Let’s Just Use This As A Teaching Moment…

Hey everyone! So, originally in this post, I intended to talk about the vest I’m wearing and how it’s another thing I bought while on vacation and don’t wear much but love the textured fabric and straight cut and how it hangs and how it has pockets, but I don’t like the hood and how my husband compared me to Obi-Wan Kenobi when I first wore it …. but, when I flipped through the photos I found a much more relevant topic: I’m done with white shirts.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

Yikes. This shirt does not cut me any slack. In fact, it points out areas I didn’t even think were problem areas before. Wide arms? Emphasized. Wrinkles under the bust? Check. Waistband dent showing? Check. Midsection highlighted? Check. This shirt is even making me re-think these jeans that I’ve loved and worn many times to great success and rave reviews.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

So, is it just the color? Well, the knit fabric does hug curves more, but I have this same turtleneck in black and you’ve seen it here. I would argue it’s the white and it’s play with light and shadows. It even reflects light under my chin emphasizing my round face. White be gone with you!

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

I even tried the magic belt and it was a big flop! If you’re a new reader, let me quickly explain. I’ve used this magic belt (really just a regular shirt belt that’s elastic instead of leather) on numerous occasions to rein in a dress or to give an illusion of a slimmer waist but here, with this devilish white shirt,  I look like a Power Ranger (yes, that comparison came from my husband too…sigh).

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

Of course, I’m remembering my dressing room advice to keep repeating “It’s not me – it’s the clothes” as I thumb through these photos to choose which bad ones to show and there are many. These were the only ones I could bear putting out into the internet universe.

White is not my friend! See more on my blog!

So, even though these images are making me cringe as I look at them, I am offering this up as a lesson we all can learn from and to let you all know I’m keepin’ it real. No glamorous lifestyle blogger here. Just a regular woman trying to figure out what looks good on her midlife body…though these booties are beyond reproach and are super cute and on sale!

On a side note, you may have noticed the new blue rectangle on the right hand side of the screen saying “featured on Discover”. I was an Editor’s Pick at WordPress Discover this week (and through which many of you have discovered our place here – welcome!). They’re also interviewing me for a feature article coming up soon! Super exciting! It’s all because it’s a rare thing on the internet for a woman over 40, who is not slim or a celebrity, to be talking fashion and showing her real midlife body. Wow! When everything else is out on the internet, we are not. Well, we’re changing that. We’re getting out there. We’re done being invisible. And you ladies encourage me every step of the way with your comments and shares and spreading the word because we rule!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style!

This post contains affiliate links to items I love and own!



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  1. Since you said this was a teachable moment, I want you to know, I learned, LOL!

    I never wear white, either, unless it’s a flowy crepe blouse. I also don’t wear ribbed t’necks for all the reasons you described, esp the wrinkles over the arms, under the bust, at the waist, etc. I, too, saw a photo of myself and it changed everything.

    I do, however, love the vest. I think it would look great over a slim black dress w/ tights or boots.

  2. I think life is exactly that—teaching moments. And how boring if we were perfect all the time.
    Although I do think you are being a bit hard on yourself with these photos, Julia. I would never look at them and think bad thoughts. Maybe I’m used to some wrinkles (not only in my clothing, ha ha), but I feel like in real life, with our movement and such, you don’t always notice these small imperfections!!
    That being said, congrats on being discovered—that’s so fabulous!!
    And don’t rethink these jeans—they are perfect!

  3. Those boots would look great with a host of other colors. Have you thought about dark red or maroon?

    Thank you for very effectively talking me out of white jeans! Yours look nice on you, but your discussion leads me to think critically of how I’d look. You may have just saved the world. 🙂

  4. I hear what you are saying, but “white” might not be your neutral! Have you considered having your “colors” done? It’s like “color me beautiful” from back in the day…I recently discovered I was an “autumn” and “white-white” was not my “best” neutral, but rather a “cream-white”…it’s made a world of difference in my purchasing and putting outfits together…I would highly recommend this gift to self…I was so inspired by this education that I gifted the experience to my new college grad daughter and her BFF as a post-grad gift…so they could put together a cohesive wardrobe featuring THEIR best colors…

  5. Hi Julia, I love the vest and the boots but I think the vest overwhelms you a little. I’d like to see the vest a little shorter, perhaps knee or mid-thigh length. You might try pinning it at different lengths and taking pics to see how you like the proportions.

