Dresses: SUNO // L'Wren Scott // Rachel Pally // NoNoo

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail... Spring's officially sprung when Easter hits. Down here in the South most of us abide by the rule that your whites (save the ones you wear on a clay court) are only for a certain time of year, the first day of which is looming this Sunday. I can't think of any color I love to wear more - it's perfect for sticky days, pairs great with a suntan, and looks even prettier when worn on a dress.

Now's a good time to invest as you'll get the most wear if you snag your frocks at the beginning of Spring. Do it now while ShopBop is offering their Friends + Family discount through April 17th - everything on the whole site is 25% off with code INTHEFAMILY14, so you don't even have to wait until the end of season sales to snag one for a song. What are you waiting for? Get to (s)hopping, my little bunnies!

Nude + white shoes make a pretty finish:

Speaking of April showers... I ran into SuitSupply today to chat with a few of the guys and pick up a friend's suit for him. We'd been in prior to have him fitted in a great gray linen-blend number for the Atlanta Steeplechase this weekend. Anyway, when I was in the store today, the skies suddenly opened up - utter downpour. I had to walk down the way for lunch at Seven Lamps and didn't want to get soaked, so the guys in the store let me borrow this rain coat. I gotta say, I kinda don't want to part with it - I know it's technically for guys, but I'm tall as hell so I can wear men's smalls a lot of the time when I'm hunting down an oversize (or as we're calling it now, "boyfriend") fit. This coat's pretty cute in a stolen-from-a-dude kinda way - and while I don't think I'd recommend it for you short stacks, we tomboy-type gazelles can carry it off. I do believe I'll keep it!

My buddy Katherine Maclane looking pretty in her Masters green KP Maclane polo. 
Photographed in Sea Island, Georgia at The Cloister.

With so many folks around these parts headed to Augusta this weekend, I thought it appropriate to circle back around to one of my favorite things - the KP Maclane Polo. Though (sadly) Katherine left Atlanta last year in favor of New York (I miss her!) I suppose I'll forgive her because she's since given birth to her second baby boy, who is admittedly right at home in Manhattan - along with K and her hubby Jared's ever-burgeoning company. Just recently KPM has added boat and crew neck sweaters to the repertoire, rounding out a lineup of super luxe basics that will see you through just about anything for many years to come. But oh, that polo. It's still the best one you'll ever find. It's chilly in the A this week, so I'm throwing a black blazer over mine which is (of course) the perfect shade of Masters green. 

For more on my love for KP Maclane polos, go back in time to this post to when we were first introduced. If it's Men's Masters style you're looking for, head on over to my post on Southern Living's Daily South which breaks down how to dress Amen Corner-appropriate by day and night.

Part of my oyster plate collection

My family's history is complicated. My blood runs a 50/50 split - war heroes on one side and swindlers on the other. My Mama was a nice girl from a good family who happened to sit behind an awfully handsome case of free-wheeling bad news in college. They fell in love, made my sister and I, and parted ways about twenty years after that. Thanks to them, I've always been a gap straddler - a citizen of two worlds. It's easy to wax poetic about days spent on Palm Beach, but I have just as much to say about Florida zip codes not quite so glamorous. Zip codes where oysters aren't served for sixteen dollars a pop with a glass of Krug, but drug up out of the sea with tongs in small boats by a salty blue-collar fella who's happy to sell you a peck for thirty bucks. And I don't think that's anything radical. It's just my particular set of ingredients. After all, Southerners have long been perfecting the high/low mix of revelry and gentility. Really, all this makes me just another foot soldier in a motley, dichotomous troop of millions.

My Gra'ma (that's how she preferred we spell it) on my Dad's side lived in a tiny cottage in a ratty retirement village out in the Florida Panhandle called Lanark. Even though she was a great beauty and smart as a whip, she lived at a disadvantage - she chose a bad partner in life who abandoned her not long after being wed with no money and three kids to raise. She chewed the bitter cud of it until the day she died - and projected the misery of her situation on just about everyone around her. While I respected her, I didn't particularly care for her. The feeling was mutual.

I hated the way my clothes stunk of cigarettes when I left her house, how I couldn't pet her surly dog or sit on certain chairs. The morbid poverty of that tiny village of forlorn, forgotten seniors really got to me as a kid. Everything about it was dying, heaving it's last haggard, uncomfortable breath. I was horrified with myself for feeling ashamed of her, of that place - but I couldn't deny that being just about anywhere in Franklin County made my skin crawl. The discomfort of not feeling a sense of belonging to such a big part of my bloodline made me feel immeasurable guilt growing up.

