Happy Second Blog Birthday!

Hey hey everyone! The blog is turning two years old today! Whoot-whoot! One of the best parts of writing this blog is “meeting” you all, even though it’s all been online (so far!). So, let me introduce you to some of our fellow readers who sent me their picture so we could see them and you all could meet them!

If you remember last year’s birthday party you may remember Cynthia. She is from Raleigh, NC and has really embraced style in midlife! This red leather jacket is electric! She definitely knows how to dress her shape and was recognized for her style in an interview here.

Our next guest is Julie. She is a life-coach and blogger from Michigan. In fact, you can learn more about her by visiting her blog here. Most of her outfit is from estate sales and she loves these jeans saying they look like leggings but feel like pajamas! What could be better? She was even kind enough to give us a link to them if you’re interested. And I must say I love her jaunty hat!

Let me introduce you to Tracy next! She says her boots are a lot cuter than they look, though they look pretty cute to me! She was very sweet and said that she is making better purchases because of reading the blog. That was so kind of her to say, because often I feel like I’m encouraging you all to shop shop shop!

Our last guest is the very prolific commenter Bettye. Her comments are a hoot and always crack me up! If you want to see more of Bettye’s style and read her personality-infused writing, you can visit her blog, Fashion Schlub, here.

Now let’s have some cake! Chocolate?

Or pistachio?

As we did last year, I will be thanking you all for being such loyal readers and giving away two $25 gift certificates to two randomly drawn email subscribers. If you are already subscribed to my emails then you’re already entered! If you want to enter, just add your email at the top of this page where it says to subscribe and I’ll be randomly drawing them in about two weeks. I’ll email you if you’re a winner and announce it here too!

Thank you all for your support, whether it’s commenting, sharing a post on social media or clicking and purchasing from the links to the clothing. I really love the community we have made here and I look forward to many more years and birthday parties!

I will be taking a blogging break for the next two weeks, recharging my batteries, and will be back with the winners of the drawing then! So, everyone, mix and mingle, eat some cake and I’ll see you in two weeks!

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I Would If I Could…Spring Tops For Work!

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Hey everyone! I haven’t done one of these in a while and thought I’d visit my local JCPenney store to see what’s coming in for spring. I saw some cute dresses but because I didn’t have on my tall boots (just my favorite wool sneakers) I knew I didn’t want to try on dresses. It’s so hard to see how you’d look in a dress when you’re standing there with bare legs and rumpled socks around your ankles. Or at least it is for me!

Anyway, I found a cute top with lots of pattern variations that will be very office appropriate this spring from Liz Claiborne. It has a lighter fabric so it’s easy to layer over and all of the patterns are good to hide bra hardware and seams and undergarment dents. These will also work in the summer because of the light fabric but you still have long sleeves if the air conditioning is up to high.

All of these tops are the same cut except for the last one. I’m wearing an XL in all of them. Have a look!

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

This one below is slightly different in the collar and sleeve. It’s available in tall and plus size too.

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Spring Top That Fits A Wide Bust! | whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m just wearing it with my skinny jeggings (you’ve seen before many times including here) that are being miraculously held up by the best belt ever (as explained here)!

That’s it for today and I’ll see you Friday for the 2nd blog birthday party! Oh, and happy spring!

This post contains affiliate links which means that this blog receives a small commission for each click and each purchase from that link. I put 100% of that money back into hosting this site and paying the fees associated with that. Thanks for your clicks!

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On Mondays We Dance!

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! I’m doing just a quick post because as you read this, I am heading back to Michigan. I won’t be able to respond to your comments right away but know that I always enjoy them and they make my day!

Cute Jacket For Apple Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, this jacket has been a surprising workhorse this spring. I wear it all the time in North Carolina because it’s a lighter fabric and easy to layer underneath plus can be zipped up! Apple shaped woman know that this is a rarity so here is one of those jackets that deserves pointing out! It’s also available in a pretty light blue and in plus size.

Cute Jacket For Apple Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

I like the length of the jacket plus the little rivets on the pocket gives it some style so I don’t look like I’m wearing a boring old black jacket. It’s got these big collars too that lay flat and are perfect for a scarf like I styled it the last time here.

Cute Jacket For Apple Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing it with my sleeveless sheath top from last summer that you’ve seen a couple of times like here and these pants from White House Black Market that have limited sizes in regular and petite but they seem to have some similar pairs here. I’m wearing a size 14.

