Black and Blue and Oh So Easy!

Hey everyone! This is such an easy outfit, it’s hard to write a post about it except to say I love it! The shirt has the seam below the bust, usually a look I don’t like because it’s so similar to a maternity top. But, because the fabric is heavier and straighter below that seam it hangs without billowing out. It’s just enough structure to be interesting and not be a bag.

apple-shaped outfit idea

apple-shaped outfit idea

The skirt is again that ponte knit pencil skirt that I have in 4 colors that I wear the heck out of and have worn here and here. The only thing I would do different is have a longer necklace that hung down rather than the one I’m wearing. I chose it because it’s got the same blue in it as the skirt but in looking at the pictures I think it’s too crowded up around my neckline.

apple-shaped outfit idea

apple shape fashionJJill shirt that’s old but skirt is here on sale! Good old Clarks heels that are no longer for sale.

Sorry for the short post, but if you follow me on Instagram you can see I’m on a quick vacation with my mom to Michigan’s wine country. More details on that later! Linking up with these lovely ladies at Shopping My Closet and The Pleated Poppy and Cid Style File.

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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Wearing Cool Pants!

Hey everyone! Today I’m showing a summer outfit that my teen daughters love, surprisingly. They think the cargo pants are cool. Mom wearing something cool? What’s this all about?dressing a big bust

You’ve seen the shirt before here but the pants are making their first time blog debut. Cargo pants are one of those clothing items that you have to balance looking cool and hip without adding too much bulk around the hips and thighs with all the things that make it cool and hip! Be careful of too many zippers and droopy pockets! These pants are from White House Black Market, who markets to our age group, so they know we don’t want saggy pockets and slouchy zippers. These slim, cropped pants are more fitted and the fabric is lightweight. Really, they have the look of cargo pants without the feel of cargo pants. They are one of my favorite summer pants!dressing a big bust

The shirt was tucked in the last time I wore it on the blog so you couldn’t see the longer shirt tail like you can see today. Gives good booty coverage! The shirt is sheer, so I’m wearing a camisole underneath. I’ve added a gold necklace and gold earrings because the sandals have gold buckles and the zippers are gold on the pants. dressing a big bust

Sunglasses are from Macys here. Pants are old but similar here and here and both on sale! Shirt is sold out from Loft.

These photos are from my hometown courthouse lawn where they have summer concerts. Definitely middle America! Linking up with these lovely ladies at Visible Monday, Forage Fashion, Cid Style File, Mama and More and Not Dressed As Lamb

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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Dressing by Default!

Hey everyone! Today’s outfit are some colors I rarely wear and hardly own: cream, olive and red. I’m usually a jewel tone or black and white dresser. Those colors look good with my white hair and pink skin. But, I like to mix it up sometimes and try new and unexpected combinations. apple shape outfit ideas

I have this exact same sweater in black (because I love it so!). When the cream colored sweater went on sale I snatched it up. But, cream and black are very different colors on me. All of my usual suspects that I would wear with the cream sweater didn’t want to work. Instead of going with my tried and true items, I decided to take the opposite approach and looked in my closet for items that rarely get worn to see if they worked by default. Success! A red camisole and olive skirt (same skirt in different color that I wore here) shoved to the back of the closet worked with the cream sweater. I love shopping my closet!sweater for big bust

These shoes are in heavy rotation, now that it’s warm enough, because they are comfortable for a heel. Usually a shoe with an ankle strap shortens the look of the leg but because they are similar to my skin tone they blend in and you don’t notice the ankle strap much. And yes, I’ve finally brought out my bare legs!
apple shape outfit ideas

To finish off the look I added gold accessories (something else I rarely do) because the button on the sweater is gold and the buckle on the shoes are gold so that made that decision easy.
apple shape outfit ideas

Skirt from J Jill and on sale here. Shoes, sweater and camisole are old.

So, if you’re having trouble making a piece of clothing work try pairing it with other misfits and you might have a great outfit purely by default!

