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.

Celebrating Our History-Remembering Our Beloved Founder

It’s a Celebration-Founder’s Day. Mr. Smith had a true love and passion for bringing comfort and happiness to his customers’ lives. 

Humble Beginnings-Trust 1927

At 8-years-old, our founder Eddie Smith along with his three siblings find themselves parentless. Because their extended family can’t provide for them, they are sent to the Lexington Junior Order Orphanage. Here, along with 260 other children, they are raised as a family. These humble beginnings create a sense of responsibility and community in Eddie that will last him his lifetime. At the orphanage, he’s placed in charge of Sam the mule. When asked about Sam, Eddie would say,”It’s the best job I ever had.” From hauling in the milk, to taking out the trash, everyone depended on Eddie. Read more about the rich His-Story of Mr. Smith!

Today, we continue to celebrate🎉his legacy⚜️with classic favorites, which you’ll love for years to come!

 

Our Beloved, Mr. Eddie Smith

 

Happy 101st Birthday, we will love you always,

Your National Family

 


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Weekend Travel Essentials for Fall

A new season means new adventures and new memories are on the horizon. As fall approaches, there are many things I am excited to explore. That being said, when I think about travel, I must have the perfect travel clothing.

These days I keep it sweet and simple! My goto brand is UltraSofts® for easy travel gear. I have selected a few things I’ll be packing and I thought you you might enjoy how easy this fall collection folds with ease and requires no ironing. Yep, that’s right ladies, I’m talking easy, breezy fall travel clothing from National, for your next adventure!

Criss Cross Tunic
UltraSofts®

Diamond Print Pants
UltraSofts®

Criss Cross Tunic
UltraSofts®

Happy trails,

Ronelle

 

 


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Time to Add a Little Duster

With the cool weather coming our way, I have the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe. A Duster or Kimono works great this time of year. I have several of these in my fall closet. They act as the perfect compliment for your personal fall style.

Last winter, I even paired dusters with a light turtleneck. So they prove to be wildly versatile and super sassy! National offers many style choices and I for one, intend to snag them all. I will show you some of my favs below. Dusters and Kimonos are among the perfect transitional clothing for fall.

Chevron Duster Tunic
National®

Floral Kimono
LVS Collections

Animal Print Kimono
Jessica McClintock

 

Happy dusting,

Ronelle

 

 

 


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Embrace the Transition to Fall

With thoughts of the crisp air that is soon to flow our way, I believe we are all waiting with zealous anticipation. Boy, it sure has been a hot summer, right ladies? I am positive I’ve gone down a dress size or two with the amount of “moisture” released from this ol’ body (a girl can dream, now can’t she?).

I am super excited, as I’ve said before, to style my fall wardrobe. What tickles me even more, is National’s new fall collection. From warm and fuzzy, delicate and pretty, to a hint of the wild side, there are fall outfits to dress you for any occasion. Everyone loves a little leopard-oh don’t you worry, National has just the right amount of animal print to keep you on trend. Let’s not forget to accessorize, I’ve got the perfect new design of pearl earrings you’ll just love to showcase all season!

Here are a few of my favorites coming your way now:

Crochet Button-Front Blouse
Citicraze®

Animal Print Kimono
Jessica McClintock

Pearl Neckline Top
UltraSofts®

Pearl Dangle Earrings
Carol Dauplaise®

Charmy Loafers
Hush Puppies®

 

So, fill the house with cinnamon and pumpkin goodness because fall is knocking on your door. I know, I know, it still feels like a heatwave, but as I’ve said, a girl can dream, right? Ha! Ha! Ha!

Happy fall ya’ll,

Ronelle

 

 


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Our Seven Week Texas Treat

Occasionally, you are gifted a treasure you know will be for keeps. Here at National, our gift was and will always be, Ms. Kylee Willmoth. Kylee hails from Cypress, Texas. She attends Baylor University and we were privileged to have Kylee join our National team for seven weeks as an intern. Kylee is majoring in Apparel Merchandising with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

As I reflect on the last 7 weeks with Kylee, I recall how eager and thorough Kylee executed the tasks asked of her. The in-depth research Kylee conducted was so helpful to the Merchandising, Marketing, Planning and Forecasting, as well as the Technical Design teams.

While we do not want her to leave us, we are super excited for her to walk the Baylor stage in December and await her return to visit us often, we hope.

I captured many moments of Kylee’s hard work and fun times this summer. Kylee’s sweet smile and gracious southern demeanor is simply infectious. She leaves us with a lighter, brighter outlook on the world of fashion and design. I am confident we all have the sweetest of memories as we wish Kylee all the best as she begins her new career! Baylor University should be most proud.

Kylee working hard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a moment to smile!

Technical Design

 Fit Sessions with Kylee

 

Kylee creates design and pattern sequence storyboards

Fit Sessions are the best

Kylee gets National goodies

Kylee with Carol (CFO), Lynda (Owner and President), and Belinda (CMD)

Brava Kylee!

