When Leopard Print Is The Neutral!

Hey everyone! If you are anything like me you’ve always associated leopard print with Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company (remember that show?) or with an aging beauty who is trying to look younger. Or maybe you associate it more with nighties and boudoir items. I’m here to declare that it’s a neutral. Like beige. Or black.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

What? I know. I originally was wearing this outfit with a blue scarf. But, I felt like I was too bright and there was too much of a carnival happening with my outfit. I pulled out this new scarf and saw how it tamed down the bright colors and made the outfit more sophisticated.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You may remember this post where I talked about easing into leopard print starting with pumps. And really, besides gloves, I haven’t gone further with this print, so when I saw this scarf I thought it would be another easy way to ease into the print.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I had been unaware of it’s power to calm down colors, yet add sophistication, to an outfit. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw how well it went with my new green winter coat from a couple of posts ago.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I love this tunic with it’s flattering, asymmetric hemline. It’s also a lighter crepe fabric so I’m anticipating wearing this a lot in the spring and summer. Of course, pairing it with the ever-so-faithful pencil skirt from J. Jill and my booties  that I’m wearing out this winter!

Linking up with these ladies at Shelbee on the Edge!

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A Sweater and Leggings? Pants? Jeggings?

Hey everyone! I’ve been trying to add more color and pattern to my wardrobe. I have so much black and gray that I can’t justify any more! However, when I look for a pattern and different color, I want to be able to wear it with all of that black and gray!

Spring Sweater for Apple-Shaped Women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This sweater plays nicely with both colors. Plus, I think the colors and light cotton knit will work for most seasons. It also has that lovely waterfall collar, or fly-away collar, that I find so flattering. It is just the right weight to hang straight without clinging and the horizontal seam in the back gives it some structure and makes it more fitted. It’s available here in plus sizes.

Spring Sweater for Apple-Shaped Women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

To start lightening things up for spring I added my light gray boots and a light gray shirt (look! I’m figuring out this pattern-mixing!). I had originally pulled out my black tall boots and my black turtleneck. I just couldn’t do it. I’ve worn them so much this winter and the day was so sunny and warm! I needed something lighter plus these boots are so comfortable, I really look for any opportunity to wear them.

Spring Sweater for Apple-Shaped Women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing pants from several years ago that, too me, are almost leggings, but not quite. They are the stretchy fabric, but they’re thicker and not as tight as leggings. I think of leggings as thick tights or like running pants. These pants have a sewn seam/pleat in the front which pushes them into the pant category. I don’t care to show my behind in them and they don’t have any pockets for added coverage, but they fit well in front and I don’t feel the need to cover my crotch with a longer shirt. I find with most leggings I feel the need to cover to about mid-thigh, but these feel more like pants where you could wear a shorter top.

Spring Sweater for Apple-Shaped Women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

These pants look similar and have a nice wide waistband if you’re interested in the same brand. I’m still trying to figure the whole leggings vs. jeggings vs. stretchy pants thing. For one, you buy the jeggings in a package (like tights) so you don’t even get to try them on. How do you ladies differentiate between pants, jeggings and leggings? I don’t know. Right now, I’m just basing it off of my comfort level. If I figure it out, or if one of you ladies have already figured it out, enlighten us! Happy Monday everyone!

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Found: Great Blouse for the Spring and Summer!

Hey everyone! I want to show you a top style that is in the stores now that really works with our shape and will be great for spring and summer so you can run out and add one or two to your wardrobe!

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I was totally ignoring these “peasant style” or “blouson” tops (elastic at the hem and flowing fabric) figuring I would look like a balloon in them, but I forced myself to try one on and am so glad I did!

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It has the elastic at the bottom of the shirt so it slips over your middle, without clinging to the sides, and camouflages your midsection. The elastic hem hits just below my tummy which is the most flattering place to end and it stays in place. It has the elastic at the hem of the sleeves too so you can pull them up to your elbow and drape so they become a 3/4 sleeve which is also flattering.

