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What a Stylist Always Removes From Southern Women's Closets

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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).

This is the holy grail of bodysuits
Meet the perfect jeans you’ll wear over and over for years to come.
Why spend more on a trench when this excellent one is $138?
A good leather jacket makes every outfit it touches better.
Black pants don’t have to be boring. (Look closely.)
Dôen makes the sweetest T-shirts on the market, period.
These jeans are so great, I’d buy them in bulk.
Wearing something underneath this flattering blazer is optional.
As classic as sweaters come.
Dinner plans? Party? Work function? Wear this.
This beauty is currently in my shopping cart.
Stray from the Gucci bags that everyone else is wearing.
Business on top, party on the bottom.
I love the modern cut of this top.
I know a lot of Southern girls who would gladly own this pretty skirt.
The cool-girl way to wear pink.
Definitely a step up from tassels.
If this is the new way to wear statement sleeves, I support.
Pumps don’t have to be boring to be polished (case in point).
Spring is coming, and so is this It skirt.

Next up, nine “boring” basics everyone forgets to buy.

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I Tried on 21 Dresses From Reformation, Topshop, and Zara—These 10 Made the Cut

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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.

An effortless white dress is high on my wish list for weekend summer getaways. I’m obsessed with this lace and linen midi dress from Reformation. Just add espadrille wedges, a straw hat, and the Italian Riviera for good measure.
This is such a fun little floral frock. The neckline and puff sleeves are super flattering and utterly charming. I do wish the hemline was one or two inches longer, but I’ll definitely be wearing these with kitten-heel sandals or chic flats once summer rolls around.
I’ll be wearing this stunner for an elegant outdoor summer wedding with black sandals and statement earrings. The fitted bodice is exquisite.
This relaxed floral slip can easily be dressed up or down with strappy sandals or flats and is the perfect option for those laid-back summer days.
My penchant for white dresses continues. I love the delicate details on this chic frock—from the deep-V neckline lined with lace to the pleated drop-waist silhouette.
Consider this your day-to-night wardrobe savior. The romantic ruffles and elegant, short puff sleeves add a charming touch to the ditsy floral-print frock.
A lightweight knit dress looks super chic for casual summer days. I’m particularly fond of the elegant neckline and longer length.
Garden-party chic! This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m head over heels for this vintage-style silhouette and bold floral print. Perfect for, oh you know, that polo match or that garden tea party, dahling.
I’ve been looking for a slip dress with a draped neckline and delicate spaghetti straps for some time, and this gorgeous silky frock fits the bill perfectly. It looks much more expensive than its price tag.
I’ve been in need of a couple of simple, easy, and relaxed knit dresses for weekends at the beach and brunching on the balcony with friends, and this soft yellow midi is the perfect not-too-precious option.

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The Best Maternity Bras to Get You Through Your Pregnancy (and After)

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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.

With its soft fabric and seamless design, this seamless bra is a customer favorite for during pregnancy and after.
Smooth stretchy fabric and lightly padded cups make this ultra-comfortable throughout the day and night.
Designed to move with you from pregnancy and beyond, this minimalistic bra features stretchy, nursing-friendly surplice cups.
This silky-soft, stretchy bra is supportive enough for day wear and comfortable enough to sleep in.
If you’re looking for a comfortable strapless bra throughout your pregnancy, then look no further.
Made of a cotton-modal blend, this soft and breathable bra is designed for comfort and support throughout pregnancy or after as a daily nursing bra or cozy nursing sleep bra.
Although this is technically not a maternity or nursing bra, I’ve found it extremely comfortable and supportive through my first six months of pregnancy.
A good choice when you’re exercising. This wire-free maternity/nursing bra with removable foam cups accommodates your changing figure.
Pretty and comfortable. The wide back enhances support.
You’d never be able to tell this is a nursing bra. Gorgeous lace adds romance while clips are easily unfastened for breastfeeding.
Your beautiful bralette just got an upgrade. This meets all the specific needs of a nursing mother. Plus, it’s so pretty.
Lightweight and easy to maneuver, Chantelle’s nursing bra fits best 3 weeks before your due date or later.
Your everyday bra, found. Available in black and beige, this maternity and nursing bra is designed for maximum support.
I already wear these under my casual tees for support and comfort.
Customers love this bra for its ultra-soft feeling fabric and comfort. Available in sizes S to XL.

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.

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Fashion

Don't Visit New York Without Stopping By These 6 Stores

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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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