My Work Uniform…Or as Close as I’ll Get to One!

Hey everyone! As you recall from a couple of posts ago, I suggested three easy ways to up your style game: find a jacket you love, switch your black pants to a black skirt and wear a pair of tall boots. Well, here is my advice in action, except a warmer weather version.

My work "uniform"

Since we’re still having nice days here, I haven’t pulled out my tall boots yet and am still able to go bare-legged, but other than that you can see how much a jacket and skirt can up your style game. This outfit is so easy to pair with stylish shoes, in fact, a show-stopping pair of shoes could easily be the centerpiece.

My work "uniform"

And look how cute these shoes are! The cut-out near the heel and little tie on the back is very on-trend. I refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes, but really like the look of the pointy-toed style, so I’ve figured out how to wear them comfortably. I bought a 1/2 size larger and stuffed the toe with spongey material (anything flexible would work). Now my toes don’t slip into the narrow, cruel part of the shoe. I wouldn’t wear these on a day I did a lot of walking, but for regular office days, or a night out, they are fine.

My work "uniform"

You’ve seen this jacket before here. The military style is on-trend now and it’s a lightweight jacket that has some stretch that I appreciate and in such a pretty color for my coloring.

My work "uniform"

This ponte knit pencil skirt you’ve seen in many other colors on this blog and this is the black version. I’m wearing the same black shell I’m always raving about because it hides and skims your middle easily and has two different necklines.

My work "uniform"

Dressing with this “uniform” or “formula” makes it easy to pull together an outfit quickly in the morning and easy to buy variations of these three pieces to build a wardrobe. You can imagine how changing up the jacket could change this outfit. Or change up the color of the shell and skirt, or even wear a dress under the jacket, to change the look.

So, that’s my easy “uniform” when I don’t want to have to do much thinking about an outfit or when I want to build up my wardrobe. I’m all about passing on info to make something easier! Have a great weekend!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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Now I Have a Hero Piece!

Hey everyone! If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I had to learn by myself how to dress this mid-life body (and if you’re new to this blog you can read about it here). I scoured the internet for tips and helpful blogs. One thing I heard a lot about was a “hero piece”. I seriously did not understand what this was and how an item was determined to be a “hero”. But, now, I think I’ve got it figured out.

My Hero Piece Shirt!

One thing I enjoy doing is pulling out a lot of items from my closet and trying them in different combinations. Often, I find I wear the same top with the same bottom because they work together, but I don’t want to get into a rut and I don’t want to run out and buy something new just to mix things up. So, probably once each season, I’ll pull out what I’ve got and just start trying them on together, even if I don’t think it will work. I learn a lot about why an item of clothing works, or doesn’t, when I do this.

My Hero Piece Shirt!

So, I have some items of clothing that aren’t very flexible. For whatever reason they don’t go with many other items. These pants are an example. They have a wide leg, so traditional styling would have it that I would wear it with a slim fitting top. As you know, that is definitely not an option for my comfort level. The other reason why these pants are inflexible is that the waistband is a bit tight and definitely shows a dent in my mid-section, another non-starter for my comfort level. Enter the hero piece: the blue top.

My Hero Piece Shirt!

This blue top works with all of the finicky pieces of my wardrobe. It is a nice length, has flattering 3/4 sleeves and the material skims without clinging and without ballooning out. You’ve seen it before here but that was before I realized it’s super-power. So many tops when you have a big bust are either too form-fitting or too tent-like. This shirt is the perfect in-between. Now, when I have a finicky item in my closet, I pull out this hero piece and let it do it’s job!

My Hero Piece Shirt!

It also has an easy neckline to work with for jewelry, scarves, jackets and I have no worries about bending over and giving anyone a peep-show. Plus, with my white hair, fair skin and blue eyes the color is really flattering. Here is plus size options from JJill and a sleeveless version.

So, that’s how I figured out what a hero piece was. It’s a piece that can jump into any wardrobe catastrophe and fix things in a jiffy! When you find a piece like this, pull out the troublesome items in your closet and try them together. It really is worth shopping your closet and trying things on just for fun to find the hidden gems already in there.

