the southern girl's gift guide

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Whether you’re a southern girl yourself or searching for a gift for one, this list has got you covered.

Books are always a good idea and two cute options are both from the staff at Garden & Gun. The Southerner’s Cookbook is a book of recipes and stories, from biscuits to more obscure regional specialities. The Southerner’s Handbook is filled with essays on topics from food to fashion to culture, all from G&G writers like Julia Reed and Roy Blount Jr.

A southern girl will always appreciate gifts for the kitchen. Gift her a jar of hot cinnamon peach preserves from Georgia brand Blackberry Patch or a cute magnolia-printed recipe box to store all of her old and new recipe cards.

Some practical, yet cute gift ideas are a set of gardening tools to be used in her kitchen garden or a cute pouch from Draper James. I love the What Would Dolly Do pouch and the Hello, Sugar option. A gift that will surely get a lot of use is a set of personalized notecards to be used for thank-you’s or just a quick hello. Serving both a practical and aesthetic purpose is a sweet Homesick candle with the scent of her home state.

In the fashion department, Cinq a Sept’s cute Bonjour, Y’all tee blends two favorite cultures. In the hot months (which is pretty much every month in the south), we need all the hats we can get. I recommend Southern Tide’s straw hat or this adorable, seersucker ball cap from Anna & Ava.

pretty things no. 43

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This week, I’m loving neutrals for summer. Although, is there really ever a time when I don’t? It seems like this season, there are so many beautiful pieces that make me happy.

I’m absolutely loving so many of Tory Burch’s recent pieces, starting with this linen shift dress, with its gold buttons and patch pockets. It’s such a classic piece that I could picture being worn by Jackie Kennedy during the summer or even Audrey Hepburn. Pair it with gold jewelry like an oversized cuff, a pair of great leather sandals, and of course, big sunglasses.

My favorite accessory trend this summer has been the resurgence of the headband, particularly Kate Middleton’s hatbands. They’re super practical in the heat and are an easy piece to add interest to any outfit. I love this one from J.Crew which combines straw with a Liberty print.

One of my summer fashion icons is Donna from Mamma Mia 2 with her bohemian, Greek island vibes and this Elizabeth & James top would fit right into her wardrobe. Pair it with denim shorts and a basket bag or go all out Mamma Mia style and wear it with some cute navy overalls.

Another gorgeous piece from Tory Burch is this silk crepe de chine mini dress. The fabric tells a story in the brand’s ‘poetry of things’ print, complete with wildflowers, pottery, and bees and beautiful design details throughout. You could dress this up with a simple block heel or dress it down with wrap sandals for any summer occasion.

Most of us have plans this summer to go to some sort of concert or sporting event and thus, we need a cute, clear stadium bag to carry our things. I love this one from Gigi New York (in collaboration with Collins Tuohy) which comes in a beautiful, neutral leather and is a super chic, classic option.

This pair of embroidered slides from Anniel are so pretty! I don’t often find statement shoes that I love, but this pair works because of the neutral color palette. You can pair them with everything from a white dress to a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, but I especially love them with darker pieces to add a little summer element. They’d look beautiful with a pair of dark wash skinny jeans.

periwinkle gingham dress in georgia

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So, the story is that I bought this cute gingham dress from English Factory back in April before my trip to London with the intentions of wearing it to Kensington Palace but it ended up being much colder than expected, so I wore a coat everyday! In the end, it was actually the perfect dress for Savannah because it has such a similar vibe. It’s sweet and classic but with a little twist in the drop waist and ruffle details. I bought this piece from an online boutique called Object Rare and was so impressed by how fast it arrived and how beautifully packaged it was. The store is currently under construction, but definitely check out their new website when it launches on August 1st.

I paired this dress with my favorite Soludos tall wedges and a vintage basket bag given to me as a gift. I can’t seem to find the dress for sale online anywhere, but I’ve rounded up a few pieces from English Factory that have a similar look.

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classic summer style inspired by old hollywood

The other day, I was talking about why I couldn’t get into the book “Daisy Jones and The Six” even though I had heard so many good things about it from people whose opinions I respect and I absolutely adored the authors previous novel, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”.

I said something along the lines that (aside from Almost Famous and a little Bianca Jagger), my historical interests just don’t really have anything to do with 60s/70s rock stars, but rather Old Hollywood glamour. That certainly explains why I loved Evelyn Hugo and couldn’t get down with Daisy Jones.

No matter the time of year, I look to my icons - Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jackie Kennedy - for style inspiration, but it’s especially true in the summer, when I pepper in some inspiration from French darlings like Jane Birkin, Romy Schneider and Brigitte Bardot.

With it being so damn hot in the South during summer, I’m often so tempted to just wear Nike running shorts everywhere but I like trying to, at the very least, incorporate one or two elements that make me feel a little Old Hollywood, even if it’s just a pair of oversized sunglasses.

Some pieces that jump to mind when I think of Old Hollywood summer style are white poplin bustier blouses paired with gingham cigarette pants or a pair of crisp sailor shorts with a simple mock neck tee and printed slingbacks.

A really easy choice is a collared wrap dress like this one from Gal Meets Glam that screams classic summer style or a chic little halter romper in all-white that would look just right on a yacht in the Mediterranean or the cover of a Slim Aarons photo book.

A classic look that’s easy to pull together, inspired by Jackie Kennedy is a silky black button-down blouse paired with a lightweight linen, button-front skirt and gorgeous leather sandals.

As for accessories, the sunglasses are the biggest thing but you can also try a straw boater, a statement headband to dress up a simple outfit, a vintage silk scarf to wear on your head or tied around the handle of your bag, and of course, a structured basket bag.

five outfits for summer activities

It may not be official for a few more days, but in my eyes, summer is here! I’m ready for all of the festivities from beach picnics and having popsicles in the afternoon to taking road trips and going to theme parks in Orlando for the day. Whatever is on your summer schedule, I know you’ll need outfits. As I do every season, I’ve put together an outfit idea for five different things you might be up to this summer.

swimming at the pool

Any pool look obviously starts out with a cute swimsuit. I’m loving this powder blue bikini from Solid & Striped paired with an oversized white button-down as a chic cover-up. Top it off with a navy ball cap and sunglasses to protect your face from then sun, then load up all of your books and things in a basket tote with a cute navy-and-white gingham detail like this one from Loeffler Randall.

spending the day at a theme park

Typically, when I think theme park, I do think fun pastels but I actually feel like a simple, neutral look is the best way to stand out in a good way. To keep cool, try a white racerback tank top paired with linen shorts. For a functional but cute shoe, I like the beige platforms from Converse. For accessories, add a pair of tortoiseshell glasses and a backpack to carry all of your things for the day.

backyard cookout

If you’re hosting or heading to a friend’s house for a fun barbecue, I love this Provence-inspired look which looks beautiful but is also very functional for a hot day outdoors. Pair a simple, printed maxi dress with your best pair of espadrilles. Carry your hostess gifts in a big wicker tote and pair it with some oversized, Hollywood sunglasses.

brunch by the beach

Try a nautical look for Sunday brunch by the sea with a light blue, square-neck top paired with white denim shorts. Dress it up with a cute straw hat and then pick neutral accessories like a navy black and chic leather sandals.

cocktail party on the patio

Instead of the typical cocktail dress, try a white jumpsuit for your summer parties. For a quintessentially summer look, pair it with rattan statement earrings, a pair of clear shoes, and a neutral gray bag.