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The fabric is light enough that I wore a camisole underneath but that means that these will be good for spring and summer and you won’t feel compelled to wear a third piece (a sweater or jacket) over the shirt. The one tip I would give is that whatever bottoms you wear with it, make sure it’s not too loose and flowy. I could see the elastic wrinkling a skirt that has a lot of fabric, so a tighter or heavier fabric (like jeans) would look best.

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The other detail I love about this top is the pattern. I’ve read that there are certain pattern sizes women of a certain age or a certain size shouldn’t wear. Supposedly, too small of a print ages you and makes you look bigger but too big of a pattern makes you look ridiculous and like you’re trying too hard. Whatever that may be, this pattern jumped out at me and really feels like a great size for a pattern for my size and age.

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I can’t find the regular size online but the top is available here if you’re tall. Available here in plus sizes. Here is the version with a button down collar instead. Here in a watercolor pattern and here in two other colors. I’m wearing an XL in the misses size. They are from JC Penney’s Liz Claiborne brand, so you might have better luck at your local store and I cannot recommend them enough for the upcoming warmer months. I even bought a second one in blue that I might show here on the blog.

Great spring blouse for apple-shaped women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Wearing it with my booties and ever faithful purse (similar one here) and one of my beloved pencil skirts.

FYI: I posted my second video on YouTube turning this post into a video demonstration. Pop over if you’re interested.

Linking up with the ladies at Fashion Should Be Fun and Pocket Full of Polka Dots! Have a great weekend everyone!

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A Long Skirt and Asymmetrical Sweater

Hey everyone! Another long skirt outfit, though so much better than last Friday’s outfit. Unfortunately I had returned that skirt a couple of weeks before I posted the outfit so I can’t try out all the suggestions (though I have seriously considered going back and giving it a try!).

A Different Long Skirt - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It started to rain while we were taking these photos so I’m a little bit cranky in them and there aren’t many to choose from, so bear with all the variety of backgrounds and the impatient face.

A Different Long Skirt - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen the sweater before. I really love wearing it with leggings and tall boots this winter because it’s so comfy and easy to wear. The asymmetrical hem adds visual interest and it hangs nicely, so much so that I don’t feel the need to always wear a third piece. You’ve seen the skirt before here and the jacket here. I’m wearing, of course, my new black booties that you’ve seen a lot this winter.

A Different Long Skirt - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I definitely like this length of skirt better with booties. The booties look so much better with a long skirt than tall boots because they don’t wrinkle around the ankles like the tall boots. They stay nice and structured and your ankles look slim rather than wide and wrinkly.

A Different Long Skirt - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

A woman on the go! Anyway, I’m wearing this blue color more often because Pamela of Style Yourself Confident did my colors and this color is at the top of the list of complimentary colors. So, while I wait to receive your pictures for my blog birthday party, I will be studying my colors. Thanks Pamela!

Linking up with these ladies at The Pleated Poppy, A Savory Feast, A Jersey Girl, Texan Heart and Pastries, Pumps and Pi!

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An Invitation!

Hey everyone! Wow! Friday’s post elicited a ton of great analysis and suggestions. If you haven’t read the comments, do so now because it is a wealth of information on how to improve that outfit. I was bowled over by all of your perspectives and opinions and helpful, practical fixes for the outfit. Which got me thinking…

Apple-Shaped and Killin' It! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I know some of you have learned some outfit ideas and tips and techniques from this blog and many of you already knew them. I know you also are really appreciative of seeing how I style something and when I share something I find that would looks good on our shape. I also know many of you have a pretty good sense of style already or are developing your own style. But, really, I know my main purpose here is so you can see someone who looks like you dressing stylishly and feeling confident. So…

Apple-Shaped and Killin' It! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

My one year anniversary of this blog is coming up March 22nd. My blog birthday gift request from all of you is for you to send me a picture of yourself in an outfit that somehow you were inspired by from this blog and I will post them here on the one year birthday. Maybe you bought something I recommended. Maybe you copied an outfit. Maybe you started styling your existing clothes differently because of what you learned here.