Linking up with these ladies: Shopping My Closet, Not Dead Yet Style, Happiness at Midlife 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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Wide Pants with Long Tunic

I’m back with these cropped, wide-legged pants that I have been wearing a lot! The last time I wore them was here but with a short, boxy top. This time I’m wearing a bit more fitted, long tunic. I have to say, I like this look too! I still have one more outfit with these pants I’ll show you in the future, but with all of them it seems important to wear a bit of a heel.

outfit for apple shapes

apple-shaped fashion

Tunic and pants from J Jill here and here and on sale!

tunic for apple shapes

big bust outfit ideas

Another thing I thought I’d try with this outfit is changing up the scarf. Now, that it’s warmer out I’m not wearing the “third piece” (usually a sweater or jacket) as often. Without the third piece I still need to do something to break up this big, beautiful canvas that is my bust and torso, so I’ve been wearing more light scarves. Looking at these images, I prefer the longer look scarf of the first two pictures best. It gives me more room under my chin and you can see a bit of the neckline of the shirt. With a big bust, it easily can look like your chin runs right into your bust, so keep in mind the neckline and giving yourself some breathing room. Scarves can easily pile up on your bust and make you look like you’re drowning in them. Just another consideration all of us smart, busty apple-shapes have to take into account when dressing. But, damn, can we look great!

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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Keepin’ it Simple

Sometimes I have those days where I just want my outfit to be simple and comfortable. I’m not looking to make a statement or put myself in the spotlight. I just want something to look good without having to get my confidence up to wear it and I want it to be comfortable. This outfit is a perfect example.

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Black camisole here and on sale!

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apple shape outfit ideas
My photographer thought we should try some poses doing real things that I would be doing in the outfit!

The skirt is soft and stretchy and it’s lined so it doesn’t cling and I don’t have to adjust it every time I stand up. The waistband is wide elastic and not too tight. It’s been on this blog before here. The black camisole hides a lot and fits my bust so it doesn’t dip too low nor does it gap if I lean over. This same camisole has been seen earlier here.  The sweater is a nice cover-up because it hangs very smoothly from my shoulders and does it’s job of covering up without attracting any attention. It’s old, but it’s a typical style of sweater that hangs straight down from the shoulders then cascades outward at the hem. Because it’s such a simple style, it’s important that the seam from the shoulder to the neck does not come forward towards the front but sits perfectly on the top of your shoulder.

Even though I don’t want to have a lot of sparkle and bling to attract attention, it’s still important to wear accessories to keep the look polished. I just added a simple bracelet and earrings here that don’t have a lot of glittering stones to attract the eye.DSC_0872

Just a simple outfit that still looks nice and is easy to wear. When there is a lot going on in your life, sometimes you just want your clothes to be comforting and easy so you can concentrate on other things. These three pieces do their job admirably!

Linking up with these ladies at Visible Monday and 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 Trend That Looks Good on Apple-Shaped Women? What?

Hey everyone! You may have been noticing that cropped, wider-legged pants are starting to come into style. On a couple of blogs there has been mixed responses. They shorten the leg, kind of like capris, and they are wide so they add volume. Despite all that, I decided to give them a try. I have to say, I like them! Even though my two teen daughters have clearly relayed they don’t like them, to me, they seem a bit of a throw-back to the 1950’s and they feel somewhat glamorous!DSC_2226

Pants from J Jill here and on sale!

As an apple-shape, I’m wider up top and these pants balance that out. They also fit slim in the hip, which is my shape, so they fit me very well. For styling them I’m just treating them like a skirt. I think it looks best with a bit of heel and a shoe that has an open top (or vamp) that adds length. I’ve seen pictures of women wearing tennis shoes or flats with them and I don’t think that is the best look for these pants.

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After my last post on shopping smart, this sweater is one of those items that disregarded all that advice. I bought it on a whim in another state at a little boutique. It didn’t go with anything I owned, but I liked the open collar and it was something I hadn’t seen before. It gave me room in the torso and covered my bust without clinging. It has the fun textured stripes and the drapey hem which is something I don’t see often. It has a short boxy style and it is very different from any other sweater I already owned. But, like a lot of bad shopping purchases, it did come home and sit in my closet for over a year without being worn. However, when I bought these pants I just knew this sweater would work. Since the pants fit me well in the hips and behind, I didn’t mind a shorter top and since the sweater is boxy it would go well with the wide pants. The big open collar balances out the boxy shape and along with the buttons, breaks up the canvas that is my bust and torso and creates a slimming vertical line.

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I did try several necklaces with this collar and it just seemed too busy around the neckline, so I ditched them. I think the neckline is interesting enough on it’s own so I just directed the focus to bracelets and did the stacked wrist look with several bracelets on each wrist.

So, it’s interesting listening to others complain about the look that actually works for my shape. I’m not sure how long it will be in style, so I don’t know if I’ll be purchasing any other pairs but if I do I will let you know! Anyone else try this trend yet?

