PEOPLE YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW
As a blogger, I’m part of a beautiful community of creatives. We may share our ideas through a virtual network, but often times we have the opportunity to connect in person, sit down and chat, and really get the creative juices flowing! Grab your coffee and meet my friends, appearing as guest bloggers in this near-to-my-heart section.
Don’t like showing your knees? Capri pants are a great option during the summer months. Whether you are on a cruise, at the beach, or just out on the town, capri pants are the perfect way to keep your legs covered while staying cool. They can be an especially good choice if you have spider or varicose veins that you don’t want people to see. Our friends at Sixty & Me show us how it’s done in their blog post, “Fashion for Older Women: Capri Pants for the Summer Months.”
Many women avoid capri pants because they are afraid the cropped length will make their legs look shorter or their calves look chunky. Check out Fabulous After 40 for advice on how to wear capris and still look “long, lean and stylish.” I also recommend “How to wear cropped pants: An extensive guide” on one of my favorite fashion blogs, 40+ Style.
Capris are not just for the older crowd. Capri and cropped pants look good on women of any age. Here are a few of my favorite tips for wearing capris:
- Look for cropped pants or capris with a slim cut through the leg and narrow or tapered leg openings, which help to make your legs and calves look longer and slimmer.
- Avoid cuffs and wide leg openings, like flares or bootcuts, which can make your legs look shorter and wider.
- Avoid utility styles with pockets on the hips or thighs, which can make those areas look wider.
- Choose pants that end at the narrowest part of your calf for the most flattering look.
- Choose a color similar to your skin tone, like stone, beige, tan, or brown, to make your legs look longer. It makes the demarcation line between your pants and skin less noticeable and elongates the leg in the same way a nude-color shoe does.
- Wear a wedge, flat-form or platform sandal to add height and make up for the length lost in the cropped pant.
- Wear a shoe with a low vamp or in a nude color to help elongate your legs.
- Keep proportions between your top and cropped pants or capris balanced. If you have a long waist, tuck in your shirt. If you have a short waist, try a hip-length top or a mid-length tunic with a slim-cut pant.
These are a few of the capri and cropped pant styles that are available from National:
When you hear the word “patchwork,” you might think of your grandma’s quilts or patching a hole in an old pair of jeans. Think again! Playful patchwork prints are one of the biggest fashion trends for Fall 2017. If you love colorful prints or the boho chic look, then patchwork prints are definitely for you. The juxtaposition of different colors and prints make patchwork prints a fun and versatile addition to your wardrobe.
Not sure how to wear a patchwork print? Don’t be intimidated. It’s like wearing any bold print. When wearing a patchwork print, I recommend keeping the rest of your outfit relatively simple. (Remember, simple doesn’t mean boring.) Here are a few ideas to get you started:
With our Patchwork Print Skirt, I suggest wearing a solid colored shirt with a flattering neckline like our UltraSofts® ¾ Sleeve Boatneck Tee or our UltraSofts® Square Neck Tee. You can also try mixing textures by pairing the skirt with our buttery soft Faux Suede Shirt Jacket.
Our Patchwork Duster Tunic can be worn a multitude of ways. The duster tunic looks great when paired with a pair of casual pants or jeans for a bohemian vibe, like our UltraSofts® Knit Leggings or our Snap Leg Denim Pants. Add a long necklace like the Good Feelings™ Long Bead Tassel Necklace for a little sparkle.
The loose, flowy fit of the patchwork duster flatters any figure, but If you like a more defined waist, I love the Landes® Medallion Chain Belt worn loosely around the hips. The concho design adds a touch of Country-Western flair.
What’s your favorite patchwork look? Share it with us!
Ever feel like you are in a style rut? Break out of your daily fashion grind with our Web Exclusive looks, which are only available on our website. It’s a great place to check out the latest fashions and trends, like machine-washable faux suede and feminine floral prints. Here are a few of my favorite Web Exclusive New Arrivals to help you upgrade your style:
Crossover Top by Allie & Rob®
Who doesn’t love buttery soft faux suede? This adorable top features a fashionable crossover front with and asymmetrical hem and a flattering v-neck.
Floral Sleeveless Top by Antilia Femme®
With its romantic floral print and soft pastel colors, this pretty sleeveless blouse can be worn on its own or layered under a cardigan. You can button the notch neck all the way up or undo a few buttons for a more relaxed look.
Turquoise Drop Earrings by Renshun Accessories
These stylish earrings go with everything, from casual daytime looks to dressier outfits for a night out on the town. Featuring leverbacks, they are lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Maritime PJ Set by Carole Hochman®
Perfect for warm summer nights, these comfy, easy-care pajamas feature a sleeveless top and cropped pants to help you keep your cool.
