Hey everyone! If you’re a long time reader you may remember these pants that were a find in the spring and featured here. I wasn’t sure about wide-legged pants, especially cropped ones. The “advice” seemed to be contradictory with some saying they were flattering and others saying to stay away at all costs. Like all the “advice” we apple-shaped women, or big-busted women receive, it really depends on your actual, individual body.
But, back to the pants. I am still liking these pants and still think they look flattering even in the winter with boots. I would have featured them earlier this winter but was trying to find olive-colored or blue tall boots to style them with instead of all-black. No luck. These pants are almost a year old, so not many sizes left, but if you’re interested just look for wide-legged, cropped or ankle-length descriptions.
One of you lovely ladies asked me if I ever go to Kohls to shop. Last Friday I posted an item from their dressing room I would have bought if I *needed* it, however this sweater made it out of the dressing room and came home with me! (plus size option here)
I’m always looking for more pattern and color (though this doesn’t fit the color need) to mix up my basics. This sweater adds some pattern without being too far-out. I like the collar and how it falls down the front. I think it also counts as pattern mixing with stripes and dots!
Now, the “experts” advise against wearing a turtleneck when you have a round face. I agree this is not my most flattering neckline/collar but with the January temperatures I am willing to sacrifice that bit of flattery for warmth! Plus, a turtleneck gives a nice smooth canvas to wear a statement necklace.
And yes, those are snowflakes on my “shelf”. I could have photoshopped them out (or noticed them and brushed them off) but I really try to show the pictures unaltered as much as possible. This is my first Monday post so I now have the opportunity to say… have a wonderful week!
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Hey everyone! First Friday post. First dressing room post too. So, if you’re looking at any fashion images, you’ve seen the fun ways they’re designing sleeves now. They are very wide and flowy and flouncy and fun, but some don’t look very practical, like they would drag in your lunch. This is definitely a quick trend that will probably be gone in a year or two, so don’t spend a lot of money on it, but it’s an easy way to freshen up your wardrobe and add some fun.
I had a reader ask about shopping at Kohl’s since they’re from a small town and don’t have many options. I visited my local Kohl’s and though I didn’t find much, I did find a few cute things like this top.
This top has the fun sleeves that are wide and flouncy (I tried to show how fun they are in one image) but they’re short enough, ending at the elbow instead of the wrist, so they won’t get in the way of eating or typing. I also really like this dark, pretty print and the keyhole tie at the neckline.
It fit well in the bust and hung nicely over my midsection. I also liked how it ended kind of short, so would pair well with jeans or a skirt. It’s a nice weight that will take you into spring and summer too.
I’m wearing my cargo pants from White House Black Market that you’ve seen before here. They have newer, fresher colors here if you’re looking for a cute cargo pant that doesn’t add volume with the leg pockets.
Ok, these images are killing me but I’ve come to accept that more knowledge is better than nothing. I’m working on the video today, so stay tuned!
So, I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I would be implementing a couple of changes here and I’ve been doing the work behind the scenes and am now at a point where I’m ready to commit to them. I’ve written it down, and said it publicly, so I am beholden!
Anyway, first change is I’m going to start posting three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I was finding the Saturday posting often conflicted with family or household events and during the week I *seem* to be more disciplined. There were many times when there was a long lag between Saturday and Wednesday and I was impatient to share something.
Second, I’ve had many readers ask for more information about shopping. Yes, you love my outfits and you learn from them but how to shop? I remember walking into a store and thinking “now what?” Luckily, I no longer hate shopping (quite the opposite in fact!) and I do it more than I should. There are so many times when I’m in a dressing room and I try on an item that would look so good on an apple-shaped woman or a woman with a big bust and I think “my readers would really like this!” but I already have one like that or it’s not my style or not in the budget. Really, how many gray sweaters do I need?
So, to pass the knowledge on I’m starting a new series called “I Would if I Could…”. I will take an i-phone image (so won’t be the best quality or lighting) in the dressing room and tell you where I found the item and why I liked it and why the fit worked. That way, if you’re looking for something similar you can see how it looks on my shape and can go find it for yourself right away. This will also help me with my guilt about sharing an outfit where the items are a couple of years old and are no longer available.
Also, I’m going to start doing videos. There are so many times when I’m figuring out an outfit and I think I should just show everyone this process. “This works with that but not with that — why? If I add this how would it look? Maybe if I change out the shoes it will work?” So many times I want to just show how the fabric moves or stretches and a photograph just doesn’t capture it or I’m stumbling over words trying to explain when a quick video would be all the explanation needed. This is a big step for me and I’ve been hesitant about announcing it because I know very little about the medium. I am trying to teach myself about filming and lighting and sound so bear with me! The videos may suck in the beginning but I promise I will get better!
