Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guest Post: Sweet Southern Style

By Heidi at HeidiLuxe

I moved to the South 8 years ago with full intention of not liking it one bit. My husband had expressed interest in attending the University of Alabama school of law. I expressed interest in not living in a region that was dominated by monster trucks with monster-sized tires, mosquitoes the size of your fist, a dialect where grammar was optional and dueling banjoes as the primary form of musical entertainment. As my dear college roommate Emily would often say, “some stereotypes are true.”

Luckily for me, the stereotypes of the South were nicely balanced with some really great things. The first thing I fell in love with about the South was the way people talked. Southerners are the most friendly and kind people; if I only could figure out what they were saying. For the first few weeks I might as well have been in Rome for as much as I could understand the people. But after I while I affected my own little twang and now I am a sucker for a nice accent that drips like melted butter atop a big steaming bowl of cheese grits. By the way, cheese grits are about my most favorite thing on earth.

Of course my favorite Southern influence was on my fashion sense. I actually saw men wearing seersucker suits. And not just Matlock-style geriatrics heading to Denny’s for a 4pm dinner. There were young men in classic pale blue 3 piece seersucker suits. I am now a sucker for seersucker. Children wear embroidered smocked outfits for special occasions. Women wore very large hats to church. I once heard radio hosts arguing over whether the late great Ronnie Van Zandt was buried in a suit or not(of course he was, like any good Southern boy who loves his mama would do). When I attended my first University of Alabama football game, I knew I had stumbled on something special. At least half female student population had treated the game as more than a sporting event. I saw cocktail dresses and platform heels and plenty of false eyelashes. And those not in semi-formal attire were covered head to toe in crimson red and houndstooth print. Of course, there was always a nice “peopleofwalmart.com” contingency to make public events fun. Having chosen my football loyalties early on, I will never EVER feel comfortable wearing certain shades of blue and orange together in fear that I may give the impression that I am supporting a dreaded rival. I gave away a brand new dress last year because it too closely matched Auburn Tiger orange (BOO).

Also, a Southern summer is hotter than 2 dollar pistol. Any cute layering that I used to do with a cardigan or multiple shirts became gone with the wind. Cardigans are something that I would wear during a nice balmy 60 degree winter. From about April to October, jeans only make an appearance when I am going to be sitting in a nice cool movie theater. Oftentimes it is still 100 degrees and 70% humidity at midnight. In Southern heat, a sundress is a lovely requirement. Unfortunately, I am not the type of southern girl who merely glistens, I sweat. Like a whore in church.

Since the initial move to Alabama 8 years ago, I’ve also had the opportunity to live in Georgia and currently South Carolina. Though many people still associate the South with its more checkered past, it’s full of genuine people, many of whom really do understand the attraction of NASCAR.

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