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!

My Favorite Fall Trends and Why I Want Fall To Get Here Fast

Although we have plenty of hot summer days left to go here in the South, fall will be here sooner than you think. This is the time of year when I start to get tired of wearing my summer clothes, and I start yearning to wear my fall clothes again. I love wearing layers, so there is nothing I like more than the arrival of sweater weather and being able to slip on a comfy pair of jeans with a cute cardigan or jacket over a cozy flannel or UltraSofts® shirt. I especially love the rich jewel tones of fall, like Vivid Teal and Black Cherry.

In preparation for fall, here are a few of my favorite fall trends from our New Arrivals. Consider adding one or more of these fall essentials to your wardrobe:

  • Bell Sleeves and Denim (this is two hot trends in one which makes this a “must have”)
    Denim dress with bell sleeves, is a stylish win, win!

    Embroidered Bell Sleeve Dress by National®

     

  • Stripes
    Flattering on any figure.

    Stripe Knit Top by UltraSofts®

     

  • Vivid Teal, one of the season’s hottest colors

    Hidden pocket on inside is perfect for your wallet or phone.

    5-Pocket Stretch Twill Jacket by National®

  • Black Cherry, the other color you’ll be seeing a lot of
    Features a flattering inverted pleat and princess seams on the front, curved pouch pockets,

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

     

  • And of course, florals
    Bold floral print that matches with our new honey and teal fall hues.

    Floral Print Top by UltraSofts®

    What’s your favorite look for fall? Share it with us!


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Favorite Color Combos Made to Pop

Time to talk new colors! We’re excited to introduce you to two new bold shades that are perfect for transitioning into fall.

UltraSofts Embroidered Henley-Tomato

UltraSofts Embroidered Henley

Make a statement in Tomato
In the color spectrum, red is associated with energy, power, passion, and love, but in fashion, it’s the ultimate bold statement. Whether it’s an embroidered henley or a printed tee this striking color makes everything pop.

UltraSofts Floral Print Top in Tomato

UltraSofts Floral Print Top

Embrace the warm, earthy Honey
Honey falls between canary and mustard, making it one of the more wearable shades on the yellow spectrum. Honey Gold is a warm, earthy shade that works perfectly for fall, complements many of the other popular colors that will be trendy this coming season and looks gorgeous in this stretch twill jacket.

Stretch Twill Jacket in Honey

Stretch Twill Jacket

These colors look great together. Also, pair them with navy for a beautiful trio! These colors encapsulate the warm, sunny styles of late summer and the orange-red tones announcing the beginnings of fall.

Get this eye-catching look for August here. Let us know which ones you are most excited about!


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Modest Bathing Suits You’ll Feel Comfortable In

Make a splash in these cute suits.
These modest bathing suits will keep you covered up and looking cute,
so you can enjoy the moment instead of worry about any wardrobe malfunctions. They offer extra coverage, so you can enjoy the warm weather without anything else on your mind. Slip into one of these chic, stylish swimsuits—and get out there!

Double-Strap Empire Swim Dress

Double-Strap Empire Swim Dress

  • Double-Strap Empire Swim Dress by Oxygen
    Seaside or poolside, this 1-piece swim dress is a warm-weather essential. An integrated empire-style dress flairs beautifully to create an eye-catching silhouette, while the allover tribal print offers a trendy vibe. And, no matter how much fun in the sun you’re having, this bathing suit stays in place, thanks to secure shoulder straps and a full-bottom brief.

    Ruched Halter Swim Dress

    Ruched Halter Swim Dress

  • Ruched Halter Swim Dress by Oxygen
    This gorgeous scatter print one-piece suit brings oceanic vibes straight to you, even if you’re just hanging poolside. The wide halter straps provide plenty of bust support and an integrated dress with full bottom underneath offer flattering coverage around the hips, so you’ll feel unencumbered. A sweetheart neckline and ruching on the sides flatter your curves without showing off too much.

    Floral Print Tankini

    Floral Print Tankini

  • Floral Print Tankini by Oxygen
    Don’t love a full-on one-piece, but don’t want to bare all in a bikini? Try out a more modest two-piece option: the tankini. This top has a built-in soft-cup bra to keep you feeling comfortable while you enjoy the warm weather. Easy to wear, just step into it and enjoy the way it flatters your figure from all angles.

