RACK of STYLE

As a young gal growing up in the world of retail, I hopped on the fashion train way too early. Despite my efforts to destroy any evidence of some of my early fashion choices, hints of my styling efforts creep up every now and then. Thankfully, I have found the straight and narrow of the styling world – in other words, I know how to work a closet! Check back each week for glimpses of my favorite fabrics, colors, and go-to styling tips!

Getting into the Little Black Dress

We all know it’s coming. And we certainly can’t escape it.

Holidays.

Parties.

Dressing up.

And that little. black. dress.

Today, I am covering a topic we simply love to avoid but walk through every day. We spend hours selecting just the right dress. We peruse rows on rows of complementary accessories. We slip in and out of thirteen pairs of shoes before landing in the most (comfortable) stylish options.

But – if you’re anything like me – you’re glazing over the very important and not-so-fun necessities of what goes on underneath the dress!

Trying to find seamless and flattering intimates can be a daunting task. Thankfully, ShopNational has an array of products with varied fit to provide the right amount of support without sacrificing comfort. When I am wearing a more fitted dress, I opt for a high waisted panty with tummy control. (This gives me room to eat a little bit more at a Thanksgiving table, of course!) Especially while nursing my little one, I prefer a bra without underwire but generous in support.

Intimates are such a personal purchase, and we know the right items are often difficult to find. If you have any challenges selecting what’s best for you, call our fit experts in Customer Service at 1-800-480-4673.

Look through our fit guidelines and many selections to find the best option for you by clicking on the images below!

Happy dressing,

Parker


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Cuddling up with Cuddl Duds

This past weekend, we got our first taste of true crisp weather, as my cousin celebrated her wedding on a farm in eastern North Carolina. A cold front had all of us bundled up on the back porch with a roaring fire and steaming hot coffee.

Sunday morning, I woke up to find my mother decked to the nines in her favorite ShopNational Cuddl Duds. Without a moment of hesitation, I shouted “where did you find those? I need them all!” (Clearly I’d not perused the site as of late!) The fabric combination is luxurious. The colors are soft. The fit is idyllic. The style is versatile. Just a few of the many reasons we love this brand!

I find Cuddl Duds the easiest style to wear for either lounging around the house or making a quick run to the store. Below are some of my favorite styles for this season – all available at ShopNational.


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Halloween Traditions Continued

I grew up in a family that went all out for Halloween. My Grandfather had extraordinary costumes every year. National welcomed each and every employee in full Halloween decor and – to this day – celebrates the holiday with cupcakes and fanfare in our front lobby. But, without question, the best part of that magical day: family themed costumes.

My grandfather, Eddie Smith, as Elvis

As a child, I eagerly anticipated our family themed costumes. For a few years, my father got his lifelong wish and lead our neighborhood hay rides as Zorro – (play) sword and all. One year, he dressed as Prince Eric and carried me – the Little Mermaid – door to door. Even though I was clearly old enough to walk, he refused to let us break character. But it was my first Halloween memory that remains my favorite family themed costume: The Wizard of Oz.

This year, we started our first family themed Halloween as “A Barrel of Monkeys,” symbolizing a favorite game I played frequently as a child. As long as Hatton will let us, we plan on coordinating themes for many years to come!

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? Do you have themed costumes to share? Tell us more in the comment section below!


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Lounging in Softness | Robes for Fall

On those crisp fall mornings of my childhood, I can still remember the pleasant alarm clock of sizzling bacon and eggs making its way into my bedroom. I would throw on my plushy slippers and make my way downstairs to find my mother sipping her coffee and enjoying a slow morning in her cozy robe.

Here I am, two decades later, with my own daughter and my own plushy robe…sipping coffee and prepping bottles for the day. I somehow associate that robe with adulthood…as if I’ve arrived, and I now get my very own “mom uniform.” Last year, I purchased a fleece tie robe from ShopNational.com and have essentially lived in it during these first few months of Hatton’s life. Now in search of something a bit more “mailbox run” suitable, I am perusing new arrivals and our most popular items from a great selection of cozy robes!

Click on the images below to see some of my favorites. Which one would you pick?

 


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Tunic Styles for Fall

Photo Credit: The Travel Channel 

Another week below 65 degrees – can I get a hallelujah and an amen? It has been such fun pulling my favorite pieces each day for fall. This morning, I searched high and low for my favorite black leggings – only to realize they have yet to emerge from the laundry pile (new mom alert!)

In an effort to look (somewhat) presentable for the day, I retrieved another favorite – dark jeans and a tunic. This look is simple, colorful, and versatile for the changing weather in the Carolinas. I typically pair a long tunic with straight jeans or leggings and accessorize with a long statement necklace or infinity scarf. Below are a few of my favorite styles, just in and available now, at ShopNational.com. Click on the images to find out more!

