Casual Summer Whites

White cotton tops are a smart option for hot, humid climates. Lightweight cotton jeans and block-heeled sandals completed my very casual Sunday afternoon look.

If you’ve ever visited the south during the summer, you may have seen kudzu vines climbing, coiling, and trailing over everything in their wake. Did you know that its late summer blooms smell like grape Koolaid?

Kudzu was introduced from Japan to the United States at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 as an ornamental and a forage crop plant. The Civilian Conservation Corps and southern farmers planted kudzu to reduce soil erosion.

I found some of this information about kudzu on Wikipedia.

The leaves, vine tips, flowers, and roots are edible; the vines are not. The leaves can be used like spinach and eaten raw, chopped up and baked in quiches, cooked like collards, or deep-fried. Young kudzu shoots are tender and taste similar to snow peas. (I’m certainly not encouraging you to eat it or plant it!)

Pictured is the only “crop” of kudzu that I know of in Johnson City, so we stopped to get some pictures for you. You may imagine that I am about to enter a magical garden. Instead, I am standing in the parking lot of an office building across the street from The Mall.

I first showed you this top here. I wear the pieces in my collection many times, so there is rarely anything new to show you. Links to similar current items follow.

My white top is here. Similar white cotton poplin tops are here, here, and here. Similar jeans are here, here, and here. Similar totes are here, here, and here. More block heel sandals are here, here, and here.

Referral and affiliate links in my posts may result in a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

On Sunday afternoon, we stopped by Winged Deer Park for a short walk and to take more pictures to share with you. A video showing all that this park offers is at the bottom of this post.

The Compass Rose stone marker highlights historical events and shows the direction of the locations.
  1. Enjoy seeing the photos of the trips and outings you take. It shows me a view of America I would never get to see otherwise..Likewise the photos of your outfits – here in New Zealand we can’t shop the brands and our seasons are reversed but seeing the way you style items in different outfits and combinations is great inspiration. Loved the posts you have done showing small tweaks to a look to bring it together – more of those please.

  2. I hope you are feeling much better. If you were styling this look with a button up cotton shirt worn open, what tops would you select to wear under the shirt? Sleeveless shells and tees are my go-to pieces but the look seems so dated. I do this for comfort and attempting to hide flaws. Or would you avoid this look completely? I don’t follow trends but like to look reasonably current! Many thanks.

  3. Good morning, beautiful Susan!
    I love this very wonderful post , today!
    You look cool, and put together, and it’s a pleasure to see this!

    Your information about the Kudzu vine was very interesting. I thought it was just a noxious weed! I’m glad to hear about it’s redeeming qualities!

    I’m sorry to hear about Covered Perfectly! I have some nice pieces, and I’ll look on her website when we get home from Florida.

    I love seeing your travels with Mr. Micky!

    Thank you for keeping us posted!

  4. Like Justine, I thought kudzu was just an invasive weed down south. I enjoyed the video of the park but was wondering if you knew anything about how it was named? Winged Deer is an unusual name. Do you know the story behind it?

    1. A contest was held, and letters and stories were submitted. It seems a story from a 10 or 11-year-old about a “Winged Deer” was chosen, and that name bestowed upon the park.

  5. Oh Susan Thank you so much for this blog I seen these Kudzu vines but always wanted to know their history pretty blooms. Love ❤️ your outfit with the touch of red. We have family in Tennessee and plan to visit when we can. Thank you again and the video. Have a blessed and safe week ❤️

  6. Susan, I so enjoy the “tours” you share with us in photos of your outings, or as in the video above. What a beautiful area of the country you live in. Thanks so much for sharing–it’s especially nice for those of us who are not venturing out much these days. Always look forward to reading your blog! Stay well.

  7. Very interesting post, Susan! I have never heard of kudzu and was surprised to see that so many readers have. You look so rested and comfy in this outfit. I love the look!
    QVC has an excellent choice of D & B bags that I’ve been keeping an eye on! Your bag appears coral or maybe a red- orange. Do you know the color name? Thank you keeping us informed and teaching us!

    1. Just wanted to share that the online outlet for Dooney & Bourke is now having a sale on the tote pictured in Susan’s post. The online outlet is, the tote is the pebble grain, small Lexington, one of my favorites from D&B.

  8. We have passed through your city while traveling, but have never stopped to spend time there. It is a beautiful place to live. The next time we are in the area, we have to allow time to explore a little.
    Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us and I agree, white is a cooling color in the hot and humid south!

  9. What a great outfit for a hot summer day! I LOVE those sandals Susan!
    Thanks for continuing to bring joy to all of your loyal followers!

  10. Thanks so much for the Winged Deer Park video! We were out there Sunday afternoon too. My husband was wondering how they moved the Young cabin. We also enjoyed the views of the lake in the video, since it has been down all of the 4 years we’ve lived here. Someday, maybe we’ll have the lake back, and be able to have the outdoor concerts again too. I really enjoy your blog, not just for the style advice, but also the excursions you take in the area.

