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 time of year, I get real bold and pull out my favorite shades of bright and cheerful lip color. Something about the crisp winter air, rich fall shades of orange and red among the trees, and cozy chunky sweaters bring out the festive colors in my makeup. Give me all things Holiday Red!
Below are four of my go-to shades for the holidays. From cheerful pinks to rich reds, you’re sure to find the perfect shade among these selections. Even better? These particular formulations are good for you, crafted with natural ingredients that will not irritate or damage your skin.
Which color is your favorite? Share with me in the comment section below.
Did you know my parents almost share a birthday? My mom celebrated her birthday on November 10th and my dad on November 14th. This year, our entire family gathered in Wilmington for a joint family celebration, and we surprised our parents with professional photos by my gifted friend, Summer Lambert.
For parents who consistently say, “don’t buy us anything. Just send us photos of our grandkids,” this ended up as the perfect gift (major props to my sister and brother-in-law for coming up with the idea!) We received the images a few days ago, and now begins the fun in selecting gifts using all of these images!
I have three sites I lean on for beautiful photo gifts. Shutterfly and Tiny Prints are my typical go-to. These sites offer coffee mugs, mouse pads (a favorite of our mom), photo books, journals and much more. A recent find, and now my consistent go-to, is Artifact Uprising. Last year, I purchased a calendar for my husband with photos of our little girl throughout her first year. My other favorite gift option is the wooden photo ledge which allows you to change out photos with ease!
If you’re stuck on what to give someone for the holidays, consider a picture made more prominent by one of these gift ideas. Which gift idea is your favorite?
Happy gift giving season from me, my sister Lanier, and our sweet Mama!
One of my favorite fall trends: embroidery. The subtle detail of embroidery brings forward dimension, delicate pattern and hints of color (all the pizazz and none of the fuss). I find it easiest to bring this trend into my wardrobe by way of one piece coupled with a solid color.
National’s embroidered blouse pairs easily with dark jeans. Consider adding a solid color vest for extra warmth and a pop of color that beautifully ties in the stitching detail. If you want a more subtle hint of embroidery, consider embroidered jeans with a simple ballet flat. This particular pair of jeans couples beautifully with a chunky cream sweater. A true classic win is the gorgeous, Embroidered Zip Cardigan. Dress up this cute cardi with a skirt or slacks, or add in a casual look with jeans; a stunning look for fall!
What is your favorite fall trend? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below, and I will pull my favorite outfit derived from your favorite trend!
Our November, Blog Influencer, and our Style Performer, Ruthy Annie, BRINGS IT all week. She styles our clothing full of comfort and style with pure classic finesse, all while staying on trend! She truly is a welcomed and unique addition to the tremendous blog influencers we have been so fortunate to forge partnerships.
I am so excited to showcase her beautiful, whimsical, and ever-so-clever fashion styles. Ruthy Annie is our, “Queen of Styling Innovation”! Take a look below and pick your favorites. Feel free to choose them all, I know I have!
Yesterday morning, I woke up my sweet baby girl to get ready for school and opened her drawer to find one long sleeve shirt that fit that sweet girl. With a high of 55 yesterday, I knew it was time to hop online and stock up for my growing toddler.
Even here on the coast, the same is true for me! I am spending my afternoon hunting for a few new pieces to add to my cozy collection in preparation for the cooler months ahead. This year, I am looking for pieces that transition easily from lounge to daywear.
Below are a few items from National’s web exclusive line – that’s right, available only online. Each piece is incredible cozy, easy to layer, and perfect for this time of year. Which one is your favorite?
If you’re anything like me, when Fall makes its way to your home, you reach for the same pair of go-to pants all season long. Admittedly, I am a creature of habit and my clothing choices can begin to seem like a “uniform,” especially when I am in, “working-mom-hurry-up-and-go” mode!
Typically, I split my week between my favorite pair of dark denim jeans and a cozy pair of black leggings. However, this season I am committed to branching out and adding some pizazz to my pants collection! Carrying forward inspired florals and jewel tones, ShopNational carries an array of embroidered, printed and detailed pants for the fall season. Whether you prefer delicate pastel flowers or a bold plaid print, we have quite a few options for you to consider. Not ready to fully branch out? Opt for our solid color Lattice Pants with cuff detail. All pair easily with a solid color top or button down blouse – still affording simplicity and ease when getting ready for the day!
Which pair is your favorite? Share your pick in the comment section below!
Recently, I caught up with the magnificent, Phyllis Lerner of followPhyllis. I had the opportunity to ask Phyllis a series of questions to inspire us for fall and winter. Phyllis gives us a glimpse into her world of seasoned fashion sense along with practical tips that will challenge our comfort zone. I was also thrilled to read how much Phyllis has incorporated National apparel into her everyday wardrobe. Read all about it here:
- Solid or print: what is your go-to (or does it depend on the day?)
I have always worn neutral, solid colors. I love the way colors play against each other. They can either blend together or create a bold, minimalist look. I am full busted and always felt like patterns made me look larger than I am. Once in a while I will purchase a blouse with a print, but I rarely end up wearing it. If I want to add a print or pattern to my outfit, it’s usually in an accessory. Unless, of course, that print is leopard-then I’m all in!!!