Short Printed Satin Robe by Layla®
Nothing is more luxurious than a satin robe. This short bathrobe, which has a self-tie, inside security tie, and patch pockets, is ideal for the summer months. A Long Printed Satin Robe is also available.
Have a favorite Web Exclusive piece? Share it with us!
I get this question a lot, especially when the season is full of colorful prints and patterns that can easily be overwhelming. The best advice I can give is determine your shape first. Body shape, that is. Are you an hourglass, pear, inverted triangle, rectangle, or apple? By selecting the right print or pattern for your shape you can alter your appearance. You can even make yourself look taller!
Think about where you want someone’s eyes to focus. Here’s a helpful infographic from Monroe & Main
Hourglass: Choose a pattern on top and a solid on the bottom or vice versa. Draw attention to your waist with belt or sash.
Pear: Darker colors to trim your hips on the bottom and a lively print or pattern up top to draw focus up and balance your assets. Tunics are especially flattering.
Inverted Triangle: Bold stripes or colorful patterns up top and lighter solids below. Also look for A-line skirts, they’re specifically very flattering on this body type.
Rectangle: This is me. I like horizontal stripes across the top. It’s why I love the Mia Dress. It also helps give my hips shape with its asymmetrical cut at the waist and its diagonal lines below. A great choice for petites, as it adds height too. A win, win for me!
Apple: Focus on de-emphasizing your abdomen as well as accentuating your breasts and legs. Choose breezy garments that offer a design at the top and bottom. Muumuus are a great fit here and have grown in popularity for their ease and comfort. Plus if you can find an all-over print with vertical details, I say grab it.
What’s your shape? Share some style suggestions you use to flatter your shape with patterns and prints.
I know lots of women who insist on wearing heels every day (despite the pain) because they consider flats to be frumpy. I used to be the same way, but as I have gotten older, wearing the latest hot shoe style has become less important than having feet that don’t hurt all day. Many women reach a point in life where sporting heels is not only impractical but uncomfortable and even unhealthy. However, just because you can’t wear a pair of trendy heels, it doesn’t mean you can’t still look hip and stylish while being able to walk comfortably.
- Hearts Sandal by Spring Step®
If you don’t like showing your toes, these leather sandals are a great option. I love the Mary Jane styling and heavy stitching detail. Plus, they have lots of padding for all-day comfort and support, including a padded heel collar and a cushy, removable insole that provides plenty of arch support. I also love that they come in Red.
- Janey II Walking Shoes-Seasonal by Grasshoppers®
I adore a classic sneaker in the summer. These sleek, lightweight walking shoes combine traditional feminine styling with all the comfort you expect from Grasshoppers®, thanks to the removable Ortholite® sockliner, memory-foam footbed, and Purefit™ comfort cushion arch. If you don’t like wearing socks, these shoes provide moisture wicking and odor control with anti-microbial properties. They look cute with shorts, cropped pants, pedal pushers, even skirts. I especially like heathered jersey uppers in Light Gray.
- Traveltime Walkers-Seasonal by Easy Spirit®
Athleisure shoes are all the rage, and these slip-on mules are my all-time favorites. Whether you are walking or running errands, these shoes are as comfortable at the end of the day as when you first put them on. With the casual athletic styling and pretty seasonal colors, these walkers are adorable with everything from yoga clothes to capris to lounge dresses.
- Skylar Espadrille Slip-On Shoes by Grasshoppers®
If you like the look of an espadrille but want the comfort of a sneaker, these Grasshoppers® are the perfect choice. The jute trim provides the warm-weather look of a classic espadrille, while the flexible rubber outsole provides the traction, stability and durability of your favorite tennis shoe. The stretch elastic goring ensures an ideal fit and makes them easier to get on and off. If you are looking for a beautiful neutral color, I recommend Sandstone.
- Revive RZX Trail Walkers by Ryka®
Walking (or running) shoes aren’t just for exercising anymore. Top designers have been showing athletic shoes with pants and dresses on the runway for the past several seasons. Not only do these Ryka® walkers come in fun color combinations, they are designed exclusively to fit a woman’s foot. The Anatomical Precise-Return footbed, EVA foam midsole, and Re-Zorb® heel pads ensure you are comfortable all-day long.
Whether you have had foot surgery or just reached the age where having happy, healthy feet is more important, you can wear comfortable flat shoes and still look fashionable. Check out the website 40+ Style to read more about wearing flat shoes.
Summer means it’s vacation time. While I love traveling, packing and planning what to wear can be stressful. Having the right travel clothes makes it a lot easier. (Plus, I love any reason to go shopping.)
Whether you are going on a tour of Europe or a weekend beach getaway, you need comfortable, versatile clothes that pack well and don’t wrinkle. National® has a wide selection of easy-to-wear, easy-to-care-for clothes, shoes and accessories that are ideal for traveling, like our UltraSofts® line. The cotton-polyester interlock knit is a year-round weight that isn’t bulky so it doesn’t take up too much space in your suitcase. And it never needs ironing!
