Thanks for the Feedback!

Hey everyone! A couple of posts ago I wore this same dress with a long sweater vest. I had been seduced by the pattern despite some red flags when I purchased and tried on the dress. I asked all of you if I should keep it or should it go. I received a lot of suggestions on how to make it look better and I definitely think I’m keeping it and will continue to find ways to wear it!

Working this outfit with feedback from my readers!

I wore it with the belt in the first post but it was suggested that I try it without the belt. Here it is in that variation.

Working this outfit with feedback from my readers!

It was also suggested I try it with a jacket or blazer. Believe it or not, I don’t own a proper blazer, so I tried this jacket unzipped plus added my magic belt. You can tell we were having some fun while photographing! And yes, my husband was the photographer.

Working this outfit with feedback from my readers!

Similar jacket here. Similar purse here. Dress here. Similar boots here.

Below is a version with the jacket zipped up. This is one of the few jackets I own that I can zip up, thanks to the stretchy cotton fabric on the sides of the jacket. I think this version is bleh. It could just be the jacket not fitting well over my bust and being one of those asymmetrical zipped types, but I think it kind of chops up my body and isn’t the best look.

Working this outfit with feedback from my readers!

And For The Shoes:

I also added the boots which were a great improvement. In the last post I had pumps and bare legs and the contrast between the dark dress and my fair skin was a bit much. It may have looked better with dark tights and the pumps instead of bare legs. Now, with the boots I don’t even mind the hem length where before I thought it was a bit long. So, thanks everyone for your suggestions and I’m definitely keeping it so be prepared to see it in the future!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Shelbee on the Edge and Patti at 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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Date Night Casual!

Hey everyone! I’m here with an outfit I wore to a date night with my husband. This jacket is one of the few items I’ve bought this fall (yay for me!). I really loved the mustard color and the cut works well for me and my short waist. I did also buy this new scarf. The colors were so beautiful and eye-catching and the pattern of women’s faces fit my !Girl Power! tirade I’ve been on lately!

date night casual outfit for apple shapes

I haven’t worn these jeans much because it’s been warm but also because they have the flare bottoms and those are a little more needy than other silhouettes. By needy, I mean they need to be worn with a bit of heel and yet should still almost touch the ground, so really a slight heel in this case. They also require a belt to hold them up. If you’re an apple shape, you know exactly what I mean. To get jeans wide enough in the waist to fit they will often slide down your slimmer hips unless you have a belt. However, then you’re in danger of having the dreaded tummy dent in your midsection from the belt having to be tight enough to hold the pants up. Ugh! It’s such a catch-22. I opted to not wear the belt with this outfit and spent the evening yanking my pants up. We need to figure out a better way to wear jeans! [updated! check out the video in the comments section from Thea]

date night casual outfit for apple shapes

While looking at these pictures I would change the outfit in two ways.

I’d tuck in my t-shirt. I was going for casual and wanted to be more covered up but I think because it is longer than the jacket it looks a bit sloppy. Instead of tucking it in I could have worn a t-shirt that ended at the same spot as the jacket and it would have been fine. I would also wear my magic belt. I do have two belts. One is a very slim one that I use to keep my pants from slipping down but it is not for public view because it’s really skinny and would look terrible. So, I’d wear my elastic magic belt you’ve seen transform many outfits. I’ve worn it before with these jeans here. I just didn’t feel like having my stomach be a focal point for this outfit since we were going out to dinner after we took these photos, but it would have looked better.

date night casual outfit for apple shapes

I know I’ve mentioned it before in the comments discussions, not sure if I’ve written about it, but I buy jackets even though I know I could never zip them up. The only jackets that I insist zip or button up are the ones used to keep me warm in the winter. If it’s just a jacket used more for style than necessity and would be worn open anyhow, then I make sure it fits me in the shoulders and arms and in the length and forget about getting it to close over my bust and stomach.

date night casual outfit for apple shapes

And this fun t-shirt celebrates The Marche du Nain Rouge. It is a march that celebrates all that is good in the city of Detroit by driving out Nain, who is a harbinger of doom. Detroit is our major city here in Michigan and has been a city in decline for over 50 years. It used to be called the Paris of the midwest with it’s french history and beautiful architecture. During the great recession the city finally hit rock-bottom and has started to transform itself into a cool city full of artists, designers and young people. My next photo shoot will be in Detroit where I can show you some of the transformations. Until then, have a great fall 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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I’m a Ballerina!

