If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I was in Nashville two weeks ago for my first post-pandemic trip. We went Monday – Thursday to hopefully avoid the big crowds and we definitely stayed away from the honky-tonks of Broadway. My goal for the trip was to take some time off work to relax and recharge, so we tried to make the trip a healthy balance of touristy things and visiting places that locals love, so my perspective on what to wear is more from a non-party/bar hopping lens and more of a daytime exploring + heading to a unique restaurant for dinner.
Not only have I missed exploring new (to me) places and experiencing (slightly) different cultures + food, but I was excited to shop for a new trip wardrobe. I’ve always been the person that does a lot of shopping before any trip because I want to have a new cute outfit for the adventure that I’m about to take. If you’re anything like me, you probably scour all the blogs, articles, Pinterest, and what feels like the entire Internet to determine what to wear on your adventure only to be stressed out in the end. And without fail, there’s something you wish you packed that you already had in your closet. Isn’t that the worst?
Style of Nashville
Two years ago when I visited with Lauren, in October 2019, I felt that Nashville has a laid back style with a bit of flair – whether that was some fringe, a cool hat, unique piece of jewelry, vintage band tee or something sparkly with a pair of booties.
During this trip, I felt that most people’s style was even more relaxed – there was lots of boyfriend/girlfriend style jeans, graphic tees, and mainly tennis shoes. I rarely saw boots or booties on this trip and I think, post-pandemic, everyone just wants to feel comfortable while out and about – especially when it comes to footwear since we don’t wear a lot of shoes working from home (or at least I don’t).
As with any vacation, always dress how you will be the most comfortable and don’t break the bank or drive yourself crazy trying to find the “perfect outfit” – once you’re there, enjoying the moment, it won’t matter if you are or are not wearing the latest fashion trend for that city.
Where to Shop Before Your Trip
For this trip, one of the first places I went looking for some preppy + boho pieces for my Country Capital outfits was Target. I always seem to have the best luck there finding pieces for a certain occasion (*cough*cough* this trip) and then they become some of the most worn items in my closet for the next year or longer. Fun story – there is actually a Universal Thread dress that I picked up a couple of years ago during a trip to Atlanta that is on constant rotation in all my Zoom calls because it has become softer over time, has not lost its color or shape during it’s many washes, and fits perfectly.
If I wasn’t already obsessed with shopping for clothes at Target, the price point is unbeatable! Target not only offers some of the cutest, on-trend items, but they also are super affordable – with most clothing items under $50 (which means I can add a few more pieces to my cart and still stay within my clothing budget for the month while planning for a trip).
Y’all let me tell you that Target did not disappoint this fall when I was packing for this trip! They had so many amazing boho pieces that easily fit into the relaxed, chic style of Nashville – I honestly couldn’t decide what to take with me on this four day trip (I probably had plenty of outfits for an entire week). Plus most of the styles from Universal Thread and A New Day are extended sizes which means a lot of these pieces come in sizes XXS-3X.
What to Pack
Opt for flowy tops and dresses, like this midi dress from Target that comes in 5+ colors or this red peplum top from the Ava & Viv collection. If wearing a top, I’d suggest packing a pair of relaxed, cropped jeans – something like a mom jean which gives you a looser fit without hiding your shape in all that fabric. These types of clothing will help you get that effortless, chic vibe. I also would recommend planning to wear smaller, simpler prints or solid colors. While, honestly, anything goes in Nashville, I tend to think of a solid, neutral or muted color when I think of the Nashville boho chic style. Psst….I went a bit against that feeling this time as I love color and just couldn’t resist and it wasn’t an issue at all, so moral of the story, wear what you want.
In terms of accessories, I think Nashville is all about the layering of simple jewelry, especially necklaces and bracelets. While I wish I had an eye for pulling together different necklace stacks, I found this necklace set that comes already pre-assembled together and is a staple of the Nashville woman’s wardrobe.
Lastly, you’ll want to pack a pair of comfortable shoes because you’ll probably be doing a lot of walking and Nashville is very hilly – plus most things are not super close to each other. As I mentioned earlier, sneakers of all kinds were what I saw the most but a pair of heeled booties are a nice touch for heading out to dinner.
To be perfectly honest, a lot of the pieces that you wear in Nashville can (and should) be worn in “everyday” life. For example, I think the midi dress I wore will be added to my WFH Zoom call approved rotation and the pair of mom jeans make me excited to actually wear a pair of jeans for a full day of WFH activities or for running errands on the weekend.
What NOT to Pack
As a Houstonian and frequent attendee of the Houston Rodeo, I own more than one pair of cowboy boots (as a fashion statement more than anything) and Nashville is the capital of country music, leave those bad boys at home. Unless you’re performing on stage, you will stick out like a sore thumb as a tourist. If you still want a boot as your dancing shoes, opt for an ankle high, short heeled bootie or a slouchy calf-height boot.
TL;DR: When visiting Nashville, opt for a pair of casual jeans + a graphic tee or a relaxed cotton a-line dress, layered necklace and white tennis shoes or booties and you’ll be just fine!