My Hero Piece Shirt!
FYI: These photos were taken at the Detroit Children’s Museum

Side note: This is my 6 month blogging anniversary! I have really enjoyed everything about it, but have come to love the comments and discussions we have in the comment sections the most. It is the closest place where we can have real dialog about dressing and loving our mid-life bodies. So, if you’re feeling hesitant about commenting, please don’t hesitate any longer. Do it whenever the mood strikes, because we are a supportive group here! And thank you to all of my loyal readers who continue to read and comment and share. Bette, a regular reader, sent me this link about Tim Gunn’s rebuke of the fashion industry for ignoring women over size 12. Sound familiar? Here is the Washington Post article and here is Kelly McEver’s interview on NPR. We are not invisible. We’re not going away. We demand better… because we rule!

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Shelbee on the Edge!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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My Alternative to the Maxi Dress Trend

Hey everyone! If you’ve been looking around on the internet at all, or been to a concert, you’ve seen the maxi dress trend, especially during summer. If you’re not familiar with the term “maxi dress”, it’s a long dress, usually cotton, that billows out with lots of fabric in the skirt part and thin straps or sleeveless top.   Picture sundresses from our childhood but make it a long dress and you get the idea. I have not jumped on that trend bandwagon because it looks too much like a muu-muu to me and I see it dragging on the ground in the dirt and tripping up the wearer. Plus, being short, this would be hard to carry off.

So, here is my alternative. A longer skirt, you’ve seen it before here, with a graphic t-shirt and a light jacket.

casual yet still put together

This is also a fun outfit to go to something casual but still look put together but not overdressed. I’m picturing an outdoor event where it gets cool in the evening.

casual yet still put together

These shoes are Munro with a slight heel but have this casual look and are really easy to wear. This is also a good outfit to transition to cooler weather with the light jacket and longer skirt.

casual yet still put together

Everything in this outfit is several years old but the shoes are available here in lots of different fun colors. The jacket is from Dress Barn and though old is very much on trend with the olive green military look and there are many options similar out there. And you’ve seen my Detroit t-shirt before here. Happy weekend everyone!

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Not Dead Yet Style!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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White After Labor Day!

Hey everyone! If you are around my age, or older, you know that for a long time there was a rule of “no white after Labor Day” or you could say “no white before Memorial Day”. Usually, it meant shoes but it was for all items of clothing. As with so many things now, those rules are gone and I am glad for it! I think of the conformist 1950’s and feel for those women who had to abide by so many rules in dressing and behavior and most were unspoken rules.Wearing white after Labor Day!

Well, no more! Now we can wear whatever color we want whenever we want. I have found in my observations since starting this “style journey” two years ago it really depends on the fabric rather than the color. I have seen white pants in fall that were of thin cotton, you know the kind, where you can see the outline of the pockets and thought that outfit doesn’t work. It’s easy to think it’s the color since that’s what you notice first but really it’s the fabric. So, white wool pants would look very nice in the winter but weird in the summer. And even if you think you don’t really notice the fabric you do pick up on subtle cues like how it drapes and the texture.

Wearing white after Labor Day!

One way I’ve transitioned these pants, that you’ve seen before here and here, was changing some of the other pieces of the outfit so it doesn’t look so summery. So, instead of sandals I’ve added these super cute gray boots that are some of the most padded boots and most comfy boots I’ve ever owned. I refuse to wear something that hurts my feet!

Wearing white after Labor Day!

I’ve added my wrap sweater that you’ve seen before here and a fall-colored shirt that is all the rage of color this fall, which I think is the key piece to making this outfit look appropriate for fall. Now, I know I won’t be wearing these pants into November because then they will become to thin and start looking out of place, but for now, I like how they are adding more variety to my fall wardrobe.

Wearing white after Labor Day!

So, hurrah for breaking rules and ditching dumb rules that made no sense. If it looks good and makes you feel good then go for it!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Shelbee on the Edge!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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Yeah, I’m Stalling…

Hey everyone! So, as you know from my last post, we’re actually having hot and humid summer weather here still and I’m way bored of showing you my summer outfits. So, I’m stalling a bit. I don’t want to do a photo-shoot wearing sweaters and tights (though they would be super cute!) while it’s 88 degrees and 88% humidity, so I’m getting creative.