 

To new beginnings,

Ronelle

 


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National Shapewear Day is Putting on the Moves

Having confidence in your clothes is a big deal. Thank goodness we no longer live in a time of 16th-century corsets and the types of fabric in classic shapewear that promote the loss of breath! We have come a long way baby!

Modern shapewear has been redefined and is created from some of the most advanced materials available. Did I say thank goodness yet? We can expect the construction of modern movement shapewear to be breathable, flexible, and made with durable fabrics. Bring on the wicking and cooling shapewear, I say! These days, it is for the safety of all living creatures, in my world, that I stay as cool and comfy as possible. Just saying… (wink)

I am a big fan of modern shapewear targeting areas I wish to promote less, and “gathers” me more, so I can have confidence in my dresses, jeans, leggings, pants, and tops. I am thrilled to talk about the sophistication of shapewear from National.

For fall fashion 2019, I want to rely on soft, modern, even with a bit of cotton shapewear that hugs and supports me; so, I can walk the catwalk [in my mind] all day. With fall dresses by National I can be comfortable and feel the oh-so-soft fabrics I love. Modernized shapewear enhances my dress outfits with ease.

Celebrate National Shapewear Day tomorrow, August 10, 2019. Why not join me in a little fall shopping for comfortable and affordable shapewear by National? I for one, will be on their webpage bright and early. 😊 Release your inner bomb-body ladies and celebrate the movement!

National Shapewear Day with Shop National

Shop the Cool Shapewear @ Shop National

 

Shape on,

 

Ronelle


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In Her Own Stylish Words-Interview with Julie Harbour

Recently, we had the pure joy of partnering with the Los Angeles Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, Julie Harbour.

Julie Harbour rockin’ it LA Style

We asked Julie to choose dresses that spoke to her true style and we were blown away by how she fabulously styled them like a true fashion professional!

The Stylish Paradox Way

Julie in the Multi-Print Caftan

We couldn’t wait to learn how Julie beautifully executes style and grace, HER WAY:

How would you define “style”?

To me, style is what makes you stand out as an individual.  Many times, people are pigeon-holed into a particular style, ie, classic, romantic, edgy, etc.  I like being a little bit of all styles rolled into one.  Have fun developing your unique style!

From your closet, what do you first grab to “start” an outfit? (or, from where do you draw inspiration in crafting your personal style?)  

It may seem a little odd, but I generally start with shoes and work my way up.  And it can also depends on my mood for the day.  If I wake up feeling a little down, that means vibrant color!  Bold colors totally lift my disposition!

What is your go-to staple style/piece and how do you like to incorporate it?  

During my work week, it’s dresses of all types.  My favorites are Maxis and Midis, which can look more corporate with just adding a blazer. I love my red embroidered midi from National!  On the weekends, it’s distressed Levi’s.  They fit the curvy woman fabulously!

I tend to rely on neutrals in my closet. What do you recommend for folks starting to bring bold colors into their wardrobe? (I.e. how do you add to your closet and where do you start in making sure you pick the right color for your complexion?)  

For those who tend to shy away from color, I recommend beginning with a colorful scarf, bold bag or shoe and slowly begin incorporating color into your wardrobe.  Personally, dressing in colorful pieces give me a mood lift!  Because I have a deeper complexion, bold colors such as reds, hot pinks and yellows look great on me.  According to the color. 

Fall is around the corner. What recommendations do you offer for transitioning your wardrobe? 

I recommend light layering.  I love wearing jumper dresses for the office with a classic while button down, for a classy chic look and a jacket. If it warms up a bit during the day, off goes the jacket! 

Pretty Posh with Julie Harbour

 

We want to thank Julie so much for sprinkling her innovative and super stylish apparel creations on North Carolina. We love being a part of your audience!

-Parker & Ronelle

 

 

 


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Prints Charming Awaits in Patterns and Pantone® for Fall

It’s that time again, and fall fashion 2019, is sure to motivate us. Have you begun to plan your fall trends 2019 wardrobe? Believe it or not, late summer is an exciting time for me. While I love a good lay out by the pool, I am always inspired by thoughts of cuddling up by the fireplace with a good book or buried in a blanket, wearing soft pajamas,while watching an intriguing, mystery on the tube (I pray you too, used this term once upon a time). 🙂

To that end, I ponder all things comfy and anticipate wearing warm tones. Hues that remind me of beautiful fall colors that will soon possess the leaves on trees takes me to a happy place. Think gorgeous gold, rich maroon, and sugary almond. Can’t you just picture how to incorporate these colors into your fall fashion 2019 wardrobe?

I always consult ‘the authority’ for the upcoming season’s color palette, Pantone®. For fall fashion and design, Pantone® does not disappoint us ladies. Their color creations are so inspirational! I am happy to say, National is not only on trend in this regard, but features the classic fall styles we all know and love.

