It’s A Party!

Hey! Welcome to the birthday party! Come on in!

blog birthday!

Can I take your coat? Oh, look at you! Looking stylish as always! Love that outfit on you! Glass of champagne? Or mint lemonade? My two favorites!

blog birthday!

This is Dave. He’ll be our waiter today. You know him as the photographer/husband. Thanks honey!

Our waiter!

Come on in and let me introduce you to everyone.

This is Cindy. She was the first one here. She’s from North Carolina and don’t you totally love her shoes? Oh my gosh! She can rock the white shirt so much better than I can!

blog birthday!

Come and meet Carol Ann from Idaho. I’ll let her tell her own story: “You might remember that you told me to ease in to wearing my style changes by wearing them to lunches or dinners. That was the best advice. I’m feeling much more comfortable and today I’m actually wearing one of my outfits to work for the whole day! So far so good. Thank you, Julia! I feel like It’s liberating to let go of being self-conscious!” Plus, she brought her dog to the party! I love that!

Blog Birthday!

Some of you may know Susan. She is another blogger who really helps you construct an outfit and shows you the good and bad. Her blog is Over 5o Under 20  and she has been a good friend to this blog and blogger!

Birthday Party!

Susan also brought her friend Ann. Ann is looking fabulous and check out the necklace! Beautiful!

Birthday Party!

Let me introduce you to Nancy. She’s the one with the beautiful smile. She’s from Kentucky and was deciding between two outfits, this one she ended up wearing, but also one with the exact same jacket I tried on at Dress Barn and will be showing Friday in a “I Would If I Could” post. Great minds think alike!

Here is Leslie from Michigan. She is a good friend in real life and though she’s not an apple-shape (actually quite slim) she learned to love tall boots and to go for a long and lean look. I’m also pushing her to try more edgy outfits too (sssshhh, don’t tell her!).

Happy Blog B-day!

This is Kay from Corpus Christi, Texas. She’s wearing an old top but it’s totally on-trend with florals this spring and just didn’t want to miss a good party! She must just look at my cold weather outfits and laugh and laugh!

This beauty is Rhonda. She is a good friend in real life too and has always been stylish. She’s also the baby here since she just turned 30. We were friends before I figured out this fashion thing and I was always so impressed with her style and her use of colors! She also knows how to make an entrance!

Blog Birthday Guest!

First, I want to thank my beautiful models here who took a step out of their comfort zone and sent me pictures of themselves. I’m very touched by your trust to send a picture to someone on the internet! It’s so nice to see all of your faces for a change! I will be sending you all a token of my appreciation.

Second, I want to thank all of you ladies out there. I didn’t know what this blog would become or how it would evolve or how it would be such a part of my life. I took a jump and you all were there to catch me. I would not still be doing this if it weren’t for all of the comments and emails and lovely words I receive from all of you!

For my guests attending out there, I would like to give you a party favor for coming to this birthday! For me to know who’s attended, please sign up for my email list by next Wednesday, March 29 and I’ll randomly be picking two guests to receive a $25 gift certificate. If you’re already signed up for the email, then don’t worry, you’re already entered. As you all know, I never will sell or give away your email.

And I know your presence is my present, however, if you want to give this blog an additional present, please share your favorite post to Pinterest or Facebook. It’s easy. All you have to do is go to the bottom of your chosen post and click the Facebook symbol or the Pinterest symbol and it will go to your account. I want more women to know this corner of the internet is here and you well-dressed ladies are my best ambassadors to help spread the word, so thank you!

So, everyone mix and mingle. Talk fashion. Talk books. Talk movies. Drink champagne. Eat potato chips. Eat cake. Thanks everyone for coming and we’ll do it again next year! I’ll go turn up the music!

 

Continue Reading

Pretty and Casual For The First Day Of Spring!

Hey everyone! So, another new pair of jeans I had resisted but now can’t remember why! Look! I’m even sitting comfortably without a button popping open and I can still breathe!

First Day Of Spring Casual | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Last week (here) I disclosed that I finally tried maternity jeans for our shape. I had stubbornly been avoiding them but really had no good reason to not try them. Of course, they fit perfectly and were comfortable and have opened up a whole new world for comfort and style.

First Day Of Spring Casual | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Here is another pair. These are not expensive so I thought I’d try the distressed trend since I have a really hard time spending money for clothes that are already ripped! These have become my grab and go jeans for running errands or running out to the store because they are so easy to wear. It’s available in plus size here.