Hey everyone! So, no, I’m not a ballerina but all of a sudden I seem to have a lot of ballerina-type clothes. I did not realize how much the clothes associated with ballerinas had come into style until I put this outfit together.

Ballerina look over on the blog

First, it started with these new shoes. I like flats but they always slide off of my feet. I saw these flats that had elastic over the top and thought that seemed like a perfect solution. Then I noticed the blunt toe (different, interesting) and I don’t own a pair of metallic shoes yet so I bought them.

Ballerina look over on the blog

Next, as the shoes are interesting around the ankle I wanted to show them off so I pulled out my leggings which lead to a tunic top to wear with the leggings. This pretty blue one is called ballerina sleeved (3/4 sleeve) and has a soft flowy cut made of thin cotton and has a scooped neck collar which I feel balances out my bust and is more flattering than a v-neck.

Ballerina look over on the blog

And because it was cool, I pulled out my sweater which can be worn tied in front or hanging open. You’ve seen it before here. This is a comfy, casual outfit that I can wear whether I’m running to the grocery store (most likely) or dancing on a stage (unlikely…but you never know!).

Yes, my husband was my photographer and we were being silly so I’ll leave you with my graceful ballerina pose for your Wednesday chuckle!

Ballerina look over on the blog

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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I Was Seduced By Pattern!

Hey everyone! Have you ever bought something because of the pattern or the color? Or did you see it look really nice on the model in the catalog and convinced yourself it would look the same on you? I have. Yes, it’s this dress.

Seduced by Pattern

I saw this dress in a catalog (first mistake). When I received it, I was surprised that it had a sheen to it, especially around any curve. The fabric was more clingy than it looked in the catalog on the model (duh) and was a very different cut than I usually wear in a dress and the length of the hem is much longer than I usually wear. So many parts of this dress were outside of my comfort zone and my tried and true formula of a pencil skirt or straight dress ending right below my knee.

Seduced by Pattern

Yet, I kept it. I thought the pattern was so beautiful and unusual and I really wanted it to work. Plus, I’ve seen the longer hem length is in style and thought I should give it a try.

Seduced by Pattern

Here’s how I would improve this outfit. I would wear tall boots instead of pumps. The hem hits at a wide part of my calf and my skin is so fair and the dress is so dark so I think having a dark pair of tall boots would look better. Can you imagine a pair of dark green suede boots with this? Or even my faithful black ones? It would look more put together I think.

Seduced by Pattern

The longer hem I’m still on the fence about. I think it’s not the most flattering length for me and feels like it looks a little frumpy. Agree or disagree?

Seduced by Pattern

Because of the sheen, especially above the belt and below my bustline (really bad place to have light reflection) I think I need something buttoned up over it. Maybe a blazer or sweater, or a cape would be fun, but definitely something to cover the front. I think I also need long sleeves over this. It is a clingy fabric and doesn’t do anything for my arms.

Seduced by Pattern

So, with all of that critique above, I’d sum it up as thinking this dress could work if I covered it all up. Sheesh. As I’ve said before, I do like a challenge and I’ll give this dress another try but this might have been mistake. This could be a great dress to try with pattern mixing though as I talked about in my last post with this seductive pattern. I’m going to keep it a little while longer and try to work with it some more before a final verdict. I’d love to hear any suggestions from all of you. Is it salvageable or should I learn my lesson and move on?

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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Venturing into Pattern-Mixing!

Hey everyone! I’m trying out pattern-mixing for the first time here. I see it on others who do it so well but I have been hesitant to try it because I’m not really sure how to do it successfully. Plus, I will admit, I do not have that many patterned items of clothing. However, I do have the determination to figure this out!Pattern Mixing on the blog at www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve heard you should make sure there is a common color between the two patterns (white, in this case) but all other advice seems to say anything goes. Supposedly stripes and polka dots are considered neutrals. Also, I’ve read that the scale of patterns should be contrasting and if they’re not, have the colors be highly contrasting (so there goes the common color rule!). Here is a list of suggestions with great images that will inform you and confuse you.

