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!

A Stylish Way to Cover Up at the Beach

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.

 


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Summer Color Trends

My 3 Favorite Color Trends for Summer

 

By Elissa®

 

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.

Fruit Punch

 

  • Marine

 

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.

Marine

 

  • 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.

Bright Turquoise


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Why Simply Noelle is the New Black (A story in versatility)

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.

Parker and Lynda visit Simply Noelle's headquarters in Wilmington, NC.

Parker and Lynda visit Simply Noelle’s headquarters in Wilmington, NC.

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!


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Transitioning Layers

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,
Parker

 


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Picking Paint | Switching Up your Home Decor

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.

Happy painting,

Parker


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Fabric Focus: UltraSofts

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!

Stay cool,
Parker


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Easy Style: Casual Sophistication

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!

Happy Monday,
Parker


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Spring into Easter with UltraSofts

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,

Parker

 

 

 


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Yellow: How to Wear this Bright Spring Shade

As the weather turns warmer, it’s the perfect time to add a little sunshine to your closet by including the color yellow. However, not everyone is confident when it comes to wearing yellow. Many people aren’t sure what colors go with yellow or if yellow is a color they can pull off. Not to worry. There are many different shades of yellow to choose from, making it a color that anyone can wear. Wearing yellow instantly makes you feel more sunny and cheerful.

From soft buttery yellow to lemon yellow, daffodil yellow to maize or mustard yellow, there is a wide range of shades and hues to explore and play with. If a bright yellow doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can try a more golden tone or a pastel shade of yellow. See below for tips on wearing the color yellow this season.

How to wear yellows and soft butter colors:

  1. Colored jeans and trousers in yellow are a popular choice. Lighten up yellow with crisp white by pairing a soft yellow bottom with a classic white tee or white button-down.
  1. Mix and match soft yellows with grays and navy blues. Instead of wearing all yellow, try breaking up your look with other colors. Wear a yellow shirt with gray pants or a navy blazer.
  1. Try out a fun shade of yellow on your nails. Nail polish is a great way to try out this trendy color without making a serious investment in your wardrobe.
  1. Add gold or yellow jewelry and accessories to your basic spring wardrobe. Liven up a simple outfit with a gold metallic handbag or yellow floral scarf.
  1. Make a statement in a bright yellow sweater. A sunshine yellow sweater will make any outfit pop.
  1. Mix solid yellow with bold stripes or a polka dot pattern if you want to turn heads.

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Super Bowl Week | Dressing for the Fun

Outside of March Madness, this week is one of my absolute favorites. It’s prep week for the Super Bowl! Even if you’re not a football fan – or your team unexpectedly lost (I love my Cowboys!) – Super Bowl week offers a great opportunity to socialize with friends and connect with neighbors.

 

We’ve been in the midst of planning our Sunday afternoon jaunts and nighttime cookout on the big day, and I am in process of figuring out exactly what to wear for a long, casual day of food and fun. When I’m in between prepping in our kitchen and entertaining friends, I search for layered comfort in bold colors. (And since my Dallas Cowboys are no longer in the hunt for the championship, colors don’t matter!) Below are six of my favorite shirts – all in fun colors with unique silhouettes and features, ideal for this time of year.
How do you dress for outdoor cookouts and fun social gatherings? Share your tips with me in the comment section below!

 

Happy Super Bowl,

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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