75 Most Stylish Southerners
Laura Vinroot Poole
Charlotte, North Carolina
Owner, Capitol & Poole Shop; Co-founder, House Account (mobile shopping app), capitolcharlotte.com
"Southern women have a steadiness and a strength that sets us apart. We know where we come from and take pride in all the highs and lows of that. This confidence gives us an unwavering sense of style that is always original, often surprising, feminine, and very beautiful."
Follow Laura on Twitter: @capitolclt
Matt Lee Ted Lee
Charleston, South Carolina
"We're certainly not the first to say this, but we think Southern style is characterized by a commitment to handcrafted quality, to old methods of manufacturing, and a "worn-in-ness" (for lack of a better word). Also, a little tropical flair, a red-bloodedness. That's really what seems to unite our favorite Southern designers: Victor and Sarah Litvinenko of Raleigh Denim, Natalie Chanin, Billy Reid, Leigh Magar."
Follow Matt & Ted on Twitter: @TheLeeBros
Co-founder and CEO, Ledbury, ledbury.com
"The only thing different about Southern style today is that it is now defining American style. From movies and TV shows to some of the country's most talented designers, Southern style is having its moment."
Fashion Designer, billyreid.com
"The world now is so connected that borders don't define style any longer. The South is a place with its own flavors, nuances, and traditions, but fashion and tastes today seem more global, yet very personal at the same time."
Follow Billy on Twitter: @billy_reid
Musician; Owner, H. Audrey and White's Mercantile boutiques, hollywilliams.com
"In the South most people believe in quality over quantity, in good fabrics and timeless pieces that will last for generations. I'm thinking about if it will work for my grandkids one day when I buy something. That sounds crazy but it's rooted in us."
Follow Holly on Twitter: @hollywilliams1
Sara Ruffin Costello
The whole imogene and willie staff
Designers, store reps, event coordinators, etc. for one of Nashville's coolest brands, imogene and willie, imogeneandwillie.com
"We love Nashville for so many reasons. There is such a respect for tradition in this city, but more and more, so every day, that tradition is marrying individuality. Nashville is a melting pot. If you lined up 100 folks from in the city, you would not see a consistent style because there is not one. The only consistency? Everyone is nice."
Follow imogene and willie on Twitter: @imogenewillie
Mimi Robinson CeCe Colhoun
New Orleans, Louisiana
Boutique owners, miminola.com
"There is so much design talent coming out of New Orleans. One is Crowe, a line of delicate, feminine, yet clever jewelry from Lauren Bott. It's all versatile and dynamic, but also very wearable and at a great price point."
New Orleans, Louisiana
"Southern style at its best is unfussy and all about living with fine old things in a relaxed way. Think slipcovers, faded chintz, Oriental rugs, or sea grass on polished hardwood floors—the comfortable English country house look as translated by Nancy Lancaster, who, after all, was born in Virginia. (And while we're on the subject, the drearily overwrought Downton Abbey is the opposite of what I'm talking about!)"
"Like" Julia Reed on Facebook
Owner and Designer, Otis James Nashville, otisjames.com
"What I like best about Nashville's style is how unassuming it is. I would consider it a well-dressed city, but it is not over the top or in your face. People take pride in what they wear, but don't feel the need to be too flashy."
Follow Otis on Twitter: @OtisJamesNash
"Much like folks from France, I find Southerners really care about how they look. We can wear an old rag and make it look like a brand-new purchase because of the way we carry ourselves. We're just as confident in a pair of overalls as we are in our Sunday best."
Follow Valerie on Twitter: @TheValerieJune
Paul Qui Deana Saukam
New Orleans, Louisiana
"New Orleans' deep rooted culture, influenced by jazz music, Carnival season, and the amazing cuisines spills into the way New Orleanians dress. Intricate design with a bit of costume flair is seen in everyday attire. There's also the classics: seersucker and lightweight cottons appropriate for the tropical weather."
Follow Andi on Twitter: @andieaton
Designer and Founder, Alabama Chanin, alabamachanin.com
"Southern style—as with many regional style influences—has become a global style. We may often be stereotyped as being about gingham, monograms, or cowboy boots—and there's not anything wrong with those things, but modern Southern style has found its own voice as a mix of comfort with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. We love well-made goods that come with a story and have respect for those who have the skill to produce those things."
Interior Designer, rachelhalvorson.com
"As much as Nashville is changing and growing, it still has that heartfelt authenticity to it. Our style is very laid-back. I like that I can wear my boots and blue jeans from client meetings straight to a cocktail party… Or at least, I think I can."
Owner, Cicada, shopcicada.com
"As a region, I believe Southerners are not afraid of and actually prefer color and prints. We love to wear our clothes in brighter and bolder colors than most of the country. Also, it is important to Southerners to have the complete look. Having our hair and makeup done to perfection is just as necessary as wearing a fabulous outfit. I love that about the South."
Amanda Strong Boalt
Palm Beach, Florida
Founder, Strong Boalt Menswear, strongboalt.com
"Southern style is a combination of heritage and climate. Men tend to be more dapper and women more feminine. We love to keep things sunny and polished. It's carefree yet classic."
Amanda McClements Martin
Owner and Creative Director, Salt & Sundry, shopsaltandsundry.com
"A new wave of creative energy is sweeping D.C. right now. There's a real focus on individuality and pushing boundaries when it comes to style."
