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!
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.
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):
- Softwear by Swann® Suddenly Slender™ Knit Dress
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.
- UltraSofts® Mia Sailor Dress
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.)
- National® Crinkle Cotton Dress
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.
Choosing the right swimsuit is an apparent way to amp up your shoreside style, but what goes over that swimsuit is just as important. Whether you’re spending the day poolside, lounging on the beach or are just dressing for warm weather, a bathing suit cover-up is a must-have for this sunny season.
Swimsuit cover-ups are perfect for staying out and about at the beach and protecting your skin after several hours of sun bathing. A tee or a towel may be your current go-to option, but you’ll be amazed how a beach dress can help you feel better, more feminine, and more stylish.
The great thing about swimsuit cover-ups is that many of them can also double as sundresses. I love it when I can buy one piece of clothing and use it for more than one purpose. The options are endless!
Right now, the trend of wearing more unique pieces to the beach is in full swing. Try a leopard-print caftan to achieve a fun, playful vibe. The graphic print is stylish and daring, sure to catch some attention on the sand. I love this lightweight long caftan style from Metropolitan, perfectly paired with our Roni Slide Sandals and Rollaway Sun Hat.
Consider adding a sun hat to your beach outfit as well. It really spruces up the look. Try a wide brim hat for extra protection for your face from the sun.
Boardwalk to beach or patio to pool–don’t forget to grab the perfect cover-up to go with that perfect swimsuit! See more of our favorite swim accessories here.
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.
Back in the fall, we announced a new brand partnership with Simply Noelle. This collection was brought online in part because Lynda wanted to celebrate and support a fellow woman-led, North Carolina company and also because their designs are some of her favorites. Simply Noelle is based right here in North Carolina in the historic port city of Wilmington. Founded in 2005 by president and industry veteran Deb Groh, Simply Noelle is known for creating high quality and affordable products that women love to wear. The product line features exclusively designed women’s fashions, accessories, gifts and more.
Simply Noelle has certainly made its mark on the apparel industry. The brand was recognized as a top company to watch in 2012 and as the top apparel line in 2013 by Giftbeat magazine. Simply Noelle continues to create flattering silhouettes in easy-to-care-for fabric, ideal for layering and perfectly versatile for all seasons. Simply Noelle’s designs appeal to women of all age ranges because of their ability to bridge together comfort and style, two things every woman appreciates in their wardrobe.
Since its arrival, our line of Simply Noelle products has steadily grown. We have added new lightweight items for spring and summer. The popularity of this brand is growing, and with that comes the addition of even more new styles from this designer. Keep an eye out for new Simply Noelle apparel available this fall. Until then, I’ll be sporting a personal favorite, the Trapeze Tunic (the Caribbean blue is perfect for summer!).
Want a Free Pair of Simply Noelle sunglasses?
For a limited time, with any swimsuit purchase on our site you will receive a free pair of Simply Noelle fashion sunglasses (plus a protective case to store them!) in your choice of brown or black. You can shop our full swimwear collection here.
If you are already wearing Simply Noelle designs, let us know your favorite pieces in the comment box below. And if you haven’t tried them yet, consider taking a look at our current Simply Noelle collection here. We think you’ll like these apparel styles as much as we do!
Dressing for this past weekend was a little tricky. On Friday, I kept it light and breezy in shorts and a t-shirt. Saturday morning, I bundled up in a long dress and sweater but found myself shedding the sweater and finding a sleeveless dress soon after the late afternoon sun set in.
Mornings can be chilly and afternoons blazing hot – so around here, we need layers! Personally, I opt for a sleeveless tank beneath a 3/4 length shirt or wrap to make for easy layering. Couple these items with a breezy skirt or lightweight pants for the perfect warm weather ensemble.
How do you prepare for the changing seasons? Click on the images below to see more of my layering pics, and share your recommendations with me in the comment section below!
Happy sunny Monday,
The quickest and most impactful way to change a room? Paint! My husband and I recently moved into our new home where we will welcome baby girl Wilson. Our home was painted beaituflly before we moved in shades of light grey and white (100% my style!)
While I love muted color palettes, sometimes a room needs a bit of bright. I opt for icy shades of mint and blue to complement the rest of our home. My two recent favorite finds include Neon Mint and Cool Elegance – both Valspar colors and easy to match at Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore!
I am also strangely in love with various shades of cream and white. Below are a few options to bring a calming and cheerful look to your home. (Just click on the image to go directly to the paint color).
Picking a paint can certainly pose its challenges. I recommend purchasing a small piece of sheetrock, available at any hardware store, and painting two coats onto the board to best test out the color. Make sure you glance at the walls a few times during the day, as light will change its overall appearance. In addition, remember that – once painted on every wall – it will likely become bolder in color as it reflects off of each corner and space in the room.
What are your favorite home colors? You never know when I’ll be up for a change – so share your go-tos with me in the comment section below.
You likely read a lot about UltraSofts fabric over here. That’s because I am a big fan of casual comfort and quality fabrics that hold shape and color – wash after wash!
In search of comfort that held its shape, my mother – Lynda Swann – developed this blended fabric and has since supported our merchandising team in creating fresh new looks using UltraSofts fabric. The fabric is a unique blend of polyester and cotton, thereby affording each piece fantastic color stay properties and easy-to-maintain shape.
For transitional seasons and warmer weather, this specialty crafted fabric is ideal for all-day wear. While you may be accustomed to seeing many of our staple items in bright colors for the season, click on the images below to review some of our patterned options – available in UltraSofts fabrication!
What are your favorite UltraSofts pieces? Share images with me in the comment section below or write in your favorite style!
Let’s be honest. Given that I am officially 8.5 months pregnant with my first child, I am a big fan of comfortable style. I have learned – in all these months of shifting sizes – that style and comfort can coexist. And truthfully, they should – no matter what season of life we may find ourselves in!
So what have become my go-to pieces as the weather warms? On work days, I select relaxed fit pants or comfortable leggings and pair those with a flowy blouse or tunic. To dress up my style and add fun to my look, I opt for a bright solid or printed tunic. On the weekends, you will find me in shorts and a loose fitting t-shirt or a breezy and lightweight dress (because the sun is shining bright in the Carolinas these days!)
Click on the images below for available favorites at ShopNational.com. What are your favorite options for casual and sophisticated style? Share with me in the comment section below!
While it’s still chilly here in North Carolina, Easter is around the corner. I’ve put away (most of) my black tops and dresses and swapped them out for bright corals, light blues, and pale yellows.
During this transitional time of Spring, I couple sleeveless tops with 3/4 length shirts to offer more warmth during the cooler times of day. For a simple, on-the-go look, I pick from a number of UltraSofts dresses (two of my favorites, pictured below!)
How do you brighten your wardrobe this time of year? Share your tips with me in the comment section below, and click on the images to shop more of my favorite options for Spring!
Happy (almost) Easter,