The American South is known for its charming hospitality, mouthwatering comfort foods, and easygoing pace of life. But another defining characteristic of the South is its iconic sense of style. From antebellum hoop skirts to seersucker suits, Southerners have cultivated a signature look that is both classic and creative. One fashion blogger who embodies lovely Southern style is Mary Phillips of A Pinch of Lovely.
- Capturing Southern Charm Through Fashion
- Timeless Southern Staples with a Modern Twist
- Feminine Florals and Charming Accents
- Practical Styling Tips for Southern Belles
- Life in Music City
- The Impact and Evolution of A Pinch of Lovely
- Frequently Asked Questions
Capturing Southern Charm Through Fashion
Mary launched her blog in 2009 as a creative outlet and a way to connect with other Southern-style enthusiasts. Although Mary grew up in South Carolina, she moved to Nashville after college and found it to be the perfect city for nurturing her love of fashion, music, and all things Southern. On her blog, Mary shares outfit inspiration, styling tips, lifestyle advice, and glimpses into life in Music City. Her photography, writing voice, and style reflect the warmth and charm of the South.
In each blog post, Mary artfully mixes trendy pieces with Southern staples to create looks that are effortlessly elegant and totally unique. She often incorporates elements like monograms, pastels, plumage, and pearl jewelry as an homage to her Southern roots.
At the same time, her outfits feel fresh and modern thanks to on-trend silhouettes, bold patterns, and statement accessories. Mary also utilizes pieces from fast fashion retailers to recreate designer looks on a budget. This allows her devoted readers to realistically recreate her ensembles.
Timeless Southern Staples with a Modern Twist
While Mary certainly keeps up with current trends, she also believes in building a closet around timeless Southern classics. On her blog, she often references iconic pieces like white button-downs, blue jeans, cowboy boots, and Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses that transcend seasons and never go out of style. Mary reworks these wardrobe staples in creative ways by layering, accessorizing, and playing with proportions.
For example, one of Mary’s go-to looks is a crisp white button-down tucked into distressed denim cutoffs paired with brown cowboy boots. She elevates this Southern classic by knotting the button-down to crop it, rolling the sleeves, and topping it with an oversized sunhat.
To make the outfit appropriate for warmer weather, she opts for frayed denim cutoffs instead of jeans and adds a stack of dainty bracelets. This effortlessly cool, laidback look encompasses Mary’s signature style- Southern-inspired yet modern and chic.
Feminine Florals and Charming Accents
No Southern Belle’s closet is complete without pretty florals, eyelet lace, and charming accents. Mary incorporates these feminine details into many of her looks while still maintaining a modern, stylish edge. She often pairs an A-line floral sundress with a denim jacket and sneakers for contrast. Or she’ll style a crochet lace blouse with tailored shorts and statement earrings for an outfit that’s sweet yet sophisticated.
When it comes to accents, Mary loves incorporating unique Southern touches like monograms, tassel earrings, and colorful headscarves. These small details infuse her outfits with quirky character and nods to her heritage. Whether it’s a personalized monogrammed necklace or a vibrant scarf tied in her hair, Mary’s charming accents set her apart from mainstream bloggers and offer a peek into life south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Practical Styling Tips for Southern Belles
In addition to inspirational outfit posts, Mary shares plenty of practical styling advice on A Pinch of Lovely. She offers tips for building a versatile Southern wardrobe, shopping thrift stores, and mastering accessories. One of her most helpful topics is styling for the heat and humidity of Southern summers.
Mary recommends lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen for hot summer days. She suggests breezy silhouettes like maxi dresses and skirts to allow for airflow. Mary also advises embracing prints and colorful patterns to brighten up humid days. Some of her favorite summer accessories are oversized straw hats, silk scarves, and dainty jewelry that won’t feel heavy.
As a busy mom of two, Mary also includes tips for staying stylish but comfortable during the sticky Southern months. Her down-to-earth advice helps readers beat the heat while still feeling put together.
Life in Music City
Beyond the fashion, Mary provides a glimpse into life and culture in Nashville through her writing and photography. She shares her favorite local boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and events around town. Mary also documents her family life with her husband Ben and two daughters. Her kids and husband make frequent cameos on the blog through both Mary’s writing and photography.
Seeing Mary’s fashion sense intertwined with her family life and city provides readers with a well-rounded perspective into her world. For those dreaming of a similar lifestyle, Mary offers inspiration and ideas for embracing Southern fashion and hospitality. From snapping photos against the beautiful murals of Nashville to exploring the city’s hip neighborhoods, Mary gives an insider’s look into Music City living.
The Impact and Evolution of A Pinch of Lovely
When Mary started A Pinch of Lovely back in 2009, she was simply looking for a creative hobby and outlet to connect with fellow fashionistas. But over the past decade, her blog has evolved into a destination for stylish Southern inspiration. Today, A Pinch of Lovely receives hundreds of thousands of views per month and Mary works full-time managing and growing her blog. It just goes to show how a small passion project can turn into an impactful creative business.
While her blog has grown considerably, Mary remains committed to its roots by providing quality content and nurturing relationships with her readers. She stays true to her signature style while continuing to evolve and expand her content offerings. In recent years, popular posts have included lifestyle topics like home decor, parenting, and fitness in addition to fashion.
No matter how much the blog grows and changes, the genuine Southern hospitality and charm of Mary and A Pinch of Lovely shines through. For 10 years and counting, Mary has been inviting readers into her world and inspiring them with her warm perspective on Southern living and style.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still curious to learn more about A Pinch of Lovely? Check out Mary’s answers to these 5 frequently asked questions:
1. How would you describe your personal style?
My style is feminine and romantic with a mix of modern and vintage elements. I love florals, ruffles, and lace balanced out with edgier pieces like moto jackets, distressed denim, and ankle boots. Southern influences like monograms and pearls also sneak their way in!
2. Where do you find style inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere – Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, movies, the streets of Nashville, and by observing stylish Southern women. I’m constantly pinning and screenshotting looks I want to recreate. Fashion blogs and Nashville boutiques are also a huge source of inspiration for me.
3. What are your go-to places to shop?
Some of my local Nashville favorites are Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired clothing line, and Imogene + Willie for cool denim and basics. Nationwide I love shopping at Nordstrom, Madewell, Anthropologie, Target, and TJ Maxx for discounted finds. I also love a good vintage or consignment boutique.
4. What styling advice do you have for Southern summers?
Lightweight, breathable natural fabrics are a must during those hot Southern summers. I live in flowy maxi dresses, shorts, and skirts. Look for cotton, linen, and chambray fabrics that won’t cling. Also, embrace prints and bright colors. My other essentials are strappy sandals, Panama hats, and UV-protecting accessories like sunglasses and scarves.
5. How do you take your outfit photos?
I use my Canon Rebel with the 18-55 lens. Natural lighting is best so I photograph a lot outside in my yard, on my front porch, and around Nashville. For indoor shots, I style outfits in my home near windows. I use an online self-timer app and a tripod and just take lots of photos until I capture some good ones! Having photo editing apps helps too.