What to Wear to September Events

It happens to us all. An invitation to a charity event arrives in the mail, and we begin asking ourselves that eternal question: what to wear, what to wear? And sometimes we decline, simply because we can’t figure that out. With this seasonal conundrum in mind, we charged local stylist Sukey Johnson with task of finding the perfect outfits for three of September’s Happenings in Nashville.


Here is Sukey at Vineyard Vines styling an outfit for this photo shoot.

All of the photographs today are from the talented Wiff Harmer


As much as I could drag my feet resisting the faster pace that the fall season brings, it’s impossible. There are too many fabulous things going on in this town that are not to be missed. Nashville is a blessed community, capable of supporting a plethora of worthy causes. Today we will showcase only three of the many great ones occurring in September and what to wear to each! As an extra bonus, I just checked out these stores again this week, and many of these featured items are on sale.


 Sunset Safari

Sunset Safari for the Nashville Zoo is Thursday, September 6th at 6:30 p.m.

This fun event allows you to see the Nashville Zoo at night. The Sunset Safari offers tastings from some of Nashville’s most popular restaurants. With open bars and special drink concoctions, you can stroll by some of the zoo exhibits while sampling a variety of food and enjoying a cocktail. Entertainment will be scattered throughout the zoo and will include belly dancers, juggling, up close access to zoo residents and more. And a fabulous band, Shake Shake Shake, will be performing in front of the Unseen World. Patrons will have access to a VIP area during the entire party. There, you will have special photo ops with select zoo residents, as well as access to celebrity chef Chuck White, Sheryl Crow’s personal chef and cookbook author. (He will provide some of his recipes for party patrons, too.) The VIP area has a private courtyard and bar and sits right above where the band will be playing. A real VIP experience. www.nashvillezoo.org

What to wear? For an outdoor event at the zoo, I would lean towards a dress to stay cool as the hot sun sets. For a fabulous collection of dresses we started our hunt at www.jmclaughlin.com These dresses are versatile from day to evening and are made of a material that breathes called Catalina fabric. As lots of women are coming straight from work for this Thursday night affair, each selection can been worn all day and still look great that night. You might shy away from animal prints, but these were subtle and seemed perfect for a twilight event at the zoo.

Sundress $195. J. McLaughlin


Black sleeveless dress $185; zebra pony skinny belt $75; black tote $298; scarf $55. J McLaughlin.


Python print wrap dress $195 with belt $75 & black ostrich purse (available in many colors) $395. J McLaughlin.

There may appear to be too many accessory options, but we couldn’t resist as we loved them all, especially the purses.

I want one of these in every color! $395. J. McLaughlin.


Bamboo clutch in natural $150 (many colors). J. McLaughlin.

Since you’ll be strolling the zoo at night you will need one of these gorgeous wraps. J. McLaughlin keeps them well-stocked year round.

Scarves start at $55. J. McLaughlin.



Chukkers for Charity

Saturday, September 8th beginning at 1:30 and into the evening. An event the whole family can enjoy.

Chukkers for Charity benefits the Rochelle Center and Saddle Up! Your entire family will enjoy the action of polo, the golden oldies classic car parade, convivial cabana competitors, a petting zoo for the kids, and fine dining and dancing in the patrons’ tent. John Walsh of TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” also returns to compete in the polo match. The location is simply gorgeous at Riverview Farm. www.chukkersforcharity.net

What to wear? After choosing Vineyard Vines to pair with this event, I learned that they are a sponsor Chukkers for Charity! I found great casual dresses here, as well as lots on sale right now for men, women and children. FYI: Chukker’s is full of families. When thinking about what to wear, think of a more casual Steeplechase.

At Vineyard Vines, I paired a shorter navy dress with the Nantucket red cardigan in case it’s cool or overcast. Cardigan is $98 and short dress is $225 (now 60% off).


For sunny weather (although there are tents to sit under), bring a hat. Dress $258; cooler $89.50; Vineyard Vines.

Vineyard Vines also has a variety of different sized totes and coolers. When it’s in your budget, don’t you love to be THAT girl with the matching tote, hat and dress? Oh, and that’s my date carrying our matching cooler! Come on, just swear it was a coincidence.

I also came across a maxi dress that I just loved. The navy and white chevron stripe is perfectly on trend and flattering. The length makes a great transition into fall. Those gold flip flops would work for all these outfits, as you are on grass, many times with kids, and you want comfort above all else! Dress $295; straw hat $69.50; scarf $75. Vineyard Vines.

Music and Masterpieces for Thisbe and Noah Scott Foundation

Saturday, September 22nd at 7:00 pm.

The Thisbe and Noah Scott Foundation, Inc. (formerly The Olive Branch Fund) was created by Laurian and John Scott in the spring of 2008, in order to raise awareness and research dollars for pediatric neuromuscular diseases (NMD). Both the Scott’s children were diagnosed with a rare NMD called Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere (BVVL). Though the discovery of a BVVL gene seemed to be on the horizon, not enough could be done in time to save their children, Thisbe and Noah. The Scott’s hope is that money raised by their Foundation will ultimately result in the finding of treatments and cures for the many neuromuscular diseases that exist, so that no family will ever have to suffer as their family has and still does. Support the Thisbe and Noah Scott Foundation by grabbing some friends and attending this special night – it is a festive occasion just bubbling over with hope. www.thisbeandnoah.org
What to wear? This evening event, hosted at songwriter Brett James’ house, calls for the classic Nashville ‘dressy casual.’ Everyone always asks me what this means. Hold on to your seats folks, we found your answer at Kendal Boutique.

Seldom does “dressy casual” mean jeans unless you’re in the music business, or you pair your them with heels. If you’re a songwriter, you’ll look cool grooving with your mic. For everyone else, add a cocktail top to your heels and strut your stuff. It IS Music City! Top $189; jeans $132. Kendal Boutique.


Branch out: instead of your favorite white pants, try a tunic in a color or print with heels. Tunic $295; two separate necklaces $150 and $92. Kendal Boutique.


Colored denim at Kendal Boutique


I like this top for it’s versatility – it’s great for both day and night. And it’s effortlessly interesting with the crocheted sleeves.


Or of course, a sexy maxi dress and flats. Dress $98; necklace $178. Kendal Boutique.

This event includes an art auction from an eclectic group. Be daring and accessorize. Kendal has amazing options for jewelry at many price points to go with everything.

How great are these cuffs? $130. Kendal Boutique.


Earrings at Kendal Boutique

Truly all of today’s outfits are flexible for each of our three events and offer great transitional fall pieces for our southern heat.

Remember ladies, you can throw the rules out the window when you wear your clothes with confidence. Choose something that makes you feel smart and looks good.

Stay charitable, Nashville. You look fabulous doing it!

A big thanks to my friend, and StyleBlueprint’s friend, Wiff Harmer, for all of these beautiful shots! Her exquisite family photos are emotionally so rich and her commercial photography is amazing. You just have to check out her portfolio here: www.wiffharmer.com!


Thanks, Sukey! Everyone, have a great weekend!





 Around SB today:

  SB Louisville and Memphis: We Really Only Need Wine and Yoga Pants, click here.

  SB Atlanta: Snap Kids! has opened up in Atlanta, click here.

  SB Birmingham: The Metallic Pant Trend, Hot or Not? click here.