How You Can Learn To Love Your Body!

Hey everyone! Since my last post was about how I learned to love my body, I thought I’d re-post the second article in that series today. I wrote these in the beginning of the blog, when I only had a handful of readers, but think they’re important enough to be re-posted. I hope you agree!

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This is second in a series of posts I started when I was asked by a reader to explain how I’ve come to accept and love my body. First post here.

Hey all you beautiful apple shapes! By the way, apples are delicious and nutritious. Apple a day keeps the doctor away, so it’s actually healthier to be around us apples. Plus, I suspect, we’re more fun!
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Anyway, if you’ve stumbled around on the internet looking for ways to dress an apple shape or looked for clothing that would work for your shape you’ve come across the description of the apple shape: large stomach, large midsection, carries weight around the middle, blah, blah, blah. Then, like all the other shapes, it tries to come up with the positive parts of your body to highlight and for apple shapes they say it’s slender arms and legs. If you scoffed at that, like I did, you know often arms and legs are just as chubby as the middle. Or perhaps they have visible veins, cellulite, stretch marks or scars. Either way, you’re not in a hurry to show off those parts of your body either. If you’re like me, those body parts went south way before the mid-life middle came into play.

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Actually, I feel whomever wrote those descriptions about apple shapes just threw in the “lean arms and legs” to give us something to work with even though they know we have the most challenging body shape to dress in the current forms of clothing that are made. So, again, reading “advice” for my shape, I felt that I wasn’t getting realistic advice and it was not written by someone who has my shape or any experience dressing my shape.

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So, let’s take it from a real apple-shaped body perspective:

Learn to love your wrists. They are graceful. Put pretty bracelets on them. Admire the slender way they attach your arm to your hands. They’re so graceful when you hold something or turn a doorknob. Play up your wrists by showing them off with shorter sleeves.

Love your feet. They are muscular and shapely. They probably are bigger than when you were a lithe teenager but they’re still strong and curvaceous. Find some cute, comfy shoes. Make them a bright color or get a fun pattern. Get a pedicure to celebrate bare feet. A stylish (but always comfortable) pair of shoes can elevate any outfit and they’re starting to make shoes that are cute and aren’t painful to wear. You can be a fashionista just by the power of shoes!

Love your collar bone. Even if you are carrying weight in your bust and midsection you probably have some collar bone definition. Especially with gravity pulling your bust downward. Wear a necklace to draw attention to that area. It’s very flattering to have a necklace length hitting at the collar bone. Choose shirts that showcase your collar bone and look for pretty necklines.

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Now, I challenge you to find one other area to love if you are the apple shape without the slender arms and legs (or even if you are). Perhaps your earlobes? You can find very fun earrings. Or your cleavage? Necklaces and interesting collars could play up that area. Perhaps your fingers or toes? Rings, toe rings, manicures and pedicures can all be ways to show off those areas.

For me, I’ve come to love my ankles. Though they are not slim they look slim compared to my man-calves and they are shapely. I don’t mind showing them off. I showcase them with ankle length pants and cute shoes and while writing this I’ve decided to give an ankle bracelet a try!

How about it? What parts of your body can you love and show off? I guarantee you will have, at the minimum, one part to highlight. I’d love to hear which you choose.

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How I Learned To Love My Body!

Hey everyone! I’m in Charlotte and haven’t had time to do an outfit photo shoot, so I thought I’d do one of my posts from last year since I’m not sure how many of you have actually seen it and we have a lot more readers here since last April. Enjoy!

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So, one of my lovely readers, Bette, asked me:

“May I ask, have you always been able to think so positively about your body? Or did you have to train yourself? And, if the latter, how did you do this? IMO, this would be a great blog post — learning to love our “big, beautiful canvasses” in spite of society. Ha.”

When I read that I thought: “I don’t know. I don’t have anything to say about that. I don’t have any advice. I’m no different than anyone else.” I actually hadn’t realized how much I did accept my body or realize that many women my age didn’t accept theirs until she asked me that question. Ok. I do have some things to say.

