I Live in the South, and These Are the 16 Pieces I Wear Most Often

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.

I'm a native Southerner, but after more than a decade of moving from coast to coast, I wasn't exactly feeling like much of one anymore. I moved back to the South (Raleigh, North Carolina, to be exact) a few years ago, and while I've stayed true to my personal aesthetic, my style has evolved in some ways. I've never lived somewhere that people dress as casually as they do here, and the four seasons can be surprisingly distinct, so a well-rounded wardrobe is a must. I miss getting to dress up as much as I did when I lived in L.A., but there's certainly something to be said for living somewhere laid-back. (My basics and flat shoes get a lot of use.)

Keep scrolling to shop my most-worn pieces since returning to the South.

How to dress in the South



Easy Dresses

Summers in the South can be brutal. On the hottest days, the only relief is in the form of a dress that allows for some airflow. 

Birkenstock Sandals

I've never really been the Birkenstock type, but I've found myself embracing them recently. They're easy, comfortable, and look good with more outfits than I would've imagined.

Southern clothing trends



Cropped White T-Shirts

I love all white tees, but I've become partial to ones that are slightly cropped. They look polished, and I appreciate not having to tuck them in.

Casual Shorts

Jeans are pretty much out of the question when summer is at its hottest, so I have a stack of denim and other casual shorts that get a lot of use.

Denim Jackets

For much of the year, denim jackets are just the perfect weight for the climate.

Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

Don't ask me why, but since returning to the South, I buy and wear simpler sunglasses than I used to.

Allyson Payer Instagram



Knit Tanks

When I want the comfort and ease of a tee but am tired of wearing T-shirts, I go for a cute knit tank top.

This one is a favorite basic of mine right now.

Throw-It-All-in-and-Go Bags

I love a mini bag, but I don't feel the need to worry about my bag being too big anymore, so I've stocked up on a few totes. I've definitely gotten my money's worth.

White Sneakers

I have a lot of appreciation for my white sneakers. I wear them year-round and with everything. How many shoe styles can you say that about?

Southern clothing basics



Comfortable Jeans

I used to swear by 100% cotton jeans (and I still do), but I've diversified my denim collection with a few more comfortable styles since moving back to the South.

I've never met an uncomfortable pair of Madewell jeans.

Linen Blazers

Since the AC is often blasting, I won't go anywhere without a light blazer or jacket in the summer.

Simple Gold Jewelry

For some reason, I find that I wear more jewelry in the South, but much of it is simple enough to wear with casual outfits.


Sorry to state the obvious, but leggings are something that I wear multiple times a week.

Style in the South



Block-Heel Mules

I rarely wear stilettos anymore, but I do wear block-heel mules on a weekly basis. 

The South can be pretty rainy, but this coat makes the downpours somewhat tolerable.

What to wear in the South



Gucci Loafers

They're a splurge, but I wear my Gucci loafers more than any pair of shoes in my closet, hands down.

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