First Day Of Spring Casual | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I have been wearing my white jacket a lot this winter (you’ve seen it many times on the blog which means I’m wearing it even more in real life) and when I went to grab it a couple of weeks ago I just couldn’t do it. It’s like when you just can’t eat another M&M even though you’ve happily been eating them without a thought. Luckily I found one really similar in style in this spring color though they also have white. It’s by Calvin Klein and I’m finding their design is really flattering and I can zip it up! The same brand of my old white jacket (Apt. 9 from Kohl’s) has a really pretty dusty pink that I may have to check out!

First Day Of Spring Casual | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m completing this spring transition by wearing my flats which look really cute with cropped or ankle length pants. It’s still cold here, so right now only my ankles are getting exposure but as the temperature rises so will my pant lengths! My flats are a year old but here and here are some similar ones.

FYI: The light blue blazer from the half girlfriend/half blogger post has been added to the Macy’s website and is available here!

See everyone Wednesday at the blog birthday party!

Linking up with these ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission for every click and purchase. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

Continue Reading

Another Pretty Dress

Hey everyone! You can see I’m having a love affair with dresses right now. I feel like I hit the jackpot at JC Penney for finding dresses that had stretch, fit nicely and had such pretty patterns. Here is another!

My Love Affair With Dresses! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve already shown two other dresses from JCP here and here. They are all the same style, the sheath style, and have the light fabric that hangs well without clinging. Here is the plus-size versions in coral and here in a dramatic pattern. Here are a few of the other pretty patterns they have. FYI: I wear a size 16 and they go up to size 18 before they start with the plus size versions. You’ve seen the heels before with the cute little tie and cut-out in the back.

My Love Affair With Dresses! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you’ve seen this spring, fun sleeves are on-trend right now. Though I think they’re very pretty I don’t think most of them are very practical. Often it looks like they’ll be dragging in your lunch or getting caught in the car door. I’ve been looking for a version that ends at the elbow so I can avoid all of that.

My Love Affair With Dresses! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Since most of the shirts with the fun sleeves are something I wouldn’t wear alone, but instead would wear under a jacket or sweater. That defeats the whole fun sleeve purpose! Luckily, this sweater  fits all of my requirements. I’m actually wearing petite large.

My Love Affair With Dresses! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Ok, and last time I’ll remind you to please RSVP for the blog birthday by tomorrow, March 18! If you have been inspired by this blog or have learned something and now are rockin’ some outfits, then send me a picture! If you’re shy I can crop your face out and will only say your first name and where you’re from. Join me and the other ladies who have already sent their photos for a fun party on Wednesday by sending your picture, even if it’s a mirror selfie, to julia@whenthegirlsrule.com. It is going to be a fun post with a lot of different blog happenings! Thanks!

This post contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission for each click and each purchase. Thank you!

Continue Reading

I Would If I Could… And I Did!

[This is not a sponsored post, even though I’m using lots of exclamation points!]

Hey everyone! My girlfriend and I were in Detroit last week and found the cutest little boutique shop right next to the Detroit Institute of Arts, our original destination. This is one of those places where you can find unique clothing that you can’t find in big, chain stores. This store is called The Peacock Room. Like all of these “I Would If I Could” posts I show you items that would look good on our shape even though I didn’t buy them. However, if you’re in the area, you could potentially buy them and you’d have my full recommendation!

Anyway, this is the first jacket that I really wanted. It is a great graphic print that would go with a ton of clothing I already own. It fit well in the waist and from the back it looked adorable. Yes, and it had pockets too!

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
How cute does this store look?

And then the second one. All the cuteness as above but with more color! Oh, I was sooo tempted! The brand is Luii and looks like it only sells through boutiques but perhaps they could direct you to a local retailer close to where you live.

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And unlike other “I Would If I Could” posts, I couldn’t resist all the flattering items and brought one home. Be prepared for utter cuteness! As I show you these images of the jacket, you also get a mini-tour of the Detroit Institute of Arts!

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

A little bit of backstory…when I got dressed that morning I put on a sweater over this grey dress but it looked a bit frumpy and more casual than the look I wanted. Then I put my pink leather jacket on and it was shorter than I wanted and a bit edgier than I wanted. After I bought this, I immediately took off the pink jacket and wore this. It was the length I wanted, the weight I wanted and hit the right snappy casual look I was trying for. It’s faux suede on the outside but soft gray sweatshirt material on the inside and went perfectly with the dress.

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
My girlfriend and I were having fun exploring all the parts of the DIA!

As you can see it has really unique sewing on the chest, which lays flat but still creates the ruffles. I know. I’m a hypocrite. I’m always saying to buy a sweater that lays flat on the chest and stay away from ruffles. But, this one has some serious magic sewing and didn’t add bulk to my chest. And the way it hangs is so flattering.