Pattern Mixing on the blog at www.whenthegirlsrule.com

How did I come up with this combination? I pulled out my print items of clothing and scarves and just started laying them on top of each other to see if anything clicked. I know, not very helpful or scientific, but that’s how this pattern combination and outfit came together (and how I put together lots of my other outfits). How about you? Have you tried pattern mixing? Any advice for us beginners on how to make it fresh and stylish instead of random and questionable? I’m going to continue to explore this because I want to learn how to do it and now it’s a challenge and it’s always hard for me to back down from a challenge!

Pattern Mixing on the blog at www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Another thing I’m experimenting with here is wearing different shades of blue, none that match, but calling it good because they’re all blue. Again, this used to be a no-no but no longer. I know that being matchy-matchy is out of style and kinda ages someone (like having your shoes match your purse that matches your scarf) so I work to avoid that but I’m really playing fast and loose with colors here! Similar jacket here and similar shirt in black here and multi-colored here.

Pattern Mixing on the blog at www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, my lesson here, I think, is that (almost) anything goes with pattern mixing. And I need a blue purse. Or maybe a yellow one. Or maybe a red one to completely throw this outfit into primary color riot. Either way, I’m going to continue to push myself and my fashion knowledge so expect to see the results, good or bad, here in the future.

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Shopping my Closet, 50 is not Old, The Pleated Poppy, Shelbee on the Edge and another Michigan blogger at Color and Grace!

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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A Minimalist Wardrobe…but not by choice!

Hey everyone! So, perhaps you’ve heard of a new trend in fashion called a “minimalist” wardrobe. It’s an idea to build your wardrobe with a few quality basics rather than lots and lots of “fast” fashion that are inexpensive but usually low quality and trendy so they end up being obsolete by the next year. I laughed when I heard of it because if you are built like me, or really if you’re a size 12 or above, you’ve had this minimalist wardrobe forced on you!

Going very Bright!

Yes, you’ve seen this outfit before. I last styled it here with a necklace instead of the scarf but wanted to show how it can change the look just by changing one accessory. One skill I’ve learned is to change up accessories to change an outfit, since it is so hard to find clothing that works for my body type. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, and if you continue to read it, you will see items repeated over and over. It’s not that I don’t want to have lots of clothes to choose from, they just don’t make them for my shape.

Going very Bright!

My body goes against everything the fashion industry idolizes and designs for. I am short (5’2″), short-waisted, big-busted, apple-shaped (which means I carry my weight in my torso, mainly stomach), no feminine indented waist (in fact, the opposite), short legs, big thighs, big calves, oh, and I’m old!

Going very Bright!

Yet even working within those constraints, I have still been able to put together outfits that give me a confidence boost and a spring in my step. If I can do it, anyone can do it! If you haven’t read why I’m doing the blog (here) now would be a good time. If you have read it, remember that I have only been figuring out this fashion thing since the fall of 2014, so only two years. A huge part of this journey has been to not blame my body, but to blame the clothes and the designers. I reminded everyone here to think “It’s not me. It’s the clothes.” when they’re in the changing room. If you read the article about Tim Gunn (here), brought to my attention by a reader, complaining that the fashion industry ignores anyone over size 12, then you know it really is the clothes, not your body, that are the problem.

Going very Bright!

Another thing about the fashion industry, that I personally think is outdated, is that it likes to have an air of fantasy or eliteness about it, something us mere mortals should try to aspire to. Believe it or not, in this little corner of the internet, I’ve had to think about that. There are times when I could steer this blog to make it seem like I’m glamorous or leading a fabulous life and everything I wear is fabulous and fits me perfectly. I could touch up my photos (which I never do!) and be one of those places on the internet where you go to dream about “one day I could dress like that”. Well, that is definitely not me and that is not the purpose of this blog. I’m keeping it real. Until the fashion industry recognizes that women come in all shapes, all sizes, and all ages and starts making clothes for this beautiful diversity you will be seeing repeated outfits from my “minimalist” wardrobe. But, rest assured, I will always be presenting reality here in my corner of the internet!

 

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Fall Colors

Hey everyone! We are slowly transitioning to fall here in Michigan. Usually it’s much colder by now, but you know, things are changing. A plus side is I can wear lighter weight clothing until it does get colder.

fall colors and outfits!

