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!
With Spring around the corner, it’s never too early to think about UPF-protectant clothing for the season ahead.
UPF clothing (also referred to as “UV clothing”) is specially designed to screen out both UVA and UVB rays.
UPF 50+ is considered excellent protection. This is rated according to the ASTM D6603.
Did you know that all of our UltraSofts® products incorporate excellent UV protection? You can choose from an array of silhouettes and bright spring colors without sacrificing the critical importance of UPF clothing.
As spring approaches, I have started the hunt for a great “in between” weather layering option. Below are four of my favorite ¾-length sleeve options, all in bright and cheerful colors for the upcoming season. Layer with athletic clothing for a casual look or denim jeans and black slacks for a more “dressed up” version.
Which one is your favorite?
Meet fashion icon, consultant, and blog influencer, Julie D. Harbour of Stylish Paradox! We so enjoy seeing her unique, innovative sense of style (check out what she did with this Sleep Dress by Shadowline® 😱), and recently I was able to grab her perspective on what’s trending for the new year and late winter months.
It’s a new year and a new decade! What trend are you most excited to implement in the coming months? And what trend do you foresee taking over closets this spring?
I’m really excited about the polka trend that is returning this year. I’ve always been drawn to polka dots, and as we know styles are always in and out of fashion. I’ve never stopped wearing them, so it’ll really be style business as usual! I can really envision the neon hues and crochets pieces being all the rage in 2020.
Do you do any “spring cleaning” in the New Year to make room or simplify your closet? What is your overall strategy in deciding what to keep? (I.e. what are some classic staples you rotate year over year).
Definitely! Although I regularly clean out my closet, there is something about the beginning of the year that gets me in gear for a new wardrobe beginning!
My thought is that there are certain essentials that are must haves for a well rounded wardrobe! To mix and match with all the other garments I have in my closet, I maintain these pieces: a couple of classic white button down shirts, jeans, pants and skirts in black, blue and/or beige, 2 pairs of pumps in black and camel, loafers in black and camel, a classic jean jacket, black and red blazers and well made t-shirts in black and white.
What are your go-to SHOES for the late winter months?
My go-to shoes for the late winter months this year are combat boots, loafers and the classic pump. Right now, I’m really crushing on my latest purchase; a pair of black, steel toed combat boots with pearl embellishments. They are so edgy, but feminine at the same time.
Are you prone to boots or close toed heels?
I wear both equally the same. Since I do a whole lot of walking on the weekdays, I prefer my (low-heeled) boots. On the weekends/evenings, especially for special events or occasions, I pull out my stilettos!
What is your FAVORITE fashion moment from 2019?
Personally, it was wearing the most beautiful black and white ball gown to my husband’s fraternity holiday gala. Last year I decided I would never purchase an evening gown from an “everyday store”, but always buy from a unique boutique. A boutique/place where it would be least likely that someone would show up to an event in the same gown I am wearing.
Did you know National has its own Web-Exclusive products? Online, you can find an array of loungewear, accessories, and clothing not highlighted in the catalog. One brand showcased on our Web-Exclusive line is Simply Noelle, a company founded right here in Wilmington, North Carolina (the town I call home)!
Each product is carefully crafted with incredible fabrics and beautiful lines. The pieces are perfect for layering and transitioning seamlessly between seasons. Currently available as a Web Exclusive are three unique items, each a must-have for a cozy winter.
Whether you opt for an easy-to-layer cardigan, the perfect plaid, or a versatile henley – you can’t go wrong with Simply Noelle!
Which one is your favorite?
Stay warm everyone and have a great week!
I wish you could see my closet circa 2006. It was magical – beautiful red patent leather heels pushing me an extra 4-5 inches taller (ironic considering I am already 5’9”), brown suede stilettos with pink stitching, and a pair of gold high heels with rhinestones that would knock your socks off.
In 2007, I sustained a lower back injury that landed me in surgery and forced me to say goodbye to my beautiful stilettos. I consigned every pair of shoes with heels two inches or more. High heels can strain calf muscles and tighten quads, ultimately leading to knee and lower back issues. I learned this the hard way, but have found a new shoe path!
My new shoes of choice? Flats! Since investing in high quality, flat loafers I have found far more versatility in shoe options and – of course – a lot of comfort. Equally important to a low heel is the level of support within a flat shoe. Below are four options that check all the boxes for me – style, comfort, support, and versatility.
Which pair is your favorite?
You know I love fashion…and also, I crave simplicity. As such, I’m prone to selecting quality staples for my closet and adding novelty items to create multiple outfits without a lot of leftover and unused apparel items. Below are six staple pieces I recommend adding to your closet for 2020. Let’s start with the hardest thing to purchase–in my opinion….pants!
Every woman needs a great, comfortable pair of jeans. National’s knit jeans are a great option for any time of year. If you’re like me and prefer a bit more detail to your look, opt for the flowy denim pants (my go-to for spring and summer thanks to the lightweight construction). Palazzo pants made a roaring comeback this year and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon. I recommend keeping these on hand for 2020.
