Feeling Confident & Stylish In This Outfit!

Hey everyone! It’s the start of a new week! I’m saying that with an exclamation point even though I feel Mondays are more of a semi-colon! I crack myself up! Anyway, I just want to remind you all to RSVP to the blog birthday party so you don’t miss out on the fun! I’ll be doing a giveaway on that post plus all my party guests get a token of my appreciation for coming. All you have to do is send me a picture of yourself in your stylish outfit that was inspired by this blog in some way by March 18th. You can send your picture to me at julia@whenthegirlsrule.com. You can see how we did it last year at the first blog birthday party here.

Over 40, Over Size 12 but still stylish! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Ok, how cute is this outfit? I actually got a compliment from my husband on this sweater so you know it’s a good one! I know I have a couple (ok, more than a couple!) black sweaters already but this striking jacket sweater was too nice to pass up. It’s also reversible! On the inside it’s light gray with black edging. If you want the same sweater at half off (!) they have it in black with red edging. You’re going to be seeing this a lot so be prepared!

Over 40, Over Size 12 but still stylish! | whenthegirlsrule.com

The weight of the jacket is actually lighter than it looks but enough weight that it hangs straight down over my bust and does the perfect “skimming without clinging” that I demand from fabric. It’s more of a sweater knit fabric but cut well to look like a structured jacket. It’s also that fabric that doesn’t have any hems so the sleeves and hem can be easily adjusted. I’m wearing a size three in Chico’s sizes.

Over 40, Over Size 12 but still stylish! | whenthegirlsrule.com

The dress is my old one from White House Black Market that was the dress that gave me that first boost of confidence from an outfit — something I hadn’t felt in decades. If you read how I started my blog you know the story, but if you haven’t you can read it here. WHBM has this great knit fabric that’s stretchy and heavy enough to hang well. I’m always looking at their sheath style dresses (no structured waist) to find one similar since this one I’ve had for over three years, wear it often and still love the look! This dress looks promising!

Over 40, Over Size 12 but still stylish! | whenthegirlsrule.com

You can’t tell but I’m wearing a slightly patterned tight (matching my purse actually) with my 3/4 height boots. Besides the heel, these boots are different than my other black boots because they stop well below my knee rather than right up to my knee. This is a flattering location for boots to end, especially with a dress or skirt.

Over 40, Over Size 12 but still stylish! | whenthegirlsrule.com

That’s it for this cute outfit but don’t forget to enter the $100 off the Jord watches giveaway here. It’s still going until March 4th and like I said before, it’s a great gift for a young adult, if you’re starting to think about all the graduations coming up!

Have a great week everyone!

This post contains affiliate links. What does that mean? It means every time you click on a link and purchase from that link I receive a small commission. I put that money (and then some!) back into this blog to offset the hosting costs. Thank you for helping me keep this blog chugging along!

 

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Flattering Spring Jacket For An Ample Shape!

Hey everyone! Well, this light jacket is the first item I’ve bought in 2018 and how pretty is it? I am looking for spring items that will freshen up my wardrobe and can maybe take me into summer, or at least be good for another season besides spring. This jacket will work for all four seasons. Can you imagine it in fall with some rusts and olive colored items? Or in winter with black or gray? It’s going to be easy to layer and super versatile. I’m excited that this was my first purchase!

Spring Jacket that works for an apple shape, over 40 woman! whenthegirlsrule.com

This color is flattering for most coloring and lightens up any outfit. The cut is really important so let’s analyze that. The front drapes down in a waterfall, covering your bust and tummy without looking like you’re trying to cover them. The most flattering aspect to this jacket is where both the lapels end at the bottom, right where my waist is. Look at the picture above and see how the lapels kinda give the idea that my waist goes in at that point? As you know it doesn’t, but it draws the eye and your mind to a conclusion that my waist is slimmer.