How do you style tunics? What are your go-to colors for fall? Share more with me in the comment section below!

Happy Monday,
Parker


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Accessorizing with Scarves

Y’all.

The temperature today in North Carolina…it’s below 50 degrees! Almost overnight, fall has descended upon us and I am thrilled!

In case you didn’t know, this season is my favorite. As the leaves brighten into shades of orange and yellow, our scorching summers dissipate beneath the cool breeze of October. My calendar fills up with plans for the holidays, and everything around our home smells of pumpkin.

Yesterday, I shifted my warm weather clothes to the back of my closet and pulled all of my scarves (and there are many) up front! I love the flexibility of scarves, both open and infinity. Some of my favorite styling options include:

Doubled Up or Draped

Infinity scarves can often be doubled for a chunky look atop any neckline style you choose. In warmer climates, consider pairing a scoop or v-neck shirt with the looped once, draping almost like a long necklace.

Opened or Knotted

Open scarves offer so many styling options! Wear tight around the neck like a choker or knot at the bottom for an elegant and sophisticated look.

 

Click on the above image to shop available styles at ShopNational.com. What are your favorite ways to accessorize this season? Share your ideas with me in the comment section below!

Happy fall,

Parker


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The Active Look of Fall

(Photo Credit: The Travel Channel)

With brisk air cooling off my morning walks and tempting me into sunset strolls, I find myself spending a good part of my day in casual wear! Today’s elegant selections in leisurewear afford comfort and style – all in one easy-to-combine look.

When I shop for pieces to complement my active lifestyle, I look for three specific things in my ideal selection:

Comfort – If I am going to wear something from morning to night, it must be comfortable. I look at the fabric content, silhouette, and fit to make certain it is best suited for all day wear!

Versatility – I love a piece that can transition from a casual look to “all dolled up” for a dinner date. To exist in my closet, it must easily pair with workout leggings and beautiful slacks.

Style – It almost goes without saying. The right piece needs an element of flair that makes it something extra special. Consider something with a specialty neckline, asymmetrical hem, embellishment, or other fun details!

Below are a few of my go-to pieces for more active days. What are your favorites and how do you style them? Share with me in the comment section below.

Happy trails,
Parker

 

UltraSofts Drawstring Cowl Neck Tunic

 

Trapeze Tunic by Simply Noelle

 

Touch of Heaven Tunic Sweater by Softwear by Swann


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Pink and Gray – Here to Stay!

Pink and gray is a classic color combination that never goes out of style, and one that you can wear all year-round. While you may think of jewel tones like Black Cherry and Vivid Teal as traditional colors for fall, pastels are all the rage this year. According to the Pantone color report for Fall 2017, the top 10 colors from the designer runways include Ballet Slipper, a pale pink, and Neutral Gray.

Wearing pink and gray together is easy. Gray is one of the most versatile colors and makes a great foundation for your wardrobe.  Every woman should have a pair of gray pants or a gray skirt that she can pair with a pink shirt or sweater, or try layering a pretty pink shirt under a gray sweater or vest. Check out this article on Popsugar for additional ideas on how to wear pink and gray.

Don’t limit yourself to just wearing pink and gray. You can also use pink and gray when decorating your house. Pairing pink and gray is one of the hottest interior design trends for 2017.

Here are a few of my favorite pink and gray fashion finds:

UltraSofts® Stripe Knit Top

 

Striped Sweater by National®

 

Maxi Knit Skirt by National®

 

Long Sweater Vest by National®

 

UltraSofts® Lace Trim Top

 

 

 

Classic Cardigan Sweater by National®

 

 

 

What is your favorite pink and gray look? Share it with us!


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Modest Clothing Is Back in a Big Way

When it comes to the fashion cycle, they say that if something was in style once, it will come back into style eventually (even hair scrunchies). After years of shorter and shorter hemlines and tighter and tighter clothing, dressing modestly is finally back in style.

From longer hemlines and full sleeves, to looser shapes and higher necklines, modest clothing is seeing a huge resurgence in popularity.

Although people usually associate conservative dressing with older women, this new modest fashion trend is being driven by younger women who want to look fresh and modern, while not showing too much skin. To meet the demand for trendy but modest clothing, there are a number of online clothing stores catering to younger women, like Sweet Salt Clothing, ModLi, Mikarose, and Dainty Jewell’s. For millennials who want to look elegant and stylish while still being covered up, they now have ladies like Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and fashionista Olivia Palermo as inspiration.