Lookin' fine in cropped pants!

I went back through my phone pictures to come up with a post idea and stumbled across this outfit. These were actually taken last May and never used for the blog because, well, actually, I don’t know why. I love this outfit and really want to wear it soon. I think because these photos were taken with my phone I didn’t want to use them but the resolution is actually ok.

Lookin' fine in cropped pants!

These are the same, flattering wide-legged crop pants I was talking about earlier here. Wide-legged pants are coming back into style so be prepared to see a lot of them. I was surprised how well I liked them because they balance out my wider top half and I think they would work for anyone with a big bust or apple shape or both!

Lookin' fine in cropped pants!

Here’s a lighter photo so you can see the bright blue top better and the leopard print shoes I absolutely adore. I think because they pushed me way out of my comfort zone when I bought them, they make me feel edgy! Here’s the post about how I eased myself into wearing leopard print. You’ve seen this shirt before here. And of course you’ve seen this trusty jacket in many, many posts before.

Lookin' fine in cropped pants!

So, I’d love to be actually wearing this outfit now instead of the worn out khaki skirt you always see me in, so maybe between now and next Wednesday it will cool off and I can get some photos in real fall clothes. If not, I’ve got some other creative post ideas so I can keep stalling! Have a great weekend!

Linking up with these ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

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And Now We’re Back to Summer!

Hey everyone! As you can see below I do not do well in the summer when it’s 88 degrees and 75% humidity. My face turns red, my hair puffs out and I look cranky! Add to that, trying to look stylish in minimal clothing and here you are.

IMG_0705

Yes, you’ve seen the skirt before, here and here and I have worn it a lot this summer. Unfortunately I can no longer find a link to it on JJill’s website for you, so it must have been quite popular. It has really been earning it’s keep this year at my house. This tank top from White House Black Market is such a life saver. The armholes are not too big so my bra stays completely covered. If you’re a regular reader you know how I feel about the industry standard giant armholes (why?). The material doesn’t wrinkle or show sweat. And to top that off, it has two necklines so you can decide whether to wear it front or back because it doesn’t matter which way you wear it. I’m wearing it here with the slight v-neck. The other option is a rounded neckline. And it’s on sale now!

IMG_0664

This vest is a really light fabric and I usually wear it in colder weather but I’ve seen a lot of fashion blogs and catalogs showing the sleeveless vest over a sleeveless top. I thought it seemed pretty useless  to layer a sleeveless top over another sleeveless top, but when I paired it with the tank top and skirt I saw it gave me more coverage without adding a heavy layer. I tried it hanging down and tied up and think both options work for different scenarios. This vest is several years old, so I can’t direct you to it, but I’ve seen many others out there that are similar with lots of pattern variations.

Sleeveless vest for the summer!

And here I am smiling because I know I have definitely gotten my money’s worth for this outfit and hopefully it’s the last time you’ll see me in a hot and sweaty photoshoot! I don’t know though because it’s supposed to be 90 tomorrow! Have a great week!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

 

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How to Start on Your Own Style Journey!

Hey everyone! I had a reader ask me how did I begin my transition to my current style. You can read about why I started here but she wanted to know the first steps. She felt she was in a style rut and what she was wearing didn’t reflect on the outside who she was on the inside. Her usual go-to stores and go-to styles were starting to look matronly on her and frumpy. So, if you’re in a style rut or just haven’t given style a thought in years, I’ll explain how I started. With fall clothing out in the stores, now is a good time to start because most places put their best styles and largest selections out in the fall.

Before you start though, please read this post here about shopping tips so you won’t be frustrated. Also, you have to be in the right frame of mind to do this. Think of it as an adventure or as looking for treasure. It’s not going to happen as you run out to the store on your lunch hour. Ok, let’s do this.

First, and easiest, shoes. I was convinced I couldn’t wear heels anymore. I refused to put my feet in any pain whatsoever so I didn’t even look at the heels. I kept buying flats or tennis shoes or clogs. I saw a group of women my age at an art event and they all had on tall boots with heels and they looked so stylish. I thought I’ll just give it a try and see if I can find some low-heeled tall boots. They had been in style for the last 10 years and didn’t look like they were on their way out and gosh, they looked cute.

style for apple shapes and big bust

Read original post for this outfit here.