Spring Jacket that works for an apple shape, over 40 woman! whenthegirlsrule.com

Having this little bit of stitching in the back gives the sweater some shape. Without this back stitching the fabric would be really flowy and rippling in the wind. Here I get a hint of a waist from the behind view. And do you see it has pockets too? I love that!

Spring Jacket that works for an apple shape, over 40 woman! whenthegirlsrule.com

I messed around with the lapel size too and am showing both versions above. The larger lapel (on the left side as you look at this picture) ends at the waist which I like, but the smaller lapel (on the right side) draws less attention to my bust and makes it look smaller, I think. I could have had the lapels fold to the inside so it would hang straighter down and less waterfally. That would give a slim column look. Definitely play around with the lapels if you have an item like this in your wardrobe.

Spring Jacket that works for an apple shape, over 40 woman! whenthegirlsrule.com

And lastly, let’s talk about fabric. This is the faux suede in the front, but a really light version. In fact, the back panel and sleeves are a stretchy knit, but it’s not noticeable that they are different. It’s perfect fabric to push the sleeves up for a 3/4 length which is not only flattering but cooler to wear when it warms up. They have a similar, longer jacket in light blue  and another similar jacket in beautiful lilac, if you’re interested. I’m wearing a size three in Chico’s brand and remember to think about the price as a “cost per wear” when shopping.

You may have noticed that I got my hair cut and colored. If you are a regular reader, you know that my natural white hair often turns yellow from the sun or from hard water or from whatever. This is especially noticeable in the winter when I’m not in the sun much and the line between the yellow and white hair is super noticeable. What I’ve done in the past (and I’ve tried many different salons and stylists) is to try to get the yellow out (never worked) and then color my whole head of hair more of an ashen color (see here). This unfortunately made my hair gray rather than the bright white which is the natural color (which I love) and it would give me kind of a darker haze around my face, sometimes purpley, sometimes greenish. Either way, I was always disappointed.

I have finally found a stylist with a great solution: highlights! No one had ever recommended that before and all it did was make the yellow color white and was only applied to the yellow hair. The rest of my hair was left to do it’s own thing! She actually only did about half of the hair that had the yellow but it blended in to appear white. Next time we’ll do more hair and hopefully all of the yellow will be gone, though as I’m out in the sun I know it will continue to turn yellow. She applied a toner after the highlights (which I’m not sure what that does) but if you have the same issue with the yellow in your white hair and you’ve been unhappy with the full dye job, you may want to consider highlights.

Ok, that’s it for today. I’m in North Carolina for the next couple of weeks and it’s going to be in the seventies here today! We’re heading up to visit my sister in Durham this weekend which is always big fun. Don’t forget about the blog birthday party request and I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful selves! Happy weekend everyone!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission for every purchase and click on that link. Thank you for supporting the blog by your clicks!

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7 Tips For Successful Shopping For Apple Shapes!

Now that we’re moving into a new season and we’re all looking to freshen up our wardrobe, I wanted 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.

7 Tips for Successful Shopping for Apple-Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

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. Were you under a spell in the changing room? 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.

7 Tips for Successful Shopping for Apple-Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

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.

Fifth, Shop while wearing tall boots (unless it’s too warm, but try!). That way if you decide to try on a skirt or dress you won’t be standing there with bare legs and rumpled socks. You will automatically look more pulled together in the dressing room and you’ll feel better about your reflection. Tall boots will fit under most pants too. It will give you a better idea of how that item will look and your self-esteem won’t take a hit. Honestly ladies, it’s these little things.

Sixth, go to a store that has lots and lots of choices. If I go into a store that has a minimal design aesthetic, chances are they will only have small, medium and large sizes and not much for our shape. Some small boutiques cater to a larger woman and you’ll know right away when you start looking at the clothes. However, there are also large department stores that only carry a couple of items from each brand and I can never find something that fits, so beware of those too. At least when you’re starting out, having a lot to choose from will better your chances.

