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    Sep 25, 2015

    Here's What Two Actual Southerners Think Of Reese Witherspoon's Draper James

    Beauty, class, and southern sass.

    by ,

    It seems like every celeb is coming out with a ~lifestyle~ site these days, and Reese Witherspoon entered the race in May with her lifestyle and e-commerce site, Draper James.

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Named after her grandparents, Draper James is meant to represent the "grace and charm" of the American South. Its goal is "to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live."

    So, just how Southern is Draper James, actually? In honor of the brand's forthcoming brick-and-mortar store opening, two authentic Southerners (one from North Carolina and one from South Carolina) decided to review a few things from the site.

    Single Letter Guest Towel Set - $78

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sarah: Yes, this is Southern. Monograms are everywhere you turn your head in the South. If it exists, it can and will be monogrammed. Nothing is safe. BUT...$78 for two towels? With just ONE letter? Yes, linen is nice, but you can get ALL your initials on a linen towel over at Etsy for less than $25. C'mon, y'all.

    Sydney: Every time I see a monogrammed anything I remember why I left the South. People love monogramming shit in the South. Honestly, it's kind of the equivalent of getting your name tattooed on your arm or something.

    Erickson Beamon for Draper James Sugar Magnolia Stud Earings - $65

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sarah: Okay, I like these. The Southern girl in me will always love pearls, and I have a spot in my heart for magnolias. They remind me of trips to Charleston as a girl. But this is my limit on girly. This is as far as I go.

    Sydney: These look exactly like a pair of earrings I almost purchased years ago, but my style at the time was very sad-girl-at-a-rave and it just didn't make sense. Now that I'm more comfortable with myself and the fact that I have no signature style, I'd totally be down to buy these. They're cute. The only reason I would say these are Southern is because magnolias are deeply entrenched in Southern culture.

    Old Gringo For DJ Cowboy Boot - $500

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sarah: Yes, you'll also see cowboy boots in the South. Girls like wearing dresses and cowboy boots to football games. They even make cowboy boots with football mascots on them and it's the worst. But these are SO expensive! If you want quality boots and they must be cowboy, for some reason, go to Frye.

    Sydney: Another reason I left the South.

    White Ryman Jacket - $125

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sarah: I need a jean jacket. I wouldn't pay that much for a jean jacket, though. But this white one is on sale! And it's probably because it's after Labor Day and some people (especially in the South) still care about that rule.

    Sydney: White denim makes me cringe because all I can think about is the potential for something to go wrong, like spilling something all over myself. White denim isn't huge in my neck of the woods. Like Sarah mentioned, the no white after Labor Day rule holds strong in the south.

    Umbrella - $48

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: I can't look at this umbrella without thinking that it's something Colonel Sanders would've given his wife.

    Sarah: Oh my. Honestly, it'd probably sell better if it had polka dots.

    Hello Sugar Sweatshirt - $125

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: I could see any woman wearing this. You could wear it to run errands, you could wear it with jeans or a skirt, you could wear it just to lounge around in. The price - $125 - is a definite hell no. Why would I pay that much for a sweatshirt that I'm sure I could find at Forever21 or Wet Seal for a fraction of the price?

    Hello Sugar Tote - $165

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sarah: Everyone loves a cute tote. And people in the South do say "sugar." But again, that is a crazy price for a canvas tote. Insane. I know Draper James supports a good cause, but that cause ain't my wallet, sugar.

    Sydney: This is the perfect tote for carrying textbooks or everyday use. It's a simple navy tote bag, anyone would be into it. I think "sugar" is a very generational thing, though. I can't think of anyone under the age of 50 who still calls anyone "sugar".

    Custom 4x6 Frame - $95

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: OK, no. Is this picture frame cute? Yes. Is it particularly Southern? No. It's just an overpriced picture frame. But, hey, you can get it monogrammed.

    Sarah: You're shitting me. A $95 picture frame? Get a nice one from any home store and DIY it to make it all custom if you want.

    Pierre Renoir Boat Hat - $120

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: I have nothing positive to say about this. The kind of people who wear boat hats in my part of the South are the absolute worst. WORST. It's the south's version of the fedora.

    Sarah: Do people actually wear these, besides gondoliers in Venice?

    Susannah Mid Length Tweed Skirt - $250

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: This skirt is so matronly, but it's also very sorority-girls-networking-at-brunch. It's just basically a tweed skirt from Ann Taylor Loft. A boxy tweed skirt.

    Sarah: Jackie O wore tweed, so I guess some Southern gals still think they should, too. (They shouldn't).

    Notepad in Peachtree - $14

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: I'm a sucker for a cute notepad. The peaches definitely make it a Southern-inspired thing. It kind of makes me miss the South, kind of.

    Sarah: This is super cute. Cute stationary is the way to any girl's heart, even if they don't know it yet. But I don't see how anything written on these could be legible.

    Printed Knoxville Pant - $95

    Draper James / Via draperjames.com

    Sydney: I would wear the shit out of these pants! They're basically J. Crew pants. The sizes only go up to 12, though, which is bullshit because I'm sure larger women would love these.

    Sarah: I thought of Zara when I first saw these! While it isn't my style and I don't think I could pull them off, I enjoy them. Just not with the matching bag!

    Final Thoughts:

    Sarah: Basically, Reese's site is definitely Southern. But it's more old money Southern than everyday Southern. Pearls with your Pulitzer on bid day Southern, if you will. If you're a wealthy and skinny Southern female, this site is catered to you. If you're anything else, sorry but you won't find anything here! It does not grasp the whole of Southernness. We are a diverse group of folks in every way. Reese is this type of Southern, and that's fine. But not everyone is, or can be.

    Sydney: Reese knows her audience. The type of of Southern girl that would purchase this stuff is dreaming of the perfect Southern life. It's all aspirational, overpriced and targeted toward a specific type of Southern woman: white, skinny, upper-middle class, modern southern belles. It's the kind of South that people who have never been to the South might imagine. This is an ideal version of the South inspired by what the South used to be and in both those versions the only people having a good time are white and rich.

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