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!

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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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10 Comments

  1. I think you make a great point, Julia!! Trying on a ton of items is key for any of us!! I’m not sure when we started expecting clothes off the rack to fit us perfectly, but it’s more rare than usual! At least that’s what I’ve learned from my mom. She thinks almost everything need to be altered somewhat to make it perfect for your body. Not that I always do it (like she does), but I notice when I do, the clothes feel better!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    1. That’s funny isn’t it? I guess I’ve always assumed it should fit right off the rack even though I know we are all shaped so differently. I think it’s b/c I don’t have the sewing skills or mentality that your mom has when it comes to alterations. I always would always just wear ill-fitting clothes rather than take it to be altered. I need to find a good alterations place!

  2. It was only in the last few years that I started really noticing the CUT of clothing, and how I liked one thing on me and not another. All my life I’d really only just considered style and color…and thought that if I LIKED an item, I would like it ON ME. Wrong. Couldn’t be more wrong. Ha Ha. LIVE AND LEARN 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what you buy first when your spending moratorium is lifted!

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

  3. You are so funny matey. I really liked your picks. The blue color was so pretty on you, to bad it didn’t hang right. The “burgundy ” top was perfect . Thanks for your hard work dressing us apples.⛷

  4. Very thoughtful analyses of all garments. The only thing I would add is that the bell or flounce sleeves, though highly trendy right now, always add weight to the torso at the point where they meet. Best to avoid this trend for a slimmer look.
    Taking time when trying on garments to look at all angles is the way to go.

  5. Great tutorial, Julia. Isn’t it amazing how some things look so much better than others? You are really helping women to understand that you should not buy something just because you like the color or the style…it has to flatter you. Great job.

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