Southern summers, where the air is thick with humidity but flowers blossom in the trees through the hottest months of the year. Garden’s spilling out into the road, creating canopies for passersby. There’s a magic to these days, sound tracked by the cicadas calling to each other and lit by the lightening bugs’ synchronized luminescence. Romance hangs in the saturated air and the idea that anything is possible lingers on in the heat.  

This is my third summer living in Tennessee. While we are still smack dab in the middle of it, I can not help but see how  each of these summers have been catalysts for the person I am today. The first summer was a lonely one, I dealt with heartbreak and fled the country to explore England’s heritage sites and museums. I made international friendships, saw things that many people never will, and experienced some firsts I did not think I was a capable of. When I returned, I tried to take advantage of Tennessee’s last summer days and began rebuilding my life the way I wanted it to be.

My second summer could not have been more different. I stayed in Tennessee, met even more new people and began this strange and unexpected journey into my creative life. I explored Tennessee’s forests and cultural sites. I swam in waterfalls, ran up prehistoric mounds, and found the courage to do the things that made me most afraid. When that summer ended I felt alone again but had the tools to create the world I am in today.

This summer I feel established. I am surrounded by like minded friends who want to help each other create. I do not feel the need to flee the country and there is this feeling of endless possibility. Sure, this summer is not without it’s disappointments but the opportunities ahead far outweigh them. These three summers have been life changing to say the least, each with lessons learned and challenges overcome. Summertime is eye opening and inspirational, a time for adventure and creation.

I cannot decide what this outfit reminds me of more: Anne of Green Gables, Elizabeth Bennett or the Secret Garden? Regardless, this outfit helped me live out my historic heroine dreams as I am always aspiring to personify my favorite literary characters. It’s funny how my passion for historic dress influences my style. I can look at pieces and see exactly which era they are trying to emulate or at least borrow from. This one feels like 2018 borrowing from the early 1970’s borrowing from the Regency period.

Quick History Lesson: The Regency Period refers to about 1800-1820 ish (hard on the ish) and can be seen in adaptations of Jane Austen novels. Think light cotton dresses with empire waists.

Moving on from that (sorry for those who find history boring but you’re wrong), I had a bit of help styling this dress. It was borrowed from a local Nashville boutique Amelia Styles and actually comes with a belt as well. However I did not like the belt around my waist so a stylist friend of mine (Jessica Leigh) quickly tied it around a hat we borrowed from another friend (Nathalie Cram). I think it turned this from just a dress to a true ensemble.

These photos were taken last week when I had the incredible chance to spend the day creating content with a very talented group of women here in Nashville. I love creating content with other people, it is just so much more enjoyable than doing it on your own. However, I will never knock a beautiful self portrait. But after spending months creating mostly just self portraits for the blog, it is a welcome change to be surrounded by supportive and creative women. 

Dress | Hat (similar) | Shoes (similar)

Check out my Collaborators

Nathalie | AmandaDanielle | Katie | Jessica

 

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