couch.
Her can’t-live-without-it piece: “A beautiful shawl. I love the wispiest cashmere from Kashmir or the silkiest reboso from Mexico. Shawls cover a multitude of sins, from older-than-teenage arms to a tired complexion. Shawls also work in every temperature, from a windy night in the mountains to the coldest air conditioner of summer, and especially an airplane. I always keep one tucked into my pocketbook for an emergency."
Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato
New York, New York, by way of Delaware
Follow them on Instagram: @lfjewels
The twin sisters and Duke graduates make an impressive team, with Kathryn manning sales and operations and Lizzie designing the brand’s covet-worthy mixed-medium statement jewelry and leather goods.
Their can’t-live-without-them pieces: “A Lizzie Fortunato Double Take Necklace. They’re a staple piece; they can be dressed up or down and are so easy to wear with most any outfit. We make them in all colors of the rainbow, but I love the suede versions.” – Kathryn
“I love the collection of textiles and wall-hangings that cover my home. They remind me of my travels (to Guatemala, Peru, India, and more) and of my loved ones (I have an amazing wall hanging in my stairwell that came out of the home of my late grandparents; seeing it everyday reminds me of them and their sense of adventure and style).” – Lizzie
Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means
Follow them on Instagram: @mironcrosby
They’ve taken the cowboy boot and elevated it to work as well in town as it does in the country: Think appliqued birds and gold stars. Plus, they’re handmade in Texas.
“Southerners treat everything as an event. Work, school, church, concerts, dinner – Southerners dress well because they treat the things they do with reverence. Even football games. Everything is an event, and every event needs an outfit (and some really great boots)!” – Sarah
“I love to take pieces I have collected while traveling or that I have inherited, and incorporate them with current trends. A beautiful silk kimono paired with skinny leather pants, a luxe fur-lined Ushanka and boyfriend jeans, or hand-crafted cowboy boots and a ball gown - a wardrobe can tell a story, and carefully crafted pieces are the epitome of elegance, and that to me is style.” – Lizzie
Mandy Kellogg Rye
Follow her on Instagram: @waitingonmartha
From her no-fail entertaining tricks to elevated looks we’d kill to have in our closets, Mandy embodies the Southern cosmopolitan. Plus, her home store (online and a brick-and-mortar in Atlanta) means you can feather your nest with items plucked from her beautifully curated collection.
“Southern style, to me, means traditional with a personal touch. The South is so personal it can't help but bleed into the way you dress. Whether it's adding a signature monogram, accessorizing with a hand-me-down heirloom, or rocking local designer from head to toe, rarely does a Southerner's outfit not tell her story.”
Mignonne Gavigan Smith
New York, by way of her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @mignonnegavigan
Her hand-beaded scarf necklaces and wing-shaped earrings add star power to everything from white tees and boyfriend jeans to your go-to LBD.
“Growing up, I was always making things. I have three brothers and if I wasn’t asked to round out a wiffle ball or football team, I was in the basement creating. I remember draping my towel around myself as if it were a roll of fabric and I was creating a new dress, and cutting up a pair of my dad’s old Levi’s and gluing them back together to fit me. To me, style has always been about expressing myself and fostering my creativity. At the end of the day, style should reflect who we are and make us feel good. It’s not about following the lead, but setting and embracing your own."
Mini Mariana Hay
Charleston, South Carolina
Follow her on Instagram: @goldbugcollection
Her funky gold-plated jewels, called the Goldbug Collection, pay tribute to Charleston’s infamous palmetto bugs in an oh-so-elevated way. Pick up one of the instant heirlooms at her family’s jewelry store next time you're in the Holy City, or find them online at Tuckernuck.
“Southern style reflects the kindness and softness of Southern personalities. I think of Southern style as classic with a funky edge – nothing that is too harsh or severe. And lots of gold!”
Los Angeles, by way of Vernon, Texas
Follow her on Instagram: @thesilshop
Her online boutique of the "Stuff I Like" features splurge-worthy, often limited edition finds from a host of designers, including a handful of supremely stylish Texans.
“My wardrobe would be bare without Dallas designer Tish Cox’s ladylike pieces. She can do no wrong!”
Nicola Bathie McLaughlin
San Antonio, Texas
Follow her on Instagram: @nicolabathiedesigns
She dresses up mother-of-pearl with colorful leather and silk for out-of-this world statement earrings.
“My personal style, in all aspects, is pairing something classic with something new and modern, yet never too trendy. When new trends are announced and largely followed, I break from going all-in with following the trend. Rather, I tend to incorporate small aspects of the trend into my design."