    Halter Ruched Swim Dress

    Halter Ruched Swim Dress

  • Halter Ruched Swim Dress by Oxygen
    Go for an old Hollywood look with this adorable floral one-piece bathing suit. The integrated dress to full-bottom briefs keep things feeling demure while the ruching, allover pattern, and halter tie make this suit feel fun and flirty (with a little retro flair). Pair the suit with oversized sunglasses and enjoy your summer in this flirty style.

    Geo Print Tankini Top and Swim Skirt

    Geo Print Tankini Top and Swim Skirt

  • Geo Print Tankini Top and Swim Skirt
    Soak up the sun in style with this swimwear set by Oxygen. A tankini top with a separate swim skirt provides the look of a 1-piece bathing suit but with the versatility of mixing and matching that comes from a 2 piece. The bright geometric print make this a fun and summery pick.

For these and other eye-catching styles, visit our full swimwear collection here.

Comment below which of these styles is your favorite!


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Floral Inspirations: Find the Right Flower Print for You

One of the biggest fashion trends for spring/summer 2017 has been floral prints. From the runways of major fashion designers to the pages of Vogue, beautiful florals have been everywhere. Wearing a cute floral print is an instant mood booster and always makes me feel more pretty and feminine. If you aren’t already a fan of florals, I encourage you to experiment with flower prints. National® has a wide array of floral prints, so you are sure to find one that fits your personal style and taste.

Here are a few of my favorite floral fashions to inspire you:

 

Sleeveless Floral Challis Dress

Sleeveless Challis Dress

Challis Skirt or Sleeveless Challis Dress by National®
This charming floral print in soft, flowy rayon is available in a skirt or dress. The skirt has a comfortable elastic waist, and the button-front dress has a fun double-flounce hem. Both have side-seam pockets.

Printed Polo in soft UltraSofts.

UltraSofts® Printed Polo

Printed Polo by UltraSofts®
If you aren’t into all-over floral prints, this easy-care polo shirt in our popular cotton-polyester interlock knit has a pretty border print that’s not overpowering.

Hibiscus print is so tropical and fresh.

Tropical Print Poplin Blouse

Tropical Print Detail Poplin Blouse by National®
Made of a lightweight cotton-polyester blend in an island-inspired floral print, this lightweight blouse has ¾-length sleeves with cuffs that can be turned back and a shirttail hem that can be worn tucked in or left out.

Floral Pansy Models Coat

Floral Pansy Models Coat

Floral Pansy Models Coat by Swirl®
Covered in a lovely pansy print, this housecoat is so comfortable you’ll never want to take it off. With a full snap front, generous patch pockets, and gathered front and back yokes, this models coats is a delight to wear.

What’s your favorite floral fashion? Share it with us!


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Adorable PJs

A look at my favorite cool and comfortable pajamas for the season

I don’t know about you but I like cozy pjs. They’re not just limited to nighttime; I also enjoy them while weekend lounging. And when I want to cuddle up on the couch, I want to make sure I’m as comfortable as possible.

Lately, I’ve found that, along with adding more throw blankets and candles to my home décor, I’m inspired to add new cozy pajamas to my wardrobe.

From matching sets to cute t-shirt nightgowns, here are a few pajamas that have caught my eye lately…

Ruffle Trim Plissé Pajamas by National

 

 

Moisture-Wicking V-Neck Nightshirt by Najerika Lingerie

Striped Shortie Pajamas by National

Lounging Tee and Lounging Pants by Lissome

Are you going to add a new pair of adorable pjs to your closet this season? Let me know which of the above styles is your favorite. And don’t forget to click the links to shop!


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My Top 5 Cute & Comfy Shoes

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.

At National®, we have a wide selection of casual shoes, active shoes, and sandals that are both comfy and cute. Here are a few of my favorites (and they are currently on sale, so hurry):

Hearts Sandal by Spring Step®

Hearts Sandal by Spring Step®

  1. 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®

    Janey II Walking Shoes-Seasonal by Grasshoppers®

  2. 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®

    Traveltime Walkers-Seasonal by Easy Spirit®

  3. 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®

    Skylar Espadrille Slip-On Shoes by Grasshoppers®

  4. 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.

