This is Style in the South, a series in which our South-based editor, Allyson, shares her insights into the trends and shopping habits that Southern girls follow (and don't follow). She'll also share her own personal experience with how to dress since returning to the South after more than a decade away. Whether you live in the South, are visiting, or are simply curious, she's here to give her Who What Wear perspective about all things Southern style.
Although I live in the South, I'll admit that my knowledge of Southern women's style only goes so far. I recently returned to the region after living elsewhere for over a decade, so I have a lot to catch up on. This is why I jumped at the chance to pick Raleigh, North Carolina–based personal stylist Alex Long's brain upon meeting her recently. Long's company, Alex Long Studio, specializes in personal styling, shopping, and closet editing, so she's an expert on the subject of Southern women's closets. Naturally, the first thing I wanted to know is what she always removes from said closets. She told me, "Southern women love a statement piece, and when it's the focus of our look, we wear it so well. But convincing a Southern girl to stock up on solids (never mind black) can be an uphill battle." She added, "While they're great for the beach, the big florals haven't changed much, and so they can become a little dated."
On the accessory front, Long said, "Tassels are another item we see a lot. From earrings to necklaces and hemlines, tassels are everywhere. I always encourage my clients to stick with one or two points of focus." Summing it up, she told me, "For our clients, it's less about replacing and more about finding a balance between a statement piece or two with a good foundation of basics." With that, keep scrolling to shop solid-colored basics that would boost any woman's wardrobe, Southern or not, along with statement pieces that are actually cool (as opposed to dated).
Every wardrobe needs at least one of these.
Meet the perfect jeans you'll wear over and over for years to come.
Why spend more on a trench when this excellent one is $138?
A good leather jacket makes every outfit it touches better.
Black pants don't have to be boring. (Look closely.)
There's no need to buy expensive T-shirts when ones like this exist.
These jeans are so great, I'd buy them in bulk.
Wearing something underneath this flattering blazer is optional.
We'd say "perfect" is pretty accurate.
Perfection in camel sweater form.
You'll get tons of wear out of this affordable skirt.
This beauty is currently in my shopping cart.
There will never be a chicer banana bag.
Layer this beauty over a slip or swimsuit.
When in doubt, wear a wrap top.
Subtle tie-dye makes for a great sweatshirt.
I know a lot of Southern girls who would gladly own this cool skirt.
Prepare to hear the words "cute top" a lot.
Wearable wedges do exist.
Shake up your trouser collection.
This one's a showstopper.
Spring is coming back, and so is this It skirt.
Every closet needs at least one fun dress.
Next up, nine "boring" basics everyone forgets to buy.
This post originally aired at an earlier date and has been updated.