I went to Famous Footwear (a staple in any mall) and tried on a pair that were $75, not cheap but not outrageous. I have a 17 ” calf, which is considered wide-calf, so I had to look for boots that had some stretch in the calf, usually stretchy fabric near the zipper, or were labeled wide-calf. I found a pair that I loved and were so comfortable. The heels on the boots are about 2″ high which I would never wear in a pump, but because the structure of the boot stabilizes your ankle, you don’t feel like you’re teetering in them. In fact, these are incredibly comfortable, even more comfortable than my flat pair of boots and I am able to walk long distances in them because my feet feel secure and don’t slip around. Now that the weather is getting cooler, you will be able to wear these boots for months.

best looks for big bust

Read original post for this outfit here.

If you’re definitely not interested in any heel at all there are cute options for tall boots with no heel like these. Either way, tall boots will up your style game immediately and show no sign of going out of style any time soon.

office wear for apple shapes and big bust

Read original post for this outfit here.

Second tip: get a jacket you love. I don’t mean outerwear or something you wear from the car into the building. I mean a “third piece” jacket. An outfit looks more put together when it has a third piece. Usually the top is the first piece and bottoms are the second piece and the third piece can be a scarf, vest or sweater. I would recommend starting with a jacket. They usually have more structure and are less clingy than a sweater, which works for us apple shapes. Now, if you’re busty like me, or carry your weight in your stomach like I do, do not insist that the jacket buttons up or zips up. This jacket is meant to be worn open anyhow, and if your shape is like mine, to find a jacket that will zip usually means it’s huge in the shoulders and arms and looks like you’re wearing a box.

Make sure you find a style you like. And by that I mean when you put it on you say “Hey! Foxy lady!” and maybe do some dance moves in front of the mirror.  I’m at the point in my life where I want to look a little bit “bad-ass”. I want clothes that have some sass and go against the typical aging woman stereotype. The black faux leather jacket you see below was my first clothes purchase after the boots. I found it at Dress Barn (stores all over the U.S.) for around $50 in 2014. I wear it all the time and even though it doesn’t zip, no one will ever know! I just knew when I tried it on that this was totally my style and I was going to wear the heck out of it.

style for apple shapes and big bust

Read original post for this outfit here.

Last tip. My guess is you wear lots of black pants. Don’t be embarrassed. I see tons of women wearing them every day no matter the season. I know. They’re easy to wear. They hide everything. They go with everything. All you have to worry about is dog or cat hair on them. I know. I’ve been there. My last tip is to buy a black skirt. Don’t freak out! Trust me, it won’t be that different from wearing black pants. There are many to choose from in many shapes. I prefer a pencil shape or straight shape and find the A-line shapes or skirts that flare out look terrible on me. Find a shape you like and pair it with your new tall boots. Now, I know you may be self-conscious about showing your legs, but a pair of black tights will completely cover your legs or you could get a longer skirt. If you have purchased the tall boots and a pair of black tights and are wearing the black skirt you should still be able to wear the tops you already own under your new jacket. You will be able to ease into this new style without looking like you’ve changed your personality.

best looks for apple shapes

Read original post for this outfit here.

So, that’s how I started this style journey. First the boots, then the jacket, then the skirt. It was enough of a difference to give me style without shocking my co-workers and family. It was just a bit of a change to get the ball rolling and helping me define my style. It made me realize I could do this. It gave me that confidence boost that a good outfit can give you, something I hadn’t felt about clothing in 20 years. And then I’ve been on a roll ever since…!

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

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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Fall Transitioning

Hey everyone! So, it’s still in the 80’s here during the day but starting to be in the 60’s in the mornings, so I’m still mostly wearing my summer clothes while transitioning towards fall. This skirt is one example. You’ve seen it on the blog before here and here. I haven’t worn it since spring because of it’s long length but now I don’t mind wearing it again. It’s such an easy piece to wear, and I’d love to give you a link for it, but it is many years old. You might not be able to tell, but it’s a very stretchy fabric and a stretchy lining, so though it looks like a slim silhouette, it’s easy to take big steps when walking with determination!
Summer Sweater for a Big Bust

This sweater I have in black and white because it’s so versatile to wear in an air-conditioned office but then you won’t die when walking to the parking lot! You’ve seen the white one before here. It’s a really, really light knit cotton and even though it stops a bit short of where I would prefer for a sweater, it’s a good balance between coverage and keeping cool. I couldn’t find it in black or white anymore but here and here are color options.