    3)Revive RZX Trail Walkers by Ryka®

    Revive RZX Trail Walkers by Ryka®

  5. 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.

 


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Cute Sale Tops You Can Wear Now Through Fall

Cute Sale Tops You Can Wear Now Through Fall

Like anyone, I love shopping sales for a good bargain. In fact, I secretly hate paying full price for anything! I am also a big fan of transitional clothing that you can wear as the weather changes from one season into the next. In my world, there’s nothing better than getting a super deal on a season-less top that you can wear again and again.

When looking for transitional clothes, shirts with ¾ length sleeves are a great choice if, like me, you find yourself freezing when the AC is cranked full blast during the summer. You can wear ¾-sleeve tops right now when you’re in air conditioning, and as the weather gets cooler, you can layer them under cardigans and jackets.

I also recommend our UltraSofts® knit tops for transitioning between seasons. Our soft cotton-polyester interlock knit is not too thick and not too thin, making it the perfect weight for year-round wear.

Knit tops at huge savings.

Shop a collection of tops that will take you into fall with comfort and ease.

Here are a few of my favorite clearance tops that you can buy now, and wear right now through the beginning of fall (featured back row to front row, left to right):

Jacquard Cutout ¾ Sleeve Top by National®
The distinctive jacquard vine print, delicate laser-cut trim, and asymmetrical detail above the hem make this shirt stand out from the crowd.

¾ Sleeve Hampton Polo by UltraSofts®
The half zip and banded bottom make this polo shirt unique. I love the sporty white stripe along the collar, and the knit inset provides the coverage of a tank top without the extra layer.

Asymmetrical Tee by UltraSofts®
This long-sleeve top is flattering on any figure thanks to the scoop neck, longer length, and fashionable asymmetrical hem.

Ruffle Trim Top by UltraSofts®
I like to look feminine but I am not a fan of huge ruffles (too pirate shirt). This comfy top gets it just right with the subtle ruffle trim along the notch neck.

Lace Trim Tunic by UltraSofts®
I adore tunics because they are so forgiving. The pintucked front and contrasting crochet trim add just the right amount of sweetness to this one.

Have a favorite fashion trick for transitioning between seasons? Tell us about it.


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Packing Light for Getaways

I think I might be a rare type, but I love packing! Not always, but for big trips I feel like part of the excitement and joy in the experience of traveling is the time spent envisioning what you will be doing as you handpick the different outfits you will wear while away. Still, managing to pack everything you need while anticipating the weather, possible needs to dress up, AND still getting the bag to zip can be a challenge for anyone.

To put together a ready-to-go suitcase filled with what I would need for up to a week here’s a list of tips I try to follow:

Bring pants that dress up or down

Choose a color palette for your travel outfits made up of two to three neutrals and one to two accent colors if desired. I usually like to start with bottoms, selecting my most comfortable and wrinkle-resistant bottoms that will work for the destination. I like to have a couple of options both short and long. A couple of my favorite picks in this category include the UltraSofts Knit Leggings (great for dressing up or dressing down), cool and comfortable Drawstring Harem Pants by Simply Noelle, and the lightweight Chambray Drawstring shorts –taking  up barely any room in my suitcase. Maxi skirts don’t get much love on “what to pack” lists but they are my go-to favorite! Your legs are covered up, but can still breathe.  Maxi skirts are another item that can easily be dressed up or down, like this pick from Kaktus.

Choose shirts and blouses you can mix-and-match

Next, I’ll select my tops aiming to choose a mixture of a basic t-shirt or tank option, a tunic, and a dressier blouse option. Try to be dense. Folded is smaller than wadded. Folded and rolled: smaller still.

Add styling with layers

The number and type of these will vary dependent on where exactly you are going and the time of year. Having said that, it is never a bad idea to bring a light cardigan just in case. I recommend the UltraSofts cardigan—soft, lightweight and easy to slip-on when you need it. Adding additional layering options can also help create outfit options. For example, this Crochet Textured Jacket looks great over a basic tee or tank. Also, you many want to include a rain jacket in case you encounter an unexpected shower during your trip.