Emotional support number one: ying & yang kitties
Emotional support number one: ying & yang kitties

First, I did recognize a couple of steps (though there are probably a thousand tiny steps) to get where I am today.  So, let me start by saying I did have to train my mind to accept my body. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, though I didn’t do this in a very conscious way. And because this is a complex topic this will take several posts to explain. Remember, this is just my experience and my opinion, so read it, analyze it, ask yourself if it makes sense to you and keep what you like and throw away what you don’t. Here’s the first step:

Accept what you can’t change.

So, we’ve probably all hated our body at some point in our lives, or many points in our lives. “Why are you ruining my life? Why can’t you look like so and so? How come I work so hard and you still look this way?” I always wanted to have a tiny waist, instead of the rectangle shape that I was, even at my slimmest and most athletic. One day I realized that there was about 1/2″ between my rib cage and the top of my pelvic bone. So, no matter how thin I could get, I wasn’t going to have a small waist because there just wasn’t enough room between ribs and pelvis to dip in to be a tiny waist. I’m just not built that way and no matter what I did it would be the same. It was physically impossible. I had to accept this fact.  I was born that way.  Ok. Truce. I accept you waist.

When I thought about the other parts of my body that I wish I could change, but were physically impossible, I knew I had to think of them in a new way.  I’m short. That’s not going to change. I have big feet. They will always be big feet. I have big boobs. I was born that way. I could go on and on pointing out what I think are not perfect body parts. But, to constantly be mad at these parts, when there is no chance to change them, seems exhausting and sad. It’s like I choose to drag a weight around my whole life with no chance of ridding myself of it. It’s like being mad at the sun for rising in the east. I looked at my body and saw the parts that were physically impossible to change and I decided to accept them rather than carry on this life-long disdain for them. They are what they are and I can’t change that. I’m tired of being enemies. I want to be friends. I approach you body, as I would a friend, with love and understanding and acceptance of your non-perfect parts. This was immensely freeing.

Now, with a new relationship with my body, and the non-perfect parts, I could concentrate on making the best of them. I figured out how to work with them, rather than against them, to look my best. I put my energy into finding the most flattering way to dress them and let me tell you, when I figured out how to dress these body parts, it was so much easier to accept them and like them because they weren’t that bad. They just needed some help to dress them to their best advantage. They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t that bad with the right clothes. Another reminder that it’s not me, it’s the clothes.

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Emotional support number two: sleepy newborn foal

And now another step:

Change up your thinking.

As a designer, I look at problems from many different perspectives to find the right solution. Looking at my weight from the same old worn-out perspective of “I’m fat. I hate my body” was not working and I was tired of that argument. I decided to look at it from another perspective, in fact from the complete opposite perspective.

So, my body is biologically wired to keep me alive and have me survive. It warns me of danger and injury. It wants me to live. Perhaps my body was gaining weight for reasons I didn’t understand. What positive, biological reason would my body want to keep extra weight around? Well, many:

It’s worried that I might be in an earthquake and be buried alive for 10 days and it was going to make darn sure I was going to be pulled out alive.

It listens to the news and hears about war torn regions where people are starving and wants to be prepared in case I’m ever in a war and starving.

Living in a cold climate my body knows there is a chance that I could be lost in a snowstorm for days and would have to stay warm and live on stores of fat and it wants me to survive.

Perhaps my body is worried that I might be on a sinking ship, in the middle of the ocean, and I would have to float to shore, so it made sure I had two large flotation devices that will help me get there.

Thank you body! You want me to survive! You’re thinking ahead and planning! As a mother, I would do anything to make sure my kids survived, and I’ve been thinking ahead and planning. My body was doing the same! It was working behind the scenes to make sure I would survive. It was looking out for me. It wasn’t trying to sabotage me or make me hate it. It was doing what it thought was best to get me to survive. Awwww, thank you body!

Emotional support number three: Kippy as a puppy
Emotional support number three: Kippy as a puppy

When I look at my body, I see a body that is hell-bent on surviving. My body, for whatever reason, has decided that survival means storage of portable food. Actually, pretty smart. She wants me to survive and thrive. I love you body! You’re taking care of me! While I’m busy caring for others, you’ve been caring for me. Thank you!