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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Four Tips for Successful Shopping for Apple Shapes!

I have an updated version with two more tips here!

[I wasn’t planning a post on shopping until Bette posted in the comments section of the last post. I love hearing from all of you!]

Hey everyone! I want to talk about shopping today. I know. I know. You’re groaning if you’re an apple-shape. Nothing hits your self confidence more than standing in front of a full length mirror and finding nothing flattering to wear in a giant store full of clothes. I’ve been there. I know the feeling.

If you’re an apple shape, or big-busted, you already know that we are not catered to by the fashion industry and most of the clothing out there will not be flattering. Most brands do not make clothes to fit our shape, so it’s very easy to get discouraged when shopping. We just buy whatever fits (even that is a victory!). The feeling of walking out of a store where you have just spent hard-earned money for something that you’re not crazy about and don’t feel excited to wear is a terrible feeling. I’ve been frustrated by my shape, yes, but I’m just as frustrated that the clothing makers are not even giving me any options.

Believe me when I say it doesn’t have to be that way. Your shopping trips can be more fun and successful, but you have to change your mind-set and approach. While we wait for the fashion industry to catch up with our needs, this is how I’ve figured out how to shop so it’s fun and I find what I need.

First, you’re going to have to make more time to shop for yourself and to try things on. I know. Time. A rare commodity, but it is key. No longer can you run into a store on the way to picking up the kids. You can’t wait for the day before a big event to shop. You can’t just shop on your lunch hour. I know it’s hard to find more time in the day, but you’re going to have to give yourself more time to try on lots of items and try out many stores and brands. Yes, I’ll keep writing this blog to help you use your time wisely and I promise you, after awhile, you will have this figured out, so it won’t always take so long. In the meantime, being a shape that is rarely, if ever, considered by clothing designers, you’re going to have to hunt for the rare item that you love and looks fantastic on you.

Second, expect to take lots and lots of items into the dressing room and come out with one or none. Try them all on. I know it’s embarrassing sometimes, especially when there is a employee who has to clean up after you, but don’t give in to that pressure. Give yourself the time to try everything on. Look at yourself with that item on and notice what you like about it and what you don’t. I will easily take 30 items into a changing room and come out with one or two. Often I come out with none. Just expect that outcome and adjust your expectations. Just think of yourself as a rare jewel and only rare items of clothing will be worthy to drape over the jewel!

Third, now take the item home and try it on with what you already have. Does it look good with what you were planning to pair it with? Will it work in more than one outfit? Do you already have the shoes or accessories to go with it? If you don’t, are you planning or willing to purchase them to make the item work? Is it comfortable? Are you tugging or adjusting it a lot? Try it on with lots of items you already own because sometimes there are some unexpected, positive combinations already there. If it’s not working at home, or if you have doubts, take it back. Trust me, you will find something else out there.

Fourth, until you become familiar with a brand and their sizing don’t order online. I know that’s frustrating to hear, but it is very discouraging to have 5 items sent to your house and then having to return them all, especially if you have to pay for shipping. It will make you feel more discouraged, or worse, you will keep things that don’t work for you. When you figure out a brand and their sizing then it will be fine and you can shop all you want online.

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Here is a perfect example of a shopping failure. This shirt. It caught my eye because of the beautiful blue and because it has a nice v-neck that didn’t dip too low. It looked innocent enough in the changing room. It was sleeveless so it would be good for summer and I thought it would look good under a sweater. The icing on the cake was that the armhole didn’t show any of my bra, a real rarity for a big-busted woman who wears a pretty substantial bra! When I brought it home though, I just couldn’t get it to work. There was just something off about it. I tried it with about 4 different sweaters and three different jackets. Looking at it critically, I realized the neckline didn’t play well with others. The fabric around the neckline bumped into all of my jacket’s collars.  The pleated fabric of the shirt didn’t lay nicely underneath the sweater fabric. Ok, no biggie. It will be a summer shirt then since I’m still so enamored with the perfect-sized arm hole (did I say that is a rarity?). Then I noticed the fabric. It is a thin fabric and though it looks good with a shape-wear camisole underneath it, without the camisole it would be a completely different story. As the temperature rises, I know I will not be wanting to wear shape-wear and sweating through both fabrics. I really tried to like this shirt and I’ve had it for about two weeks trying different combinations, but it just wasn’t working. I’m not going to force it anymore or I’ll end up with a closet full of clothes I never wear. I have kept the tag on and I have the receipt, so back to the store it goes.

