Welcome to your guide on becoming simply southern and living like a local. Whether you are from the East or West Coast, Midwest, or another country, this guide will help you become a southerner. This guide will include how to dress, act, and even eat like a southerner.
Tip #1: How To Dress
The first key to being more southerner is looking like one. Cowboys boots, hats, western shirts, and belt buckles are essential for your outfit. Luckily, many local outfitters sell these items. The stores range from more mainstream outlets like Cavender’s and Boot Barn. There are also local stores like Wild Bill’s in Fort Worth.
Quick tip, NEVER dry clean your jeans. Straight creases are a dead giveaway that you’re not from here. Jeans should go over your boots all the way to the floor. Short pants over boots are laugh-worthy.
The second tip, straw cowboy hats for summer and wool or felt hats for winter. Women can substitute flat-brimmed straw hats for the typical cowboy hats. White or black colored hats are often a personal choice but always wear black hats for more formal occasions, like church.
Snap button shirts are not a requirement but are more cowboy than normal buttoned shirts.
Belts should be leather and include an appropriate buckle. Never wear a large, round rodeo-looking buckle unless you earned it in a rodeo arena.
Bandanas for guys, uh no, unless you are on a horse in the middle of summer. Bandanas are ok for women.
These are all tips on looking cowboy, but women have many other options to look southern. Check out these tips for looking southern link.
Tip #2: What to Eat
The second key to becoming simply southern and living like a local is knowing where to find the best southern food. But what is southern food? Well, it’s not brie.
Beef and more beef are on the southern table. Especially steak and almost any cut. Chicken fried steak, a bad piece of beef battered and fried, is another staple. Potatoes are the usual companion to beef. Green vegetables and bread round out the southern plate.
If you must eat chicken make sure it’s fried. None of that roasted skin-off stuff. Pork is much more acceptable.
Bar-be-que is just another way to prepare beef and chicken for the southern taste buds.
Don’t forget Tex-Mex. Most Texans grew up with spicy Mexican food.
Whether it be southern comfort food at Ellen’s or the Porch, barbeque at Terry Black’s or Pecan Lodge, or even a variety of fried foods at the Texas State Fair including fried lemonade, snickers, and even an ice cream sandwich, there are many places to enjoy southern food in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex. For more tips on where to eat southern food in the DFW area, check out this link.
Tip #3: How to Act
We have discussed how to dress and eat like a southerner, now is the final, and most important step to act like a southerner. Southern manners and etiquette are key for acting like a southerner. Refer to women as “ma’am” and men as “sir.” Say “please” and thank you” whenever you can. Another tip is to make sure you open the door for the person walking in behind you, regardless of whether they are a woman or man. Men should always open a ladies’ door, even on a car, and should walk on the street side when out on a stroll. For more tips on how to act like a southerner, check out this link.
For more tips and tricks on how to be southern, check out this link.
Alex was born in Dallas, Texas. He is a senior at Southern Methodist University. He is double majoring in Sports Management and Public Relations with a minor in History. He is passionate about movies, music and sports.