I said I would report on these shoes that are all wool and have been claimed to be the most comfy shoes yet — I agree! I’ve had them about 6 months (you’ve seen them before here) and the wool is still soft and is still holding up well even though I wear them a ton and even went hiking in them twice (up and down steep hills for several hours!). My only complaint is they don’t have much tread, so they really are for sidewalk/floor/yard walking and not so much for any place slippery. I see the company has started making a new type of shoe made out of trees (?!) so I may have to check them out in a light color for warmer weather.

Cute Jacket For Apple Shaped Women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

And yes, the pretty little pink purse hitting way above it’s cost. I’ve definitely gotten my cost per wear out of it!

Where the heck am I you ask? I’m at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation in downtown (uptown they call it here) Charlotte. It was an old church that burned down but the stone structure remained and now they use it for art exhibits and artists in residence. Dave and I were mesmerized (ok, I was) by a video of male ballet dancers who were push dancing (that’s what I call it!) done by one of their visiting artists Javier de Frutos. If you’re curious you can see it here.

Let’s do this Monday!

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A Mix Of Spring + Winter!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I know some of you are having winter weather and some having spring weather so I’m showing an outfit that works for both! Plus, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day so I’m wearing my green here too!

Apple Shaped Blogger Giving Excellent Fashion Advice! | whenthegirlsrule.co

I’ve worn this dress  (and I just checked and it’s 50% off right now!) several times already on this blog and this is a reversible dresses so the other side is solid green (as you saw here). It’s a nice weight and hangs well and I’m totally fine not wearing a jacket or sweater over the top because it hangs so well and the pattern is really good at camouflaging bumps and dents. It’s also available in petite which is also on sale! I’m wearing an XL.

Apple Shaped Blogger Giving Excellent Fashion Advice! | whenthegirlsrule.co

The choker style adds some edginess and a bit of a trend without being over the top. If you’re looking for a really pretty floral pattern in the same style and reversible (in burgundy) here is one in straight size, plus and petite. Actually, I’m finding White House Black Market has a lot of reversible dresses available right now. I’m thinking about here (that’s also 50% off!) and this one myself! Ugh! I need to win the lotto!

Apple Shaped Blogger Giving Excellent Fashion Advice! | whenthegirlsrule.co

I’m still loving this long sweater/jacket. It’s cut like a jacket but is the fabric of a sweater. Actually, the knit is almost like a sweatshirt. It hangs well and has some interesting details with the white edging but not so much that it screams trendy. It’s another ingenious reversible item and you’ve seen me wear it with it’s gray side showing here. Chico’s has it in black with red edging and that is way on sale right now! I’m wearing size three.

Apple Shaped Blogger Giving Excellent Fashion Advice! | whenthegirlsrule.co

I’m wearing my faithful black pumps with the cute little ties on the heel you’ve seen many times (like here). They are available in shiny black leather and a pretty taupe too. The purse is no longer available but here and here are very similar and reasonably priced.

Apple Shaped Blogger Giving Excellent Fashion Advice! | whenthegirlsrule.co

And this is my last reminder (I know you’re sick of hearing this!) to RSVP for the blog birthday party. If you have been inspired by something from this blog and would like to show the other very supportive readers your beautiful self then please send me your picture wearing your inspired outfit! We won’t say your name and if you’re more comfortable you can not show your face. This is how we did it last year. Send me your picture by email to julia@whenthegirlsrule.com by Sunday night and we’ll have the party next Friday. I love this once a year opportunity to see all of you ladies!

This post contains links which give this blog a commission for each click and purchase. I put 100% of that commission back into this blog and keeping the site up and running. Thank you for helping me to do that!

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I Swear This Is The Last Time You See This Jacket Here!

Hey everyone! I know I’ve shown this jacket several times (like here and here) but I wanted you to see how versatile it was by pairing it with jeans today. It’s one of those chameleon jackets that can easily be dressed up or down and still look appropriate. I think because it was the first item I bought after my spending ban it’s getting lots of love too but I promise I won’t show it again on the blog (I think!).

This jacket freshens up your wardrobe for spring and summer just by it’s color. Even if you don’t want to wear trends or hate spending your money on something that will be out of style soon (I’m looking at you cold shoulder tops!) just adding a new color to a classic item keeps you from looking frumpy.

It has a flattering neckline that covers your bust and midsection when you prefer more coverage. The stitching in the back keeps this jacket from looking like a tent from the rear view and gives you more shape.

The faux suede is a nice weight so it waterfalls nicely but the sleeves and back of the jacket are a slightly lighter fabric so it isn’t too heavy to wear. I’m wearing my sleeveless reversible tank top you saw last summer and though this exact one is no longer in stock, they have two pretty ones here and here that are the same fabric and are reversible (two shirts in one!).

