The North is a direction. The South is a lifestyle

As a young girl born and raised in Kentucky, I was taught the ways of the South. My mama didn’t raise no fool- and because of that, I have instilled in me a way of life fueled by sweet tea, biscuits, and bourbon. 😉

When Swanky Shoppe reached out to me to build a collaborating relationship, I knew it was a definite yes! Not only it this local store ran by two fabulous women with go-getter attitudes, which I can totally relate! Plus, their brand encompasses the style of a true southern woman- with ruffles & pearls galour, sweet home decor, smockings for the kiddos, dapper garb for the gents, and so much more. 

And one of my favorite brands they carry is Draper James.  It is so exciting to have access to this well-known brand in my small hometown. Reese Witherspoon knew what she was doing when she started this name, and I’m obsessed her versatility in style. Along with her fabulous clothing brand, Reese curated a fabulous book, Whiskey in a Teacup, detailing all things southern- between recipes, parties, style, and stories seeping with tradition.  

And in honor of her new release, I am sharing my own version of this Southern bible with 10 things I have learned from being raised in the South, all while rocking a Draper James outfit, courtesy of Swanky Shoppe!


1. Hospitality

Between whiskey, wine, and line dancing, us Southerners know how to party! And growing up, I witnessed my mother host all sorts of events, always carrying them out with such ease. She consistently welcomed in our guests with a sense of hospitality, and I always strived to do the same. The way to any Southerner’s heart is through food, and whipping up the best meal always makes for a great event. And when you add festive drinks, decor, and of course A THEME, then you have yourself a PARTAYYY.


2. I don’t have an accent, y’all do

There is one thing EVERY southern girl has, and it is a southern drawl (and a strand of pearls, but I will save that for #3). Y’all, bless your heart, as all get out, over yonder: just to name a few souther-isms. But there is something so endearing about the voice of a southern gal. The accent is full of love, comfort, and a sense of “home”.


3. When in Doubt, Overdress

You know when you’re going to an event, and your girlfriends always ask, “what are you planning on wearing?” Because no one wants to seem to out of place! But my advise is always this: when in doubt, always overdress. Because it is better to be overdressed than under! Something a southern girl always takes pride in is her fashion sense. We love to get dolled up, with extravagant accessories, overdone hairdos, and make-up galore. Oh, and pearls go with anything- faux, real, whatever floats your boat.


4. Monogram Everything

During adolescence, when a girl has a major crush on the cute boy in class, she usually daydreams of being a wife. She will scribble her name on her paper, and add his last name to the end of hers. But us southern girls take it one step further. We draw out what our monogram would be, because if it doesn’t look right, that is a definite deal-breaker! If it isn’t breathing, we monogram it. Our bags, pillows, robes, sweaters, just about anything you can imagine, And thanks to Swanky Shoppe, I can get all my monogram needs personalized on just about anything! Follow their website HERE to check out their large selection on monogramable goodies.


5. Mind Your Manners

What is great about the South is the friendliness you encounter by just about everyone. We great each other with a smile and always say “yes, sir” or “yes ma’am”. Our parents taught us to always behave, especially in public, or else we would get a whoopin’ when we got home. We write thank you notes every chance we get, because that’s proper, y’all. We aren’t just a buncha hillbillies- we know etiquette just as much as Queen E herself.


6. The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus

I grew up watching my mom wear velcro rollers each and every day. It gave her the extra volume she needed and curl she didn’t naturally have. Accompanied with an excess amount of hairspray, this southern girl knows how to tease her way to heaven!  Not only is our hair big, but so is our hearts for Jesus. We may drink a little, but we sure do love our Lord! As a southern girl raised Christian, I walk by faith. Without my God, I am nothing, and I think the Lord each and every day for his mercy and grace.


7. Mama Knows Best

Speaking of Mama, every southern house is ran by a strong, southern women. She shows love through home-cooked meals, knows when to fight back and when to show compassion. She is well put together, and never sleeps. Everyone minds her and always hugs her goodbye. This woman goes by Mama. While I may be Daddy’s girl, I always looked to my mom for guidance, especially when it came to learning how to be a lady. She knew how to cook, how to throw a dinner party, and always dressed with great style. A lot of who I am now I attribute to my momma.


8. It’s A Family Tradition

Every family has their own traditions. And they usually arise around the holidays. As a typical southern gal, Christmas decor goes up on November 1st! I am obsessed with this winter holiday and love to go all out! Here in the south, we love to be “extra” with our Christmas traditions. Christmas is the best time of year. And with that come lot of traditions. Each and every family has their own way of doing things, which makes us all positively unique. I love hearing all the different traditions for all different families, as it gives me new ideas for which to add to our family.


9. Raised on Sweet Tea and Mint Juleps

One of my favorite memories growing up is spending summer days at my grandma’s house, playing outside and swimming in their pool. And a big glass of iced sweet tea always accompanied these hot days. My grandmother makes the BEST sweet tea: strong, sweet, and southern (just how I like my men 😉 ). No one can surpass my grandmothers recipe, and I look forward to having a glass every time I go and visit.

Are you really southern if you don’t put 2 lbs of sugar in your tea?! And are you really from Kentucky if you don’t like Mint Juleps? This Southern gal isn’t just raised on sweet tea, but also on mint juleps. Being in the heart of Bourbon Country, this Kentucky Kocktail is a classic, and especially enjoyed during the 2nd-best holiday of the year: the Kentucky Derby. Inspired by a combination of these 2 southern specialties, below is my recipe for a twisted tea you will love all year long!

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 to 6 mint leaves
  • 2 family-sized tea bags (I use Luzianne)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bourbon (optional)
  • crushed ice
  • lemon slices
  • mint sprigs
  1. Bring 2 cups water, sugar, and mint leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags and add 3 cups cold water.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Add your finest Kentucky bourbon to tea mixture (if desired).
  6. Fill glass with crushed ice. Pour tea on top and garnish with lemon and mint leaves.
  7. Enjoy with friends, family, & your neighbors down the road.

10. Whiskey In a Teacup

And finally, being a southern women isn’t just about being raised in the south. It is about fighting for what you believe in. While we agree with chivalry, we thrive off independence, because Mama didn’t raise no fool. Being a southern woman means being strong-willed, not backing down, and making your voice heard. We may be delicately put together on the outside, but on the inside, we can kick your a** like whiskey does!


| Outfit Details |

You can shop this look by visiting the Swanky Shoppe in Elizabethtwon, KY or by placing a phone order by calling 270-307-6367. And while you’re at it, visit their Instagram HERE and give them a follow.

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by Swanky Shoppe in Elizabethtown, KY. The opinions are completely my own and based on my experience.*