13 Words of Style Wisdom From Real Southern Women

Southern style: it isn’t all seersucker and denim cutoffs. Some of the best dressers I know are Southern ladies who can pull off excellent outfits with minimal fuss. That said, style in the South can be a tricky thing. With a climate dominated by heat and humidity about 80 percent of the year, it takes skill to put together outfits that can stand up to the weather. But Southern women maintain a great sense of style year-round, so they can look chic and comfy for any occasion — even when it’s too hot to function.

As someone who has been to countless weddings, cocktail parties, and outdoor festivals in the summer months, I know that dressing well in the heat can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, contemporary fabrics and silhouettes make this an easy task, and bold colors and bright prints add a bit of sass to whatever you're wearing. In partnership with Nordstrom Rack, here are 13 tried and true fashion lessons that all Southern ladies know.

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Rack. The new Nordstrom Rack opens on March 10 at Ambassador Town Center. Get details here!

1. You Can Rock Dresses All Day

Dresses, Nordstrom Rack

Every day. Dresses are the easiest way to look on point with almost no effort. You can stay cool in the heat or layer them with a cute cardigan for perfect office attire.

2. Giant Sunglasses Are Essential

Sunglasses, Nordstrom Rack

When you spend lots of time at outdoor festivals, tailgating parties, and beach retreats, proper shades are crucial. Honestly, when it comes to sunglasses, bigger = better.

3. Printed Tops Are Casual-Cool

Blouses & Shirts, Nordstrom Rack

Most Southern women don't shy away from bold, printed tops. Simple stripes are fun and nautical, but feminine florals and abstract designs are also favorites.

4. Great Boots Are Life-Changing

Booties, Nordstrom Rack

On the rare occasion that the South gets a little cold, a great pair of boots can really polish off an outfit. And they're also an easy way to protect your feet at outdoor concerts or crawfish boils.

5. Sassy Jeans Always Fit

Skinny Jeans, Nordstrom Rack

The perfect pair of jeans can walk the line between comfy and chic. They are the best way to pull off the effortlessly pulled-together look that Southern women wear so well. And a dark-wash skinny jean can work with just about any outfit.

6. (Remixed) Pearls Are Perfect

Earrings, Nordstrom Rack

Classic? Always. Stuffy? Not a chance. Pearls are the accessory that makes any outfit twice as ladylike. An ear jacket is a fresh way to wear them.

7. Accessories Should Be BRIGHT

Clutches, Nordstrom Rack

Accessories in bright hues — such as hot pink or sunshine yellow — are always a fun choice. Plus, it's harder to forget your purse when it's brighter than a stoplight.

8. Vibrant Tanks Work Year-Round

Tank Tops, Nordstrom Rack

Sometimes it's just too hot for sleeves. Bright tank tops in a variety of poppy hues can help you stay cool.

9. You Can Shine All Night

Metallic Shoes, Nordstrom Rack

Most Southern women keep their style pretty low-key during the day, but evening wear is all about the sparkle. A little glamour never hurt anyone, and the South is the land of Mardi Gras balls.

10. You Can Always Split The Difference Between Classic & Modern

Skirts, Nordstrom Rack

Take a wardrobe classic (such as a scuba skirt) and mix in a bit of modern styling (like laser cutouts) to create the perfect piece. It's everything you need to go from day to night.

11. You Can't Go Wrong With Scarves

Scarves, Nordstrom Rack

Pretty scarves — in floral prints, lace, or bright silks — make a polished finishing touch to any ensemble. Whether you're in an elegant dress or just jeans and a T-shirt, a scarf can add a little something extra to your outfit.

12. Sandals Can Make A Statement

Sandals, Nordstrom Rack

Whether you like embellished flat sandals or sky-high espadrilles, sandals are the perfect summer shoe that can be worn approximately 10 months out of the year. The best ones are equally at home on the beach or out to brunch.

13. Cardis Class Up Any Outfit

Cardigans, Nordstrom Rack

Cardigans are a perfect way to ward off the chill from overactive Southern air conditioners. Bonus points if it's in an argyle print or supersaturated springtime hue.

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