I’ll also be photographing more outfits that don’t work and talk about why they don’t work. I’ve been focussed on showing you the good outfits and talking about why they worked but I want to take the time to photograph the bad outfits and analyze why they don’t work. If you’re a regular reader (and especially if you read the comments) you know it takes a couple of viewpoints to analyze the outfit and I think we all learn more when we see a mistake outfit. If you’re not convinced, read this post and the comments here and here.
My whole goal and mission of this blog is to inform women who have the same shape as I do, how to dress confidently. I know this is a rare place on the internet that shows real, practical advice and I want more women to find us. I want women our age and shape to have confidence to take on the next stage of life with knowledge, strength and belief in themselves. My request from all of you is to spread the word. Share on Facebook. Share on Pinterest. Tell a friend or relative (especially when they compliment your outfit!). I don’t mind putting in extra work because I believe in this, but it is easy to get discouraged when it is still an unknown, little blog and I know the need for it is great. Your comments keep me going so thank you for that.
So, to kick off these new initiatives, I thought I’d re-print my shopping tips for apple shapes from last spring with the addition of three more tips that I’ve learned along the way. Here we go!
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. 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.
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”.
Ok, happy shopping and I’ll be back on Friday with a new post. Let’s do this ladies!!!!
Hey everyone! I have always admired the peplum style tops (a shirt with some flounce at the waist) on other women. I’ve dutifully tried and failed to find one that looked good on me. The waist was usually too small and structured and then the puffed-out “skirt” of the sweater either looked too young and frilly or too much like a tu-tu. But, I’ve found one I’m really happy with here.
This is the Alfani brand again from Macy’s and I’m really liking their thoughtful designs. Just the way the “flounce” part of the top starts near my bust rather than at my waist so it flows out smoothly. There is some ribbed knitting on the side that is a larger knit, where the front and back are a finer knit, so less bulk. The way it dips below in the back to give me some coverage, especially if I had pants on. Just really thoughtful details that make this sweater work for my shape.
The sweater is available here and comes in several other colors (like a really pretty pink) and is also offered in petite here. I’m seriously thinking about getting this in another color like the pink or the blue because it fits so well.
I’ve been on the look-out for new black booties. I wear my others to death but they’re starting to look worn, even with a good polish. I found these and instantly knew they were the ones!
They have a chunky heel which is on-trend right now and the heel is brown and looks like lacquered wood. So different to see a brown heel with black leather. However, I feel these could go with a lot more outfits because of the brown. Also, like the top above these booties have great details, like the gold on the back heel and the little gold metal medallion-thing. These little details, I think, are the difference between a blah outfit and an outfit with style.
The skirt is several years old from J. Jill but they have one really similar here. And, of course, my purse of the moment that is going so well with black and gray this winter. Happy Wednesday everyone!
This post contains links to these fabulous items where I receive a couple of cents for each click and purchase –thanks!
Hey everyone! This is a slightly different post because I’m not just showing one outfit but showing two different dresses with the same sweater. The dresses are similar, except for the length, and I think the look is very different.
The dress above is a little bit shorter than the dress below. Now, I’m not one for showing my legs, but with these tights I feel comfortable and confident with this dress length. Plus, I think the outfit above looks better.
To me, the top outfit looks fun and the bottom dress with the long sweater a little more…what?…older. I didn’t plan this post this way. As I was looking through my photos I just kept thinking the longer dress with the sweater just looked blah but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then I saw the pictures with the shorter dress and they just looked fresher and more stylish. I believe it’s because the dress is a few inches shorter and the sweater length looks better with a dress that has a hem closer to the sweater hem.
This is one of those dresses that I don’t wear when it’s bare leg season. It totally seems fine with tights though, similar to this dress that’s too short for bare legs too. However, after this analysis, I may look for slightly shorter winter dresses that I would only wear with thick tights.
The gray sweater and blue dress are not on the Macy’s website though they have the sweater in black and plus size and petite and black. Perhaps you’ll have better luck at your local store. The shorter dress is from J.Jill’s Wearever collection and they come out with similar dresses, but different prints, every year. This is what they’re showing this season.
I wore this dark blue dress before here and really like it, but I think it looks better with a shorter jacket. If you look closely, I’ve changed up my scarf and necklace to see how each looked. I like the longer length necklace but I like the short scarf. What do you think?
Hey everyone! I realized I hadn’t worn my jeans recently on the blog so thought I’d pull them out and wear them with this cute asymmetrical sweater that I got for Christmas.
I know jeans are hard to find for an apple shape so I thought I’d share my insight with you all. If you’re not an apple-shape, be thankful, and now you’ll get some insight into all the steps we have to take to find clothes that fit.