Apple-Shaped and Killin' It! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Scary, I know! Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, I know! Remember, all of these times when we push ourselves it only takes 15 seconds of bravery. Just put on that outfit and take a quick phone image in the mirror or ask a relative or co-worker on a day when you are feeling particularly sassy. Quickly hit the share button and email me. I will just say your first name and town/state you’re from. If you’re really shy, I can crop the picture to not show your face (but let me see!). I promise I will only use that image once on the blog for that birthday post.

Send your image to my email, julia@whenthegirlsrule.com by March 18th. Let me know if you want your face shown or not. Tell me what town or state or country you’re from if you want. If you would like to elaborate about your outfit in anyway tell me that too. Don’t worry, I will keep reminding (bugging) you all until then!

Now, don’t leave me hanging here with a sad blog birthday party of one. Besides the comments, blogging is so one-sided. I want to continue to have discussions and conversations and the sharing of knowledge. I want to show women who are not models, who are over 25, who have had full lives and who still want to look good in an outfit! I want to show the world that even though we are ignored by fashion and our shape is rarely designed for, that nevertheless, we persist!

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No Shortage of Teaching Moments Here…

Hey everyone! So, if you’re a regular reader, you know I post outfits even when they don’t look so great, so we can all analyze the outfit and learn from it. Whether intentional or not, some outfits that seem good in my head (and even in the mirror!) end up being bleh. See this outfit.

Not crazy about this outfit at all! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I almost didn’t show these photos. This jacket you’ve seen before here and has worked in several outfits. It’s a cute, black faux leather, with some nice design details that hangs well open and actually zips, so I wanted to feature it zipped, expecting another successful outfit.

Not crazy about this outfit at all! - www.whenthegirlsrule.comJacket available here and plus size (on sale!) available here.

I actually went out looking for a skirt to go with this jacket. I envisioned a print in black and white, on the long side, that would be a smart addition to the outfit. Somehow, something went wrong with this combination.

Not crazy about this outfit at all! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Honestly, I can’t put my finger on it. Is the skirt too light of a color? Or is the pattern not bold enough to stand up to the deep black jacket? Is the skirt too long? Does the side slit make the skirt wider than it actually is? Or is the fabric too lightweight (thanks to the wind for showing that)? Maybe the skirt is just too big for me? Or is this all in my head and really it looks fine?

Not crazy about this outfit at all! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’d love to hear your thoughts because this was an unintentional teaching moment but I’m not really sure what it’s teaching!

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Shelbee on the Edge and A Pocket Full of Polka Dots!

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I Would If I Could…Floral Blouse!

Hey everyone! I’m back with one of my dressing room posts where I show you something that would look great on a woman with an apple-shape and a big-bust though I didn’t actually purchase it and bring it home, though I was tempted!

Cute Blouse for a big bust and apple shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This really pretty blouse is from JCPenney. Yes, I loved it and yes, it looked great on me, it’s just that I don’t have an occasion to wear this blouse and I don’t have a bottom half to go with it, except jeans. They even have it in plus size.

Cute Blouse for a big bust and apple shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s navy blue with white and tan flowers, though they have it in several other prints and colors. It dips lower on the sides and has the really pretty cuffs.

Cute Blouse for a big bust and apple shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

To me, it seemed like a shirt for a more dressed-up affair, so I could see it paired with a long skirt and boots. Or you could go totally casual and wear it with jeans (either white or dark-washed blue). It fit well in the bust though I was at the max (36HH). It glided well over my midsection with no evidence of my waistband from my leggings showing through. The flounce at the bottom gave it some trendy fun ruffles without looking too young.

Cute Blouse for a big bust and apple shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Like all the other items in this series, I would buy it if I had unlimited funds and unlimited closet space and many more fabulous places to wear them. But, perhaps one of you ladies are looking for something like this and have many more fabulous places to go! I hope so!