Seventh, and most important, when you’re in the dressing room and you try on something that doesn’t work, repeat to yourself “It’s not me. It’s the clothes.” Remember that. Fabric and sewing and design need to change, not your body. Often it’s just lazy design. Yes, you can change parts of your body, but you shouldn’t have to to find clothing. Stupid clothes are just bad designs. So remember, “It’s not me. It’s the clothes”.

If you have a shape like mine and measurements similar to mine (you can see them on the About page) you can see what I’ve tried or recommended in past posts since I’ve done the scouting for you and you can see how it fits on a true apple-shaped woman. And of course, stay tuned to this blog because I’ll continue to find the rare item that looks good on us. That’s my job!

Ok, good luck shopping and I know you can do this!

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Spring Items That Have Caught My Eye!

Hey everyone! I beat the snowstorm in Michigan (over 15 inches!) and made it safely to North Carolina. Luckily I decided to drive down a day earlier because my flight on Friday was cancelled! However, I’m not prepared for an outfit post today so I thought I’d show you some of the things I’ve been looking at online for spring.

If you’re an apple shape like me, you know it all depends on trying on the specific item. These items come from brands I’ve tried before and so the chances for them to fit and look well are higher than average. They also are a cut I’ve tried before and have found flattering. Plus, I don’t want you to be limited by what I can go out and find and try on. I want you to be able to analyze items for your own beautiful, individual self!

First off, this jacket is on it’s way to me and should arrive today. I tried it on in another color in the store and really liked it. I’m still planning on photographing it and showing it to you all whether it works or not.

 Second are some dresses from JCPenney. They’re from the Alyx brand and I had a lot of success with their sheath style dresses last spring (see here and here). They have some new fresh prints to try this year. Like this one.

And this one.


And this nice-sized print.

This maxi dress is from Macy’s by the brand Style & Co. I love the super flattering neckline and it’s made with my favorite fabric blend of rayon and spandex so it should skim without clinging. I’m going to look for this in person next time I’m at Macy’s.

White House Black Market has recently started a plus size line. I’ve been able to fit into their straight size 16 jackets before, if it’s made with a material that has some stretch. I haven’t tried their plus sizes yet but I will be looking into them this spring and trying some on.

This jacket caught my eye and it has some spandex mixed with the cotton so it should have some stretch.


And here it is in plus size. It’s interesting that they have free shipping and returns on plus size items but not on the straight sizes. Hmmmmm.

And lastly some jeans. These are from White House Black Market and I wear either the 12 or 14 in their pants. I find most of their waistbands have some nice stretch and these pockets look really deep (which I love) and the color is so light for spring and summer and will look dramatic in the winter with black too.

I hope this helps as you go out and about looking for some fresh additions to your wardrobe. You may be seeing some of these items on this blog in action! On Wednesday I will be re-posting my tips for successful shopping for apple shapes so you are armed with knowledge! Go out and win this fashion game!

This post contains affiliate links which give this blogger a small commission. I receive a few cents for each click and a few dimes for each purchase from that link. I put that money back into hosting this site. So, thank you for clicking and purchasing!

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A Gift A Young Adult Will Actually Like!

Hey everyone! Are you looking for a gift idea for a young adult? If you’re like me, it’s hard to find this age a gift they will actually like or use. How many times have you just resorted to giving cash or gift cards to your twenty-something?

I had Jord watches contact me about giving one of their watches as a gift. My husband and I were saying “who wears watches anymore since we all have our phones?” Both my daughters, aged 19 and 22 piped up “We do!” After a decline for a while, with the rise of smartphones, watches now are being embraced by millennials. Not so much for the function but for the style. Sounds like a great gift idea to me!

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Since my eldest daughter Kealan is graduating from college this spring, I decided to give her the watch (Sorry Sara! You can have that sweater that shrunk. Check the dryer!). Kealan is often my photographer so it was fun to turn this around and take photos of her in her natural element!

We had a lot of nice options to pick from the ladies watches and we ended up choosing the Frankie 35. They also have a large selection of men’s watches.