Jessica Nell Graves
"Southern style will always have roots. Its longevity is based on function. You don't see that as much up North. Different areas have some colloquial influences—music in Nashville, sporting in Georgia. It's more about a sense of place than about abiding by trends."
Follow Jessica on Twitter: @TheLoveList
"Austinites are bold, curious, tailored, classic, and out of the box comfortable. I love that I can go to dinner and see so many styles all working at once and everyone looks right at home."
Susan Hable Smith
Creative Director, Hable Construction, hableconstruction.com
"Ladies take great care of themselves in the South. A grocery store visit is treated as an opportunity to put lipstick on. I have lived in many different places and it's one big thing that I noticed every time I would visit the South. Athens is no exception!"
CEO and Founder, Kendra Scott, kendrascott.com
"Southern style, specifically fashion in Texas, is often misinterpreted. It is hard to shake that iconic cowboy boots stereotype. While some may say that having distance from fashion meccas like New York City and L.A. is a disadvantage, there is actually more freedom in expressing your personal style. From classic and feminine to boho-casual and rocker chic—you see it all in the South."
Follow Kendra on Twitter: @KendraScott
Creative consultant, Writer, @libbycallaway1970 on Instagram
"Southern style at its best skirts the line between propriety and eccentricity. The chicest women I know below the Mason-Dixon understand that it's possible to simultaneously dress to honor your personal history (Why yes, these are grandmother's pearls...) while letting your freak-flag fly (...that I'm wearing with this black leather jacket I got at a flea market in London)."
Follow Libby on Twitter: @LibbyCallaway
Winter Park, Florida
Owner, East End Market, eastendmkt.com
"Despite cities becoming much more cosmopolitan, there is still a hearkening back to clean lines, crisp collars, and classic patterns when it comes to Southern style. A dark pair of blue jeans, rolled up sleeves, handmade leather belt, and wingtips are the new business suit."
Follow John on Twitter: @JohnRife
Anna E. Cottrell
Charleston, South Carolina
Designer and Founder, Troubadour, troubadourclothing.com
"Our region's style still has its hand in the traditional, but people are updating those looks with modern takes. For men, think Raleigh Denim jeans with a bow tie; for women mixing and matching prints and unusual silhouettes."
Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @Troubadour__
Chef and Partner, Five & Ten, The National, Empire State South, Cinco y Diez, hughacheson.com
"I was a punk rock kid who never grew out of a fondness for T-shirts and jeans. I like clothes that fit. I don't feel right unless I am clean-shaven. I like Paul Smith socks, probably too much. I could wear Blundstone boots everyday of my life."
Follow Hugh on Twitter: @HughAcheson
Cheesemaker, Belle Chevre, bellechevre.com
"When Southern style has been recalled/recollected there were always polarities that would emerge. It was either highbrow elegance (white linen and shaded porches), or working-lass grit and guts that had its own powerful draw. What is wonderful now about our modern style is that those polarities are swirled together in a way that is very real and earthy, yet elegant at the same time."
Follow Tasia on Twitter: @BelleChevre
Musician; Stylist & Music Events Coordinator at Billy Reid, shellycolvin.net
"Southern style has always been viewed as more traditional or conservative, but just as our culture has become more en vogue nationally, our style has become more progressive. There is more awareness in the South of what's happening in fashion than ever before. Alabama has the third most members of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) behind New York and California for cryin' out loud. But like anything Southern, what always sets us apart is our charm, whimsy, and hospitality."
Follow Shelly on Twitter: @shellycolvin
Charleston, South Carolina
Owner, Hampden & James, hampdenclothing.com
"Southerners value our cultural traditions and therefore every Southern woman understands the importance of dressing for each occasion. While I enjoy wearing black blazers and leather leggings for a Friday night, my Southern roots will always make me gravitate towards a colorful dress for a luncheon for the Historic Charleston Foundation. We often limit our style, but I think in Charleston there is a time and a place for every style."
Follow Stacy on Twitter: @hampdenclothing
Sid Mashburn Ann Mashburn
Sid's style tip for Southern gentlemen: "It's always good to be dressed, or you'll get in trouble with the law. Seriously, clothes should fit, probably closer than you're used to. Achieving the right fit will help you lose 10 pounds visually without needing to exercise."
Industrial Designer, cartermcguyer.com
"From childhood, I distinctly remember my grandfather's attention to detail in his dress. He would set himself apart from other gentlemen by wearing his belt with the buckle moved to the side, or by incorporating bold patterns. Like many elements of Southern heritage, I learned to be confident and wear what I like from watching him."
Follow Carter on Twitter: @cartermdesign
Great Falls, Virginia
Principal Designer, Lauren Liess & Co.; Decorator & Textile Designer, laurenliess.com
"I love a meaningful, collected look—whether in the home, on the table, or in clothing—and think it's something Southerners do brilliantly. Mixing in my grandmother's antique clover china with modern pieces like a teak root bowl on the table feels unexpected and personal."
Follow Lauren on Twitter: @LaurenLiess
Sally King Benedict
Founder, TWEEDS, tweedsshop.com
"Southern style has a genteel formality to it, timeless, classic, yet worn in a casual lazy Sunday afternoon way—rumpled and slightly askew is part of the charm. Add in our signature affection for gingham, seersucker, and exposed ankles and you have Southern style at its finest."
Follow Thomas on Twitter: @thomaswages