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Winter Coat Shopping

Hey everyone! Now that all the winter clothing is on sale, I find it’s the best time to do some shopping. I was looking for a new coat and yes, one that would button or zip up. I found a super cute one here!

A Cute Coat for an Apple Shaped Woman! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Yes, I know when it is zipped, I look like one of the elves from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie but I’m ok with that. Actually, I think it looks cute zipped.

It zips. It’s cute. It looks great when it’s open. The best part of the jacket is the faux fur on the inside. It is the softest I’ve ever felt. I was afraid it was real fur because it was so soft since usually faux fur has that acrylic feel to it, but luckily it’s fake.

A Cute Coat for an Apple Shaped Woman! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing it with my J. Jill jeans and my olive-colored Teva short boots that I wear when it’s seriously icy or snowy outside. I am really enjoying wearing my white jeans this winter. They add some brightness to these gray days here. This purse you’ve seen a lot this winter too.

A Cute Coat for an Apple Shaped Woman! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, when I was reading the reviews on the Macy’s website, lots of people were complaining about the fit. Perhaps we should start looking for the bad reviews on fit and use that as a clue that it might fit our shape? Hmmmmm. Anyway, short post today because I got back from my getaway weekend in Detroit yesterday evening and am catching up with everything. I’ll be posting another armchair travel post about Detroit and how much exploring we did soon. Have a great week everyone!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style and Ageless Link-up!

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Ok – First Video!

Hey everyone! I promised you I would start making videos or “vlogs” so here is my first one! I know there’s room for improvement, so without further ado, here is the first…

The jacket you’ve seen before in this post here. It’s available from Macy’s here and in plus-size here.

I’ve heard from friends and relatives some feedback like making them shorter and more concise. Oh, and not to cut my feet off! Any other feedback? Do you have any topics that you would like me to cover? Let me know in the comments here. If you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel you can do it here because I won’t be posting all of them on the blog because we’ve covered some of the topics already.

I’m headed to Detroit today for a weekend getaway of fun and frivolity, so if you’re curious about Detroit follow me on Instagram for videos and pictures of this weekend. I’m so looking forward to it!

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I Would If I Could… A Jacket And A Dress

Hey everyone! So, second installment of my dressing room find that I would buy if I needed it or had unlimited funds or didn’t already have something very similar. Once again, excuse the i-phone images and the pile of clothes in the back. As you can see, I take my own advice of arming myself with lots and lots of clothes to try on hoping to find one or two. I’m learning!

Faux Suede Jacket - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This faux suede jacket is from the Alfani brand from Macy’s. I’m usually not one for large lapels, feeling like they just add more bulk to my bust, but these lapels are made of thin material and lay very flat. This jacket is also cut differently at the bottom, with the fabric hanging very flatteringly when it’s unzipped, almost like a suede scarf under the jacket. This jacket I can only find online in petite though you may have better luck finding it in other sizes at your local Macy’s. I was sorely tempted! Also wearing my super cute booties though I’m also tempted by these and wish I could think of a reason why I’d need two pairs!

Faux Suede Jacket - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And I do have a bit of a backlog of images from dressing rooms so I’ll be featuring two today. This dress is from J. Jill and is a pretty color and print and hangs nicely. It has flattering 3/4 sleeves and boat neck collar.

Flattering Dress - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s made with ponte knit, so it’s stretchy but has some weight to it. It’s the right amount of stretch without looking like a tent, though I would definitely wear this under a sweater or jacket and keep my sides covered. If I needed another dress, I would have gotten this because I think the color and pattern and fabric will work for winter, spring and fall. This dress is also on sale right now. I really need to get other images of the side and back. I’ll try to remember that!

Ok, that’s it for now. I am working on posting my first video on Friday, so we’ll see how that goes! Also, I’m having a weekend getaway with my husband and another couple to Detroit this weekend and will be posting pictures on Instagram and working with the Instagram video option to show you all around the cool places in Detroit. Pop over to my Instagram account and follow if you’re interested. Talk to you all Friday!

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