    I appreciate that you are willing to show us some of your bad choices as well as the good ones. Thank you.

  6. I like the long vest and scarf with white underneath, but think it would work better as a column of white, not broken by a belt. I find rib knits generally cling and crease in the wrong spots and have reluctantly banished them from my wardrobe in all colors. I do like a turtleneck plus scarf for winter and find it hard to find a good turtle – especially one that is not so cotton-y it looks faded in a few washings – so would love it if you’d investigate some options for us.

    1. Yes! The belt does nothing for the outfit. And I hear you about the cotton ones looking faded which is why I’ve gone to a blend that is usually a knit fabric. Perhaps the knit fabrics should just be hidden beneath another layer. I’ll keep my eyes open though for other options. Thank you for joining the discussion. Love your name!

  7. I found your post informative so I have come online to ask a question, why, at the present time can we only find skinny jeans and (sorry 2 questions) can women of 45+ get away with wearing jeans or are we supposed to bow to the fashion stylists rules and throw them away?

    1. Hey Maria! I’m so glad you are asking. I wear skinny jeans, flare leg jeans and straight leg jeans all the time so I’d say wear whatever the heck you want! I find flare leg jeans look flattering if you’re an apple shape like me and I like skinny jeans because it’s easy to wear boots with them. Seriously, if you feel comfortable in it, wear it! Just say to yourself “I am one foxy lady” and head out the door!

  8. Julia, you have confirmed something I have been thinking for a long time. I have bought and returned several white tops, because they seem fine to me in the store, but when I get home and take photographs, they look terrible! I love white, and keep thinking I will find the magic one, but now I am wondering if there is such a thing. I think I will just move on. 😉 And hearty congratulations on getting noticed in the blogging world. Definitely well-deserved!

  9. I so know what you are saying. You know I am rather slim, but I have the same problem with white and tight. Because my skin lost elasticity and because I am (probably) shrinking, my organs are bulging at the front, my belly is sticking out. And yes it is mostly the colour white or cream, but also the tightness. So now I buy shirts which are a bit more loose. And I don’t tuck them tightly into my waistband but loosely.
    Applaus for your courage to teach us.
    And congratulations with you being featured on WordPress Discover.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your experiences with us! I’m in my mid-50’s and severely fashion challenged. Perhaps the truth of it is that I’m scared to death to wear boots and leggings even though I really, really want to! I wore a dress to work one day and felt so conspicuous and uncomfortable. I want to change that but don’t know where to start. To me you are an inspiration. You’re daring and beautiful and have embraced your yourself and your body with style. You’re my hero : ). I’m taking lessons from you to heart and am determined to follow in your path.

    Also, congrats on being selected for WordPress Discover!

    1. Gosh Carol Ann, I’ve been where you are. I totally understand how you feel. Read my post “How to start your own style journey” http://www.whenthegirlsrule.com/how-to-start-on-your-own-style-journey/ to get started. Try wearing your cute outfit out to dinner then ease your way into wearing it at work. I remember getting stares when I first walked into my daughter’s basketball game b/c I looked so different (stylish not frumpy) but each time I wore my boots I got braver. Now I don’t even think of it. You’ll get used to the stares because they’re admiring your look! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love these dialogues!

  11. I just have to say that I styled up a sweater just like this recently, but mine was black and gold lurex and it had exactly the same effect. I ended up with rolls in places that they’ve not shown before and a double chin decided to make its debut thanks to that roll neck too. It seems to me to be the knit/stretch factor which grips in all sorts of places. I will admit that white maybe didn’t help much but the dark colour of mine was almost as bad.
    But hey, Julia as a teaching tool this post really works! I think we’ll all be giving these a wide berth in the future, thanks to you.
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas x

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