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!

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Winterizing The Basics…Here We Go!

Hey everyone! If you’re a regular reader, you will probably recognize everything here except for the skirt and scarf. The skirt I don’t wear that often. For some reason it seems like it’s a bit formal, but when I pull it out and wear it, it is a lot more fun than I remembered. It’s the stripes, I’m sure.

Fun Striped Skirt for Apple Shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It’s made of ponte fabric, so it has some stretch, and though it has a zipper I can just pull it on without undoing the zipper. You apple-shapes know what I’m talking about. If I can pull it on without unzipping or unbuttoning or unfastening then that’s a good sign it’s going to fit. I wish I could direct you to it but since it’s a couple of years old it is no longer available. However, a super cute skirt by the same brand (White House Black Market) and with the same material is available here.

Fun Striped Skirt for Apple Shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The jacket you’ve seen before here and I like it because it has the faux suede front but the cotton knit on the sides and under the arms so you get some stretch for your bust and midsection. It’s a couple of years old but I see this style a lot and there are several newer options here and here.

Fun Striped Skirt for Apple Shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This scarf is from a trip I took to Venice, Italy 17 years ago. It is 100% silk velvet which is really rare. The color of it is amazingly rich and it feels like cold water running through your fingers. That is not an exaggeration — it really is that soft. I found it in a little shop, down a winding alleyway in Venice. The colors just jumped out at me in the shop’s window. I was torn between getting the blue one or this one and I wish I had bought both because I wear it all winter long. My only complaint is the silk is very slippery and slides off my neck which requires me to tie the fringe together to keep it in place.

Fun Striped Skirt for Apple Shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m also winterizing this outfit by adding thick tights. These pumps, you’ve seen before here, update the traditional black pump with the little cut out in the heel, the tie in the back and the pointy toe. They make a quiet statement of style instead of a loud statement. They’re also comfortable too because the heel is short. I just cannot wear shoes that hurt anymore, so comfort always comes first.

We’re in for a really cold week here in Michigan, so you’ll be seeing a lot of “winterized” outfits in the near future. Plus, I may have to start photographing indoors so we’ll have to find some interesting places to photograph. I love a challenge!

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

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My Favorite Sweater

Hey everyone! After the last post where I talked about how I didn’t care for cardigans, I thought I’d show you the kind of sweater I really love.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This sweater gets so much wear October through April. When someone talks about a “wardrobe workhorse” this is what they mean. I wear it tons. Wash and dry it carelessly. Then throw it back on.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I know these pictures don’t show it well with the black blending into the black so I’ll try to explain it well. It has some weight from the knit jersey so it hangs nicely and has stretch. It has some structure so it dips in a bit at the waist then flares out a bit. It has this shawl collar that gives coverage and it has a nice vertical line.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And it has pockets!

This is a comfort sweater. When I was anticipating a stressful day at work I would wear this. It looked good and gave me comfort. It was my comfort armor. I own it in black and gray (though I keep hoping the burgundy comes back in stock and then I will snatch it up) and I have the summer version in white. It is from White House Black Market and black is available here, gray is available here, tan here and white here.

About this dress. I bought it in the spring and realized that I loved everything about it but the hem was a bit too high. No problem. Just wait until fall and wear tights or leggings with it and all of a sudden it doesn’t look too short. This dress is from J. Jill and is old but a similar dress (though it’s a bit heavier material) available here.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The scarf you’ve seen before here and it goes with so many items I own (I call it my girl-power scarf) and is available here.

Best sweater for an apple-shaped, over 40 woman - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Where we’re photographing

And how about this wind and cold? These were taken on the Detroit River last Sunday and it was cold and windy. Of course, it’s gotten colder since then so be prepared for lots of red-nosed photos for the next few months! And, yes, that is Canada on the other side of the river. So exotic!

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Why I Don’t Wear Cardigans

Hey everyone! Do you ever put on a top and just think something doesn’t look right? That’s how I am with cardigans. Even though I love some of the styles and the prints, they just don’t look right. And I don’t mean just the traditional ones that every librarian owns. Even the long, slouchy ones don’t look right but I think I have figured out why they don’t look good on me. It’s the way they hang on my shoulders.

Over 40 Fashion for Over 40 Bodies! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, this is a pretty cashmere sweater with a fun bit of silk at the bottom to add some flare. It’s very warm and forgiving no matter what I’m wearing underneath. I bought this when I first started figuring out this fashion stuff because I needed something that wasn’t always making a statement so it’s a couple of years old but here is one that is similar.