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First off the packaging was beautiful. This would be easy to send through the mail as a gift because it comes wrapped in it’s own wooden box and they have engraving for the back of the watch too if you want a personalized message.

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Second, this is a nice alternative to gold or silver watches, especially if you don’t know if the gift recipient wears more gold or more silver. The wood is a visually interesting alternative and goes well with my daughter’s outdoorsy lifestyle. She wanted us to hurry up and do the photos so she could start wearing it out and about!

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If you’re interested, for When the Girls Rule readers, Jord watches is offering a $100 giveaway! It’s easy to enter here! You have until March 4th to enter and everyone who enters receives 10% off and one lucky reader will receive $100 towards a Jord watch! Good luck!

Jord watches | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, if you’re tired of struggling to find a gift they’d actually like or being lame and giving cash, I’d look into these watches as a gift. Hear that Sara? No more shrunken wool sweaters!

Anyway, I am on my way to North Carolina as you read this so my next posts will be from a warmer, sunnier place (I hope!). I left a day early to beat the giant snowstorm that is blowing through Michigan now! Have a great weekend everyone!

[ This post is sponsored by Jord Watches. Thank you for supporting the brands that support When the Girls Rule! ]

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Mixing It All Up!

Hey everyone! As you know, I haven’t been shopping for a couple of months and I’ve been showing clothing items you’ve all seen before. However,  I’m starting to get to the bottom of new ideas! Have no fear, I ordered something online (ok, this!) and I should be getting it next week so I will be able to show you it in an outfit if the fit works.

Winter Outfit for Apple-Shaped Woman! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I want to wear spring pastel colors right now! I don’t care that pastels are supposed to be for spring (sounds like an outdated rule that needs breaking!). I’m really over wearing black and gray, especially since I see that a lot here in the midwest in the winter! It’s funny how my color choices are so affected by the sky!

Winter Outfit for Apple-Shaped Woman! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
Yes, that’s melting snow on the floor!

Anyway, these pink jeans you saw a lot this fall. I love the button detail at the hem and the cropped leg. These will be nice transitioning back to spring and right now they’re only $28! I paid $99 last fall and they are available in curvy fit too! Seriously, if you are looking for pretty jeans that fit well in the waist these are yours!

Winter Outfit for Apple-Shaped Woman! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
My daughter/photographer and I are seriously goofing around right about now!

I wore these jeans a lot when it was starting to transition from summer to fall but I wanted to wear them now because of the pretty color. The cut of the jeans are more the looser-fitting girlfriend or boyfriend style so they wouldn’t look that great tucked into tall boots, they’d be too baggy. I decided to pull out my booties and wore matching black socks to keep my leg covered.

This blouse is from Loft from many moons ago but did you know Loft is now getting plus-sizes? I haven’t tried them out yet but it’s funny how every other brand considers size 16 to be straight size but Loft thinks it’s plus-size. Well, we’ll see if they have figured out that plus-size women don’t want to wear tents. I’ll do some scouting!

Winter Outfit for Apple-Shaped Woman! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And this sweater vest you may not recognize because I removed the faux fur collar. Without the fur it’s easy to wear with a big scarf without the fur swallowing it up. It’s more casual without the fur collar but I love the look of the fur (and the feel! I’m always petting it!) plus it’s different than anything else I own so it’s fun trying to style it.

This leopard scarf is from last summer from Chico’s and I can’t find it online. I haven’t worn it much because it’s so big but once I tried it with this outfit, it was such a nice change from a turtleneck to keep my neck warm that I’ve been wearing it more often. If you follow me on Instagram you saw how cute it looked on Saturday with a simple black sweater.

Winter Outfit for Apple-Shaped Woman! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Well, that wraps up this snowy winter pastel outfit today! I hope you’re having some bright skies where you’re at because we’re getting lots of snow –hence, the indoor photo shoot. It will be such a change when I get down to North Carolina in a couple of days!