These are just two ways of thinking that has led me to accept and love my body. There are other steps that I realize I have taken that I’ll share with you in a future post.  I cannot tell you how to accept and love your body. I can only tell you how I did it in hopes that you will glean something from my words or it’ll just get you thinking.

Yeah, I guess I did have some things to say!

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Wearing The Color Of The Year!

Hey everyone! So, you probably know that green was named the color of the year, specifically “greenery”.  I find adding one or two items with the trendy color of the year really freshens up your wardrobe and pushes you to try new colors and combinations.

Wearing the Color of the Year! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This sweater is one of the few green items I own. Most of my other green items are more olive-based. It caught my eye in the store about a month ago but I just passed it by since green rarely interests me. About two weeks ago, I saw it again, it still perked my interest and I gave it a try. I loved the fit, kind of like a sweatshirt, but it’s smartened up a bit because it’s made of linen. I own very little linen because it usually wrinkles easily unless you’re someone who hangs things up immediately and likes to iron (definitely not me!) but because this is a knit there were very few wrinkles.

Wearing the Color of the Year! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s another Eileen Fisher sweater so it’s not cheap, however it’s made to last. I always consider how many times I’m going to wear an item to determine if it’s really that expensive. Like if I bought an item for $20 but only wore it once, compared to buying a $100 item and wearing it 50 times. You really have to compare cost per wear to see the real price of an item.

Wearing the Color of the Year! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with my cropped, flare pants and spring flats that are really cute (though size up a 1/2 size) and my newest necklace you’ve seen a couple of times already.

Wearing the Color of the Year! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, if you’re interested in giving green or linen a try I’d suggest this sweater is a great place to start! Happy Monday!

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Bloggers and Blazers!

Hey everyone! You’ve seen this blazer before (here) but I find it so pretty and flattering that I wanted to show it off again (and they’re now offering it in another color too!). This time I’m wearing it with another pretty dress and my new spring purse plus my trusty black pumps. Yes, I know. I’m a little bit obsessed with dresses this spring! But, they’re working so well for my shape and so easy to wear!

Bloggers and Blazers | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, one unexpected perk to blogging is making friends. I feel like a blog is the contemporary version of being pen-pals (remember those?). I write, then someone writes me back. Yes, it’s a little one-sided because you all can see me and I can’t see you (unless you came to my blog birthday party!) but I still feel the friendship in  your words.

Bloggers and Blazers | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

There is also a connection between other bloggers. I hear that the young women bloggers are more competitive and don’t collaborate much but among the over 40 crowd it is the opposite! I think because we know there are few bloggers our age so supporting each other is beneficial. But, I also think we’re at the age where we realize friendships make everything worth while!

Bloggers and Blazers | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I was invited by one of my good blogging friends, Anna, to collaborate with her Ping Pong Post bloggers. Every month these three ladies pick an item to style and invite another blogger to join them. I joined them this month and the item we were all styling was blazers. Such a variety!

Bloggers and Blazers | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Here is Anna from Anna’s Island Style. She lives on a picturesque island off the coast of England. She swims in the sea around her island, which I find fascinating and read her swimming stories with such interest. She also is the most fearless dresser. She mixes prints, colors, sequins and high heels with such ease that I am in awe! Just see for yourself on her Instagram account!

Blazer: Vila Clothes Blouse: Jo-Ed Sophisticates Skirt: charity shop Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, California Tights: Topshop Pearls: Debenhams Rings: charity shop

The blazer she is wearing was a gift from her husband and it is such an Anna item. Not only does it fit like a glove but has a great print. Anna doesn’t stop there though! She is someone who shows that “more is more”! She also does a lot of thrift shopping and finds really great items and then writes a blog post about her haul. They are some of my favorite posts!

This is Ann from Kremb de la Kremb. She is an American living in Tokyo. She is such an edgy, rebel dresser (despite being a school librarian!). She is always showing her exotic vacation photos and videos on Instagram. Plus, look at those legs!