Back then, most of Franklin County was quietly called "The Forgotten Coast" - it was miles upon miles of Old Florida beach line basically undisturbed by developers. The tall grass and dark sandy beaches were peppered with homes of old folks, many of them reclusive and looking for a place to be left alone in their retirement. It was the perfect refuge, tucked away in thick belts of tall pines that went right up to the sand and opened up into the Gulf of Mexico. You could stand on the docks of the bait shop and see Dog Island to the South, which was mostly famous for being the site of an annual shitshow called the "White Trash Bash". Tom T. Hall crooned about the area in his 2006 song "Redneck Riviera", but everybody living thereabouts knows that title actually belongs to the Destin/Panama City stretch of sand, a peninsula further up the Gulf Coast closer to Alabama. Bing Crosby sung a tune way before Mr. Hall that which was much more on-point, if you ask me.

Just about 20 miles up the road in that little bulge of the Panhandle was the old fishing town of Apalachicola. We rode up there pretty frequently. I vividly remember a little ice cream shop called Hobo's settled into by two old road-weary hippies that was on the way. It was painted a sunny bright yellow. Getting to stop in there was a special treat. As a kid, you would think I'd remember the ice cream, but primarily I recall the books. Walls upon walls of them. Shelves of paperbacks filled every room in that converted house, and I remember how thrilled the possibility of picking one out made me feel. On the best days, I'd bury my head in one as we rode the rest of the way over to Apalachicola.

Apalachicola itself had an ice cream shop around then too. It was more of a soda fountain, and I'm not entirely sure if it's still there or not, but I remember it being a short walk from a boutique called Riverlily that completely entranced me as a little girl because it's sign was a giant beautiful mermaid with long flowing hair.  And the Gibson Inn - the beautiful Gibson Inn... the way you rolled through miles of rickety, impoverished homes, through downtown Carrabelle and by the IGA and the World's smallest Police Station, then past not a damn thing in creation until pow! You were in Apalachicola right in front of it - that magnificent building in all it's blinding white Antebellum glory, American flags billowing in the salty air.

The Southern Foodways Alliance has a carefully documented oral history of the area's fishermen on their website (a project sponsored, interestingly enough, by the St. Joe Company) and it is nearly as wonderful as Apalachicola's oysters were back before the spill in the Gulf. 

Oysters at Seven Lamps, Atlanta GA

In ritzy Palm Beach or landlocked Atlanta, if you sit down to a table with oysters on it, you’re (forgive the pun) shelling out. But you don't clink crystal over oysters in the Florida Panhandle. When I was growing up, they were usually served unceremoniously - out of a cooler, likely with a cheap beer and probably some saltines and Crystal hot sauce if you'd planned ahead. You'd pop them open with a cheap knife and slurp them right out of the shell if you were serious about what you were doing, hunched over outdoors since the mess at your feet that pooled up when they dribble down your chin was not the kind of thing tolerated inside the house. 

It's not out of disrespect that oysters aren't laid out all pretty on an iced plate - they just  used to come in such reckless abundance that they weren't treated like the expensive delicacy they are in other areas. As long as it was a month ending in "r", by the grace of God you could afford to shuck and slurp as many of those slick, perfect wild-grown things that your belly would hold. Fresh out of the water. 

It's a shame that the city I now call home - Atlanta - is (as far as I know) still embroiled in a never-ending battle with the Apalachicola Bay. The A would love to see that freshwater syphoned off for it's own use - but if that happened, it would rob the Bay of that much-needed brackish mix that makes it's oysters good. 

They're so damn good, in fact that the Union Army allowed oyster harvesting to continue uninterrupted in the Apalachicola Bay during the Civil War - despite the fact that the Federal blockade of the Southern coast was in full effect. When describing Apalachicola oysters, SFA founder and noted Southern food historian John T. Edge put it better than I ever could. "The oysters there are among the best in the nation," he said. "They are fat, abundant, rich, and lusty. The oysters are both sweet and salty, and it's the interplay of the freshwater of the river and the salt water from the Gulf, forming an estuary, that makes the difference and sustains these vibrant oysters. It's about the confluence of that river and the Gulf of Mexico. The uniqueness of that combination, along with the timeless appeal of the fishing village of Apalachicola, is hard to match anywhere in the country."

The first time I read that, something clicked with me about Southerners, oysters, and myself. Sure, we've got a heavy love affair happening with those cockled, briny little bastards but what is it about them that's special enough to put on the cover of a magazine like Garden & GunConfluence. That's what. Edge's word choice there is particularly potent. Here I am telling you how I fancy myself an interplay of conflicting tides and proudly tout it as a thoroughly "Southern" way to be - a "high/low mix", a special terrioir which forges this land's distinctly vibrant characters - and maybe exactly why we've got such a soft spot for collecting oyster plates. My affection for the irony of a cheap Gulf oyster on a majolica plate is proudly on display in the collection in my dining room. And perhaps it's why Southerners are the same people so particularly in love and aligned with the oyster. Not only is it a tiny shell swimming in our literal and figurative history, it's a powerful metaphor. As natives of this land, I don't think the world is the our oyster. I think the oyster is in fact a Southerner: the fresh water from one place and the salt from another have formed a powerful cultural estuary - one that produces a people and a product that could come from absolutely nowhere else. 

