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!
This weekend, our family celebrated our annual family reunion in Chapel Hill, NC. We spent the evenings outside by the fire, laughing and enjoying all that is a gigantic (loud) family. On Saturday afternoon, we cheered on our UNC Tar Heels in the blazing heat, and I was reminded how thankful I was for a sleeveless shirt!
With chilly mornings and warm afternoons in the forecast this week, I am sharing four idyllic layering pieces for the season ahead. Whether you’re in the mood for a bright, solid color jacket, patterned pastels, bold prints or a lightweight wrap, the National team has a wide selection to complement your entire closet.
What is your preference for this season? Share your pick in the comment section below!
We love partnering with amazing blog influencers who drive us to be better and @followphyllis is our team inspiration. Phyllis has us all in awe of her truth and tenacity! Live more authentically like @followphyllis and read her blog today featuring our new fall collection. Live more authentically like @followphyllis and read her blog today featuring our new fall collection.
September. Are we allowed to officially start discussing the joys of fall? It’s 88 degrees in Wilmington today, but it was “chilly” last night. (By chilly, I mean 78 degrees. So yes. We’re talking about fall)!
During this particular time of year, I am a sucker for a 3/4 length shirt paired with shorts or a skirt. I prefer a cotton blend that affords comfort, colorfastness and shape retention. National’ UltraSoft fabric is idyllic for this time of year, and these unique styles blend fashion and comfort perfectly. For a simple but elegant look, I opt for the black Criss Cross Tunic. For bold color and a unique neckline, choose the Grommet Detail Knit Top. Want a softer shade with a bit of pizazz? The Pearl Neckline Top is a beautiful transition piece for fall. If you like to pair tunics with straight leg jeans or leggings (like yours truly), the Ruffle Hem Tee will be your new favorite.
Which option is your go-to? Share your favorite selection in the comment section below.
September. One of my favorite months of the year, because we’re that much closer to FALL! Because Hurricane Dorian approached Wilmington with a strong threat, we evacuated to the safety of the North Carolina mountains. We arrived to a 60 degree evening, a stark contrast to our typical 90 degree days in Wilmington. This is characteristic of the Carolinas – varied temperatures no matter where you live, especially as we approach the Fall.
To thrive during this particular season, I try to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. However, sometimes I need just a little extra to bring color and fun to my muted color palette. This season, I’ve added two patterned skirts to liven up my otherwise very predictable closet. Each of these pieces work beautifully with a black, white or bold color top. Additionally, they transition easily from a warm to cool day, with the addition of a chambray jacket or long sleeve shirt. The first skirt includes beautiful jewel tones, while the second skirt incorporates a few fall colors in combination with delicate pastels.
Which one is your favorite?
Patterned to perfection – these web only exclusive options are lightweight, comfortable and stylish. Each one brings a unique trend element to the forefront.
The Jacquard Cold Shoulder top (on sale, by the way!) includes cutaway detail at the shoulder, 3/4 length sleeve, and a high-low banded hem. With a hint of spandex in the fabrication, this top holds its shape and color with every wash.
National’s Embellished Stripe Top by Ruby Road features a soft cotton knit with a unique stripe pattern and gold stud detail at the collar. Pair it with denim jeans for lunch with a friend or khaki slacks for a more polished look. Also by Ruby Road, the Paisley Patchwork Knit Top is a colorful and comfortable top with 3/4 length sleeves and studded detail at the collar. For a softer, more muted pattern, opt for the Horseshoe Floral Top with delicate pattern and a detailed neckline.
Which top is your favorite? Share with me in the comment section below!
If you’ve known me for more than a minute, you’re keenly aware of my desire to remain both stylish and comfortable. Especially as a working mom of a rambunctious toddler, I strive for a minimalist closet that affords easy dressing (I.E. little to no time).
As we move into fall, I’m adding in options to transition seamlessly from one (very warm) season to a new (not as warm YAY!) season. These embroidered tops pair beautifully with denim shorts, white pencil jeans or dress khakis. Each top can be layered with a sleeveless tank as the weather cools. Both silhouettes are figure flattering, suitable for tall and petite women, and easy care.
Of the two styles, which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comment section below!
We planned a mini “staycation” this past weekend and cherished a few days with no plans, right here in our sweet town of Wilmington. I found myself enjoying the comfort of home in a new way – savoring the simplicity of a Saturday morning with pancakes, and taking time to water the garden with some intention (and snagging red peppers ripening like crazy on our biggest haul yet). Still in those hot summer days – typical for the Carolinas in mid-August; I reached for my most comfortable slides to wander around the house in and spend time out back.
As we round out the summer, I’m sharing a few easy slides and slippers to keep on hand for staycation weekends (ok…let’s be real. For anytime at all!) If you’re looking for comfort and style or to complement your look, opt for the beautifully detailed black leather Delana Vanna Sandal. If you’re like me and craving time at home, grab a pair of Dearfoam slippers for comfort and support while enjoying relaxation. The printed Ryka sandal is ideal for a beach day or casual stroll around the neighborhood. Looking for an easy slip-on to get those steps in? Easy-Spirit’s floral slide has great support and traction while maintaining comfort and style.
Which one is your favorite?
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.
Fit Sessions are the best
To new beginnings,
Halfway through August – I can’t believe it. I’m not sure where the time went, but I am embracing the calendar and counting down to fall. My closet remains in a state of transition, moving between sleeveless shirts and cardigans on the regular. Typically, I lean towards a muted color palette. But recently, I have braved the bold world of color and pattern to diversify my closet and brighten my wardrobe. Especially as we transition seasons, I am trying to incorporate the boldness of summer days into my daily style.
Our design team has embraced the beauty of fall and showcased it through detailed embroidery, unique silhouettes and playful pattern. Below are three particular options incorporating some of my favorite trends for this season. What are you looking forward to in this upcoming season?
Recently, we had the pure joy of partnering with the Los Angeles Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, Julie Harbour.
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!
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!
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