Top 10: Billy Reid’s Must-Haves for the Southern Gentleman

August 16, 2012 | By | Comments (22)

billyreid Top 10: Billy Reids Must Haves for the Southern GentlemanSoutherners have style. And no one makes that more apparent than native son Billy Reid, the reigning CFDA menswear designer of the year. (Heads-up: That’s the fashion equivalent to best actor at the Oscars. So, yes, it’s kind of a big deal.)

His Southern luxe look, which artfully combines workwear with rich fabrics and exquisite tailoring, has made him a darling of the New York fashion set. Yet, the Louisiana born-and-bred Billy chooses to remain down South, living and working in Florence, Alabama.

Next week Billy celebrates his headquarters and adopted hometown with Shindig, an annual weekend-long mini-festival featuring a soulful sampler of Southern food and music. Headlining this year’s event are the Alabama Shakes, who will take the stage at Florence’s Shoals Theatre the evening of August 24.

In anticipation of the big event we asked Billy for his Top 10: Must-Haves for the Southern Gentleman. Here’s his list:

1. A Navy Blazer
“Every man should have one that fits him well and can stand years of wear.”

2. A White Oxford Button Down 
“This shirt looks equally appropriate on the beach or with a suit.”

3. A Football Team You Follow Passionately
“And proper attire to show your allegiance. For me it’s an LSU sweatshirt. Substitute your own school as needed.”

4. A Sterling Silver Flask
“The perfect accessory for football season. (And a complement to must-have number 3.)”

5. Cotton Undershirts
“This was something that was required growing up and I’ve stuck with it.”

6. A Handkerchief
“My father’s advice: Always carry a handkerchief to a wedding or when wearing a suit. He would inspect to make sure I had one.”

7. Leather Boots
“Look for well-made ones that can withstand a ton of use. My pair of Red Wing’s and our lugged sole Delta Boot both get the job done.”

8. A Hunting Jacket
“This style of jacket can be worn over almost anything. “And a lightweight fabric makes it versatile for many seasons.”

9. Corduroy Jeans
“These are a good, all year-round pant.  I like Levi’s Vintage 517  fit.”

10. Good Manners
“This Southern essential should go without saying.”

Billy Reid retail boutiques are located in Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Florence, Houston, Nashville and New York. Follow the brand on Twitter @billy_reid or Facebook.

What’s your favorite must-have accessory?

Related Links:
The South’s Best Blue Jeans
Dressed to Impress, With a Southern Drawl


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    February 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm
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  4. Paul Caporino

    Is the unshaven, sloppy guy in the photo the one whose look we Southern Boys are supposed to emulate?

    September 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm
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  10. Goa Flowers

    I love my mothers little recipe box. It has recipes from my grandmas and aunts in it. I’m biased though.

    August 20, 2012 at 5:52 am
  11. Emily G. Johnston

    Speaking of manners, the store in Charleston has none. I even wrote the regional manager about the manner less team in Charleston and got no response. I cannot believe the store can stay in business with employees whogiant be bothered to speak to customers. I guess the only store worse than Reid’s is Steve Madden.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm
  12. paigeduffylewis

    11. A lovely Southern lady on his arm. 🙂

    August 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm
  13. ELeigh

    seersucker suit.. a southern gal.. and i agree: a pocketknife would be quite practical. an ideal mix.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm
  14. TheDixieDish

    Completely agree with the list, Billy, but surprised seersucker, in the form of a button-down or pant, didn’t make the cut! By the way, Roll Tide! 😉

    August 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm
  15. Barbara B Perkins (I am Billy’s cousin)

    We live in New Orleans. My husband visits New York several times a year. As soon as the weather permits, he always wears his seersucker suit. He thinks that is the epitome of a southern gentlemen from New Orleans.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm
  16. frets2012

    Another should be a good pocket knife.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm
  17. frets2012

    another should be a good pocket knife

    August 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm
  18. Portia

    We moved to West Virginia from Nashville 12 years ago. My son who just turned 15 is the only kid that wears a blazer and bow tie at his dances. He’s also the only one who says mam and sir and opens the doors for the girls…..makes me proud!! There’s nothing like good manners, navy blazers and bow ties!!

    August 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm
  19. The Duke

    A southern gentleman needs a southern lady. And a pocketknife.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm
  20. Vickie M. Dawson

    A fresh shave would be nice, and calvary twill and grey flannel slacks for winter.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm
  21. Amelia Giles

    Fell in love with Billy Reid watching film of one of his Florence, Alabama parties. First mention from Garden & Gun article. Love our Southern lifestyle.!
    Thanks & congratulations from this Mississippi-born, Louisiana-raised, now temporary Texan.
    Find us at Summit Mercantile in tiny Van Alstyne TX

    August 16, 2012 at 10:56 am
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