Southerners have style. And no one makes that more apparent than native son Billy Reid, the reigning CFDA menswear designer of the year. (Heads-up: That's the fashion equivalent to best actor at the Oscars. So, yes, it's kind of a big deal.)
His Southern luxe look, which artfully combines workwear with rich fabrics and exquisite tailoring, has made him a darling of the New York fashion set. Yet, the Louisiana born-and-bred Billy chooses to remain down South, living and working in Florence, Alabama.
Next week Billy celebrates his headquarters and adopted hometown with Shindig, an annual weekend-long mini-festival featuring a soulful sampler of Southern food and music. Headlining this year's event are the Alabama Shakes, who will take the stage at Florence's Shoals Theatre the evening of August 24.
In anticipation of the big event we asked Billy for his Top 10: Must-Haves for the Southern Gentleman. Here's his list:
1. A Navy Blazer "Every man should have one that fits him well and can stand years of wear."
2. A White Oxford Button Down "This shirt looks equally appropriate on the beach or with a suit."
3. A Football Team You Follow Passionately "And proper attire to show your allegiance. For me it's an LSU sweatshirt. Substitute your own school as needed."
4. A Sterling Silver Flask "The perfect accessory for football season. (And a complement to must-have number 3.)"
5. Cotton Undershirts "This was something that was required growing up and I've stuck with it."
6. A Handkerchief "My father's advice: Always carry a handkerchief to a wedding or when wearing a suit. He would inspect to make sure I had one."
7. Leather Boots "Look for well-made ones that can withstand a ton of use. My pair of Red Wing's and our lugged sole Delta Boot both get the job done."
8. A Hunting Jacket "This style of jacket can be worn over almost anything. "And a lightweight fabric makes it versatile for many seasons."
9. Corduroy Jeans "These are a good, all year-round pant. I like Levi's Vintage 517 fit."
10. Good Manners "This Southern essential should go without saying."
Billy Reid retail boutiques are located in Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Florence, Houston, Nashville and New York. Follow the brand on Twitter @billy_reid or Facebook.
What's your favorite must-have accessory?