Because our UltraSofts® separates come in coordinating colors, you can mix-and-match and make several different outfits out of just a few pieces. With the right accessories, you can dress an ensemble up or down to go from sightseeing during the day to dinner in the evening.
Here are my 5 favorite travel clothing picks:
- Faeth Slip-On Shoes by Soft Style by Hush Puppies® Cute, comfortable and they go with everything! You can wear these with pants or jeans for a day of sightseeing, then pair them with a skirt or dress for a night out. I absolutely adore the quilting and the bow, and they are easy to slip on and off when going through airport security.
Helpful hint: Shoes can take up a lot of room in your suitcase, so I try to take as few pairs as possible, which is hard for a shoe addict like me! I try to pick shoes that are good for walking and go with as many outfits as possible.
- Lissome® Lounging Pants and Lounging Tee Whether you are traveling in a car or on a plane, comfort is key. I like loose-fitting, stretchy pieces that you can move in. If I am on a long flight or drive, I want to be able to sleep so loungewear is perfect. These pants have an elasticized drawstring waist, and the scoopneck shirt is flattering and a great layering piece.
- Simply Noelle® Zip Front Jersey Knit Jacket Air conditioning can make it freezing in the middle of summer, especially on planes, so I always try to wear plenty of layers. (It’s better to have to take off your cardigan or jacket because you are too hot, then to be too cold and not have anything to put on.) This jacket has a touch of spandex for stretch, and I like the attached hood, which you can wear up or down.
- UltraSofts® Striped Grommet Tunic One of the best parts of traveling is the food. This generous tunic will still be loose and comfortable after a big meal, and the longer length provides plenty of coverage to hide any “problem areas.” I love the ¾-length sleeves and convenient kangaroo-style pocket. It’s perfect with our UltraSofts® Knit Leggings.
- UltraSofts® Cropped Pants Capris are great for traveling. They offer more coverage than shorts, but the cropped length makes them cooler than full-length pants. These crop pants have a comfy elastic waist and handy side-seam pockets. Pair with our Citicraze® Essential Button-Front Shirt or our UltraSofts® ¾ Sleeve Boatneck Tee and ballet flats for a classic Audrey Hepburn-inspired look.
This past Wednesday, June 21, was the official start of summer, which means we have a lot of hot days ahead of us, especially here in the South. Are you ready to dress to beat the heat during the dog days of summer? Check out our Web Exclusive New Arrivals for comfy, lightweight summer clothes, intimates, and accessories you can wear right now. These “buy now, wear now” styles are exclusive to our website, so they are only available online, and not in our catalog.
Here are my top 5 picks for summer from our latest Web Exclusive New Arrivals:
1) Comfort Snap Front Bra by Care Apparel Industries®
Whether you are relaxing at home or sleeping at night, this ultra-comfortable bra is made of soft, breathable cotton (with a touch of spandex for stretch) to keep you cool on the hottest days. The snap front makes it a cinch to put on, and there is no underwire to dig into your skin!
2) Pacific Breeze Two-Tone Ribbon Hat by Sun ‘N’ Sand®
Whether I am walking my dog or reading by the pool, I like to protect my face from the summer sun. Crafted of polyester ribbon in a two-toned striped design, this oversized sun hat is perfect for outdoor excursions with its large, floppy brim. An inside sizer allows you to adjust it for the perfect fit, and you can fold it up for easy packing.
3) Butterfly Printed Scarf Poncho by Zoe Madison
I can’t wait to try on this sheer summer poncho with its delightful butterfly print. This versatile piece can be worn two ways: either poncho style with the buttons down the center, or as a shrug with the buttons along the shoulder. I plan on layering it over a tank top or camisole with a pair of jeans or linen pants.
4) Crochet Detail Maxi Skirt by Kaktus®
Made of breezy crinkle rayon, this long, flowy tiered maxi skirt is accented with dyed-to-match crochet trim and a self-tie belt, giving it a casual “boho” look. Lined halfway down in 100% cotton for modesty, you don’t have to worry about wearing a slip with it. I think it’s super cute with a simple white tee or a sleeveless shirt.
5) V-Neck Cotton Lounge Dress by Saybury
Nothing beats an all-natural cotton woven dress on a steamy summer day. Featuring an all-over floral border print, this dress was made for lounging in a hammock under some shade. The easy pull-over styling, full tiered skirt, and convenient side-seam pockets make for effortless hot-weather dressing.
We just celebrated Flag Day on Wednesday, and with the Fourth of July just around the corner, it got me thinking about the good ol’ red, white and blue. Patriotic colors never go out of fashion, and red, white and blue clothing is really big right now. From patterns to solids, I have seen red, white and blue clothes in every store I have been in recently. I like buying clothes in these all-American colors because I know they will always be in style. Separates in red, white or blue are an investment, not a fad.