Kremb de la Kremb Blazer 2Sunnies–Thailand Night Market in Hua Hin Earrings–Betsy Johnson (and one sadly just broke!) Necklaces–TJ Maxx Tank–Florence Market Blazer–H&M and then a swap! Denim Skirt–DIY from second hand shop Trainers–Adidas

She has a great story about this blazer. She bought it in Beijing but never really wore it so ended up giving it away at a swap meet. She, of course, started missing it immediately after that (don’t we all do that?). The next year she went back to the same swap meet and there it was! This time she bought it and now it’s made it’s blog debut! Her awesome t-shirt she bought in Florence. I think I’m having travel-shopping envy!

Our final blogger is Samantha from Fake Fabulous. She is from Scotland and describes herself as an average woman just trying to look good…and she does in every post! I mean, look at that cute haircut!

SHOES: Topshop TIGHTS: Gipsy SHIRT: Urban Outfitters BLAZER: Primark BROOCH & EARRINGS: Gifts BAG: FIORELLI SKIRT: Boden

She wanted to ditch the whole idea of blazers as being businesswear and stuffy and serious. So, she added the shiny silver shoes plus the big pops of color from the red clutch and brooch, not to mention the very colorful tights. Her favorite quote is “It is better to be looked over than overlooked” from Mae West. I’m sure she is never overlooked! You can see lots of her outfits on her Instagram account.

It’s been such fun to collaborate with these ladies! I feel like a real blogger with real blogger colleagues! I hope you’ve enjoyed this variety of blazers and perhaps met some new ladies who each have a unique style. Friendships come in all shapes and styles, don’t they?

Linking up with these ladies at High Latitude Style!

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A Shortie Wearing Wide Pants!

Hey everyone! So, conventional wisdom says a short person shouldn’t wear wide-legged pants because it makes them look shorter. Well, I’m anything but conventional!

A Shortie Wearing Wide-Legged Pants and Feeling OK! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I don’t think I look any shorter actually. Really, how much taller can a pair of pants make you look anyhow and why can’t I just look short? I’m ok with that!

A Shortie Wearing Wide-Legged Pants and Feeling OK! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, with wider, flowy bottoms, I needed a more-fitted top. As you know, I’m not really crazy about anything tight on the top, so this jacket is as tight as I will get. It does have some structure and shaping, so it’s a little bit more fitted. You could wear a flowy top and flowy bottom, and it’s a nice casual look, but to make this more work appropriate I wanted to have some structure and seriousness!

A Shortie Wearing Wide-Legged Pants and Feeling OK! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

These pants are from a Michigan brand called Haystacks. This is one of those vacation purchases (i.e. bought under the influence!) that is not usually something I would buy, but sometimes you need a few unique pieces of clothing. They’re really comfortable and I bought the most-outlandish pattern just to have something a little more crazy in my closet (besides an orangish-pink purse)!

A Shortie Wearing Wide-Legged Pants and Feeling OK! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

All of the photos from this and the last few posts were taken in the Eastern Market in downtown Detroit. It’s a historic farmer’s market/warehouse district, that has a bunch of great murals. My photographer/husband and I were in heaven finding great photo locations!

Detroits Eastern Market | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This picture below is such a representation of Detroit now. Old, industrial city being revised and re-inhabited by artists and creatives. Such an interesting transformation. It’s still gritty but has jaw-dropping art in the most unexpected places!

Detroits Eastern Market | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

On a side note, I’m unexpectedly heading to Charlotte, NC this Saturday for a week’s stay. Don’t worry. It’s not for a funeral or anything bad. I’ve never been there, so I’d love to hear any recommendations from you if you’ve been. My week is pretty open for exploring!

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Craving A Classic!

Hey everyone! So, as I’ve been doing this blogging thing, I’ve been more conscious of trends and new things and what’s “in”. This spring, there has been a lot of trends, what with the big sleeves, florals and seasonal colors that I have loved but felt like I needed to balance those trends out with a classic. This blue sweater was the result!

