You have a big trip down South planned soon. You feel prepared for the journey. You’ve brushed up on your favorite fishing story, worked out which chili recipe you want to try and you’ve got some insect repellant in your carry-on. However, another huge aspect of heading below the Mason-Dixon Line is the style. The South is home to tons of cultural traditions and those don’t exclude some great fashion. The weather tends to stay on the warmer side most of the year. In contrast with their Northern counterparts, men in the South are dressing for function but it’s not to keep warm; it’s to stay cool. If you want to make a big splash during your southern excursion, keep the following style tips in mind.
Every southern gentleman carries a great handkerchief. On one hand, they offer a refined way to wipe the sweat from your brow on a hot day. But on the other, they can also function as a stylish pocket square to break up a neutral or solid suit. Fashion purists take pains to differentiate between a pocket square and a hanky. In the South, guys use them both interchangeably. As long as you have one, preferably made of cotton or linen, you’re all set.
You’re bound to see local guys headed to the supermarket in Crocs or moccasins. Don’t let that throw you off. True southern gentlemen care about their shoes. They like durable footwear that will impress the crowd without smothering their feet. Saddle shoes, like our Denver Bison Leather Saddle Shoes, call to mind southern style of yesteryear while simultaneously updating it. But if you want to fit in and stay comfortable, a strong pair of loafers like the Horsebit Driver Leather Loafers are the perfect choice.
Oxford Woven Shirts
The classic oxford woven shirt is perfect for a trip down South. Oxfords are made from cotton, which is renowned for its breathability. When you’re making your way around town in humidity and high temperatures, this shirt comes in handy. The classic oxford woven shirt will give you versatility: it’s the perfect casual shirt to pair back to loafers and shorts but it also looks great worn under a sport coat with jeans.
Jeans are acceptable just about everywhere in the South. Unless you’re part of an old-fashioned, elite circle, your jeans are welcome everywhere. Wear them slim but not skinny. Style in the South is on trend but it’s not fashion-forward. If you’re wearing spray-on skinny jeans, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb. A pair of dark blue or black slim jeans will do the trick for almost every occasion.
The Perfect Bag
In fashion capitals like New York, men’s fashion is going through an experimental phase where gender lines are being blurred. It’s safe to say that movement isn’t happening in the South. You need a rugged, masculine bag that carries your essentials and little else. If you’re only in town for a weekend, the Babson Leather Duffel Bag should hold everything you need. If you’re heading South for a business meeting, the Harvard Leather Briefcase sends an authoritative message.
Heading South isn’t just about relaxing and settling into the hospitality. You have to dress the part, too.