Little Details Make Big Differences!

Hey everyone! I have always admired the peplum style tops (a shirt with some flounce at the waist) on other women. I’ve dutifully tried and failed to find one that looked good on me. The waist was usually too small and structured and then the puffed-out “skirt” of the sweater either looked too young and frilly or too much like a tu-tu. But, I’ve found one I’m really happy with here.

Cute peplum sweater for an apple shaped woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This is the Alfani brand again from Macy’s and I’m really liking their thoughtful designs. Just the way the “flounce” part of the top starts near my bust rather than at my waist so it flows out smoothly. There is some ribbed knitting on the side that is a larger knit, where the front and back are a finer knit, so less bulk. The way it dips below in the back to give me some coverage, especially if I had pants on. Just really thoughtful details that make this sweater work for my shape.

Cute peplum sweater for an apple shaped woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The sweater is available here and comes in several other colors (like a really pretty pink) and is also offered in petite here. I’m seriously thinking about getting this in another color like the pink or the blue because it fits so well.

Cute peplum sweater for an apple shaped woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve been on the look-out for new black booties. I wear my others to death but they’re starting to look worn, even with a good polish. I found these and instantly knew they were the ones!

New booties! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Cute peplum sweater for an apple shaped woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

They have a chunky heel which is on-trend right now and the heel is brown and looks like lacquered wood. So different to see a brown heel with black leather. However, I feel these could go with a lot more outfits because of the brown. Also, like the top above these booties have great details, like the gold on the back heel and the little gold metal medallion-thing. These little details, I think, are the difference between a blah outfit and an outfit with style.

Cute peplum sweater for an apple shaped woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The skirt is several years old from J. Jill but they have one really similar here. And, of course, my purse of the moment that is going so well with black and gray this winter. Happy Wednesday everyone!

This post contains links to these fabulous items where I receive a couple of cents for each click and purchase –thanks!

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What A Difference A Few Inches Make!

Hey everyone! This is a slightly different post because I’m not just showing one outfit but showing two different dresses with the same sweater. The dresses are similar, except for the length, and I think the look is very different.

The difference the hem makes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The dress above is a little bit shorter than the dress below. Now, I’m not one for showing my legs, but with these tights I feel comfortable and confident with this dress length. Plus, I think the outfit above looks better.

The difference the hem makes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

To me, the top outfit looks fun and the bottom dress with the long sweater a little more…what?…older. I didn’t plan this post this way. As I was looking through my photos I just kept thinking the longer dress with the sweater just looked blah but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then I saw the pictures with the shorter dress and they just looked fresher and more stylish. I believe it’s because the dress is a few inches shorter and the sweater length looks better with a dress that has a hem closer to the sweater hem.

The difference the hem makes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This is one of those dresses that I don’t wear when it’s bare leg season. It totally seems fine with tights though, similar to this dress that’s too short for bare legs too. However, after this analysis, I may look for slightly shorter winter dresses that I would only wear with thick tights.

The difference the hem makes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The gray sweater and blue dress are not on the Macy’s website though they have the sweater in black and plus size and petite and black. Perhaps you’ll have better luck at your local store. The shorter dress is from J.Jill’s Wearever collection and they come out with similar dresses, but different prints, every year. This is what they’re showing this season.

The difference the hem makes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I wore this dark blue dress before here and really like it, but I think it looks better with a shorter jacket. If you look closely, I’ve changed up my scarf and necklace to see how each looked. I like the longer length necklace but I like the short scarf. What do you think?

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Style Splash and Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains links to items that I receive a couple of cents for each click or purchase. Thanks for supporting this blog!

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Chic and Comfy: Jeans and a Sweater!

Hey everyone! I realized I hadn’t worn my jeans recently on the blog so thought I’d pull them out and wear them with this cute asymmetrical sweater that I got for Christmas.

Jeans and a sweater! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I know jeans are hard to find for an apple shape so I thought I’d share my insight with you all. If you’re not an apple-shape, be thankful, and now you’ll get some insight into all the steps we have to take to find clothes that fit.

Jeans and a sweater! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

These jeans have stretch and actually fit around my waist. However, as you know if you’re an apple shape, they slide down easily, so I have to yank them up all the time, unless I wear a belt. And I wear a belt every time with these. It’s just a thin belt that will never be shown but does it’s job of keeping the jeans up. But, you know all this if you’re an apple shape, the belt then creates a dent in your middle and looks terrible. So, my next step is to make sure I’m wearing a top that doesn’t show this dent in my midsection.