This is a cashmere blend Eileen Fisher sweater. I’ve never bought anything before from the Eileen Fisher brand. It’s always been too expensive and a lot of the items were too flowey to look good on my shape. Though, I love her fabrics and her ethical business practices, I felt you had to be a real adult to buy her brand (something I rarely feel like!). But, after seeing so many trendy items in the store, that I knew were going to be out of style next year, I thought a little investment piece was ok.

Craving A Classic! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m pairing it with my very trendy embroidered jeans and very trendy ballet flats and very trendy purse in this spring’s trendy color as well as my trendy necklace! You can see why I was craving a classic item!

Craving A Classic! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I do like to add some trends into my wardrobe, especially if it’s inexpensive, since it’s a good way to update your closet, but I don’t want to get too carried away. It reminds me of when I was in high school, and everything I wore was a trend and I’d have to buy a whole new wardrobe each year. I’ve gotten a little bit wiser since then!

Craving A Classic! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I think a classic piece also grounds an outfit, making it look more grown-up. I don’t want to look like I’m trying to dress like a teenager. Adding a classic item gives some gravitas to the outfit and I could always use a shot of gravitas! Have a great week everyone!

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Spring Dressing Is So Easy!

Hey everyone! I have found dressing this spring so easy! My love affair with these dresses is the reason!

Spring Dressing is Easy! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This dress is another simple style, actually I’d consider it a shift style, since it doesn’t have any stitching that gives it shape. It’s made of a thicker stretchy fabric than the previous three dresses I have shown (here, here and here), but hangs really nicely doing the whole “skim without cling” thing that makes it look nice on our shape.

Spring Dressing is Easy! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you’ve seen before, I usually wear a dress that is more form-fitting, but then wear the “third piece” (sweater or jacket) over it to cover what I would like to keep covered. This way you can aren’t wearing a dress with lots of fabric, which usually makes  you look bigger. This cute sweater with the ruffle sleeves gives me coverage over my middle and bust without adding bulk and it pulls the whole look together.Spring Dressing is Easy! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my booties that you’ve seen many, many times that I am still loving. They seem to be sold out but here are really cute similar ones that I would buy if I could figure out a way to justify it! Also, my new black purse is working well with the rest of the black of the outfit.

Spring Dressing is Easy! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

There seems to be many other dresses out right now that have the simple structure and stretchy fabric that works well for my shape. I have a couple in my shopping cart online trying to decide how many I actually need! Throwing on a cute sweater or jacket over the sleeveless dress makes dressing so easy this time of year. I’m ok with easy! Has anyone tried out these dresses this spring? I’d love to hear how they’re working for you. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Shopping My Closet!

Hey everyone! Everything I’m wearing you’ve seen before — just not in this combination. Proof that this fashion blogger isn’t always wearing something new!

Shopping My Closet! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The jeans you’ve seen before here. Yes, they’re my new style of jeans (aka maternity jeans) that I’m loving. One thing I’ve figured out is you have to be careful wearing a crop top with these jeans b/c the non-jean fabric that covers your tummy can sometimes show. And some of the belly fabric (I like that description. I may have to keep using it) looks like underwear so it’s definitely noticeable. In the future I’m going to look for the belly fabric in dark blue or black if I think there will be a possibility of it showing. Just something to keep in mind while you’re looking.

Shopping My Closet! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This tank top is a serious clothing workhorse. You’ve seen it so many times on this blog. It is the most forgiving top and has a v-neck or round-collar option just by turning it around (no front, no back, no tag!). When I want a top to just be in the background, I grab this one. And it’s sleeveless so it’s good for when the temperatures are warm or your jacket is tight in the armhole or sleeve. White House Black Market always seems to carry this but it’s not always on sale. Here it’s on sale and in other color options too!

Shopping My Closet! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The shoes I’ve worn before too. I wanted to try loafers since I didn’t have any and I wanted to try a print on my shoes. These fit the bill, but I actually struggle finding items to wear with them. So far, I’ve been happy wearing them with skinny jeans and regular office-type pants (you know, those boring, nondescript pants like I wore here). I may have to push myself out of my comfort zone to try them with other items (like maybe a skirt?) to see if I can get more wear out of them. These exact loafers are no longer available, but I saw some similar ones here and here and if money were no object I would just have to try these!