I’ve paired it with my skinny jeggings you’ve seen a ton that are being held up by my new favorite belt which is strong enough to keep my jeans up around my waist even though my calves keep wanting to pull them down! The jeggings are half off right now if you’re interested.

The boots are several years old but are holding up well. I like these boots because even though they have a slight heel, my foot and ankle feel stable in them because the boot gives more structure than a pair of pumps.

It was raining outside when we took these pictures so I thought I’d try a corner in our house that gets lots of natural light. Since I don’t photograph often inside, the dark shadows on the bottom half of my body and half of my face were something I don’t usually contend with and had to edit them to brighten them. Just so you know, I don’t edit my photos unless it’s for cropping and brightening up shadows. Never for fit or a more flattering look. What you see is what you get!

Ok, and the pictures for the blog birthday party are starting to trickle in and I love it! I’d love to get your RSVP too! This weekend is the deadline to send them to me at julia@whenthegirlsrule.com. If you have no idea what I’m talking about here is the invitation and here is how we did last year’s party. Come and join the fun!

This post contains affiliate links which provide a small commission to keep this blog up and running. Thank you for clicking on those links and purchasing from those links and know that you are keeping this corner of the internet vibrant!

 

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Spring Is The Perfect Time For Dresses!

Hey everyone! So, I noticed I seem to wear a lot of dresses in the spring. I think because it’s getting a little bit warmer, I can ditch the warm pants but still am able to layer easily if it starts to get chilly. Seriously, if you haven’t tried dresses in a few years, they are an easy way to take your style up a notch. Plus, they’re doing some really pretty floral patterns now.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

This dress is easy to dress up or down. I could easily have thrown a sweater over the top to make it a bit more casual or a blazer to make it more professional. With this wrap, it’s more dressy. This would work well as a wedding guest dress or outfit for a dinner out somewhere fancy.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

This is a sheath style dress so it has a little bit of shaping under the bust, but no pesky waistband. The fabric is stretchy but kind of stiff since it’s a heavier fabric, so it doesn’t cling and it holds it’s shape. It has room in the hips if you’re more hourglass and has a pretty low neckline in the back.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

You saw this wrap before used as a scarf. It’s really soft and has this beautiful shine to the fabric. It also has the little bits of small rhinestones on the edge to give it a little subtle glamor without attracting too much attention. It’s also available in several other elegant colors like gray and ivory.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my cute black pumps with the cut out heel and little bow in the back that have just come back in stock. I like this brand because the heel isn’t too high and they have some very cute similar options here and here.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

And finishing with my little blush handbag you’ve seen a ton this winter that has been my favorite go-to purse lately.

Spring Dress For Apple-Shapes! whenthegirlsrule.com

And I just want to remind you about the upcoming deadline to RSVP for the blog’s birthday party! If you would like to send me a picture of yourself in a cute outfit I would love to receive it! Then, like we did last year, I’ll post your lovely selves to show the world how beautiful and confident and stylish you look! Email me your pic at julia@whenthegirlsrule.com by March 18th and then we’ll have a party!

Have a great week everyone!

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains affiliate links. What are affiliate links? They are the links you click on in the body of this article that give me a small commission. If you purchase from that link I receive a slightly bigger commission. This is how I pay the hosting fees to keep this blog up and running. Thank you for showing me how you value this site!

 

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Spring Outfit For Saint Patty’s Day!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today I’m showing my Irish heritage by wearing green in my pre-St. Patrick’s day dress. However, I’m also wearing peach, recognizing that there used to be a division amongst my ancestors between Protestants who wore orange and Catholics who wore green. I’m so glad that turmoil is over! One down! Countless more to go!

Spring dress with spring jacket! whenthegirlsrule.com

My mom is 100% Irish which is where I got my fair skin and white hair. I actually started getting gray hair when I was 17 and was noticeably gray by 30. I dyed my hair for my wedding and then kept doing it until I was about 40. My hair grows so fast (about an inch a month) that I was having to dye my hair every two weeks. It never felt that healthy doing it (why is my scalp burning?) and having to do it so often was just too much of a pain. How did I go full gray? I cut my hair super short. Think military short (my husband called me sarg. Yes, really). That way I didn’t have a line in my hair, just a super short haircut, which I got lots of compliments from women.