This post contains affiliate links which give me a commission for each click and each purchase from that link. I use that commission to keep up this little corner of the internet with your help. Thanks!

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I Still Love This Blazer!

Hey everyone! How is your Monday going? Are you preparing your outfits and selfies to send me for the blog birthday party? I’m looking forward to seeing you so don’t forget to send them to my email (julia@whenthegirlsrule.com) when you’re done. If you have no idea what I’m talking about see here. Don’t leave me hanging!

Blazer for over 40 women! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, I still haven’t done any shopping. I’ve been casually looking, I just haven’t found anything yet that I’m willing to take a chance on. I’m on the hunt for the perfect shirt that is the perfect length, fabric, weight, color and pattern. I’m not sure what that is, but I want a shirt that I can pull out of the closet without thinking what it will go with because it works every time. The elusive unicorn!

Blazer for over 40 women! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This blazer you’ve seen before (here) and it’s from last year but this onethis one and this one look similar. It’s by Calvin Klein and I’ve found that brand’s size 16 fits me really well. I’ve tried this kind of long blazer before by them and the collar doesn’t work well with a large bust in a blazer-type jacket. It’s kind of closed near the neckline but pops open across the bust — not a good look!

Blazer for over 40 women! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my Little Black Dress from Chico’s that you’ve seen before (here) that is soooo versatile. It’s sold out now but I’ll keep my eyes out for another because they make getting dressed so easy and really, we all should have one!

Blazer for over 40 women! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And you can see I’m wearing the magic belt with the dress. As you know, if you’re a regular reader, this belt creates an illusion of a waist, something us apple shapes do not posess. If you’re curious, you can see my video about the magic belt and how and why it works here.

I’m wearing all my spring colors now to chase away winter, including this cute purse that works great with black and gray so when I’m not feeling like wearing the spring colors I can at least have a bit of color with my purse. This would have been a perfect outfit to tie a printed scarf to the handle of the purse to add some more color and pattern but I forgot! Ugh, I need to get that into my routine!

That’s it for clothing today and know that I am eagerly awaiting your RSVP photos for the blog birthday party! I will keep bugging you so you don’t forget like I do!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission for every click and every purchase from that link. Thanks for supporting the work I do here!

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Winning No-Spend January & An Invitation!

Hey everyone! I made it through my no-spend January! However, I still haven’t gone shopping yet so you will be seeing the same clothing items you’ve seen before, just in different combinations. It’s actually been kinda (not 100%) fun to put together new outfits for you guys! Plus, I’m not sure when I’ll be showing new items because I don’t really feel like looking at winter clothes and the spring clothes aren’t in yet. Perhaps when I get down south next week I’ll find some cute spring items for us. I can always try at least!

Over 40 Fashion for plus-size women | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Blah, blah, blah, you’ve seen it all before. My danger pants (no idea what I’m talking about? see here) I wore when it was warm weather because the fabric is pretty thin. I actually tried wearing my tan over the knee (OTK) boots with these pants to keep warm but the top of the boot kept showing through the fabric whenever I bent my knee. My burgundy OTK boots would have worked just fine though since they are much more fitted to my thigh. I decided to wear my black booties and wear tights under the pants for warmth but I really should have worn black tall boots because the top of the booties kept competing with the hem of the pants. Those burgundy boots are now 25% off if you’ve been holding off for a sale!

Over 40 Fashion for plus-size women | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Since the pants are kind of flowy I needed a straighter top. Since I don’t like form-fitting tops (which wouldn’t be straight in that case either!) I have to find something that has structure that’s kind of boxy. I had tried my very flowy sweater with these pants but there was just too much rippling fabrics and ruffles and everything started to look more like pajamas. This jacket has some structure so it looks a little more straight-fitting. It’s 25% off right now and available in plus size.

