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Summer Packing Guide: Dallas

Whenever I tell people that I'm from Texas, I get a typical barrage of questions: do I live on a farm? Is my preferred mode of transportation a horse instead of a car? Do I know George W. Bush? Was I the one who shot J.R. in the season finale of Dallas back in 1980?

Just for the record, the answer is "no" to all of the above. Dallas is actually a really cosmopolitan city—while it's not as hip as Austin, the city has a great art and music scene, fantastic restaurants and some of the best shopping in the country. If you think life in the Big D is anything like the feathered hair and joutfits on the soap Dallas, switch your DVR to shows like Most Eligible Dallas and GCB for a more accurate look at life here (i.e. we shop A LOT).

I left Texas for New York after graduating high school, but I go back to Dallas whenever I get the chance. Growing up, I didn't like that it was warm all year round (I know, what was wrong with me?) and just wanted some snow, but after experiencing several East Coast winters, I kind of love the blistering hot southern summers. I am going home in mid-August for a few days and I am already mentally planning what I'll wear. Click through to see what's on my must-have list and get shopping, y'all.

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We're not cowboys, but sometimes we pretend to be.

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Everything is bigger in Texas, but everything is also flashier in Dallas. Big, bright baubles are the norm.

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Texas is obviously a really sunny place, but no true Dallasite would think of hiding their hair under a hat. Opt for a pair of oversized sunnies in a cool shape, like these retro cat eyes.

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Denim button downs remind me of the ranch, but pairing them with colored or white denim and heels kicks the idea of mucking stables right out of my mind.

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As much as Dallas girls like bright and sparkly jewelry, they also love classic items like pearls. This necklace is the holy trinity of trends.

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Lightweight camisoles will keep you from overheating, while the fun print will easily work day or night.

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If they're not in boots, the girls of this city will be in heels. Since Dallas isn't a very walkable place (you'll end up driving everywhere), feel free to try your most daring heels for the moments where you do get to strut around.

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On its own, this dress is casual enough for a lunch date. Add some sky-high heels and enormous earrings to make it a Dallas-approved evening outfit.

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Pants are unthinkable in the summer heat, so go with a pair of denim shorts. Wear them with the aforementioned cowboy boots and a tie-waist shirt and you'll look like Daisy Duke.

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More important than lipstick and eye makeup for Dallasites is achieving a good, healthy-looking tan. If you're like me and prefer to stay in the shade, you can cheat your way to a sun-kissed glow with bronzers and blush.

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Whether you're going shopping or going to a rodeo, a classic structured bag is the accessory you'll need.

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