I am jump starting my fall fashion collection for women with these brand new items. I based my selections on comfort and style for the office as well as some serious lounging in the next few months. 😊 National is serving us fun prints, sassy patterns , fashionable embroidery placement, and savvy patchwork that lends for endless styling possibilities.

It is my hope that you are equally inspired for fall fashion 2019. I look forward to your comments and do send pictures of you in your new picks for the season!

Diamond Print Pintuck Top
UltraSofts®

Sydney Striped Tunic National®

Patchwork Print Crinkle Dress
National®

Ruffle Knit Jacket
National®

Embroidered Jeans
National®

Print Medley Dress
La Cera®

 

Happy fall,

Ronelle

 

 


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National gets Jiggy with Jim Quick & Coastline-Alive After Five

The Alive After Five Concert Series is held right here in Lexington, North Carolina. It offers free-to-the-public, summer concerts and much more. Folks came out from all over the area, to enjoy good music, good food, and refreshing drinks. It’s the perfect summer activity for family and friends to gather at the Breeden Amphitheater.

(image courtesy of Alive After Five Facebook®)

On July 12, 2019, National was honored to sponsor the live music for this event. The infamous, Jim Quick & Coastline jammed out as usual. It was a wonderful opportunity for National, especially because we are super fans. Boy, we had the best time seeing old friends, making new friends, and dancing the evening away!

Our CFO, Carol Snow gearing up for a great time

Skip and Bobby from our Maintenance Team

Jordan Powell (l to r), Print Design Specialist, Skip, Bobby, and me

Creative Marketing Director, Belinda Thomas; CFO, Carol Snow; President and Owner, Lynda Smith Swann

Lynda meeting and greeting

Apparel Technical Designer, Tashia Jones and daughters, Natalia and Haleina

We also hosted a $500.00 Getaway  Clothing Spree Drawing. Two individuals would be the fortunate ones to each win a $250.00 gift certificate to shop with National. Many filled out the entry forms for a chance to win.

Advertising Manager, Karen Benfield (red tee) and Jordan assisting the contestants

We drew two names and were very excited to announce that Ms. Glenda Everhart and Ms. Sandy Fritts were both winners. The very next week, Glenda and Sandy came to our office to retrieve their gift certificates. We were tickled to learn these gals not only shared the winnings, they are neighbors and cousins.

Congratulations Glenda Everhart and Sandy Fritts

Karen giving these lovely ladies their gift certificates

The pair told us they were on the phone with one other when the winners were announced. Sandy tells Glenda she’s won the gift certificate, and Glenda right away replies to Sandy [in a slightly higher octave], “Well, I don’t know how you could be the winner, because I just won!” We were all in stitches. They happily share the winner’s circle. 😊

 Included in the AAF event, we had beautiful models who flowed through the crowds wearing our beautiful caftans. They were truly all the buzz. “Where can I get one of those?” many asked. Summer is the perfect time for cool dresses, lounging, and enjoying family fun with National. So, ladies, stay connected for the best in fun, comfort and style.

Models (l to r) Katelynn Pureza; Addie McBryde; Darlinda Belton; Liselotte Stratman

 

The Models hanging out with Ronelle

 

Darlinda chatting it up with onlookers at the event

We had the best time, thank you Alive After Five, we’ll see you next year!

Happy summer vibes,

Ronelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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There’s a Summer Remodel in You

 Last night, my husband and I were tossing around ideas for a backyard remodel. We recently moved into a charming home. Do you recall the older home I mentioned in my post last week, “The Cool Truth – Intimates that help Beat the Heat”? Yep, that’s the one!

There are so many innovative home designs in the marketplace these days. I found myself drawn to the ever-inspiring, HGTV®, 55 Incredible Outdoor Gathering Spots. Sure, I too, want to create an outdoor haven for us to gather; whether it be ‘just us’ time with our beloved fur babies, enjoying the evening’s moonlight, or a few good friends around the pool sipping Rosé. Sound inviting? No worries, I’ll leave our address for you at the close of this post. 😊 Did I mention we were gifted with an outdoor grill? Parker’s recent post on summer grilling has the perfect recipes for me to try.

Our forever home will be an ongoing work-in-progress, and we are up for the challenge. Well, as you know with me, my mind starts to wander, and I ask, “how can I apply this same energy to myself, my inner fashionista, and my summer wardrobe?”

Nothing could be better than relaxing outdoors and living in loungewear. National has the perfect, UPF50+ sun protective clothing to keep my skin safe. National also has the best summer dresses to keep me cool in this summer heat. I am inspired to give my summer closet a remodel now that I’ve seen all the fresh and cool summer styles on National’s website. Why, you ask? Because, my body is my haven and I am that midlife stylist who is an ongoing, work-in-progress. 😊

See ladies, we all have a summer remodel in us! Your reno begins now:

Floral Caftan Winlar®

Paisley Crinkle Cotton Dress
National®

Calypso Caftan
National®

 

Chambray Stripe Dress
National®

 

Happy summer remodel,

 

Ronelle

 

 


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