Travel Diary: Road Trip inside the Deep South

Shack-Up Inn / Clarksdale, MS
(Photo: Joel Finsel)

The morning of my Southern road trip into the Deep South, I woke up to find Joel wide awake trance-like lying next to me. He said he vividly recalled the end of his dream with an urgent voice repeating in his ear, “Go to Nashville, Go to Nashville.”

While he visited his boss to let him know he wouldn’t be able to drive to NYC later that week after all, I packed his bag (perks of having a live-in stylist) and walked Dakota to Dogs at Play. It was time for an adventure – first stop Nashville for a Style Girl Vintage / Trish McEvoy trunk show and then, Mississippi to meet up with our friends Tyler and Helen for the Neshoba County Fair, “Mississippi’s Giant House Party.” I spent a memorable day and night at this magical fair with Helen four years ago in her grandparents’ fair town of Philadelphia, MS and have been eagerly awaiting our return after Helen and Tyler’s three year stint in South Korea.

I prayed a silent “thank you” to Joel’s dream voice after my tire exploded while I was driving 85 mph through Georgia. Luckily, we had a full-sized spare and were able to make it to Nashville straight through, thanks in part to AAA. It was our first time in Nashville and we relied heavily on advice from our Nashville-based musician and Instagram friends to steer us in the right direction on where to eat, shop and honky tonk. See where we landed below.

En route to The Fair, we decided to spend the night at the Shack-Up Inn in Clarksdale, MS – popular with writers, musicians and anyone chasing the blues. Shack-Up’s motto? “The Ritz, we aint.” Let’s just say, they “ain’t” lying. Besides hearing the mysterious sound of hooves hitting the pavement behind our shack (we jumped up, put on our glasses and saw — NOTHING. Gulp.), we did not have a chance to check out their mess hall juke joint or Po Monkey’s down the road. Even “teenager” was road weary and wanted to save our energy for shenanigans at the fair. But, there will be a next time. We are already planning our return!

The Fair was three hot Mississippi days full of porch swinging, sweet tea, red dirt, sweat & sunshine, late-night dance parties, cabin hopping, caramel cake, magical twinkle lights and treasured memories. I really hope it becomes a tradition.

One special part of the Fair experience that we will deeply miss is spending time with Helen’s endearing grandparents Papa Ray and Mama Sara together at the kitchen table. Sadly, Helen and her family said “goodbye” to Mama Sara a few days after we returned from Mississippi. I keep replaying her voice full of song (hands-down, most beautiful Southern accent) in my heart. Grandparents are such a special gift. I hope you are treasuring yours if you are lucky enough to still have them in your life.

Thanks for reading along.
Happy Weekend-ing!


Good spot for our first lunch in Nashville.


Finally got to experience the amazing Imogene + Willie



Had to #selfie the official I+W “Nashville tee.”
The type is backwards and only eligible in the mirror.




Yee haww! Snagged a special little cowboy jacket for my nephew
Emerson at my favorite Nashville vintage shop, Savant Vintage.


Former Wilmingtonian Jaime Moffett Gossin suggested we hit up Lockeland Table in East Nashville for the best tapas and happy hour. Their wood fire brick oven pizza, gnocchi and cocktails were top notch.


Ready to hit the town for drinks at The Patterson House, known for their James Beard award winning craft cocktails. Wearing my all-time favorite Helmut Lang dress from Beanie + Cecil. I love it so much that I bought the exact same dress on The Real Real and put it in the safe just in case something happens to the original.


Trish McEvoy Makeup / Style Girl Vintage
Nashville Trunk Show time!


Love connecting with Insta friends!
L: With Nashville stylist Rebecca Neenan
R: Our trunk show hostess and former Wilmingtonian Ann Howard (wearing her new black lace fringe dress from SGV) w/ another favorite Insta friend rocking her reversible print dress, also from SGV!