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I think this shirt could have worked well with a sweater or jacket that was more open around the collar. Perhaps, a wide, v-necked cardigan. I’m not really sure though, because I don’t own anything like that and I’d have to try them on together to really make a decision. DSC_1659

I know changing habits and finding more time is hard. This is just what I learned I had to do to have more successful shopping trips. It will get easier! I promise! Remember to keep the receipt and the tags on until you are sure it is a good match. Kinda like finding a spouse or partner! Not just anyone will do! Before long you will have a closet full of clothes you love that look great on you. You will have to curb your shopping because you have everything you need but it will be so much fun! Also, remember it’s not your body that’s wrong. It’s the clothes. Happy shopping!

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Casual Dressing for an Apple Shape

Hey everyone! I know this seems counter-intuitive, but I find casual dressing to be one of the hardest occasions to dress for. I think part of it is I don’t put much thought into an outfit until it’s 30 minutes before we have to leave. Part of it is I don’t invest a lot in casual clothing. Work clothing is important so I invest in that. If I have a special occasion I will buy for that. But, going to a kids soccer game? or a picnic? or the grocery store? Not so much.

casual wear for apple shape

Sweater from JJill here and on sale! Capris from JJill here. Shoes from Nordstrom here.

This outfit is something I would wear to a casual event where it would be weird to wear a jacket or something over the sweater. The fabric of this sweater is the key to working well. This sweater’s fabric hangs well without clinging.  Yes, I have lumps and bumps but this sweater glides over them and the weight of the fabric pulls it down without it billowing out like a tent below my bust. It’s also cut to have the side vents not really on the side, but towards the front. So, this optical illusion makes my front look less wide. Also important is the size of the v-neck. My last post was talking about alternatives to wearing a third piece (here) and about the need to break up the beautiful canvas that is your bust and tummy. This v-neck is wide enough and long enough to break up that canvas. You really want a distinction between where your chin ends and where your bust begins so a wide neckline is very flattering and this one doesn’t go too low so no peep shows for wandering eyes!

casual wear for apple shape

When you’re dressing casual it usually means less jewelry, perhaps no purse on your arm and less structure. So, without the crutch of a third piece, purse or jewelry you really need to make sure the few ingredients you are wearing are high quality, and by this I mean a good bra. The one I’m wearing here is brand new. The elastic is strong and the cups are not stretched out. It fits me well so I can look my best. If you have a big bust and haven’t gone to a specialty store to be professionally fitted, you really need to get this done before you spend any more money on clothing. This bra cost me $70 and it will last me a year while wearing it every other day. It is always the most important piece of my wardrobe. I will talk more about this in a future blog post.

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Let this image be a lesson to you….when doing a family photograph, no matter how short you are, insist on standing up!

These capris are another socially acceptable way of wearing pajamas in public! They are so soft and thin enough for summer but thick enough to not see the texture of my legs underneath! The waistline of the capris is very important here as you can see.  The waistband sits above the fullest part of my midsection so it’s not on the frontline, but more in a trench! It gives some support without cutting in and creating a horizontal line.

casual wear for apple shape

And even though it’s casual you can still wear a great pair of earrings and a bracelet. You usually don’t want to look too done up and I think one more piece of jewelry would have been too much. Right now, I’m way into hoops because they have a bit of an edgy look. When I was in my twenties I didn’t wear them because I thought they looked a bit slutty, but now pushing 50, I think they look sassy. I think it’s from Rizzo wearing them in the movie Grease. Rizzo was the “bad” girl while Sandy (the “good” girl) wore the pearl earrings. Sandy didn’t wear hoops until she turned “bad” in her black leather at the end of the movie (for a man. bad idea). Well, Sandy was boring and Rizzo was fun so bring on the hoop earrings! I love being 48!

Linking up with Not Dead Yet Style today!

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 Want to Ditch the Third Piece!

Hey everyone! If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I write about, and wear, a “third piece” a lot. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it refers to your top article of clothing as one piece (like a shirt or blouse), your bottom article (like a skirt or pants) as the second piece and then there is a third piece (a jacket or sweater or something like that). The third piece is believed to pull an outfit together. It takes a basic, thrown-on outfit and makes it look more complete. For women with a similar shape to mine, it is a flattering addition to your outfit, which is why I wear them often. But, sometimes, you don’t want to wear a third piece. Maybe you don’t have anything that will go with your top and bottom or it’s too hot to add another article of clothing. I have found there are other solutions to this dilemma for our shape.

