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!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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Just A Little Bit of Glamour!

Hey everyone! This outfit is a bit of a departure for me. I was looking for something a little bit dressed up but not an all-out dress and heels look and this blog is always pushing me!

A Little Bit of Glamour! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This top has a built in camisole with the shawl on top. I wore a maroon long sleeve top underneath because it’s sleeveless and, well, it was February when we took these pictures. One arm is covered by the shawl but the other side is completely bare. I actually wore this with a black shirt underneath but thought it would be clearer for the pictures if I wore something besides black.

A Little Bit of Glamour! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s also available in black here. I’m wearing it with my leggings and booties you’re probably all sick of seeing but I still love wearing!

A Little Bit of Glamour! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This post is short because I’m in a bit of a rush, but don’t forget the invitation to the blog’s birthday party on March 22nd. If you haven’t seen the invitation details you can read it here. I’m still waiting patiently for your RSVP’s (pictures of your stylish self!). The more we have the better the party and you won’t want to miss it!

This post contains a couple of links that when you click on them gives me a couple of cents of which I return directly back into this blog. Thanks!

 

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Same Style. Different Color!

Hey everyone! As you remember from this post, I have found the “blouson” style or “peasant” style tops (with the elastic hem) to be a good solution for a top when you don’t want to wear a “third piece” over it.

Blue top that will be great for spring and summer - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Now, I will say, I know many other tops look better on me. But, for those times when it’s warm out or I don’t want to wear a sweater or jacket over the top, this shirt works. It doesn’t cling and show every bump and dent of my midsection. It let’s my tummy hangout undercover and disguises any waistband issues.

Blue top that will be great for spring and summer - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The lace fabric of this specific top, gives some texture to the top to cover up any stitching or hardware if you have an industrial strength bra like I do.

Blue top that will be great for spring and summer - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s available here and here in an exuberant print, here in red or sleeveless here. If you like the cold-shoulder trend (I can’t get over the name – brrrrr), they have it here in white. Really, I think lots of stores will have this style if you are looking for different colors and prints. One of my favorite brands, Alfani from Macy’s, has a few options here and here that I may check out in person soon!

Blue top that will be great for spring and summer - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Just a quick FYI, I added a video page to this blog and I’ll post my newest videos there and on my YouTube Channel. So far, I’m just covering topics we’ve already covered here and now just taking it to video form. Have a nice week everyone!

Linking up with the ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

If you click on any of the affiliate links in this post I receive a few cents and if you purchase from that link I receive a few more. Thanks!

 

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When You Know You’ve Found “The One”!

Hey everyone! Have you ever slipped your arm into a jacket and realized you had found the one? Let me tell you, it doesn’t happen that often, but I definitely felt that when I tried this jacket on.

A Great Jean Jacket for An Apple-Shaped Gal! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve been looking for a jean jacket for several years now. Either they’re tight in the arms, or don’t have much stretch to move in, or they’re cropped too short, etc, etc, etc. Yes, I do try a lot of clothing items on (it’s my job now!) so I can tell right away if something is going to fit or not, just by putting one arm in the sleeve. When I put my arm in this sleeve, I just let out a long ahhhhhhh!

A Great Jean Jacket for An Apple-Shaped Gal! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It even has enough stretch to button if I ever desired to do such a thing! It’s from the Liz Claiborne brand from JC Penney and available in a darker blue here, light blue here, tall here and crazy on sale now.

A Great Jean Jacket for An Apple-Shaped Gal! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I decided to mix this outfit up with dressy items and casual items. This skirt is such a fun skirt but because it has the glitter it can be overwhelming for everyday wear. I thought I could tone it down a bit with the jean jacket and at the same time dress up the jacket. The skirt is a couple of years old from White House Black Market and though looks structured, has a nice waistband that fits and doesn’t slide down. I think I will stop in there soon and check out some newer versions. Stay tuned!

A Great Jean Jacket for An Apple-Shaped Gal! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

A jean jacket is a classic. It’s like tall boots. I think they’re here to stay and I have already worn this jacket a couple of times this week with our mild February weather, and I still think it’s “the one”!

Just a quick reminder about the invitation to my blog birthday party for all you ladies. This weekend would be a good opportunity to snap a picture in the mirror or ask a nearby relative to take a quick one. Right now it’s looking like a soiree rather than a party but I’m looking forward to all of your RSVP’s to be rolling in! You do have some time (March 18) so I’ll be sure to remind you a couple more times! Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with these ladies with JoLynne Shane!

If you click a link or even buy something when you click, I receive a few cents, which I immediately put into making this blog great!

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When Leopard Print Is The Neutral!

Hey everyone! If you are anything like me you’ve always associated leopard print with Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company (remember that show?) or with an aging beauty who is trying to look younger. Or maybe you associate it more with nighties and boudoir items. I’m here to declare that it’s a neutral. Like beige. Or black.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

What? I know. I originally was wearing this outfit with a blue scarf. But, I felt like I was too bright and there was too much of a carnival happening with my outfit. I pulled out this new scarf and saw how it tamed down the bright colors and made the outfit more sophisticated.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You may remember this post where I talked about easing into leopard print starting with pumps. And really, besides gloves, I haven’t gone further with this print, so when I saw this scarf I thought it would be another easy way to ease into the print.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I had been unaware of it’s power to calm down colors, yet add sophistication, to an outfit. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw how well it went with my new green winter coat from a couple of posts ago.

Leopard Print for Spring - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I love this tunic with it’s flattering, asymmetric hemline. It’s also a lighter crepe fabric so I’m anticipating wearing this a lot in the spring and summer. Of course, pairing it with the ever-so-faithful pencil skirt from J. Jill and my booties  that I’m wearing out this winter!

Linking up with these ladies at Shelbee on the Edge!

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

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