Spring dress with spring jacket! whenthegirlsrule.com

I eventually let it grow longer because short hair can be hard to style if you have hair like me that has a mind of it’s own! My natural dark brown color just faded away, taking the longest to go away from the back of my head and now I couldn’t be happier with my hair. If you’re hesitant about how your hair would look without dye, look closely at your roots when they grow in. Are they gray? White? Blonde even? How has your mom or aunts gone gray? All at once or slowly? Silver or gray or white? Sometimes you don’t realize you are a silver fox underneath!

Spring dress with spring jacket! whenthegirlsrule.com

Ok, onto clothes! This dress is the reversible one you’ve seen looking pretty here. This time it’s the solid, dark green side. I love this choker collar because it makes this dress fresh and not frumpy. They have a pretty, new one out that is short sleeve and reversible and actually it looks like they have several dresses that are reversible (two for one!) that look like they would fit our shape well. Remember, we like dresses that are sheath or shift style. No pesky waistband!

This jacket is the one I raved about (and am still loving) with it’s beautiful cut, perfect weight of fabric and a great color for spring. And pockets!

Spring dress with spring jacket! whenthegirlsrule.com

The dress is on sale now! Usually when they go on sale they get snapped up quickly. I’m wearing a size XL and XL in the jacket too. Actually, I can’t believe I haven’t photographed this jacket much and shown it more often on the blog. I’ll have to show you it in a casual outfit soon. Sounds like a project for this weekend!

Don’t forget about the blog birthday party coming up on March 23rd! If you want to attend the party, please send me a picture of yourself in an outfit that was maybe inspired by this blog or wearing something you bought that I recommended or showing something you learned from this blog. You don’t have to show your face or your last name if you want and make sure you send me your pic by March 18th. You can email me it at julia@whenthegirlsrule.com. You can see how we did it last year here. I love seeing you out there and putting a face with a name and this weekend would be a great time to do it!

See you all Monday!

Thank you for clicking on the links and purchasing from those links in this post. They do generate a small income for this blog which goes right back into paying the bills to keep this blog up and running! Thanks!

 

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Wearing Pink Without Looking Too Cute!

Hey everyone! So pink is a great color to use to start lightening up your outfits for spring. Actually, I love pink year round. It goes well with my coloring and plays well with black and gray, two of my wardrobe staples. And now I’ve found the absolutely most prettiest pink scarf to wear to lighten up those outfits!

Spring outfit for plus-size and over 40 women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s actually considered a wrap, but as you can see, works just as well as a scarf. It’s really soft and has these little gemstones near the edges. Just a little twinkle of light! You can see them a little bit better on this close up. It’s also on sale right now!

Spring outfit for plus-size and over 40 women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

I usually like a scarf to be a print since that’s an easy way to add some interest to an outfit, but this scarf/wrap caught my eye in the store and I was drawn to it. I was considering this pretty one but forced myself to choose. My Sophie’s choice! Actually, not really. Her choice was completely different! Anyway, this scarf/wrap is available in some other beautiful colors like ivory, silver and taupe. Mine is considered rose gold. How pretty is that?

Spring outfit for plus-size and over 40 women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

This black jacket helps balance out the sweetness of pink. I love this cut of the jacket and the little details on the pockets. The collar lays flat and gives a perfect space for a scarf or a statement necklace (I’ll try that next). It’s a nice lightweight jacket and I love the length of it. It’s also available in a pretty light blue and is 20% off right now! In petite, they have it available in white and navy blue and in plus size they have it in navy blue.

Spring outfit for plus-size and over 40 women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

The jeans you’ve seen before and I still highly recommend them. If you follow me on Instagram you see I wear them a lot. I like the ankle length with the cute buttons and the waist fits well and is held up perfectly by the belt I wear every day now and first introduced you to here. The jeans are still on sale and have a few sizes left, even in a pretty cream color too.

Spring outfit for plus-size and over 40 women! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Just finishing off this outfit with this pretty purse (also 20% off) and my black booties you’ve seen so many times before.

These photos are taken in our backyard in North Carolina. We have that pretty weeping cherry tree that is in full bloom right now covered in honey bees and wild pollinators. I am down here for a few more weeks before I head back up to Michigan. My daughters in Michigan send me pictures and we video chat and they are buried under several inches of snow right now! It’s funny now that I’m bopping between two climates how my outfits have changed. If I was in Michigan right now I’d be showing you my heavy winter coat and tall boots!

Ok, that’s it for today. Have a great rest of the week everyone!

This post contains links which are called affiliate links. That means that every time you click a link or purchase something from that link, I receive a small (very small –think pennies) commission. I put those pennies back into offsetting the costs associated with running this site. Thanks for your support!