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My third piece for this outfit is a large scarf. I chose this because the look matches the formality of the outfit and it breaks up the expanse that is my chest and tummy. You could wear the scarf down and knotted in front where it hangs down the center of your body or a large, statement necklace (though it would have to be quite large and not just hang up near your collar) similar to what I wore here. You really just don’t want that blank canvas torso for eyes to rest on (talking to you office creep!). You want to break up the expanse.

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Another important consideration for this look to work is the waistband. Like many apple shapes my waist doesn’t dip in like an hourglass shape. In fact, it does the opposite and dips out. That little curve it is a subtle cue that can ruin a look. I look for a waistband, usually elastic, that firms up that area so I look like a rectangle shape. No dip in. No dip out. If the elastic is too tight with a horizontal line across your midsection then you get another subtle cue that can ruin a look. I don’t want to be uncomfortable, so I look for elastic that is not too tight. When shopping for a bottom piece take a shirt that clings a bit to your mid-section so you can try them on together to see if the waistband is visible. The waistband should hold the item of clothing in place without slipping down and without digging in. Look for elastic waistbands that are a bit wider too so it will still do it’s job without digging in. This is a make or break feature for pants or skirts so don’t be swayed by pretty patterns!

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Also, how the shirt hangs is very important too. I want it to skim over my body but not cling. I also don’t want it to flow out like a tent. What’s nice about this shirt is the weight of the fabric and the hem length. It ends right below my tummy so the coverage is perfect and you can see it skims without clinging. It’s also made of rayon which I find is a great fabric for skimming and not clinging. Yes, us apple shapes have more details we have to pay attention to when purchasing clothing, but luckily we’re all very smart and observant!

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The skirt is old and has soft, elastic waistband. Shirt is new from JJill here. Scarf is from The Loft and on sale here!

And if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m not ready to show bare legs this early in the season. But, it’s too warm and would look weird if I had on tights and I definitely am not in the pantyhose-revival camp. So, as I get my legs used to being out, I start by showing my feet, then ankles, then mid-calf. I ease myself into showing my legs. Hope that info helps you find clothing that makes you feel confident to ditch the third piece and rock the first and second piece!

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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Wearing a Long Sweater

Hey everyone! Not sure if you’ve been noticing all of the long sweaters out there, or dusters, as some call them, but they’re a nice option to shorter sweaters. I have to say I’ve tried on quite a few and rejected them. I’m only 5’2″ (on a good day!) so a lot of times they feel way too long. Plus, with some of them, I feel like I’m wearing a bathrobe. Usually not the look I’m going for.

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JJill sweater here. Comfy JJill jeans here. Tank top is old from The Loft

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I decided to give this sweater a try for two reasons. One, it’s not as long as others out there. Two, it’s a nice blend of materials (rayon and linen) so it’s lightweight and hangs nicely, especially from the shoulders which is very important for a look to work.

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For the accessories, I decided to keep all blue and somewhat similar. I don’t like to get too matchy with jewelry because it’s one of those subtle things that makes you look a bit old-fashioned. The necklace and bracelet are the same, but the earrings are different, though they all have the same color of metal.

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Also, yellow is a big color right now. If you’re like me, it’s not a flattering color close to your face or in heavy doses in your clothing. And like all colors, it’s going to be out of style by next summer, so I would not recommend a big investment in yellow. I opted for this cute little purse (if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen it a lot) that was $47 at Kohl’s. It’s a softer yellow than a lot of the other options out there and I liked that because I wear a lot of soft gray and thought it would work with more outfits and bring a soft pop of color. I’m going to use it everyday!

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Purse from Kohls here and jewelry from Vera Wang for Kohls here, and here.

And finally, the shoes. I have worn them before on this blog because I love blue suede shoes (who doesn’t?) and the style is adorable. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a high-heel girl anymore, so these shoes get pulled out when I know I’m not going to be doing a lot of walking or standing. If any shoe designers are reading this please lower the heels of all of those cute shoes! They still look cute with a 1 or 2″ heel! This demographic will buy more of your shoes!

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Shoes are from last year from Anyi Liu but tan pair here. Maybe they will bring these back?

So, thanks for reading. I do appreciate all of your comments and emails and I will continue to share what I’ve learned for my shape with all of you, so stay tuned! Linking up with these lovely ladies at Style Nudge and 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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