The Fashion of Friendships

By Whitley Adkins Hamlin

I find the topic of friendships perfect for my first time contributing to Sasee. After all, it was by way of a new friendship that I got here! I’ve been vacationing at Pawleys Island for as long as I can remember, always working in visits with friends of my parents and a few island natives while I’m there. No matter where I travel, my dad sees to it I “look up” some longtime friend of his who lives in whatever town I am visiting. And let me tell you, if I am in the south, particularly South Carolina, there is someone for me to touch base with all along the way. Dad will say, “You never know when you might need to call on someone for help.” Well, wouldn’t you know it, a few summers ago, my brand spanking new European car broke down just outside of Sumter, South Carolina. Thanks to dear ‘ole Dad’s painless practice of staying connected, there was someone just down the road in Dalzell, South Carolina, to look after me.

My mom grew up in a small town in Eastern North Carolina, where everybody seemed to know everyone. Neighbors and friends were always dropping by whenever we would visit. Over one trip to see my Grandmother, just before she passed away in her late 70s, I accompanied her to a friend’s home for their regular game of bridge. I adored those ladies, all polished and proper in their mid-day card playing attire, whose visits always seemed to seamlessly roll right on in to the cocktail hour. Nana’s friendships with those ladies were ever apparent the day of her funeral. After the service, friends and family gathered at her home to share joy and laughter. It was there, at the age of 24, I was served my first scotch on the rocks by a towering and regal Mr. Harris; an inauguration I’ll never forget.

I think about my own friendships every day. As an extrovert on the days I am well slept, I am someone who gets their energy from others. I think people, and the relationships that stem from them, are the most fascinating pathway to experiencing life. One of my greatest joys is the fact that I am part of the most prodigiously connected and caring group of childhood friends. Our group consists of just fewer than 20 guys and girls who enjoy each others’ company at a level any on-looker might deem questionably shameless. We have all been friends since the 6th grade, when our elementary schools convened for middle school; many of us friends since kindergarten. We know each others’ ups and downs, ins and outs, loves and losses, successes and setbacks, and with it all is a total acceptance, humility, forgiveness and unparalleled affinity.

Life hands us all challenges and struggles, and certainly not all friendships are so seemingly effortless. Friendships can be likened to the ever changing world of fashion. Some will come and go, like the cycle of trends, while others prove timeless classics that never fade from style.

The Fashion of Friendships

I am drawn to the many clever quotations of the fascinating, late, great, fashion columnist and editor, Diana Vreeland, and so I close with two we can playfully apply to our choices in both fashion and friendships,

We all need a splash of bad taste – it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.

The best time to leave a party is when the party’s just beginning. There’s no drink that kills except the drink that you didn’t want to take, as the saying goes, and there’s no hour that kills except the hour you stayed after you wanted to go home.

Photography by Zach Alston Photography
Makeup and Hair by Deme Jamie Fourtounis

About this writer

  • Whitley Adkins Hamlin is a wardrobe stylist specializing in personal, editorial and commercial work, and the author of the fashion blog, the Queen City Style ( The grand daughter and great granddaughter of wardrobe stylists, Whitley has been exposed to, and collected, one of a kind wardrobe pieces since she was a young girl. As a result, Whitley both learned and taught herself the art of cultivating one of a kind looks she passes on to her clients. In her free time, Whitley is an avid runner who loves spending time with her husband and two young boys, cooking and entertaining and redecorating her house until there is nothing left to redecorate (which is never, ha!).

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