Dive deeper: The Plight of the Southern Oyster // Songs About Oysters Playlist // The Art of Oyster Plate Collecting

Welcome to the internet, I'll be your guide. One of my favorite rabbit holes to fall down in the whirled wide webisphere is vintage printable, a free archive of scanned ephemera that vastly predates Al Gore's invention of the internet. My favorite are the botanicals, which is where this pretty peony came from. It just beckons springtime and suits the warmer vibe of what I've been listening to lately. My dog Maggie has been loving all the bumblebees out twitterpating right now - she chases them around my porch as they buzz their heavy trunks from the azaleas to the lavender. How do you suppose they carry those giant bodies around on such tiny wings? I'm taking her to the opening day of our farmer's market tomorrow morning - I can't wait to browse all the stands chock full of veggies and flowers (in a dress and sandals!) I'm looking forward to cooking something delicious from it all on Sunday afternoon. Who's coming over? Maybe we'll use this playlist as a little background music...

My fitting room last weekend, two out of three ain't bad

Don't you hate it when you go into a store thinking to yourself "I wanna try on that green dress I saw online" and then once said green dress is on your body you're just like, "this is not how I saw this playing out" - that happens to me a lot. To the point where I gave up awhile ago. Instead, I just learned the things that work for me and buy them in bulk. I know I can walk into any J.Crew in the world and ask where the Pixie pants are, grab a size 6 and take them straight to the register. I know an Everlane white boxy shirt or Ann Mashburn boyfriend shirt will get me through just about anything. I was positively devastated when Sinclair Denim went belly-up because their Coe legging jean was my favorite pair ever - thankfully, MiH came to the rescue with the Bonn. Manolo bb pumps? Black kid leather, black suede, mid heel, stiletto, black crepe... So yeah. I have adopted a uniform. It works for me.

In said uniform

All this to say I just don't like to "shop" - it's an arduous process and introducing a new thing into my wardrobe kinda gives me anxiety. I fancy myself an efficient shopper. Unlike a lot of my female brethren, I'm not much of a browser. I go into the store already knowing what I want and usually only buy the one item. But I had it in my head last weekend I wanted a new jean jacket. I mentally prepared myself for an afternoon of "trying on" (blegh) and headed first to the dreaded GAP. Once inside, I scratched my head a little because it felt strangely deja vu-ish. Stacks of tees emblazoned with a block-lettered varsity logo, those same blue drawstring shopping bags, perfect retro-fit cropped jean jackets in every fray of denim... it was 1990's GAP redux! I was seriously overjoyed and gleefully well... fell into the GAP. I came out with white jeans and of course, the (absolutely perfect) jacket I'd gone in for - and everything was fortuitously 40% off that day, so I got out for under a hundred dollars and promptly left the mall with my needs met. So y'all, maybe it's time we rethought the GAP, 'cuz it's kinda cool again. If they could just bring back those khaki swing commercials...

The Shinola Bixby. American made. It's time to ride with pride.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our first 39x43 event and partied down with us, pop up shop style. Everybody killed it. If you missed it, here's what you missed. If you didn't, we were proud to have you. Tunes courtesy of good men The Futurebirds. Catch y'all at the next one.

Molly Jane Gravitt grew up fascinated with jewelry - really, she was drawn to things that sparkle in general. As a little girl, the colors of her mother's jewelry box drew her in and she'd play dress up, mesmerized by textures, metals and stones. 

It's a love that's stayed with her well into her twenties. Around two years ago, she started sketching baubles in her free time - a hobby that began to take a much more tangible form when she pulled her designs right off the page and began crafting them by hand. 

"Watching the design in my mind take shape in my hands has been a thrilling adventure" she says. 

Culling inspiration from her globetrotting, her jewelry is influenced by other cultures that have touched her life peppered in with ideas that came to her by honing her eye in the design world, paying close attention to architecture and textiles. 

"It has been a whirlwind of a journey," Molly says "and one I will never regret I started."

Today, Molly can be found in her Atlanta studio, toiling away on her line Molly Jane Designs. Her wide range of influences is showcased by accessories for nearly every taste - for the color lovers who revel in resort towns she has colored, beaded confections that dangle a bold cone seashell. For more bohemian palates, pieces featuring arrowheads and gold-dipped shark teeth collected by Molly are available. 

5. Idea of perfect happiness? 
Being completely and joyfully content.

4. How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood? 
It would chuck the amount of wood that she sells seashells on the seashore divided by how many pickles Peter Piper picks. 

3. Sum up your brand in three hashtags. 
#versatile #adventurous #feminine

2. Play favorites. What item in your line do you like the most?
The Capri Blue Pendant Necklace. It is bold and classic at the same time.

1. One song that's the soundtrack to your life right now. 
"Happy" by Pharrell Williams