Jeans and a sweater! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I often wear a cropped jacket with these jeans. Or, I can wear them with a top that skims over my middle so the dent is hidden underneath, and often wear a camisole too. That is the option I took here. It’s a casual, asymmetrical sweater that fits well in my bust and shoulders and skims over my middle without looking like a tent. The flare of the jeans help balance out my wide bust and, I think, looks a bit sassy.

Jeans and a sweater! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You will be happy to see that I’m adding to my purse collection! I usually wear a purse that I hang on my elbow. The purses that hang on a long strap on my shoulder always slide off, do to the slope of my shoulders. However, there are times when I want to throw it over my shoulder and I found this short version works. I can wear it on the crook of my elbow or on my shoulder. It also adds a great pop of color to this pretty tame outfit. My exact color is on sale for a limited time and you can find it in several pretty colors here and here and the exact blue, but different style I seriously contemplated, here.

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Pocket Full of Polka Dots and Shopping My Closet!

The post contains links to items I love and recommend. I do earn a few cents for each click and purchase. Thanks for supporting this blog!

 

 

 

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Shiny Black Leather!

Hey everyone! I’ve found a new jacket I can zip up! Not that I’m showing any pictures of that feat here (I don’t know why I forgot to zip it while we were shooting the pictures). Anyway, if you’ve been reading for any amount of time on this blog, you know that that is a rare find. If you have a big bust or a large middle (or both in my case!) jackets are not for zipping up.

A jacket I can zip! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket looks great unzipped too, as you can see, falling nice and straight, creating a vertical line and breaking up my bust and torso. It also has some thoughtful details like the angle of the zippers on the pockets and the collar. I find this simple, round collar looks good with a shirt underneath that has a more interesting collar. It also works well to frame a necklace or lay quietly under a scarf.

A jacket I can zip! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

What I like about this jacket is that it has the stretchy, knit fabric on the sides but it doesn’t look like it’s made for a plus-size woman who needs more stretch. If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I don’t buy or wear the items that are “supposed” to be especially for plus-size women because I find they’re usually unflattering.

This dress is not old, but I can’t find it on the Macy’s website (frustrating) but a similar dress is here. It’s by Alfani (a brand I’ve been exploring and having good luck with) from Macy’s. If you have a big bust, you’ve probably heard that a v-neck collar is the most flattering. I think if you don’t just have a big bust, but have a wide bust too, many v-necks makes it look wider. I find these deep round necklines are more flattering and balance out a wider bust and middle.

A jacket I can zip! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This dress has a couple of good design details. First, it’s lined. That helps with the fabric skimming and not clinging. I think “skim not cling” needs to be on my headstone, I say it so much! Also, it’s a textured and stretchy fabric so it gives in the areas where you want to take. It also has some fun details too like the crochet around the collar and sleeves.

Good old reliable boots that I’ve had for several years complete the black shine of leather. Newer, very inexpensive options similar to my boots are available here and here. A similar, mid-range, wide-shaft boot here and a more expensive, wide-shaft version here. And gosh, really you can find boots like this anywhere in all price ranges, so I highly recommend adding them to your wardrobe!

A jacket I can zip! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

A bit of fun news: I was interviewed on 40plusstyle.com about my style and such. If you’re curious, you can read it here. Have a great weekend!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains links to items for which I receive a few cents for each click or purchase. Thanks!

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A Fun Asymmetrical Top For Us Apple Shapes!

Hey everyone! I’m back with some photographs we took while we were in North Carolina visiting my sister and her family over the holidays. So, instead of knee-deep snow we will have a couple of posts with greenery and sunshine!

Cute top for apple-shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you remember back to this post where I wore my favorite sweater and had a pretty pink tunic underneath but couldn’t find the link (still not on their website), well I ended up getting a long-sleeved version in the same fabric, which is the crepe fabric that skims my body without clinging. It also has the asymmetrical hem that is really in style right now. I was able to find a link for this top but only in the plus size version. Not sure what’s going on with their website, but hopefully you can find it at your local Macy’s if you’re interested.

Cute top for apple-shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve admired the flouncy cuffs that are everywhere but I totally envision them dragging through my lunch or getting caught under my keyboard. However, these cute sleeves stay out of the way when I’m doing anything with my hands. I tried this one on at the store and it looked great when my arms were bent, so pretty and flowy, but really bad when I lowered my arms to my side, like making me look extra wide.

