The Classicist: Southern Proper's Timeless Style
Mint juleps, seersucker, stately plantations, belles in summer dresses and those F. Scott Fitzgerald stories where they go around saying "Good mawnin', Sally Carrol" -- all come together in the new spring collection from Southern Proper, a gentleman's outfitter from Atlanta now gaining wider recognition from natty northerners.
Southern Proper was in fact founded in 2005 by two southern belles, Emmie Claire Howard and Reagan Elizabeth Hardy, who were inspired by the stylish gentlemen they grew up with, always elegant and at ease in even the warmest of weather.
Hardy was born and raised on the Carolina coast, while Howard grew up on a cotton farm in the Tennessee Delta. "Men of the south have always been noted for their distinguished style," Howard and Hardy note. "Their honey-soaked accents and captivating manners charm women from all parts of the world."
However, "It's the tradition of sophisticated and influential attire that completes their status as gentlemen; for field or fancy, men of the south are always well-dressed." That's in no small part due to their graceful women-folk; "Southern men with their modest but strong sense of style have admittedly been dressed by the daintiest of hands," they note.
With this in mind, and after several years of dressing their own southern beaus, Howard and Hardy decided it was time to take their respect for southern men and their love of fine clothes to a new level. Combining elements of southern heritage and classic haberdashery, they developed Southern Proper, a southern-inspired line of clothing, neckties, bow ties and accessories for men who have a deep appreciation for style and heritage.
Gallery: Southern Proper Style
Complementing the southern gentleman's "courteous manners and sweet humility," many items are adorned by hand-drawn designs and all are crafted with a soupçon of southern charm. For Spring 2011, they've created the Southern Spectator Collection, drawing on elements from croquet, polo, sailing, golf, tennis, lacrosse and baseball.
"Competitive sports have always been a distinguished tradition of Southern culture, and a true gentleman knows how to balance his vigorous sporting spirit with timeless style," Hardy and Howard note. "The Southern Spectator Collection is inspired by the style of both players and spectators alike. With true footholds in the South, memories of smooth sailing on the coast, crisp new uniforms just begging for a slide into home plate, and the roar of a worthy crowd all capture the cheer and charm of rivalry."
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