These jeans have stretch and actually fit around my waist. However, as you know if you’re an apple shape, they slide down easily, so I have to yank them up all the time, unless I wear a belt. And I wear a belt every time with these. It’s just a thin belt that will never be shown but does it’s job of keeping the jeans up. But, you know all this if you’re an apple shape, the belt then creates a dent in your middle and looks terrible. So, my next step is to make sure I’m wearing a top that doesn’t show this dent in my midsection.
I often wear a cropped jacket with these jeans. Or, I can wear them with a top that skims over my middle so the dent is hidden underneath, and often wear a camisole too. That is the option I took here. It’s a casual, asymmetrical sweater that fits well in my bust and shoulders and skims over my middle without looking like a tent. The flare of the jeans help balance out my wide bust and, I think, looks a bit sassy.
You will be happy to see that I’m adding to my purse collection! I usually wear a purse that I hang on my elbow. The purses that hang on a long strap on my shoulder always slide off, do to the slope of my shoulders. However, there are times when I want to throw it over my shoulder and I found this short version works. I can wear it on the crook of my elbow or on my shoulder. It also adds a great pop of color to this pretty tame outfit. My exact color is on sale for a limited time and you can find it in several pretty colors here and here and the exact blue, but different style I seriously contemplated, here.
Hey everyone! I’ve found a new jacket I can zip up! Not that I’m showing any pictures of that feat here (I don’t know why I forgot to zip it while we were shooting the pictures). Anyway, if you’ve been reading for any amount of time on this blog, you know that that is a rare find. If you have a big bust or a large middle (or both in my case!) jackets are not for zipping up.
This jacket looks great unzipped too, as you can see, falling nice and straight, creating a vertical line and breaking up my bust and torso. It also has some thoughtful details like the angle of the zippers on the pockets and the collar. I find this simple, round collar looks good with a shirt underneath that has a more interesting collar. It also works well to frame a necklace or lay quietly under a scarf.
What I like about this jacket is that it has the stretchy, knit fabric on the sides but it doesn’t look like it’s made for a plus-size woman who needs more stretch. If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you know I don’t buy or wear the items that are “supposed” to be especially for plus-size women because I find they’re usually unflattering.
This dress is not old, but I can’t find it on the Macy’s website (frustrating) but a similar dress is here. It’s by Alfani (a brand I’ve been exploring and having good luck with) from Macy’s. If you have a big bust, you’ve probably heard that a v-neck collar is the most flattering. I think if you don’t just have a big bust, but have a wide bust too, many v-necks makes it look wider. I find these deep round necklines are more flattering and balance out a wider bust and middle.
This dress has a couple of good design details. First, it’s lined. That helps with the fabric skimming and not clinging. I think “skim not cling” needs to be on my headstone, I say it so much! Also, it’s a textured and stretchy fabric so it gives in the areas where you want to take. It also has some fun details too like the crochet around the collar and sleeves.
Good old reliable boots that I’ve had for several years complete the black shine of leather. Newer, very inexpensive options similar to my boots are available here and here. A similar, mid-range, wide-shaft boot here and a more expensive, wide-shaft version here. And gosh, really you can find boots like this anywhere in all price ranges, so I highly recommend adding them to your wardrobe!
A bit of fun news: I was interviewed on 40plusstyle.com about my style and such. If you’re curious, you can read it here. Have a great weekend!
Hey everyone! I’m back with some photographs we took while we were in North Carolina visiting my sister and her family over the holidays. So, instead of knee-deep snow we will have a couple of posts with greenery and sunshine!
If you remember back to this post where I wore my favorite sweater and had a pretty pink tunic underneath but couldn’t find the link (still not on their website), well I ended up getting a long-sleeved version in the same fabric, which is the crepe fabric that skims my body without clinging. It also has the asymmetrical hem that is really in style right now. I was able to find a link for this top but only in the plus size version. Not sure what’s going on with their website, but hopefully you can find it at your local Macy’s if you’re interested.
I’ve admired the flouncy cuffs that are everywhere but I totally envision them dragging through my lunch or getting caught under my keyboard. However, these cute sleeves stay out of the way when I’m doing anything with my hands. I tried this one on at the store and it looked great when my arms were bent, so pretty and flowy, but really bad when I lowered my arms to my side, like making me look extra wide.
These pants you’ve seen before here. They are stretchy and have a great waistband for us apple-shapes. I love the length of them too, ending right above my ankle, especially with pumps like these super adorable green suede ones. The pants are also from Macy’s, from the Alfani brand, and they make a really nice variety of pants that fit our shape well, with lots of patterns, like these fun houndstooth plaid ones. They have them in a variety of colors but also in classic black here. This pair is a plus size in gray, which this brand also makes. I even tried on a shiny metallic pair thinking I would wear them around the holidays but they didn’t come home with me, though I’m thinking seriously about these fun patterned ones! At least this is one brand that I’ve found that is giving us options. Happy 2017 everyone!
This post contains links to the items I love and I receive a few cents for each click or purchase. Thank you!