Over 40 Fashion for plus-size women | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve been really working to beat the winter blues this year by going out and doing more fun things and lighting candles (trying the hygge ideas) and wearing bright colors. This top is such an electric bright blue that it brightens up even the darkest days! It’s also one of my favorite colors and works really well with my coloring. It’s thinner material, more of a summer or fall top, but I wear a camisole under for an extra layer of warmth (and to smooth out some lumps and dents and seams from my bra). It’s also seriously on sale now!

Over 40 Fashion for plus-size women | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I pulled out the best laptop and travel bag ever with it’s bright color to give a nod towards spring and it’s greenery. Where am I taking these photos you ask? This is the road right in front of our house. We live on a dirt road pretty much in the middle of nowhere so we’re one of the last areas to get plowed out. Even after the road is plowed it’s still snowy and icy but it looks really pretty and not like a muddy road at all. I’ve wanted to photograph here for awhile, I just had to wait for the right conditions!

Over 40 Fashion for plus-size women | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

AN INVITATION FOR YOU!

It’s that time of year again! The blog birthday party on March 23rd! If you remember from last year (the first birthday party) I asked all of you to join me and show me your beautiful selves. All year long you see me and I really am dying of curiosity to see you all!

So, if you’ve learned something from this blog or purchased one of my recommendations or just found the courage to try the cute stuff out there that you thought you couldn’t wear, take a picture of yourself and show me your beautiful self!

It’s easy! Just ask a helpful person to take your picture when you’re feeling particularly cute. Or stand in front of a full length mirror and take a picture of yourself with your phone. If you’re feeling shy you can put the phone in front of your face while photographing or only take the pictures of your shoulders and down or you can crop your head off (that sounds terrible as I re-read that!) and we’ll only be saying first names so it’s easy to be under the radar here.

You can send the picture to my email julia at whenthegirlsrule.com by March 18th and if you want to tell us anything about your outfit or your style or even just where you live we’d love to get to know you!

We’ll do another give-away too and I’ll be periodically reminding you all so start thinking about what you’re going to wear to the party! I love interacting with all of you lovely ladies and this is a way I can put a face to a name! Fun!

Have a great weekend everyone!

This post contains affiliate links. What is that? Well, I receive a few cents every time you click on a link. I receive a few dimes every time you purchase from that link. I put all of that commission back into this blog to keep it running. Thanks for supporting this endeavor!

 

 

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Analyzing What Works And What Doesn’t!

Hey everyone! I’m almost done with my no-spend January and since I’ve been window-shopping I thought I’d share with you some items that didn’t work and why. Also, I found some cute shirts that did work and I want to talk about why they fit so that everyone is armed with knowledge or at least able to analyze clothing while they’re standing alone in a dressing room!

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket’s color caught my eye. Right now wearing pastel colors seems like a great way to thumb our noses at winter! Anyway, it has the ruffle down one side of the front. As with most jackets, it fits me everywhere except around my midsection and bust and cannot be buttoned up. That’s totally fine because even if it did button, I would rarely button it up. However, because the ruffle is only on one side it doesn’t look right when it’s unbuttoned. It looks off-kilter.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This often happens with asymmetrical jackets that zip up on an angle or the zipper is more over to one side. If it doesn’t hang nicely when it is unzipped then I don’t buy it. Now, if you knew that you would always keep the jacket buttoned then this would be a pretty one to wear, but really, I think even to sit down you would unbutton it and then it would look unbalanced.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This shirt had big potential when I took it into the changing room. The fabric was a heavy knit that would be perfect for skimming but not clinging. It also had some stretch and the peplum looked like it would start just below the bust rather than at the waist, a cut I find flattering