While modest clothing is more popular than ever with the younger generation, dressing conservatively appeals to women of all ages. Many women choose to dress modestly for religious reasons, which is why the modest fashion trend is extremely popular with Mormons, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims. But women dress modestly for a multitude of reasons. Some women dress modestly because they find it empowering; they are tired of receiving negative attention for wearing a short skirt. Other women dress traditionally for professional reasons; they want to be taken seriously at work. Then there are some women who dress modestly simply for comfort.

Let’s face it, the bare midriffs, too-short skirts, and “bodycon” bandage dresses you see on the fashion runways have no practical place in the average woman’s wardrobe, which is why the modest fashion trend is so refreshing. At National® we have modest clothing that is comfortable and generously cut. It’s clothing you can wear every day in your real life.

When it comes to dressing, I have always believed in looking lady-like and not wearing anything too revealing. I also am a big believer in dressing for comfort, but that doesn’t mean you have to look frumpy. You can look chic and stylish while still being covered up.

Here are a few of my favorite modest looks:

Wanderlust Tunic

Wanderlust Print Tunic by Simply Noelle®

 

Enjoy the all-natural comfort of 100% cotton denim with our Embroidered Bell Sleeve Dress.

Embroidered Bell Sleeve Dress by National®

This women's tunic shirt has long sleeves, dropped shoulders, and a stylish shark-bite hem.

Striped Cowl Neck Tunic by Allie & Rob®

A fresh interpretation of a traditional customer favorite, our Tiered Denim Skirt provides a beautiful foundation for any outfit.

Tiered Denim Skirt by National®

 

100% cotton flannel brushed for softness, this women's tunic shirt has a round neckline with a button placket, long sleeves with button cuffs, and forward shoulders.

Mad for Plaid Tunic by National®

 

It's the details that make this Heathered Tunic extra special.

Heathered Tunic by Simply Noelle®

 

This women's dress features a flattering inverted pleat and princess seams on the front, curved pouch pockets, ¾-length sleeves, and a rounded neckline.

Wear-Ever-You-Go Knit Dress by UltraSofts®

 

What are your favorite modest clothing looks? What does dressing modestly mean to you?


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5 Things My Mom Taught Me About Fashion

As a young child, I recall standing in my mother’s closet – somewhat in awe. I would slip my tiny feet into her black high heels and drape a long strand of faux pearls around my neck. I can remember clacking into the kitchen thinking I’d never looked better. From a very early age, I admired my mother’s elegant and bold sense of style.

Now, as a new mom to a baby girl, I am trying to redefine my style choices to include simple and easy-to-wear looks. I find myself relying on some principles I gleaned early on in life. Today, I am sharing my top five fashion tips – all taken from growing up with one chic Mama!

1. When in doubt, start with neutrals.

Maintaining a simple look often requires me to fall back on neutrals. No fuss selections include solid black shirts paired with denim jeans or khaki slacks, and a neutral scarf to add some flair.

UltraSofts Side Pocket Tunic

2. Accessories can make (or break) a look.

With a long necklace, choose simple stud earrings. With a scoop or v-neck shirt, opt for a statement necklace or long drop earrings. And of course – a scarf ( my mother’s staple accessory) is seasonally appropriate anytime of year!

Infinity Scarf

3. Never fear color.

My mother weaves color seamlessly into her wardrobe. If new to the color game, consider bringing it into your look through shoes or accessories against a neutral base. Alternatively, pair simple pants with a patterned or solid color shirt. Not sure if a color suits your skin tone? Start simple – shades of blue, green and purple often cool colors that work well with all complexions!

Mad for Plaid Flannel Tunic

4. Layers flatter every figure.

A long tank top, fitted leggings and a flared tunic – feels like my mother’s staple look and one I absolutely adore. Consider layering your look, both for comfort and for style points! Remember, you can layer a longer shirt, such as our lace trimmed tank, beneath a blouse or sweater for added style without the hassle.

Stylish Fringe Wrap

5. Confidence is your best fashion staple.

Fashion is fun! Never let yourself become confined by rules. Instead choose items that make you feel like your best self, because you are your greatest look!

What are some of your “fashion best practices,” and who most inspires your sense of style? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below!

 

Happy styling,

Parker


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parker

I am Parker. My mom, Lynda, is the owner and President of National Wholesale. We are a woman’s apparel company that I’m hoping you know about but if not, you’ll be inspired to learn. We’ve been around since 1952. And the business was started by my entrepreneurial grandfather, “Georgie” with the support of my grandmother, GaGa. I’ve been surrounded by clothing and hosiery since the day I was born. I've also been surrounded by the drive to stay in business, which means connecting with our customers.

So, this is my story.

And in a way, yours too. Welcome.

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