More happy Style Girl Vintage shoppers!
(pink dress on right is still available)


We were told if we were going to hit up one hony tonk bar, this was the place to be for an authentic, old-school Nashville experience. We are so going back!


Note all the old vintage cowboy boots along the right wall. The bar originated as a western wear store and they are sticking to their roots. The music was incredible


Feeling happy in the streets of Nashville.



Delicious lunch at Silly Goose Nashville,
recommended by The Charm School Dropout


Studio visit with Jamie and the Jones
FF interview coming soon!


My favorite vintage sign spotted driving around Nashville.


Pit stop in the adorable downtown Franklin, TN
to pick up a gift for Helen’s grandmother Mama Sara.


Mississippi sky


The Shack-Up Inn – Clarksdale, MS
“The Ritz we Ain’t”


Our room in The Piedmont shack





View from the back porch of our shack


Wearing the vintage romper I scored at Savant Vintage
for a little exploring around The Hopson Commissary





Shacksdale Lane 😉



Till next time, Shack Up!


City Grocery, James Beard award-winning restaurant in Oxford, MS


Square Books in Oxford, MS


Entrance to Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, MS
“Mississippi’s Giant House Party”
Est. 1889


Reunited with Helen at The Fair –
and it feels SO good.



Gearing up for a BIG time at the Howell family cabin.




Nightlife at The Graham Cabin (123)
was where it was at. I mean, just take a look
at the official “mixologist!”


Tyler (Helen’s hubby) getting into the spirit



Posh sleeping accomodations (wink).


The red dirt horse track, where metal concerts,
the rodeo, horse races and the Miss Neshoba pageant take place.


Joel reflecting on his first Fair experience.


L: Old-timey post office at The Fair.
R: Style Girl’s beauty shop happening at the Howell cabin


The betting hour is on


The morning-after look.


Cowboy “Texas Ty” checking out the 4-H artwork competition.


Helen and her dad outside a concert party at the site
of the original Howell cabin.


Party view inside the cabin.


Commissioned family painting of Happy Hollow.




We feel ya, buddy. All Fair-ed out.
Till next time!


One of our favorite parts of our trip to Mississippi (besides having a blast with Helen and Tyler) was spending time with Helen’s endearing grandparents Papa Ray and Mama Sara. Sadly, Helen and her family said “goodbye” to Mama Sara a few days after we returned from Mississippi. I keep replaying her voice full of song (hands-down, most beautiful Southern accent) in my heart. Grandparents are such a special gift. I hope you are treasuring yours if you are lucky enough to still have them in your life.





In celebration of Style Girl Vintage’s New Look
Thursday August 20th
@ Style Girl Vintage
21 Market Street (2nd floor)

Style Girl Vintage is celebrating the SGV new look (by Graphic Design talent Lindsey Pruitt) with a “THINK PINK!” party (inspired by SGV’s blush hued deco-inspired logo). Thursday August 20th join us for 30% off EVERYTHING pink in the showroom plus original PINK cocktails by Mixologist Joel Finsel of Astral Cocktails + Photographer Harry Taylor (my neighbor) is offering a major discount on Tintype Portraits (can’t get more vintage than that!) for 1 NIGHT ONLY. More details coming soon…xo

Design by Lindsey Pruitt

Follow along + see new arrivals first
on the Style Girl Vintage
Facebook page.


from Style Girl LLC
Re: 5th Annual Great Gatsby Gala

Please be aware that Jess James and/or Style Girl LLC, producers of “The Great Gatsby Gala” for the past four years is NOT in any manner affiliated with a “5th Annual Great Gatsby Gala” event being promoted by The City Club for early September.

Have no fear, flappers! A reinvention of your favorite Jazz Age inspired event is in the works. Hear details first in the FASHION FIX.. Thank you for your support. xo



+ Pound Fit (only available with Karson in Wilmington!)
Tuesday 6:35pm and Saturday 10:15am at BFAB Studio
Click above for more details.



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