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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Charleston, South Carolina - Or the City Where Preppy Casual Came to Live

There comes a point in your 30's after you have had kids and been married for a while where you find yourself visiting the same cities over and over again whenever you have some time off. It may be the city where you grew up. It may be where you went to college or grad school. Or perhaps the town you always go for business trips or where your family always takes a summer vacation the second week of July.

While familiarity is great, every once in a while you get to explore a city for the first time and experience the rush of getting lost in a town, maybe accidentally wandering into a sketchy neighborhood or even stumbling across a great local dive bar with awesome live music. I got the chance to get lost in a city for the first time in FOERVER by myself (sans kids and sans husband) when I went to Charleston, South Carolina for a bachelorette weekend. Although it seems silly to call it a bachelorette weekend when we were all in our thirties, well established in our careers for years now, but whatever. It was a beautiful weekend.

Charleston is the perfect city for a grown-up girls' weekend or a couple's getaway. In the summer, the heat can be oppressive, but the proximity to beaches, amazing food and Southern hospitality go a long way into making this a city I will want to visit again.

To start with, you must dress the part in Charleston. People seemed to dress super preppy, from young to old. I loved seeing older couples in seersucker shorts and gingham dresses. I ran into a girl in a grocery store in the historic district who was dresed like page 26 of the most recent J.Crew catalog. Head to toe.

We had a J.Crew moment.

Here are some of my fashion moments...

An orange Kate Spade (a present to myself from last year) with my orange for breakfast.

J.Crew brown seersucker dress from 2009
Banana Republic necklace
Target leopard print flats

Note: Charleston women tend to be dressy from what I observed. Cute, preppy dresses with sandals or espadrilles seemed to be the dress code. Men would do well in seersucker or brightly colored shorts and short sleeved cotton button-down shirts or casually rolled up sleeves of a dress shirt. And almost every guy had sunglasses on a strap around their neck. Seriously like J.Crew and Vineyard Vines had an illegitimate love child. 

A breezy print dress that I bought from a local Charleston boutique (Scout and Molly's). So comfortable.

Besides J.Crew, another popular retailer here was Lilly Pulitzer. I saw these cute LP paper dolls for girls in a store located on King Street.

Of course we had a spa day while we were there, which meant that I had to try out some fun/trendy pastel summer shades.

Tomorrow, tune in for some of my food recommendations. The food in Charleston is unbelievable.

If you've been to Charleston, what was your impression of the city? Or do you have any other travel recommendations for an great city to visit?

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