Cute top for apple-shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

These pants you’ve seen before here. They are stretchy and have a great waistband for us apple-shapes. I love the length of them too, ending right above my ankle, especially with pumps like these super adorable green suede ones. The pants are also from Macy’s, from the Alfani brand, and they make a really nice variety of pants that fit our shape well, with lots of patterns, like these fun houndstooth plaid ones. They have them in a variety of colors but also in classic black here. This pair is a plus size in gray, which this brand also makes. I even tried on a shiny metallic pair thinking I would wear them around the holidays but they didn’t come home with me, though I’m thinking seriously about these fun patterned ones! At least this is one brand that I’ve found that is giving us options. Happy 2017 everyone!

This post contains links to the items I love and I receive a few cents for each click or purchase. Thank you!

 

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If This Wasn’t A Fashion Blog…

Hey everyone! To finish up 2016, I thought I’d show you some of my favorite photos of the year that didn’t make it into the blog. We have found that when we photograph we get distracted by the surroundings. We often have to remind ourselves that the outfit is the star of the photo (ok, maybe I say I am the star, but you know what I mean). So, even though these pictures were good, they don’t serve the purpose of the blog. However, I think they deserve a mention and should be enjoyed. These are the interesting and beautiful surroundings we found ourselves in this year…

If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
The roses were so distractingly beautiful in these gardens and I had a hard time just picking one for this post!
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Our small town courthouse in the background along with a grapevine-filled wall were so cool.
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
The stonework was an interesting shape that my husband insisted we photograph, though I kept asking “are you sure you can see the shoes?”
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Pretty self-explanatory
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
One of our favorite places to photograph. This is a small alley in my town with lots of painted doors and brick walls to photograph. We would get very distracted here.
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Too fun to pass up!
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Too dark to show the outfit but the architecture here by Zaha Hadid is so striking
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
The Henry Ford Estate had beautiful gardens and this heavy wood door leading into a rose garden
My photographer was having a good time experimenting with this structure where he felt it looked like old ruins
This mural was so striking I felt that the outfit, and me, were completely overshadowed by it
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
A Detroit mural that is amazing. The small black rectangle near one of the feet is me
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
My border collie Kip who likes to be in photos
If I didn't have to focus on the outfits! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com
And one of our cats, Skittles, who knows she is the star of the photo!

That’s my wrap-up of 2016 and I’ll be back in 2017 with some new things for the blog that I’m excited about. I didn’t know where this blog was going when I started, but now I’ve got some great ideas and will be implementing them in the new year that I believe will add to this community we’ve created here! Stay tuned and happy new year!

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Behind the Scenes of the Madness!

Hey everyone! Instead of doing a top 10 list or a wrap up of the year, I thought I’d do a behind-the-scenes post that shows the madness! No, actually the photos show windy days, closed eyes and bad faces, however there is some fun and this is so much more interesting than seeing my top 10 favorite outfits of the year. So I hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes reality as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

So, being a fashion blogger isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. You spend a lot of time in awkward positions.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Wind is your enemy.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Your eyes water a lot.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Your photographer needs more direction.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You forget to put on your heels.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You don’t agree with your photographer.

 

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve had enough and you have to make a crazy face.

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And sometimes you just have to bust a move!

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Bloopers from the blog -www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Ha ha! But, through all of that, I’m still having fun bringing you real fashion for real women who have real lives behind the scenes! Happy holidays everyone!

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite Sweater in Gray This Time!

Hey everyone! A couple of posts ago I showed you my favorite sweater. I can’t believe I hadn’t shown it to you before even though I own it in three colors so I thought I’d show you the gray version I own. Favorite gray sweater - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I showed the black version in the first post and I felt it didn’t photograph well. I think the gray shows the cut of the sweater better, especially how it hangs flatteringly over the bust and also how it dips in a bit at the waist. Don’t despair if this sells out. They’ve come out with this sweater the last 3 years since I bought my two versions. They also have it in white and tan.

Favorite gray sweater - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This pink top is new and is a crepe type fabric so it hangs really nicely without clinging. It has some weight to it too so it gives no indication of what is happening underneath! It’s also sleeveless, which I like to wear if I’m going to be wearing a warm sweater inside or if your shoulder/armpit area of your top layer is tight. For some reason I can’t find it on Macy’s website. It’s Alfani brand and the closest I can find is here so maybe you’ll have better luck at your local store.

