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!

Happy Lounging

I’m not sure what day of social distancing we’re on…I lost track around day 8. (Anyone else?) I will tell you that I have significantly elevated my lounge game.

 

Regardless of the season in which we find ourselves, there is something truly uplifting about wearing what I call “happy jams.” Pajamas in bright colors and fun patterns make for a cheerful morning (or afternoon….or evening…no judgement here).

 

Personally, I love a button-down top and loose fitting pajama pants. (And a plus side of button-down pajama tops: throw on a scarf and earrings, and you’re ready for a video conference call where no one will ever guess you’re in pajamas.)

 

In my spring pajama recommendation list, I have included a soft robe in a stunning blue floral print (a great complement to any solid color pajamas!). Do you have a favorite pajama set for this time of year? While we’re lounging, let’s make sure we do so in comfort and style.

pajamas

Lounging Pajamas by National®

robe

Plush Zip Robe by National®

lullaby pajamas

Lullaby Pajamas by National®

pajamas

English Garden Knit Pajamas by National®

Cheers to some happy,

Parker


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Spring into Skirt Season

Yesterday, it was SEVENTY DEGREES in Wilmington! Spring is around the corner – officially. When the sun peeks out and the flowers begin to show their colors, I start to reach for a little more pattern, color and spunk in my closet.

 

I find skirts to be an easy way to add new style and fun to my closet. I pair a long skirt with a tank top and cardigan or a 3/4 length sleeve shirt alongside a shorter skirt. Especially when I don’t have the time (or energy) to think through a complete outfit, skirts become a great option for fresh style as spring approaches. Between budding flowers in jewel tones, bright and happy pastels, and soft shades of blue, the National® team has curated a beautiful selection of skirts for this time of year.

 

Below are three options, each easy to match with either long sleeve shirts or tanks and cardigans. Do you lean towards pattern or pastels? Tell me your favorite style and personal must-have from the items below.

floral skirt

Tossed Floral Skirt by UltraSofts®

Floral Skirt

Floral Skirt by National®

skort

Comfort Skort by UltraSofts®

Happy Spring,

Parker


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Spring Jackets

Stan Fields: Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date. Cheryl “Rhode Island”: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

This is one of my favorite quotes from a favorite movie, “Miss Congeniality.” And I’m with Miss Rhode Island. Spring is around the corner, just in time for my favorite layering piece of the year….the go-to, lightweight jacket.

Call me clothes-obsessed, but I am a sucker for a great jacket. I crave breezy mornings on the coast, simply because I can’t wait to bust out a new accessory. And yes, I 100% consider jackets an accessory. You can opt for a fun print, a bold color or a new texture to add to your overall look. Anything that can radically shift an overall vibe is absolutely an accessory!

If you need a bit more “weather” protection or you’re searching for a shift in silhouette, our team here at National® has developed an array of options sure to suit your closet. Below are a few options that seamlessly transition from winter to spring. Which one do you like best?

jacket

Water-Resistant Nautical Jacket by National®

jacket

Eyelet Jacket by National®

cardigan

Soft Drape Cardigan by National®

jacket

Full-Zip Jacket by National®

Cheers to jacket season,

Parker


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Sun Safety in Spring

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?

ultrasofts shirt

UltraSofts® Button Detail Tunic

UltraSofts Pearl Top

UltraSofts® Pearl Neckline Top

UltraSofts Ruffle Shirt

UltraSofts® Ruffle Hem Tee

UltraSofts Floral Top

UltraSofts® Floral Cutout Top

 

Stay sun-safe,

Parker


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Q & A with Julie Harbour

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.

 

For more content from Julie, visit her blog at https://stylishparadox.com. You can also follow her InstagramPinterest, and more to stay in touch!


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Web-Only Essentials: Simply Noelle

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?
national site cardigan

Day-to-Day Cardigan by Simply Noelle®

plaid shirt shop

Gathered-In Plaid Top
Simply Noelle®

henley simply noelle shop

Striped Basic Layering Henley by
Simply Noelle®

Stay warm everyone and have a great week!
Parker

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Falling in Love with Flats

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?

Walk comfortably,
Parker

women's loafers

Charmy Loafers by
Hush Puppies®

women's shoes

Nava Ballet Flats by
CushionAire®

women's flats

Ayla Low Flats by
Clarks®

flats shoes

Pleats Be With You Pumps by
Hush Puppies®


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Lovely Lounging from Yesteryear to Now

From my earliest days at National, I can remember visiting certain designers and showrooms in New York. The most vivid and poignant memory I have was from a showroom tour of Shadowline – nearly twenty years ago. I had the privilege of meeting designers, marketing managers, and other team members of this longstanding company.
To my then young eyes, the showroom was akin to what I imagined a bridal store might be – elegant and perfectly appointed with interior decor. The designs we perused during that trip have remained core staples of Shadowline and top sellers at National. For as long as I can remember, this brand has been one of the most requested in lounge and sleepwear.
Below are a few pieces I’ve chosen to bring color and beauty to lounging. Who says you can’t look regal while sipping coffee and reading the paper? With clean lines and detailed embroidery, each piece is carefully crafted and beyond comfortable.
Do you have a favorite piece from Shadowline? Share your go-to in the comment section below.

Petals Short Sleeve Nightgown by Shadowline®

Petals Short Sleeve Pajamas by
Shadowline®

Petals Short Sleeve Long Nightgown by
Shadowline®

Petals Long Sleeve Nightgown by
Shadowline®

To lovely lounging,
Parker

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Selecting Staples for 2020

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!

 

Knit Denim Pants

Flowy Pants

Textured Palazzo 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.

Sleeveless Mock Neck Sweater by National®

Ribbed Fly Away Cardigan
National®

Essential Button-Front Shirt
Citicraze®

What staples will you have on hand for 2020? Share with me in the comment section below!

Stay stylish,

Parker

 


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Wrap up for Winter

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!

Two-Tone Cardigan
National®

Day-to-Day Cardigan
Simply Noelle®

Hooded Fleece Coat
totes®

Which piece is your favorite?

Safe holiday travels,

Parker

 

 


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