Style Icon: Rebecca Gordon


Hostess with the mostess: Rebecca stands at her dining table wearing her typical "uniform." Crisp white blouse from Banana Republic; J. Brand jeans in the "Maria" style, a high waited skinny; classic J.Crew School-Boy Blazer; her grandmother's cameo necklace; and her signature touch of animal print, here in the form of a skinny belt bought years ago at Steinmart when she was first starting to build her work wardrobe for Southern Living.

Rebecca stands at her dining table wearing her typical “uniform.” Crisp white blouse from Banana Republic; J. Brand jeans in the “Maria” style; classic J.Crew School-Boy Blazer; her grandmother’s cameo necklace; and her signature touch of animal print.

Founder of Buttermilk Lipstick

Written and styled by Tracy James 

Photographed by Chuck St. John

 

Birmingham born and raised Rebecca Kracke Gordon is “quite simply the bee’s knees” when it comes to chic southern living and entertaining, just as the tagline of her business and accompanying blog, Buttermilk Lipstick, reads. The website of this culinary school grad (who can claim a two-year stint as pastry chef under Frank Stitt and 13 years at Southern Living) is chock full of recipes, creative party ideas, and more, with a specialty in southern football tailgating.

Thus it is no surprise that this belle is actually a tomboy at heart, embracing the chic simplicity of jeans, schoolboy blazers, and crisp, white blouses. For the latter, Gordon takes a page from style mentor and designer Carolina Herrera, who is rarely seen in anything other than a white blouse. Like Herrera, Gordon buys hers at the affordable Banana Republic so she can always have a fresh one on hand. As a media personality, published cookbook author, recipe developer, and all-around foodie, the sleeves of those blouses are usually rolled up because her hands are busy demonstrating or creating. Accessories are limited to only sentimental pieces—gifts from her parents or inheritances from her beloved grandmother, Ruth Pilgrim, the late Mobile grande dame to whom Buttermilk Lipstick is dedicated.

“Pair a crisp white shirt and skinny jeans with cute flats for the daytime and a great pair of heels or nude wedges for night, and you’ve got a flawless look anyone can pull off,” Gordon says. Adding a touch of animal print to this look—whether via a belt, iPhone case, umbrella, or bangle—has become her signature. There’s even a touch of leopard in her Buttermilk Lipstick logo.

Because she’s more of a classic girl, Gordon is not super trend-driven. “I wear what I like and usually fall either on the cusp of the next movement or just behind it,” she explains. “It all cycles back around.” Therefore she doesn’t have an overabundance of clothing or accessories in her wardrobe, preferring to keep it lean so that she actually wears and enjoys each and every one of the pieces she does have.

On Rebecca: Rebecca Taylor animal-print shift dress, L.A.M.B shoes, and a charm bracelet of coins given to Rebecca by her father. Beside her sits her L.L. Bean canvas work bag in a camo print, Anya Hindmarch handbag and RayBan wayfarer sunglasses.

On Rebecca: Rebecca Taylor animal-print shift dress, L.A.M.B shoes, and a charm bracelet of coins given to Rebecca by her father. Beside her sits her L.L. Bean canvas work bag in a camo print, Anya Hindmarch handbag and RayBan wayfarer sunglasses.

But growing up, Gordon tried about every style under the sun, including head-to-toe military garb—combat boots and all—from Roger’s Army/Navy Store, a begged-for Christmas present from her relenting parents. Needless to say, this ensemble was deemed inappropriate attire for their Friday night family dinners out. Gordon’s mother expected the family of six to “dress for dinner” even if they were going to Carlisle’s BBQ or Lloyd’s. These outings also served as opportunities for lessons on table manners and style etiquette. “To borrow a quote from Tom Ford, ‘Dressing well is a form of good manners,’” Gordon says. “It just shows that you care.”

As a believer in the worth of certain investment pieces, Gordon’s splurges are usually in the form of sunglasses and handbags, which she will then keep and use for decades. Ray-Bans are a favorite, whether aviator or wayfarer, and Gordon prefers handbags of the boxy, classic variety, in patent leather finishes with lots of rich detail and blingy gold zippers. British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch is a favorite. She will also invest in a beautifully constructed dress that fits like a glove about once per year. If the fit isn’t perfect, just like any good southern lady should, Gordon has a fabulous seamstress in her little black book whom she trusts with high-end labels. As for shoes, the quirky designs of Marc Jacobs tickle her fancy—Gordon still loves her pair of 10-year-old Little Miss Marc frowny face flats. For now, the only Louboutin and Chanel shoes in her home live in a fashion illustration on the wall, but the real deals remain on her wish list.

Every fall, Gordon features recipes and tailgating tips on Fox 6’s Tide & Tigers Today, starring national sports radio personality Paul Finebaum and hosted by Rick Karle, airing in markets across the Southeast. Fortunately, the simplicity and chicness of her wardrobe gives Gordon the confidence that she will be dressed appropriately for each Saturday morning segment: “When in doubt, iron it and tuck it in, and I promise, you’ll be fine,” she says.

Click here for Rebecca’s exclusive Buttermilk Lipstick recipes for B-Metro.

  Sweet Tea Margaritas - the perfect combination of two favorite drinks (click for recipe). The ice bucket was a flea market find, a favorite source of unique serving pieces.

Sweet Tea Margaritas [Click photo for recipe]- the perfect combination of two favorite drinks. The ice bucket was a flea market find, a favorite source of unique serving pieces.

Rebecca grinds fresh black pepper as a final garnish on her Grilled Buffalo Chicken Crostini (click for recipe). Her Bromberg's ring was a gift from her parents in high school. "I love a southern Pearl," Rebecca says. Buttermilk Lipstick tip: setting cold dips and salads into a bowl of ice for serving keeps them fresh and delicious.

[Click photo for recipe] Rebecca grinds fresh black pepper as a final garnish on her Grilled Buffalo Chicken Crostini. Her Bromberg’s ring was a gift from her parents in high school. “I love a southern Pearl,” Rebecca says. Buttermilk Lipstick tip: setting cold dips and salads into a bowl of ice for serving keeps them fresh and delicious.

Leave a Reply