 

 

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Celebrating The Milestones!

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! You may remember a couple of posts ago, I mentioned my eldest daughter Kealan is graduating from college this spring. Yay! She has worked hard and this is a great milestone to celebrate! After that post, Basic Invite reached out to ask me to review their stationary and I thought her graduation was a perfect event to try them out.

Basic Invite Stationary! whenthegirlsrule.com

So, we didn’t do a graduation party for Kealan when she graduated from high school (long story!) so I haven’t had to order invitations in a while. It has really come a long way since my wedding way back in 1997! For one, the ease of ordering online and getting actual samples in hand is such an improvement. Plus, you get to personalize them and make them so much more meaningful.

Basic Invite Stationary! whenthegirlsrule.com

I went online to their website and was easily able to upload my photos, pick my colors, patterns and style of invitation. The designer in me was having a blast! Seriously went down the rabbit hole on the patterns for the inside of the envelope! They had so many templates to pick from, not to mention colors, that made it so easy to get exactly what I wanted.

Basic Invite Stationary! whenthegirlsrule.com

I ordered three different thicknesses of paper and envelopes to see how they felt in hand and how they looked in person. My designer training means I have to see in person an item before I order. Everything looks different on a screen. These turned out so much better than I imagined. The paper was a nice quality, the picture was clear and the envelopes made sure these would not get lost in the junk mail pile! I was impressed with how quickly I received the samples.

Basic Invite Stationary! whenthegirlsrule.com

Through the whole process, Basic Invite was excellent about communication. I didn’t feel like I was ordering through this nameless internet company. They even do a follow up email to make sure your samples were what you had expected and if you had any further questions. I liked that they have that extra level of communication.

This is the final one I decided on.

Basic Invite Stationary! whenthegirlsrule.com

As I was looking through their website I saw, besides invitations, they also do business cards, something I’ve been wanting to get for awhile. That is going to be my next order with them!

If you’re curious about the images I used for the invitations, Kealan was a member of the MSU Women’s Rowing team when she was a Sophmore. She had never rowed before and walked on to the team just to try it out and maybe get in shape. She worked her way up to the first boat where they ended up winning third place at the Big Ten Tournament in 2015. If you see her in the line up of the team on the stage she is as small as the coxswain but despite that was still able to compete with the bigger girls. This was such a testament to her work ethic and determination.

If you’re more curiouser here is a video one of teammates recorded during a race. That is Kealan’s back you watch the whole time but it gives you a sense of the sport and the teamwork needed. It also gives you a jolt of adrenaline this Monday morning!

If the video did not appear please click here.

So, if you have a graduation or wedding or whatever milestone coming up and need invites I’d look to Basic Invite. Right now you can use the code 15FF51 for 15% off your order. Have a great week!

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting the companies who support When the Girls Rule!

 

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I Love Reversible Clothing!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday and happy March! It starts to feel like spring to me when I can hear the spring peepers in the woods and wetlands and I’m noticing the days are getting lighter. It gives me a bit more energy and optimism!

Over 40 + Plus Size and still stylin! | whenthegirlsrule.com

This outfit is a testament to when you have good classic items in your wardrobe you can mix and match them with ease. This long gray sweater is the flip side to the black and white sweater you saw when I wore it with my black and white striped dress. I love how I’m finding clothing that is reversible!

Over 40 + Plus Size and still stylin! | whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s a nice weight for spring, not too heavy and not too light, and skims over clothing and your body without clinging. I like the style because it has some nice details like the black trim, but doesn’t scream “look at me”. The jeggings (not reversible!) are from last fall and are getting worn a ton (especially now that I have the best belt to wear with it!) but are only still available in plus size and are half off! The booties are old and no longer available but some really cute similar ones are available.

Over 40 + Plus Size and still stylin! | whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing it with my reversible (yes, another!) tank top from last summer. On one side it’s polka dot and the other it’s floral. It’s no longer available but I popped into Chico’s this week and saw they had three pretty ones: paisley, floral and animal print of the same style.

Over 40 + Plus Size and still stylin! | whenthegirlsrule.com

Sunday is the last day to enter into the $100 Jord watch giveaway if you’re interested and be sure to take a selfie of yourself in your cute outfit and send to me for the blog birthday party by March 18th so we can do a party like we did last year! Have a great weekend!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission for every click and purchase from that link. There is no added cost to you and I put that money back into hosting this site. Thanks!

 

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