Reese Witherspoon still turns to her grandma for fashion advice

'She filled with my heart with so many rules.'

Words – Brandi Fowler

From the editors of Instyle US

Reese Witherspoon may be a 41-year-old entrepreneur with three children, mega success and the ability to successfully bend-and-snap, but sometimes she just needs Grandma.

The Big Little Lies star stopped by Nordstrom in Costa Mesa, California, on Wednesday to celebrate her Draper James autumn collection with the department store and also dished on the fashion rules she lives by. During a question-and-answer session with a VIP crowd, we learned Witherspoon’s grandmother knows best.

‘There are all these little rules my grandma would teach me about things that you don’t wear to a wedding, like you don’t wear white to a wedding, you don’t wear red to a wedding, and you don’t wear black to a wedding. It’s not a funeral. It’s really done a number on me. No one shoulder to a wedding. It’s not appropriate,’ she said.

‘I’m like, she filled with my heart with so many rules. My girlfriend was trying to get dressed for a wedding, she was like, “Is there anything you can wear to a wedding?” Not much. Maybe your one colour,’ she jokingly continued.

reese witherspoon

Weddings aside, we caught up with the talent to talk all about the new collection for her lifestyle brand (which she named for her grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon). ‘I’m a Nordstrom shopper,’ she told InStyle about teaming up with the store. ‘I use the online store a lot. They always have my size, which is really helpful, and they carry brands I really like. I can find stuff for all the family here, which makes my life much easier.’

As with the rest of her collections, her collaboration with Nordstrom is infused with her Southern heritage. Those ideologies are reflected in her ‘Totes Ya’ll’ totebags, graphic tops emblazoned with ‘Honey’ and ‘Keep on the Sunnyside,’ and pops of colour weaved throughout.

‘I think there’s just a lot of bad news in the world, and it’s great to put a little bit of positivity out there,’ she said. ‘When you look sort of happy and positive, it really radiates through your family and your community.’

Inspired by Witherspoon’s travels, models wore pieces from the fall collection like a staple black sweater dress topped with a white stripe, a top with a jewel-embellished collar, a black and white printed mini skirt, and more looks complete with whimsical prints and textures.

Reese Witherspoon

Credit: Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock

‘I like a lot of different jewel tones and things like that, but I’m not afraid of pink and prints,’ Witherspoon said as she dished on her inspiration for the pieces. ‘I think sometimes it’s nice to have fun with your clothes and have a sense of humor, so we always like to have a conversational print.’

In addition, the collection—which includes handbags, sunglasses, and home and gifting—also includes new tailgating products, like shirts emblazoned with ‘Tailgates and Touchdowns.’

‘Tailgating and football is religion in the south,’ Witherspoon told InStyle.

‘There’s just endless football in [my] house. I thought, why are the clothes so ugly for women? They’re just so ugly,’ she said with a laugh. ‘Can’t we make some cute tops, and some cute sweaters, and fun things so that you actually feel stylish when you go to games? We were kind of reinventing the tailgate fashion.’

Preach, Reese.

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