I took David to South Carolina this past weekend for a late birthday weekend. We stayed in Summerville at the Woodlands Inn (I will post more pictures later), which is about 20 minutes outside of Charleston. On Saturday afternoon, we planned to do some antique shopping along King Street in Charleston to see if we could find any interesting treasures for our house. However, we blew the antique budget at Billy Reid instead. If you don’t know anything about the designer Billy Reid, let me tell you a little bit. In 2010 he won the CFDA/Vogue Designer of the Year Award, as well as the Best New Designer Award from GQ. Hear is the part I love: he works out of Florence, Alabama, where he maintains his design studio and his flagship store. He is a native of Amite, LA (Just down I-55 from McComb, MS). So from those roots, he epitomizes the aesthetic of modern, yet traditional Southern dressing. Not only do his clothes feel comfortable and Southern, but his stores do too. From the friendly greeting and helpful assistance of the Ole Miss grad that was our sales associate, to the sepia-toned photos on the walls, it is easy to feel comfortable and at home in one of his stores (which probably is what makes it so easy to spend money too). He only has stores at six locations presently (Florence, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Charleston, and New York), but is opening a new store soon in D.C. located along M Street in Georgetown, which will make our return visits to D.C. even more productive. Not only are his clothes beautiful and well-made (no China crap here, most of Billy’s wares are made in Italy, or even, novelty of novelties, the USA), but the fabrics are soft and feel like the most comfortable thing that you ever put on your body.
So for David’s birthday, we picked out a lovely new sport coat and shirt.
If only all of the Fraternity Boys at Ole Miss dressed like this! Seriously, this is the kind of clothing that I always dreamed about dressing a man in (and now I can – thanks, David!).
Billy also designs a women’s collection as well. The same aesthetic carries over to the women’s line as well. I fell in love with a wrap dress, that will most certainly become my go-to teaching dress this semester at school. It is probably one of the most comfortable things that I have ever worn that still looks current and flattering. I also really fell in love with the autumn plaid skirt, that I couldn’t get to fit me right. Sadly, the one complaint that I have about his line comes into play here. Some of Billy’s cuts are on the too slender side for me (I was told by the sales clerk that you need to go up a size from the size that you normally wear for this skirt because the waist runs very small). It is slightly frustrating, because his men’s clothes go up to XXL, but for women, the skirt wasn’t made for anyone above a Victorian era size 8. So, if you are a girl who enjoys the occasional shrimp and grits, then you might not find something that fits you well. Why the double standard for women?
Anyway, maybe by the summertime, I will be able to squeeze into some of the skinnier cuts, but the double standard from men to women still kind of burns me up. Nonetheless, if you are considering a generous gift to me at some point in time, then I would happily accept a gift of any of Billy Reid’s lovely, leather luggage (although, I probably do not need the shotgun case, whatever activities I do while in Mississippi).
I made one other purchase on Saturday. Last year, I raved about the Gap shirt dresses that were going to be the staple of my spring/summer travel wardrobe year, I found a t-shirt dress from J-Crew that is going to be my everyday and travel standard. I bought it in protest for the weather forecast predicting widespread snow across the South.