Truvy Jones runs a successful beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies in the neighborhood have a standing Saturday appointment. Along with her anxious and eager assistant, Annelle, Truvy styles the hair of many of the women about town: wealthy widow and former first lady of Chinquapin, Clairee Belcher, local curmudgeon Ouiser Boudreaux ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"), intelligent and compassionate career woman M'Lynn, and her daughter Shelby, the prettiest girl in town. Shelby's engagement is the talk of the town, but the joy and excitement of her wedding quickly turn to concern as she faces a risky pregnancy and a myriad of health complications. As the women of Chinquapin make their way over life's many hurdles together, they find comfort (and a fair amount of verbal ribbing) in one another. "You have no idea how wonderful you are," M'Lynn tells the ladies at the end of the play. Truvy responds, with a smile, "Of course we do."