The late Andre Leon Talley said, “The happiest moments of my childhood were spent on my grandmother’s front porch in Durham, N.C.” During the course of his lifetime, he relished sitting on porches in New York and in North Carolina, to enjoy everything from the sound of birds singing to catching a breeze or entertaining. He understood what the value of porches as any Black southerner does. And, you know spring is officially in the Lowcountry (or anywhere else in the South) when the first invitation to a front porch party arrives.
For us Black Southern Belles, the front porch is another must-have room in the house. We welcome the opportunity to feel warm air, watch the sun cast over our trees and flowers, and to express hospitality. Just like Mr. Talley. And, we also get to pull out our clothing made of lighter and brighter fabrics. Here are a few considerations to make when choosing your front porch attire.
Wear all of your best and favorite accessories
Spring means straw and cotton hats in all shapes and sizes. Those hats offer protection from the sun as well as flair. Wear your sunglasses and bangles. Wrap yourself up in a shawl, whether around your shoulders or hips.
Let your legs and feet be free
You can shed all the layers of winter that hid and inhibited your legs like tights, socks and heavy leggings. The porch party is a time to show off that new spring pedi and wear espadrilles and sandals. The heel height can be as high or as low as you care to go.
Color it up
Color affects our moods, so wear something that not only lifts you up on the inside, but reflects the gaiety of the porch party. Bring the sunshine, the blue skies or flowers.
Leave those heavy winter clothes at home
Are you inclined to be coastal boho chic or country club casual? Come as you are on the inside, just wear it on the outside.
In the South, front porch living is a true lifestyle. From catching the latest gossip or falling asleep reading your favorite book, we live on the front porch and some of my favorite memories with my family are celebrating a birthday or holiday on the front porch. There is a sense of casual elegance about even the simplest front porch party and I always enjoy finding ways to have the fashions match the occasion. What are some of your go-to fashions for a front porch party?1