  11. What a beautiful area you live in. Love the walks you can take too. You look pretty cool and comfy. So glad you are recovering and getting out with Mr. Mickey. Hugs.

  12. You look happy and fresh! Nice look on you. Years ago I was a nurse back in the day when we wore white uniforms. I absolutely cannot get my self to wear white-on-white and it’s over 30 years ago!!! Hahaha. Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe I’ll try. Next year…..

  13. Love your idea to wear white with white. On a hot day it would be a go to outfit!

    Be careful with eating kudzu. It is an invasive plant that kills everything it attaches too. It was brought here to feed cows but it grows so quickly, it took over in areas like woods and fields. It even can cover buildings. Where these plants are naturalized, they can be invasive and are considered noxious weeds. The plant climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so rapidly that it kills them by heavy shading. The plant is edible, but often sprayed with herbicides.[7]

  14. Susan, please do not encourage the propagation of Kudzu, it is not a native plant and has no natural controls. It is highly invasive and chokes out more valuable plants native to areas all over the south. It is an example of man introducing something new to a area without knowing the Repercussions. It has happened with fish and animals too. Kudzu needs to
    be controlled, not encouraged. As beautiful as it my look, it is very harmful to native plants.

    1. Yes, you are correct. I am not encouraging it at all, just explaining what it is and how it got here. Some people have never seen it before, and some people have seen it but don’t know about it or how it came to be a part of the southern landscape.

  15. Hi Susan,
    Looking into fall and colder weather fashion, did you shop the Nordstrom Anniversary sale? I think it was a bit of a disappointment this year. Maybe due to Covid. I hope you have recovered from the virus. You sure look good.

  16. Thank you for the information about the kuduz. I have read about it but never see it in ‘real life’. It looks very dramatic but lethal to any plants it climbs over.

    Always enjoy your posts. Sadly in the UK our weather is not as warm as yours. I do love the heat, weirdly even more the older I get.

    Although we are about the same age and height I am long in the body and sadly wearing heels upsets my back. Your clothing choices are still very relevant and inspire me to dress better.

  17. Thank you for the informational post. You seem to find the prettiest sites to visit and walk. I have been trying to wear white with white this summer. It doesn’t come easily to me since I love more color especially for my tops. When I’ve done the white on white I try to tie a scarf around my red purse to add a little more color.

    Thank you again and hi to Mr. Mickey.

  18. Hi Susan, my husbands birthday is 10/09/51 SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU ON THE 13th of this month. Thankyou for being so inspiring. Aussie Bev

  19. I live in Florida. It is hot. Recently I entered in to a happy relationship with Linen. The history and ways to care for Linen is fascinating. This year with the virus, I was able to purchase a complete Linen wardrobe for a fraction of its worth. The plus, a new and positive focus.

  20. Thank you so much for continuing your posts twice a week. I’ve been following you for about two years and have changed my wardrobe, skin care, makeup, and diet—all because of your tips and suggestions! Your day trips inspire me to get out and enjoy natural beauty while we are being cautious. I just had a yearly physical, and the dr. was so impressed at the improvement with my lab results that she asked me what I was doing differently. I told her I was following your blog! You have made such a difference in my wellbeing!

  21. I’ve always thought Kudzu smelled like grape Kool Aid.
    Enjoyed your video today. I hope you will continue to feel better.

  22. Thanks for the info on kudzu. I am in the panhandle of Florida (the rural part) and lots of kudzu here. I think it is beautiful as long as it is across the road. I think I would get claustrophobic if it was on my actual property.
    I have missed your usual schedules posts. You have us completely spoiled.
    I love the all white as an outfit and the red accent is just right. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Keep well.

  23. That looks like the house my BIL grew up in. It had a hall leading from front to back. Open all the way. Living, dining, kitchen, pantry on one side and flor bedrooms on other side. Our back bath house and bathroom. A shotgun house they called it because you could shoot a gun straight through the middle.
    Kudu vine chokes out everything but it is a pretty vine.
    I think by the time I get out to wear my white outfit, ill be needing my nude boots if it should cool off some. I love the red pop of color. Be well Susan. You look beautiful.

  24. Hi Susan,

    I have never seen Kudzu vines. Interesting the summer blooms smell like grape Koolaid. The vine tips are gorgeous, and the crop of Kudu is amazing. “Oh, Earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” The outdoors is so enriching isn’t it?

    Sending Smiles,
    Katherine in Arizona

  25. Dear Susan, thank you so much for sharing Winged Deer Park with us. It’s beautiful. I’m putting this on my bucket list. A trip to Johnson City to see the Park and maybe run into you at the mall. Love all your blogs. I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.