Shopping My Closet! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket I bought last fall so unfortunately it’s no longer available from Maurices. Though I don’t often shop at Maurices, because a lot of their clothes seem to be geared for younger women, I do appreciate that they have jackets that go up to size 16 and 18 or Xl and XXL before they go into the plus size. I actually don’t fit into plus-size. When I try plus-size, it’s usually too big everywhere except bust and waist. So I appreciate going slightly higher in the straight sizes.

Then finishing off this outfit with a new black purse. My old black purse doesn’t have any structure, it just kind of flops along on my arm. I feel a bag with some stiff structure can elevate an outfit quickly from frumpy to more put-together, especially if you’re wearing more slouchy items.

So, just shopping from my closet with this outfit but still keeping it interesting and avoiding ruts. I hope your day is as bright as this red is! I’m squinting just looking at these pictures!

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This Jacket Is Cut Just For Me!

Hey everyone!  I’ve been meaning to show this jacket since Christmas but kept forgetting to photograph it! And of course by now I can’t find it on any websites to show you, but luckily Calvin Klein makes this same jacket, just in different fabrics, each season.

Great Style of Jacket | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket is faux suede, so more suited for winter. You’ve seen me wear this same cut of jacket but in different fabrics here and here.  This is a style of jacket that works really well for my shape. The cropped length works for my short-waisted self and I really like the rounded collars.

This must be a popular cut because Calvin Klein updates it often and has several options here and here and here. If you’re looking for a warmer weather version in a lighter color here is one and the lightweight denim version that is in style now. And from last spring, when I wore the navy blue one, I’m still able to find it here.

Great Style of Jacket | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

There are slight shoulder pads but they fit my shoulders well without sitting on top of my shoulders or making me look like a football player. The arms are roomy and the fabric has some stretch. It also has some fitting stitching, so you get some shape at the waist and in the back. They also have nice details like the lining or the snaps on the cuffs. I appreciate those little details!

Great Style of Jacket | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my ever-faithful J.Jill pencil skirt and I bought myself a new necklace. I meant to wear blue tights with this outfit (they would have looked better) but could not find them (I believe my daughter may have an idea where they may be…) so gray it is!

Great Style of Jacket | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, I’m glad that I’ve found a cut that works well on me and I’m hoping the brand keeps updating this style. I just have to be careful I don’t get into a style rut and just wear this style over and over! Maybe three jackets should be my limit? We’ll see….Have a great week everyone!

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I Would If I Could….Spring Rain Coat!

Hey everyone! I already have a rain coat for spring and fall but if I didn’t I would be getting one of these! Look how flattering the waist buckle is on this first one!

Cute rain coat for apple-shaped women with a big bust! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket has a really pretty leopard print on the inside and the hood. And though it’s a bit tight on me (I’m wearing the XL) if you’re a bit smaller than me this would fit well. They do have the XXL so that might work too. Here it is in petite and here in plus size.

Cute rain coat for apple-shaped women with a big bust! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This jacket below is a pretty soft pinkish gray. It has a hood but it doesn’t bunch up on my shoulders. I usually stay away from belted items, especially like this, but because it belts higher, right under my bust, it looks better. It’s available here in plus size. If you’re not crazy about the belt, Calvin Klein has a very similar jacket without the belt here and in plus size here.

Cute rain coat for apple-shaped women with a big bust! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I never wear fit and flare dresses but in coats and jackets I love the silhouette. Fit and flare are where the top is more fitted and then the skirt flares out. I usually don’t want the top that fitted and have always thought a slimmer skirt was more flattering but I might give it a try in a dress since I think it looks really nice in the first jacket.

Cute rain coat for apple-shaped women with a big bust! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, I can’t justify buying another spring coat when I already have a perfectly serviceable one but maybe one of you ladies out there were on the lookout. If so, I hope this helps and good luck shopping!

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