The Shopping Rule Southern Women Have Been Following for Years

As a Southerner myself, I can confirm that women from this part of the country inherently appreciate a good rule in life, including always sending a handwritten thank-you note and referring to elders as ma'am and sir. But the rules don't stop at just etiquette. There are shopping rules too, which have undoubtedly affected Southern style over the years. I've lived in and visited different parts of the country over the years but have yet to encounter another region in which the sartorial aesthetic is so distinct. So what's the number one shopping rule that plays a hand in a Southern woman's look?

To find out, I consulted Stacy Smallwood, owner of Charleston, South Carolina, mainstay (and one of the best boutiques in the South), Hampden Clothing. Smallwood said, "While white boots are definitely on the top of the editors' trend lists, Southern women tend to stick to the rules their mother taught them. You can't wear white before Labor Day, and you should not wear a trend again if you were wearing it during the original decade." She added, "At Hampden, we work on helping women discover their own style, their own fashion voice, and that often involves breaking many of their mothers' style rules."

Southern women like what they like and, in general, aren't incredibly open to experimentation when it comes to their look. While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, below are a few "rule-breaking" pieces that are still within a Southerner's comfort zone.

This top paired with high-waisted jeans is the chicest way to wear animal print right now.

Available in sizes 2 to 6.

Perfect for the sweltering Southern summers.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

For all those summer weddings you have lined up.

Available in sizes 6 to 10.

Give your denim shorts a break for this pretty pair.

Available in sizes 2 to 26W.

These bold cropped flares are so much more wearable than you'd think.

Available in sizes 24 to 30.

This is equal parts sweet and cool.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

Southern women love to wear color.

Available in sizes P to L.

Plastic bags are cool now, and this one is especially covetable.

One can never have too many fun summer dresses.

Available in sizes 14 to 20.

Gingham, but make it cool.

Available in sizes 2 to 6.

You can definitely wear this after Labor Day.

Available in sizes XS to L.

The grown-up way to wear glitter and tulle.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

Prepare to receive lots of compliments when wearing these.

Another example of really cool gingham.

Available in sizes XS to M.

Wear these ultra-flattering pants with one of the many pretty white tops on the market right now.

Available in sizes 00 to 12.


This is guaranteed to shake up your wardrobe.

Available in sizes XS to L.