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Here’s the back. How cute is that? It’s by a brand called Magna and it’s only available wholesale. I’d love to be able to link to a place where you can buy it, but I can only find their Facebook page.

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Is this not the perfect image for this blog?

The Peacock Room had this same jacket in red (which was my first preference) but they didn’t have my size. However, if you are bigger than me (at size 16), and are looking for a step-up from a sweater but a step-down from a jacket, I would highly recommend you get in touch with the ladies at The Peacock Room and grab one because they were on clearance!

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This is a sculpture from New York street artist Swoon in the lobby of the DIA.

Too darn cute! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This is the famous Diego Rivera mural called Detroit Industry.

So, I love shopping at the small boutiques that are independently owned because they have unique items and usually cater to a larger variety of sizes and for every age. I found these unique articles of clothing here, here and here from similar shops. I wish I could link to the actual products so you could purchase yourself, but usually these places are very helpful in sourcing them or you could see if there is a retailer of that brand near you.

Of course, if you’re in the Detroit area you can always shop here because there were so many more items I could have shown. And I didn’t even talk about the jewelry! Definitely look for these little boutiques near your home or as you travel because you never know what wardrobe-changing item you may find!

Don’t forget that this Saturday is the last day to RSVP for the blog birthday party. If you have upped your style game because of this blog, please send me a picture of yourself in that outfit to julia@whenthegirlsrule.com and then you’ll be at the blog birthday party! You can see more details here.

There are affiliate links in this post that give me a commission for every click and purchase. Thank you for supporting this blog!

 

Continue Reading

Being Half Blogger And Half Girlfriend!

Hey everyone! So this outfit makes me feel like half a fashion blogger and half a girlfriend. Let me explain.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

If you read my WordPress interview, you know that I face a surprising ethical dilemma when writing this blog. I can make it seem like every outfit is fabulous and just came together because I’m fabulous and I live a fabulous life.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

Or I can tell you the real nitty-gritty details about how I came up with the outfit and show the failures as well as the successes. I can tell you the step-by-step instructions so anyone can get the same look. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I always tell the nitty-gritty details and keep it real.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

This outfit shows that juxtaposition perfectly. I love this outfit. I feel like a real fashion blogger in it. I feel fashionable and glamorous and even my husband/photographer commented on how nice I looked! This beautiful jacket paired with the dramatic turtleneck, skinny jeans and booties are definitely one of the most stylish outfits I’ve worn.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

I knew the blue was going to be beautiful and I knew those notched collars were going to be really flattering. I also noticed how the jacket comes in just a bit to hint at a waist to give me a flattering look.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

Ok, done with the fashionista and now onto the girlfriend telling you the reality.

I'm Half Blogger Half Friend!

These jeans….they’re maternity jeans. Yes, I did it. It’s been brought up several times in the comments section of this blog about the advice for apple-shaped women to try maternity jeans (ugh, I hate even writing this!) and I felt someone (me) had to try this out and report back. So, yeah, I did it. The verdict? They’re awesome! They’re comfortable beyond belief. They fit well everywhere. I bought three different pairs from different brands and they all fit perfectly, comfortably, and I wish I had not been so stubborn and tried them earlier. I’ll show you the other two in later posts. They are available here and booties here.

Being Half Blogger Half Friend!

And just like these images show, I can go from a put-together fashionista to hot mess with one wind gust! However, even though I am still a fashion blogger, I will talk to you (and give you outfit advice) like a girlfriend would!

Being Half Blogger Half Friend!

To finish up this half blogger/half girlfriend post let me invite you to this Blog’s First Birthday Party! If you missed the first invitation, here’s the deal-io. I want you to send me a picture of yourself rockin’ an outfit. If you learned something from this blog or got an idea or just tried something new because of the blog or comments, please send me a picture (even if you take it with your phone) of you in that outfit. If you want, I can crop the picture to not show your face and I’ll only say your first name and where you’re from. I promise it will be a fun party post and you will want to participate! Send your image to julia@whenthegirlsrule.com by this Saturday, the 18th! The party will be next Wednesday, the 22nd. and will be a blast! Remember, I always tell the truth!

This post contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission for every click or purchase. Thanks!

Continue Reading

Trying To Get My Spring On!

Hey everyone! It’s been a cold and gray week here, but I’m getting spring fever! The days are longer and I can hear the Redwing Blackbirds and the Sandhill Cranes and I saw my first Robin last week. Now is the time I really want to start to lighten up my clothes and start wearing some of the super cute spring dresses I’m seeing in stores now.

