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).
Next up, nine “boring” basics everyone forgets to buy.
I Tried on 21 Dresses From Reformation, Topshop, and Zara—These 10 Made the Cut
If there’s one type of email I love to receive in my inbox this time of year, it’s a summer invitation. Whether it’s for a wedding, a barbecue, brunch, or bridal shower, seeing a Paperless Post pop up in my inbox never fails to excite. This is followed closely by my second favorite email: a travel confirmation from an airline. (It’s true. I get giddy at the sight of a booking reference number.) Why? Because both emails signify the start of fun summer is finally here.
It also signifies the need to get my summer wardrobe into gear. And lots of summer events call for lots of gorgeous summer dresses (or at least a small handful to see me through the season).
So this week, I went to some of my favorite retailers—Reformation, Zara, and Topshop (all known for their chic selections of dresses)—to seek out cool summer frocks that will see me through laid-back summer weekends, an upcoming Italian vacation, a wedding, an engagement party, and a bridal shower—all taking place in the next few months. I tried on a plethora of dresses (21 to be exact), but these 10 made the final cut. From floral minidresses to polka-dot slip dresses, scroll below to whet your appetite for a brand-new season of summer dressing.
The Best Maternity Bras to Get You Through Your Pregnancy (and After)
If you’re a pregnant bra wearer and asking yourself if you need to buy a new one, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I am currently six months along and have swiftly transitioned from a B cup to a D cup in the blink of an eye. Breasts increase in size pretty early during pregnancy (around 6 to 8 weeks), and many will find they outgrow their bras rather quickly. The hormonal shifts, weight gain, and expanding rib cage associated with pregnancy contribute to this growth, as will mammary glands preparing to make milk later in pregnancy.
I was tempted to squeeze into my regular bras for as long as possible, but I quickly realized how uncomfortable my pre-pregnancy lacy bras were becoming, and they simply couldn’t support my heavy (and itchy) breasts. Time for an upgrade. There are a few options as you’re growing. 1) Buy a larger size of your normal pre-pregnancy bra. 2) Switch to a maternity bra. 3) If you’re somewhere in the middle of your third trimester, buy a nursing bra. Many, like me, prefer a combination of the two or three.
So how are maternity and nursing bras different from regular bras? Think of a maternity bra as an improved version of a regular bra—designed specifically for comfort as your breasts grow during pregnancy. Some features include a soft cotton lining, wider straps, extra latches on the band, etc., and they tend not to be underwired. Many regular bras offer these features too, which will work just fine during pregnancy.
Nursing bras differ in one way from maternity bras: They feature clasps on the straps that allow for easy breastfeeding access. If you buy a nursing bra to wear during pregnancy make sure there is enough room for you to grow as your breasts tend to go up another cup size or more after your baby arrives. Many of the bras available are maternity/nursing hybrids, which provide support throughout pregnancy and after.
Officially ready for a new bra? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite maternity and nursing bras that will get you through and beyond your pregnancy. And remember: If it feels tight, then it isn’t right. Find your correct size by getting measured at the lingerie department or do it yourself.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated by Judith Jones.
Up next, these are the summer maternity outfits to try right now.
Don't Visit New York Without Stopping By These 6 Stores
As someone who quite literally shops online for a living—and loves it—it takes a lot to get me out of my e-comfort zone and into an actual store. After all, I pride myself on being able to track down pretty much any item on the internet within seconds and have a weekly excuse to peruse all my favorite sites’ new-arrivals sections—making me pretty familiar with all that’s out there.
However, once in a while it does happen, mostly thanks to a handful of boutiques that have managed to curate such a good selection, it’s worth the trip every time. So which are the stores one simply must visit when in New York? Just keep scrolling to read about all six and (because I couldn’t help myself) do a little online shopping along the way.
Up next? The surprising new It bag I couldn’t even get my hands on.
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