Southern style has been a sought-after aesthetic since Scarlett O'Hara graced our screens with her pin curls and her smooth, southern drawl in Gone With the Wind. Today, the southern style and charm of laidback luxury and bright colors and patterns is still pumping out some major style inspiration from coast to coast.
We couldn't start with anything other than pearls. From a simple strand hugging your neck to a pair of pearl earrings passed down for generations, no southern belle's look is complete without some signature pearls. Pearls play a logical role in southern style too, most cultured pearls these days are made using mussels native to the Mississippi River.
From gingham to seersucker to linen and eyelet, every southerner has a closet filled with bold fabrics. Southerners' love for bold fabrics stretches much farther than just their wardrobes. From wallpaper to couch patterns and drapes, you will see bold fabrics all over a southern home. A piece de resistance in a bold fabric, like a throw pillow or rug, is another popular item in southern homes.
Similar to bold patterns, bright colors are another staple of a southern wardrobe. Southern men tend to have a penchant for brightly-colored trousers and polos, and women love dresses in hot fuchsia and fluorescent yellow. Southern style means bringing a pop of color and a splash of sunshine everywhere you go.
You may have heard of a southern belle named Mary Kay Ash. The Texan created a business model in the 1960s to empower women to earn their own living, and the company and its signature pink took off and are still popular to this day. Mary Kay's best-selling lipstick shade Sassy Fuchsia is still worn and loved by southern women of all ages today.
In addition to bold fabrics, bold patterns are a mainstay of southern style. Whether it's Alabama houndstooth or loud florals, there is no such thing as too bold when it comes to southern style. Animal prints are a part of southern style as well, especially when placed near delicate textures and colors. For example, a zebra print scarf is the perfect finishing touch to a white dress or even dalmatian wallpaper for a pop of fabulous in a room or entryway.
College football is serious business down South, and the style that goes with it is no different. On game days, you will find southern beaus and belles decked in their football best to cheer on their favorite team. Famed University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s displayed the southern style well with his signature gameday look of a sport coat and houndstooth fedora. Jeans and a team jersey just won't cut it at an SEC game or tailgate. Expect to see nods to their favorite teams throughout the week, though, not just on game day. Whether it's by wearing team colors, patterns, or accessories, a southerner always knows how to discreetly and politely pay homage to their team.
Southern style and monograms go hand-in-hand like the summertime and sweet tea. A simple monogram can take a boring bag or sweater from blah to unique. If it can be stenciled, stitched, or stamped, there is a very good chance that a Southern girl will put a monogram on it. Whether it's their own monogram or an heirloom that has been passed down for generations, there's a good chance a southern belle will incorporate her monogram into her everyday style.
In the South, nothing is more important than family. To show their roots and pay tribute to their loved ones, southerners pass down heirlooms from generation to generation, and southern belles actually wear them. From a pair of grandma's pearl earrings to a brooch that's been in the family for generations, heirlooms are the perfect icing on the cake for a southern outfit.
In Texas and beyond, boots are another southern wardrobe staple. Boots can be dressed up or dressed down according to southerners; there's no place a good pair of boots can't take you. Just ask former President George W. Bush, who wore a pair embellished with the presidential seal to both of his inauguration galas.
Perhaps the most important element of southern style is putting effort into your appearance, even if you're just running to the supermarket. It doesn't have to be an all-out affair, but you wouldn't catch Mama running to the post office without a swipe of lipstick and a spritz of fragrance for that classic southern polish.
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