Give variety to basics with accessories

Traveling during the summer season means it is usually always a good idea to keep a pair of sunglasses and hat handy. The Rollaway Sun Hat is great for packing and can be tucked into a handbag or into your luggage for easy transport. I like to pack a lightweight scarf and necklace as well to dress up some of my basics. This is also a time to bring in those miscellaneous clothing items like your favorite swimsuit which might be nice to have just in case.

Stay tuned for how to mix-and-match these outfit options later this week.


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Strike a Pose: Find the Right Yoga for You

I remember my first yoga class well. I have never been very limber (I can’t even touch my toes), so I went with the main goal of improving my flexibility. The class was much harder than I was expecting. Since I am not the most naturally graceful person (in other words, clumsy), finding my balance was tricky, and I sweated a lot more than I thought I would.


Photo from Sixty & Me

But I loved learning the yoga poses (asanas) and the holistic aspect of it—the joining of mind, body and spirit. I enjoyed the mindful breathing and the physical and mental awareness it brought me. All it took was that one class, and I was hooked.

As I spent more time on the mat, I tailored the series of poses I did to meet my changing personal fitness goals. Because you can customize your practice according to your needs and ability, yoga is a very flexible (excuse the pun) form of exercise that is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Even if you can’t stand on your own, you can still do seated poses. Yoga is for everyone!


Photo from Sixty & Me

There are several different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Bikram, which can make it very confusing when you are looking for a class or video. If you are new to yoga, I recommend Hatha. It is slower moving and requires you to hold poses for only a few breaths.  Its relaxing pace is perfect for beginners.

Gentle Yoga is ideal for older people, as well as anyone who is recovering from an injury or who has a physical limitation. Check out a 15-Minute Gentle Yoga Sequence for Seniors and Chair Yoga Poses for All Ages on the website DoYouYoga, and 5 Beginner Yoga Poses for Seniors on The Chopra Center (as in Deepak Chopra) website. The website Sixty & Me is another good resource for Chair Yoga videos and articles on Yoga for Seniors.


Photo from Sixty & Me

One of my favorite yoga websites is Yoga with Adriene by Adriene Mishler, a yoga teacher and actress from Austin, TX. Her YouTube channel has a huge selection of videos that address a variety of health issues, like Yoga for Migraines, Yoga for Sciatica, or Yoga for Wrist Pain.

She also has videos for different times of the day. You can do an energizing series of poses in the morning to wake up or a relaxing series of poses in the evening to wind down. If you only have 10 or 15 minutes, she has shorter practices called Yoga for Busy People.


Photo from Yoga with Adriene

You can practice yoga for a lifetime, and it provides a myriad of health benefits at any age. It can reduce high blood pressure, strengthen bones, protect your joints, improve balance and stability (which can help prevent falls as you grow older), curtail anxiety, boost your mood, and help to keep extra pounds off.

As always, please check with your doctor before starting this or any other exercise program.


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Easy Dressing: Comfy Summer Dresses

I love wearing dresses in the summer. Not only are they cool on hot days, they make getting dressed a “no brainer.” There’s nothing easier than slipping into a breezy frock and dressing your ensemble up or down with shoes and accessories. I especially like dresses that won’t wrinkle when I pack them for a weekend getaway to the beach or mountains.

Here are my favorite comfortable summer dresses (and they are all currently on sale):

Available in solid black, maroon or black with white polka dots (my personal pick), this adorable dress is oh-so-forgiving thanks to a ruched waistline. The easy-care polyester-spandex knit is wrinkle resistant, making it perfect for traveling. Pair it with our Classic Cardigan Sweater and wear it into the fall.

I love stripes, and the combination of horizontal stripes on top and diagonal stripes on bottom along with a v-shaped waistline make this dress super-flattering. Made of our easy-care, cotton-polyester interlock knit, which won’t wrinkle in your suitcase, it’s another good pick for traveling. Pair it with one of our nautical accessories. (See my blog post “5 Must-Have Nautical Accessories” for ideas.)

Why do I love this dress? Let me count the ways. First, it comes in a rainbow of beautiful colors. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Second, it is lightweight, all-natural crinkle cotton, which means there is no need to iron it—ever! Finally, it is flowy and easy to wear with a pretty ruffled hem and patch pockets to hold essentials, like my keys, cell phone, and some tissues.

If you haven’t joined our free e-mail list, sign up today and enjoy additional savings on our entire dress collection this Sunday, June 11.

 

 


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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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