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Country Blues: The Ins and Outs of Nashville’s Denim Scene

With roots in country music that run deep and a downtown area littered with honky tonks, curated boutiques and vintage shops, it comes as no surprise that Nashville is a denim city. And what better reason to visit “Music City” than for the first edition of Nashville Denim Days?

Like its sister events in Amsterdam and New York City, the two-day denim festival, from Nov. 10-11, will feature exhibits, seminars and activations from a global network of brands, retailers and mills. Hands-on workshops by artisans, a vintage market, food and live entertainment will add a local Tennessean twist.

“Nashville is playing an increasingly important role in the American denim and fashion industry, and with its large creative community and deep roots in music, we felt that the city was a natural fit for Denim Days,” said Andrew Olah, one of the event’s organizers.

From vintage emporiums and Western boutiques, to hotels that capture the city’s down home vibe, here’s a look Nashville’s must-see hotspots to check out either during Denim Days or on your next design field trip.

Places to shop

Manuel Exclusive Clothier
Get a firsthand look at the rhinestone-covered designs by Manuel Cuevas, tailor to the stars. Cuevas has dressed everyone from Elvis and The Beatles to Johnny Cash, and more recently, Beyoncé.

Imogene + Willie
The brand that put Nashville denim on the map holds court at its flagship store, an old service station in the heart of the same neighborhood founders Carrie and Matthew Eddmenson call home.

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Savant Vintage
A favorite among stylists, celebrities and locals, endless (high-end) treasures are bound to be discovered in this vintage emporium. From jeans and boots, to a new taxidermy animal for your store, owner Beverly Chowning has a laser-sharp eye for old-time gems.

White Mercantile
Holly Williams, musician and daughter of country legend Hank Williams Jr., curates this shop described as a “general store for the modern-day tastemaker.” It’s a one-stop-shop for odds and ends with a country twang.

Places to eat

Mas Tacos
This no-frills Mexican outpost is famous among locals for its quick service and top-notch flavor. Billed as having the best $3 tacos in the South, fans say the chicken tortilla soup is “to die for,” too.

Barista Parlor
In true hipster fashion, this coffee house knows how to brew a perfect cup in an airy, industrial space primed for work, meetings or relaxing.

Pinewood Social
Outfitted with reclaimed wood lanes from an old bowling alley and two dipping pools, this restaurant and bar serves as an adult playground to relax and unwind. Outside, light fare is served out of an Airstream trailer.

Places to stay

The 404
With a mix of vintage and custom furniture, this urban oasis speaks to the denim crowd that favors thoughtful details and industrial design.

This new boutique hotel aims to give guests “a true Nashville encounter.” The restored luxury property from the 1930s showcases artwork from the city’s leading creatives and sells items from local makers at its retail store, Keep Shop.

Urban Cowboy
This converted Victorian mansion offers an elevated take on Western chic with eight uniquely designed suites with details including burnt wood headboards, clawfoot tubs and blanket wallpaper.

Places to see

Country Music Hall of Fame
A trip to Nashville wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this archive of U.S. musical history.

Elephant Gallery
Nashville’s quirkiest gallery, Elephant presents group and solo exhibits from local and regional artists. Expect unhinged color and creativity.

As home of the original Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman continues to host today’s top talent while honoring its past with backstage tours and exhibitions.