Summer Sweater for a Big Bust

I’m so glad that we are no longer given one option each season for skirt lengths. Remember those days? One year it would be mini skirts then the next year ankle length. Same with jeans. One year skinny jeans then the next year bell bottoms and you didn’t dare wear last years jeans because they shouted “OUT OF DATE”. But, sometime when I wasn’t paying attention, the fashion industry started offering all styles all the time and I so love that!

Summer Sweater for a Big Bust

So, seeing these images, I think I would have added a necklace, perhaps with a length halfway between the shirt top and collar bone. When we photographed these it was hot and humid (as you can see by my hair!) and adding a necklace just seemed like too much. Looking forward to cooler weather and my favorite season coming up!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Happiness at Mid-Life and Pocket Full of Polka Dots!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

 

 

 

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My Go-To Errand Outfit

Hey everyone! As I was throwing on this outfit the other day for the 100th time this summer I really thought it deserved a blog mention for all the work it’s done this summer. This is the easiest outfit to wear for running to the store or to do whatever errand needs to be done without having to fuss with an outfit.

Summer errand outfit!

These JJill jeans (on sale now!) have been shown before here and here are light and easy to wear and fit me well. They are slim in the hips and thighs but have stretch in the waistband. They can go with whatever pair of shoes are closest to the door without a second thought. Even though we can wear white year round these will be put away because the fabric is thin and just looks and feels like summertime jeans so I’m wearing them as much as possible before then.

Summer errand outfit!

This top was a find at The Loft. Besides the too-big armholes (why is that, I wonder?) which requires me to wear a tank top underneath, it has a nice drape and hits at a length I like. It’s not often that I have a buttoned-up collar because they’re usually associated with a too tight bust area but this one has enough fabric with some stretch, so fits well without looking like a tent. Ignore the messed up collar in the picture. It actually stands up normally in real life. I’m breaking in a new photographer (youngest daughter) since old photographer (eldest daughter) has gone back to college so some of the styling details get overlooked by both of us.

Summer errand outfit

I looked for a link to Ann Taylor for the shirt, since I just bought it in the spring, but it must have been popular and sold out because it is nowhere to be found. The sandals were shown here on the blog before and are still just as comfy. All in all, this whole outfit is made of classic pieces that I will be wearing next summer and beyond!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Elegantly Fashionable

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

 

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Summer Stripes

Hey everyone! So, I’m actually starting to run out of summer outfits to show you! Thank goodness the changing season means it’s time for me to pull out of storage a whole new set of clothes! Here is a fun top though that I’ve been wanting to show you.

big bust outfit

It’s got a nice bit of gauzy silk at the bottom for visual interest and it’s a nice, light tunic. I do have to wear a tank top underneath though because the pesky armholes are too big. I bought it over a year ago so I’m not able to find a link for it unfortunately.

big bust outfit

This skirt you’ve seen before in different colors here and here. A real work-horse staple for my wardrobe! The shoes are something I wore a lot last summer but just kind of forgot about this summer. They are very comfortable for a heel though so I should be making more of an effort to put them in rotation. They look nice with pants so I’ll be able to wear them into the fall.

big bust outfit

And, of course, my favorite purse as of late. It is recommended not to wear a small purse if you want to appear thinner (the whole scale thing) but I just got tired of carrying a big, hot purse these last two months and wanted something small and light. It’s been given the nickname of the cutie-patootie purse.

big bust outfit

Our sleeveless days are coming to an end but this top still looks good under sweaters so I’ll be able to wear it into the fall. Plus, it goes without saying, the black and white goes with everything. I think it would lend itself nicely to pattern mixing too, something I would like to try. Now it’s got me thinking…perhaps it will make another appearance on this blog. Take care!

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

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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