Next up, tops to complement your new pant assortment. You know I’m a fan of layering, so I’ve selected three pieces that are easily paired or worn on their own. First up, National’s oh-so-soft mock turtleneck. This classic look transitions season to season with ease, especially with the addition of our fly away cardigan (which comes in an array of colors!) Lastly, and my personal favorite, the always classic button down blouse. You can wear this open over a sleeveless top or buttoned and tucked into your favorite pair of slacks.
What staples will you have on hand for 2020? Share with me in the comment section below!
If you’ve followed along with me for any length of time, you know our family is a traveling one. We will venture almost anywhere on I-40 to visit with family. With the holidays around the corner, we’re gearing up for the big drive once more!
We’re headed back up to “the hills” this weekend in preparation for Christmas with our families. The temperatures vary throughout the week, but one thing is for sure – comfort and warmth are top priorities for late nights on the back porch!
Below are my absolute must haves for the winter months. Each one is cozy enough for lounging around the house or pairing with a long sleeve shirt and jeans for a jaunt about town. Easy to pack with minimal wrinkles, these are great additions to any winter wardrobe!
Which piece is your favorite?
Safe holiday travels,
Ruth Maldonado of Ruthie Annie Blog loves every stylish element that creates a wonderful wardrobe. She is inspirational, loves new trends, and styles the classics with grace. She definitely thrives on all things vintage, just see for yourself! We welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with Ruth as one of our recent Blog Influencer’s. She rocked her outfit in a series of styles that wowed our audience. Check out the interview below, with our very own Style Performer:
How do you define style, and what is your personal style description?
I define style as an individual’s unique fashion sense in putting together a complete outfit. My PERSONAL style would be classically comfortable, with a touch of boho and edginess.
When you begin your look for the day, how do you begin? (I.e. how do you source inspiration? A color, pattern, one piece?)
I usually have a color in mind that I’m wanting to wear based on a piece of clothing. I also start my day with my makeup and sometimes I build my outfit based around a dark smokey eye or maybe a shade of lipstick. I also think about what I’m doing that particular day as well, for instance if I’m teaching an art class, I definitely go towards a more casual look; but if I’m going to be out and about for lunch etc. then I will pull out some special pieces that make a statement. If I am starting to feel I have nothing to wear, I will go to Pinterest and start looking at different color combinations for some inspiration.
What is your absolute must-have staple item for winter?
Boots! I live in the Pacific Northwest and it is cold, rainy, and snowy during the Winter season. I wear boots every single day and love having a variety-from ankle boots, knee high boots and over the knee boots, to switch up my looks while keeping my feet warm and dry.
What trend are you most excited to incorporate next Spring?
I am so excited to incorporate bold patterns and colors in the spring! Bright colors are always fun to bring into the Spring season and combining that with 60s and 70s patterns is going on; it’s going to be welcomed after the darker shades for winter.
We welcome the chance to see how you rock and roll into Spring 2020; thanks for joining the ShopNational family Ruth!
‘Tis the season for cuddling up in Cuddl Duds®. This longtime favorite brand has been a staple at National for as long as I can remember! Each piece offers luxurious comfort and comes in a variety of colors, making it the perfect gift for anyone in your family.
Cuddl Duds® offers thermals, loungewear, and even pieces suitable for outdoor activities. Below are my top four recommendations to start your “Cuddl Duds® Kit.”
Long sleeve tunic: With its beautiful brushed print and long, flowy silhouette, this shirt is a great option for out and about jaunts in the cool morning air. Pair it with relaxed sweats or jeans for a more finished look.
Tunic hoodie: This piece is so versatile. It moves from lounging to hiking with ease. My favorite feature? Thumbholes of course!
Fleece tunic: For cold weather travel, this is an absolute must. Fashionable enough to layer as a tunic for dinner and just the right amount of warmth for lounging by the fire, the Cuddl Duds® fleece tunic is a staple in my “Christmas travels packup” every year.
Fleece lounge pants: Mission critical addition: fleece lounge pants. These pants pair perfectly with any of the aforementioned products. Enjoy endless comfort all season long in these must-haves.
Stay cuddly, my friends!
Last week, I shared a few of my favorite Thanksgiving lounge options. Admittedly, when writing to you, I was sitting in the moderate climate of Wilmington, NC. However, Blowing Rock received its first round of snow yesterday and my clothing requirements quickly changed for the month ahead.
We head back to our family in the NC mountains for Christmas, and this time – I will be well prepared. From flannel to chenille, National’s fabrications offer softness and warmth without sacrificing quality and style. I have included my favorite robes and loungers. Whether you are searching for an easy-to-wear housecoat, a versatile lounge dress or a blanket soft zip up robe, our product team has curated a beautiful selection for you to enjoy (and of course….to give as the perfect gift!)
What is your preferred fabrication? Share which option you like most!