Trying to get my spring on! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This pretty dress is sleeveless with thin fabric and I’m considering wearing it to a wedding this summer, however, this time of the year, I need my ever-faithful moto jacket and tall boots. I love the pattern of this fabric and the armholes are the perfect size for summertime because they’re not too big, so no worries about showing my bra. Maybe designers were listening to us last summer complaining about the gigantic arm holes?

Trying to get my spring on! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It does have some seams around the middle, under the bust, so it gives some shape without being restrictive. The fabric is almost performance fabric, like you’d see on athletic wear, so it doesn’t cling, just glides nicely. The jacket is old (you’ve seen it hundreds of times — I can’t help it. I love it!) but a similar one is here and plus size option here, both from a brand I like for our shape.

Trying to get my spring on! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you follow any fashion blogs you see a trend now of mixing casual items with dressy items. I like the idea because it gets your “Sunday best” out of your closet and worn, but calms it down for more casual outings. Same with the casual items. Wearing them with something dressier makes them more acceptable for times when they would have been too casual. This is a good strategy for getting more wear out of the items you already own.

Trying to get my spring on! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m seeing a lot of dresses in the “sheath” style that looks good on our shape. Just make sure it doesn’t have the horizontal seam at the midsection separating the top from the skirt part, since usually they make those dimensions too slim for anyone whose waist is wider. Also, make sure the fabric has some stretch so it will fit well in the bust.

Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget I’m still waiting for some more RSVP’s to the blog birthday party. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out the invite here.

Thank you for supporting this blog by clicking on the affiliate links and especially for any purchases!

Continue Reading

The Rare And Elusive Blogger!

Hey everyone! If you remember last December, WordPress Discover featured this blog for it’s quality content, pictures and it’s rarity. As a follow up, they wanted to interview me about why I thought there are so few fashion bloggers over 40 who are not thin. My answer may surprise you.

You can read it here.

And I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Continue Reading

How To Wear Your Spring Dress Before Spring Weather Arrives!

Hey everyone! If you’re a regular reader, you know that I live in Michigan. We often have a 6 month winter, so just because it’s March doesn’t mean it’s spring here. But, I really want to wear the cute spring dresses I bought!

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Fortunately, I have several tricks to make a spring dress work for this time of year! This adorable dress works well with my ribbed turtleneck underneath because it has some stretch. This is such a cute look for me and even though I’m not as covered up as usual, the dress hangs well without clinging that I feel comfortable with this option.

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I really like the material of this dress too. The size of the pattern is spot-on and camouflages waistbands and seams. The material doesn’t wrinkle at all (believe me, it was in a pile yesterday right before we did these photos and I did not have to iron it!). A bonus in my book!

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This next option is pretty basic with my favorite long sweater you’ve seen before here. This pattern and color goes so easily with all of my black items, so I had many candidates of sweaters or jackets for this option.

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Here I’ve topped it with my favorite top (more size options available here in petite) from this winter that you’ve seen before here. The dress is a sheath style (I hate that name. If you own horses you know why!) with a straight skirt, so it works well under a peplum style top like this.

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Plus, wearing a dress as a skirt would also be a great option if you’re doing a capsule wardrobe (like we discussed in the last post) to get more outfits out of a few items.

Wearing Spring Clothes Before Spring Weather! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, I hope this helps you wear those spring dresses without waiting on Mother Nature! Have a great week!

Linking up with these ladies at Not Dead Yet Style and Doused in Pink!

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

Continue Reading

So, What Exactly Is A Capsule Wardrobe?

Hey everyone! When I started this fashion thing, trying to figure out what looked good on this middle-aged body, I kept reading about “capsule wardrobes”. I didn’t really get what it meant until it talked about “orphan” pieces, meaning an item of clothing that only goes with one thing. “What?”, I thought, “Isn’t that all of my clothing?” Oh no. A capsule wardrobe means a few items of clothing that all go together and can be mixed and matched interchangeably to create a lot of outfits.

So, I’m definitely not starting out anymore, but if you are, this is a great way to build a foundation wardrobe and keep the costs in check. Here I’m showing a capsule wardrobe with only 10 items (not including shoes and accessories). Be prepared at how many outfits we can create from 10 items!

Capsule Wardrobe Mixing and Matching - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The first decision you have to make is whether to base your wardrobe on black or brown. My wardrobe is based on black because it goes well with my coloring, but for many of you, brown may look better. If you’re not sure, look at your shoes. If you have more brown shoes, go with brown or if more black shoes, go with black. As you can imagine, this wardrobe has to be pretty neutral. So, since I chose black, gray and white would go well. Then if I want to add some color I just need to think about what would go with black, gray and white. I added blue and green. If I had brown, I’d probably choose maroon, khaki, olive and navy blue. Color is one of the most important considerations when starting out.