With the abundance of red, white and blue choices, now is the perfect time to find a stylish patriotic outfit to wear to the upcoming July 4th cook-outs and fireworks. Here are a few of my favorites for inspiration:
Polka Dot Twinset by National®
You can never go wrong with polka dots in my book. This adorable ensemble includes a white tank top and a button-front shirt with white polka dots to layer over it. Whether you choose crisp Navy or festive Red, this twinset will be a patriotic favorite.
Striped Grommet Tunic by UltraSofts®
Nautical stripes are a summertime classic. A crossover tulip hem accented with metal grommets adds interest and makes this tunic feel current, but not overly trendy. I love the ¾-length sleeves and flattering scoop neck. Available in Dark Navy or Red.
Stretch Ankle Pant by National®
Nothing makes you look as polished as a well-tailored pair of pants. A flat front and slim tapered leg make these pants modern and super-versatile. Pair these pants in Red or Royal with a coordinating solid or print top in red, white and/or blue for a fun and elegant Fourth of July look.
Printed Cotton Cambric Dress by National®
Made of breezy, 100% cotton woven cambric, this lightweight dress is ideal if you are going to be outside in the July 4th heat. With a modest v-neck, calf-length ruffled hem, and raglan flutter sleeves, this pullover frock makes patriotic dressing easy. Available in Blue or Red.
It’s summer time, which means sun, sun, and more sun! Whether you are at the beach, the pool or just enjoying the great outdoors, it is important to stay covered up and protected. (See our blog post, “Sun-Safety Picks.”) We all know (or should know) about the importance of sunscreen and SPF in order to prevent skin cancer. Many of us also already know the possible signs of skin cancer, like the ABCDE rule for melanoma (Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving).
However, there’s always more to learn when it comes to skin cancer. I found this very interesting and informative article on the Family Circle website called “4 Things You Don’t Know About Skin Cancer.” Even if you think you already know it all, check out this article for some surprising facts.
UV protection is just as important for older people as it is for younger people. Here’s an article form the Skin Cancer Foundation explaining why seniors shouldn’t skip UV protection.
Protect yourself from the sun with a great hat or beach cover-up. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this past Monday’s blog post for stylish suggestions.
My 3 Favorite Color Trends for Summer
Summer is the perfect time to add a fresh pop of color to your wardrobe. Wearing a bright, revitalizing color is an instant mood booster. It also helps you stand out in a sea of neutrals, like black, navy, and khaki. Think vivid, rich colors that remind you of fresh fruit, bright flowers, a Caribbean island, or the ocean.
The Pantone® Fashion Color Report for Spring/Summer 2017 includes shades reminiscent of nature like Pink Yarrow, a lively pink hue, Island Paradise, a refreshing aqua, and Lapis Blue, an intense shade of blue. Greenery, a refreshing yellow-green shade, is the Pantone® Color of the Year for 2017.
My three favorite color trends for summer are Fruit Punch, Marine, and Bright Turquoise. If you are unsure about wearing a bold color, think about buying a basic tee for starters. These colors complement a range of skin tones and are easier to wear than you think.
- Fruit Punch
Bright pinks like Fruit Punch and Azalea always make me happy and appeal to my “girly” side. Putting on bright pink is an instant pick-me-up. Try pairing a top like our UltraSofts® Printed Tunic in Fruit Punch or a classic Donnkenny® Solid Campshirt in Azalea with crisp white pants. Our UltraSofts® Floral Delight Dress in Fruit Punch and our UltraSofts® Lightweight Stripe Dress in Azalea make for easy, one-step dressing.
Reminiscent of the deepest blue ocean, Marine blue is perfect for a day at the beach. Stay cool on hot summer days by pairing our sleeveless UltraSofts® Pintuck Top or our Kaktus® Solid Crinkle Rayon Tank in Marine with a pair of khaki or white shorts; or go for the nautical look in our striped UltraSofts® Sailor Top in Marine. Made of breezy, lightweight rayon, our Kaktus® Solid Crinkle Crepe Smocked Dress in Marine is perfect for dinner or a stroll on the boardwalk.
- Bright Turquoise
Nothing says summer like Bright Turquoise, which always reminds me of a tropical paradise. Our UltraSofts® ¾ Sleeve Boatneck Tee in Bright Turquoise has a flattering boat neck and ¾-length sleeves to take you from summer to fall. Our National® Challis Pants and Challis Tie-Front Blouse in Bright Turquoise are made from a flowy rayon that drapes beautifully. I especially love wearing dresses in summer like our Ocean Breeze Crinkle Dress in Turquoise or our Breezeway Crinkle Dress in Bright Turquoise.