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll recognize everything here. These are summer khaki pants that are super soft so I try to wear them as much as possible. They are wide-legged too so a nice change from tighter pants or skinny jeans. You’ve seen them here and here.

fall colors and outfits!

The jacket is also lightweight, so easy to be a “third piece” over the shirt without getting overheated — a plus for us peri-menopausal women! It fits me well everywhere except it will never button, something us big busted gals deal with daily. I do not expect jackets that I wear indoors to button or zip up. I only demand that from my winter outerwear. You’ve seen it before (unbuttoned, of course!) here.

fall colors and outfits!

The dark burgundy shirt is sleeveless too so it doesn’t add a lot of bulk. Even though it’s a summer weight, it’s a fall color so it works for the middle of October. I’ve used it before here to transition an outfit from summer to fall. Sometimes all it takes is a color change to make an outfit work for more than one season.

fall colors and outfits!

These cute shoes are making their blog debut. I bought them last year looking for shoes that go well with pants, have a small heel and are comfortable. I don’t see the exact pair available any more unfortunately. They have a lot of support for walking and they are a nice fall color too. They are by Pikolinos who is known for comfort and so far these have lived up to that claim.

fall colors and outfits!

How I’d Change This:

Here’s a close up of my accessories. Looking at these photos I think I should have added a necklace since it is such a blank canvas. I took my cue from the brass buttons to decide which metal to wear in my accessories. Sometimes a zipper or buttons or metal on the shoes decide if it’s silver or gold accessories. This time I went with the brass kind of look or the dirty gold look.

And yes, my husband photographed me in this outfit. It has been commented that he gets the biggest smiles from me while doing these photo shoots. Something to be said for 26 years together I guess!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Fashion Fairy Dust, 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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When you Buy Something While on Vacation…

Hey everyone! Have you ever been out with girlfriends, maybe had a glass of wine or two, then went out shopping? Or have you ever gone clothes shopping while in the blissful, relaxed, alternative reality of vacation? Tell me, the clothes you bought then, did you ever wear them?

Great vest for large busted women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, this vest is one of those items. I bought it while on vacation, after a lunch that included wine.  I’ll say no more. The color caught my eye, then the way it draped so cleanly really intrigued me, plus I was in a very optimistic, happy mood. I tried it on and liked the unusual hem and the pocket. Plus, it’s a vest. Vests can be so versatile. The color is so neutral. This will be a basic wardrobe piece I thought.

Great vest for large busted women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Then I got home and back to reality and realized I would never wear this vest to work or out on errands and probably not even out to dinner. Every time I tried it on, with good intentions to make it work, I still really liked it but it was just not my style, and I just couldn’t see myself wearing it again. I have several items like this. It seemed like such a good idea when I was on vacation… It seemed like such a good idea after those cocktails…

Great vest for large busted women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, I did what I always do, turn a situation completely on it’s head. If I’m not going to wear it for the humdrum, day-to-day places I always go, perhaps I should wear it to the quirky places I don’t go very often. Places where a “unique” or “interesting” item of clothing would not be out of place. Places like art museums, gallery shows, art events, concerts, actually any place where artists gather. I wore this to the Detroit Institute of Arts. No one batted an eye. It felt completely appropriate and comfortable to wear.

Great vest for large busted women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you can see this vest hangs so simply and plainly it totally becomes a canvas for statement jewelry. I toned down the unusual cut with a really basic black skirt and a simple gray shirt to tone down the green (even though it’s not bright, I felt the need to keep the basics really basic). That way the graphic silver jewelry and belt had an opportunity to take the center stage. You’ve seen the skirt so many times before I won’t even link to it. The shoes are awesome and comfy and are here. The gray top is from White House Black Market. The vest is from Bryn Walker and is one of those lines of clothing that are only available at little, unique, independent boutiques.

Great vest for large busted women - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, I have a couple of other clothing items that I have bought on vacation. They seemed like such a good idea at the time…but now I realize they are items that are for special times, special events. Perhaps, they’re just items to wear on vacation. Perhaps, they’re the items I wear when I’m doing something out of the ordinary. We all need to push ourselves out of the ordinary and perhaps having something to wear just for that occasion is what we need for that push!

This post contains affiliate links that gives me a couple of cents per click or purchase which I then put immediately back into the blog. Thanks!

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