Anyway, let me show you in pictures. Let’s start with the white jacket with the green skirt in the picture above.

Capsule Wardrobe Mixing and Matching - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Now change out the skirt for a gray dress, but keep the white jacket.

Capsule Wardrobe Mixing and Matching - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Change out the white jacket for a black long sweater.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Wear the blue dress with the black sweater now.

Capsule Wardrobe Mixing and Matching - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Pull out a black top with black pants and top with a blue jacket.

My work "uniform"

Trade out the black pants for a black skirt.

Capsule Wardrobe Mixing and Matching - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Now, back with the green skirt and a black and white print top.

All told, this wardrobe consists of:

  1. one black pair of pants
  2. one black skirt
  3. one green skirt
  4. one black top
  5. one black and white print top
  6. one blue dress
  7. one gray dress
  8. one white jacket
  9. one blue jacket
  10. one black sweater

As you can see, with these few items there are lots of possibilities. In fact, besides the seven outfits above I can still think of more. Like:

  • the white jacket with black top and black skirt or the black pants
  • blue dress with the white jacket or the blue jacket
  • black and white top with the black skirt and the black sweater or the white jacket
  • black pants with black and white top and white jacket or black sweater
  • green skirt with black top and blue jacket or black sweater

That’s 17 outfits there. Over 3 weeks of work clothing! Then imagine if you threw in a black leather jacket and white jeans! The possibilities are blowing my mind!

So, if you didn’t know what a capsule wardrobe was or how it worked or how to get started, I hope this explained it and made you feel like you don’t need to spend a lot of money to rock every outfit because, yeah, we rule!

This post contains affiliate links where I receive a few cents for each click and purchase. Thanks for supporting this blog!

 

Continue Reading

The Magic Belt: In Video This Time!

Hey everyone! You get an extra post from me this week in honor of turning one of my earlier posts into a video!

If you’re a long time reader, you’ll remember when I had an epiphany about belts last spring. Since it was such a great tip (and we apple-shaped women need all the tips we can get!) I decided to put it out in video format too.

If the video does not appear, please click here.

And here is the original post in case you missed it last spring!

The Belt: Friend or Foe?

As an apple-shaped woman, I’ve heard contradicting advice about wearing belts. “Wear it to create an illusion of a waist”. “Don’t wear a belt unless you want to attract attention to your midsection.” Since one reason I started this blog was to try to find accurate advice for our shape, I decided to try it out.

belt outfit for apple shapeI love it!

I have only one belt because I have not tucked a shirt in in a long time. It is a completely elastic “shirt” belt that only has a metal buckle and some stiff plastic around the metal and the rest is elastic. You have seen me wear it here. When I discovered how well it looked in that outfit (purely by goofing around with different articles of clothing I already owned) I thought it was a fluke. However, when I pulled out this dress (one I haven’t worn in a year because I caught a glimpse of myself in a reflection and it looked so bad, like I was wearing a tent) I gave it a try. I’m loving it with the belt!

belt outfit for apple shape

There were so many good pictures I had to choose from and a couple where I looked so thin it looked like I had lost weight! And because I felt that was more trickery with the camera than reality, I didn’t include them, but seeing them makes me think this whole belt magic is real! It is definitely an illusion though, because I feel if you could see the sides of my waist, I would look like a belt around a pumpkin! But, because the blazer hides my sides and back, your mind is thinking I have this small, hourglass waist. It also definitely reined in the dress so it no longer looked like a tent!

belt outfit for apple shape

Here is the view from the side, so you know I’m not losing this apple shape! While we were photographing I kept feeling the belt migrate upwards (I placed it at my natural waist) so I did have to occasionally adjust it downwards and I think if your tummy underneath the belt sticks out further then try a looser belt or a bigger buckle. I definitely didn’t want to look pregnant with the belt so I think having a wide belt and a big buckle, which holds back the tide, is key!

belt outfit for apple shapeThis whole outfit is old but similar blazer here, here or in peach here or light blue or vest here. Dress is old but similar here and here.

Here is a detail shot of the blazer. It has those notched collars that I love and it has a textured collar which is a nice touch. This blazer is one made out of that “scuba” fabric which is a dense polyester that doesn’t wrinkle and has a lot of structure but no hems. In fact, when I bought this blazer the arms were too long so I just cut them with a pair of scissors! Instant tailoring!

So, I’d say I’m going to be trying out more belts in the future — fun!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a few cents every time someone clicks on them or buys from the link. Thanks!

 

Continue Reading