- Tis the season for layering! What are your staples for fall and how do you incorporate them?
When the weather starts getting brisk, I love to wear a fitted tee and skinny leggings under my regular clothing. I find that these extra layers keep me super warm with adding just a touch of bulk. I also love turtleneck dickies in the winter as they are not quite a layer but can serve the same function. Most days, I put my gym clothes on first thing in the morning and keep them on all day. Then I swap out a top or an accessory when I need to change up the look. One of your beautiful tunics would look fabulous over my workout leggings. Or, I might throw on one of your cardis over my exercise clothes and meet a girlfriend for lunch.
- What is your favorite piece from the UltraSofts® collection at National and how do you style it?
I am obsessed with the UltraSofts® collection from National. I just completed a blog post and I chose the fabulous UltraSofts® Criss Cross Tunic to feature. The length is perfect, and the beautiful neckline detail means no necklace necessary. And did I mention how soft it is??? I loved styling it with my pair of neutral patent pumps with crisscross detail to mirror the neckline. Gorgeous!
- What trend are you most excited to incorporate into your winter wardrobe?
OMG-there are so many fabulous trends this year that it’s difficult to pick just one! With the popularity of animal prints, leather and faux fur, fabric and texture are super important right now. I love them all, but the animal print trend is the one that I am embracing with open arms this year! I have a lot of pieces that I’ve collected over the years: coats and dresses and accessories but I always want more. Many women over fifty are afraid to try such a bold trend so I suggest adding an accessory to update your look. I love the Charmy Loafers from Hush Puppies® that I styled for a recent photo shoot. Leopard print and comfort – what better way to incorporate this fab trend!
I say, it’s time to shop! Thank you Phyllis for being a constant inspiration to women of all ages, and especially to our team here at National!
As with all things changing this season, there has been a shift in my lounging wardrobe. Last night, I, without thinking about it, reached for warm jammies.
“Why is this relevant?”, you may ask. Let’s just say, those in my tribe can affirm that I am in a permanent, “private summer”; this means, I ALWAYS reach for the lightest, most cool short-set to retire in for the night.
I am happy to say, I felt a chill yesterday! In an effort to be “normal”, I have concluded, it’s time to go shopping. Somehow, it’s as if I can hear you agreeing with me as you read along. Did someone say, shopping? Heck yeah, let’s do it ladies!
No need to go far, Shop National has a new fall collection of soft loungewear for fall fashion season that allows me to relax comfortably on the sofa and be totally appropriate to receive good girlfriends should they happen to stop by unannounced. Have to love them for that!
With warm wishes,
I write to you today from 32,000 feet and 5+ hours of flying time as I make my way from North Carolina to sunny California for a retail conference. Currently supporting my energy level? The very best compression socks money can buy!
Whether you are tucked in for a long flight or spending a lot of the day on your feet, compression socks offer a myriad of benefits to your overall health and energy levels.
- Maintain blood flow, especially during “stagnant” periods. Compression socks are great for long flights and support overall blood flow when you are sitting for long periods of time. Even on a two hour flight, I wear my compression socks to ensure I have the most energy upon landing. The difference I’ve seen flying with these socks is pretty incredible!
- Support your overall energy. Our blood has to pump all the way through our body, from our heart down to our toes and back again. Compression socks enhance the process and support easy blood flow, thereby restoring your energy and supporting your health in the process.
- Minimize varicose veins. Studies show that continued use of compression socks reduces the appearance of varicose veins. Especially after having my daughter, I’ve found this to be one of the best (and unforeseen) benefits of adding compression wear to my routine.
Below are a few options for travel or everyday wear. When and why do you wear compression socks and can you tell a difference?
We are thrilled to announce that SHOPNATIONAL.com has been formally recognized by Newsweek as #1 ranked on their list of “Best Online Shops 2020” for Women’s Fashion (single brand). We have the honor of sitting alongside some incredible brands in the industry, including Chadwicks, Victoria’s Secret, and White House Black Market.
More than anything, I wish my grandparents could see this milestone – a tribute to their hard work, deep belief and commitment to our National family.
Founded in 1952, NATIONAL started from humble beginnings as a mail order business by Eddie Smith, my grandfather, in the town of Lexington, North Carolina. An exemplary American entrepreneur, “Georgie,” as he was known to most, cared for and evolved the company based on a customer-centric philosophy, and in 1999 at the age of 80, he was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.
Today, NATIONAL continues to thrive under the personal care of my gifted and compassionate mother, Lynda Smith. We remain committed to offering a wide range of apparel and accessories, designed for the mature woman to provide them with all-day comfort and style.
We have long held to our mission – “Living the Comfortable Life.” The second-generation, family-owned business has thrived in the trade for over 65 years thanks to the commitment my Grandfather made to the customer – first and foremost.
So, how did we get recognized by an international publication for this commitment?Newsweek developed the rankings based on an independent survey of 20,000+ U.S. customers who were asked whether they’d recommend brands to friends or family. Respondents also assessed the brands on their communications, technical competence, service range, customer focus, and accessibility. More than 130,000 evaluations were collected.
That means – YOU.
Our National customer, you shared feedback and supported National’s leap into the spotlight. More than that, you have walked alongside our team….our family…for generations. Thank you for being a part of the National family!
With gratitude and love,