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Unfortunately the pattern on this sweater totally kills the look. The vertical lines on the top half are pulled into a curved shape by my bust making my bust look wider than necessary.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Where the horizontal stripes and vertical stripes meet should theoretically be at the waist. Since I have a big bust it pulls that line upwards so now it makes my bust look larger and lower. Now the skirt of the peplum is pulled upwards too making the shirt look too small on me. Definitely not a good look. It looks good on the model  (immediate warning flag for us!) who must be quite flat-chested, and it hits her at her natural waist and looks nice.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I almost didn’t include this top. Once I saw the pictures, I was like, no way is this going public! I look like I’m getting ready to swab the decks me matey! I think it’s a little too tight and doesn’t have enough stretch. Plus it’s a lighter cotton so it gets hung up on my waist.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I think the real crime with this top though is the size of the stripes. I love stripes, but these are too wide and because there is a lot of white contrasted with the navy it just looks bad. The top below has a much better size of stripe I think.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Unfortunately this is the only picture I took of this top. Once I turned sideways and saw the little tie at the bottom I said “nope!”. It had a nice neckline and sleeve length  but the fitted look around the belly just was too much bad! Really, even if you had a flat abdomen, this little tie from the side view just sticks out too much.

Ok, on to some good finds!

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Like I said, I’m looking for some soft pastels and this is a pretty feminine print. It has a nice weight and the sleeves are double fabric so they have weight and hang interestingly without baring your arm. I can’t find it online but it was very much on sale so perhaps you can find it at your local Ann Taylor.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I like where this top ends on me, how it fits in the shoulders and think it would look so pretty finished off with a scarf tied around the collar.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This top below almost came home with me. The pattern is a perfect size and is really great at hiding dents or seams from your clothing underneath.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The sleeves have elastic so the long cuff doesn’t slip down to your elbow. It also fits well in the bust, dips in slightly below the bust and hangs straight over my midsection. If only it wasn’t still January! Ah, have no fear, I’m sure I will be finding plenty to fill February!

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As apple-shapes, I know it is hard for us to find clothing that fits, let alone looks good on us and that we love. Keep analyzing your clothing, especially the items you get compliments on, to see what it is about that item that works. Usually it’s color but also look at pattern, cut and where the hem comes to on your body. You want the hem to end at a slim spot rather than a wide area. I like it to end just below my belly or right where my legs meet my torso.

Over 40 women's fashion | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Don’t be afraid to take in lots and lots of items to the dressing room. You are a rare jewel and only a rare item of clothing will work for you. I hope this helps when you’re out shopping! Good luck!

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Boots That Are Anything But Basic!

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. My girlfriend and I are making a very conscious effort to beat the winter blues this winter so she rustled up two of her kids and I snagged my two daughters and we went and saw the play Waitress on Saturday night. It was a very cute, feel-good movie. If you follow me on Instagram you saw I wore my very theater-appropriate faux fur vest and these boots.

Over 40 Over Size 12 | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Speaking of these boots, I’m looking for every opportunity to wear them. They are so fun and easy to wear and I’ve pretty much replaced my black tall boots with these. If you have large calves like me (17″) but thinner ankles, these boots fit really well. Even though they are berry colored they don’t stand out as much as you would think. They add interest to an outfit but it’s not in-your-face loud and bright. If you have smaller calves they have a version for those too. They’re also available in black leather and black suede.

Over 40 Over Size 12 | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I love a black turtleneck for a no-brainer top in the winter. It creates a good canvas for a statement necklace. This turtleneck you’ve seen a ton and I bought it from White House Black Market several years ago. If you pop in there next fall and see a ribbed knit black turtleneck, grab it! You will get your money’s worth from it!

Over 40 Over Size 12 | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve seen the jean jacket many times before from last year but it’s still available online! I love the roomy fit in the midsection, but it’s not too big in the arms and shoulders. They also have a tall version and a plus size version.

Over 40 Over Size 12 | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This is my little theater-going purse that is unfortunately no longer available. It was a fun, blingy little addition to this outfit. The skinny jeggings you’ve seen many times because they fit so well under tall boots. They’re also out of stock except for the plus size version.

We’re in the middle of an unexpected snow blizzard as I write this, so pictures had to be done indoors. At least I can get some pretty snow-filled pictures in the next couple of days. I’m heading to North Carolina on the 9th so I’m looking forward to maybe some spring-like pictures? I hope so! Have a great week everyone!

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