Favorite gray sweater - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I could have gone with a scarf that had a pink, black and gray pattern but I decided to go with a somewhat contrasting color with the bright green. The scarf does have black and gray in it so it does pull those colors together. I just felt like going with another bright color. Also, knowing that being too matchy-matchy makes you look dated (though that is a hard habit for me to break!) the green is an unexpected jolt of color I think.

Favorite gray sweater - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And to address the elephant in the room… yes, these are my horses and my little farm. Another snow storm kept us from going out to photograph so we decided to photograph at our house (thanks Mom for the suggestion). We have 6 horses and 10 acres and assorted other little animals. I don’t know if we’ll photograph here in the future (the horses do not take direction well!) but I promise to keep these photos interesting. I enjoy finding new places and new ways to photograph. If I just kept doing the same scene and location (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) I’d get bored. So, expect more “non-traditional” fashion blogger photo shoots in the future!

This post contains affiliate links to items I own and love!

 

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A Winter Coat I Can Button Up!

Hey everyone! If you are an apple shape, you know it is near impossible to find a coat that you can button up without having it be gigantic everywhere else. I never expect my jackets to button up and just buy them to fit my shoulders and the rest of my body. However, living in the north, I have to have a winter coat that buttons up. Luckily I have found one!

A winter coat to fit a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s from Anne Klein’s brand and I find she has several styles that fit our shape. Here is the link to this style and it has many color options including classic black and gray but also beautiful red and merlot.

A winter coat to fit a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Here is a link for a longer version in black if you’re interested in that style since I am 5′ 2″ you can see this short version works well for me.

A winter coat to fit a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I also discovered that leopard print goes really well with this blue so I wear these gloves a lot. I also have a really cute bright violet pair that I wear too. And my new purse goes really well with the coat!

A winter coat to fit a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m also wearing my boots that don’t have any heel to get around in this snow but also to keep my legs warm! They are a nice way to add style without having to worry about twisting your ankle in any kind of heel. They fit my wide calf (17″) well and allow me to wear some thick socks too. We have gotten a lot of snow and cold this December so they are my go-to boot right now. Happy Wednesday!

This post contains affiliate links to items I own and love!

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Let’s Just Use This As A Teaching Moment…

Hey everyone! So, originally in this post, I intended to talk about the vest I’m wearing and how it’s another thing I bought while on vacation and don’t wear much but love the textured fabric and straight cut and how it hangs and how it has pockets, but I don’t like the hood and how my husband compared me to Obi-Wan Kenobi when I first wore it …. but, when I flipped through the photos I found a much more relevant topic: I’m done with white shirts.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

Yikes. This shirt does not cut me any slack. In fact, it points out areas I didn’t even think were problem areas before. Wide arms? Emphasized. Wrinkles under the bust? Check. Waistband dent showing? Check. Midsection highlighted? Check. This shirt is even making me re-think these jeans that I’ve loved and worn many times to great success and rave reviews.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

So, is it just the color? Well, the knit fabric does hug curves more, but I have this same turtleneck in black and you’ve seen it here. I would argue it’s the white and it’s play with light and shadows. It even reflects light under my chin emphasizing my round face. White be gone with you!

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

I even tried the magic belt and it was a big flop! If you’re a new reader, let me quickly explain. I’ve used this magic belt (really just a regular shirt belt that’s elastic instead of leather) on numerous occasions to rein in a dress or to give an illusion of a slimmer waist but here, with this devilish white shirt,  I look like a Power Ranger (yes, that comparison came from my husband too…sigh).

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

Of course, I’m remembering my dressing room advice to keep repeating “It’s not me – it’s the clothes” as I thumb through these photos to choose which bad ones to show and there are many. These were the only ones I could bear putting out into the internet universe.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

So, even though these images are making me cringe as I look at them, I am offering this up as a lesson we all can learn from and to let you all know I’m keepin’ it real. No glamorous lifestyle blogger here. Just a regular woman trying to figure out what looks good on her midlife body…though these booties are beyond reproach and are super cute and on sale!

On a side note, you may have noticed the new blue rectangle on the right hand side of the screen saying “featured on Discover”. I was an Editor’s Pick at WordPress Discover this week (and through which many of you have discovered our place here – welcome!). They’re also interviewing me for a feature article coming up soon! Super exciting! It’s all because it’s a rare thing on the internet for a woman over 40, who is not slim or a celebrity, to be talking fashion and showing her real midlife body. Wow! When everything else is out on the internet, we are not. Well, we’re changing that. We’re getting out there. We’re done being invisible. And you ladies encourage me every step of the way with your comments and shares and spreading the word because we rule!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains affiliate links to items I love and own!

 

 

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