Over 40 Fashion for Over 40 Bodies! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Most of the times I was wearing it with a scarf because it was winter but several times I didn’t and it looked weird. I took a long look at it and realized that it emphasized that my shoulders were sloping. This is a normal aging attribute, but something I had never noticed before. All of my other sweaters and jackets had some sort of collar to break up that line. This sweater did not. Also, the cut of it just feels like it pulls down and hangs, making me look tired and droopy.

Over 40 Fashion for Over 40 Bodies! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As I started figuring out this fashion thing in my 40’s, I was having a love-hate relationship with shoulder pads and couldn’t figure out why. Once I noticed my shoulders sloped down, a lot was explained, but now I had to figure out how not to emphasize this silhouette. Enter the big scarf. This scarf breaks up the line of my shoulder so you don’t see the slope. Of course, I’m not photographing my sweater without the scarf and all of these positions have my shoulders looking pretty broad. If you want to see this sweater and what I’m talking about pop over to my Instagram account and look at one of the very first posts. That was last winter before I figured out that slope was showing and how to fix it. I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram while you’re there since that’s where I show more “behind the scenes” images.

Over 40 Fashion for Over 40 Bodies! - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Jeans (similar) here. Boots (similar) here.

And you will all be happy, especially you long-time readers, that I have bought myself a new purse! I know, you were all so sick of that black one! So was I, even though it works so well and will probably be back in the pictures soon!

This post contains affiliate links for products I love and own or love and would like to own!

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Ok, I Need Your Help Again. Keep or Ditch?

Hey everyone! Here I am again. Another item I bought that I haven’t ever worn. I bought this over two years ago when I was looking for a holiday-ish shirt that didn’t look like a Grandma holiday shirt (not that there’s anything wrong with that – just not my style).

Over 40, plus-size fashion - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I thought the bright red and the festive flowers with all of that black would look elegant. Unfortunately, it just seemed flat when I tried it on at home. I thought perhaps it depended on what “third piece” I wore over the top of it. As you can see here, I’ve tried two different pieces over the tunic. Blah.

Over 40, plus-size fashion - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Remember a couple of months ago I shared the Tim Gunn article about how the fashion industry doesn’t design for anyone over size 12? One point he made was that clothing with a large-scale pattern made a bigger woman look like a float in a parade. I didn’t really get what that meant until I pulled this tunic out to give it another try for the holidays.

Over 40, plus-size fashion - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Supposedly with a pattern on an item of clothing, we don’t want too small of a pattern because it will make us look bigger and it ages us (think of your mother-in-law’s summer blouse. Ok, well, that’s what I’m envisioning). We also can’t wear too big of a pattern because it makes us look like we’re wearing a tablecloth. Sigh. More confusing “advice” from the “experts”.

Over 40, plus-size fashion - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I think  it’s the giant flowers that don’t work for me. That, and the big, white flower on my stomach. It looks like a bullseye. That, and if there is any indent from any waistband or any button on my bottoms at that point you will see it.

Over 40, plus-size fashion - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Similar tunic here. Leggings here. Similar jacket here. Similar vest here.

So, what do you think? Am I over-thinking it? What do you think about the size of pattern in comparison to the size and age of the wearer? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style and Pocket Full of Polka Dots!

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

 

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With These Basics You Can Get Dressed in the Dark!

Hey everyone! When you stock your closet with great pieces that work well together, you can practically dress yourself in the dark! Like this outfit here. I wasn’t in the dark when picking this out (though the lighting is bad in my closet – hmmm need to add that to my honey-do list!) it was still easy to pull this stylish outfit together from some really basic items.

Basics for Plus Size Outfit!

First, the tall black boots. Such an easy basic to add instant style and one of the basics I encourage all of you to purchase. These are my flat, no-heel pair. I’m researching large calf/large leg options so I’ll post what I find for my larger leg sister’s out there who have requested options.

Basics for Plus Size Outfit!

Black leggings are the next basic. These are from Vera Wang from Kohls with a really wide elastic waist. Mine are from a couple of years ago but there are tons of options out there. Here is a wide waist version that’s more expensive and here it’s less expensive. When you are trying them on in the dressing room do some deep-knee squats with them on to see if the waist will slide down. So annoying having to keep pulling up stretchy leggings! They should stay in place and a wide waist means less chance of having that dreaded middle dent.

A basic striped top. This one is from White House Black Market and the fabric is thinner and clingier than I usually like but I fell in love with the cuffs! I just make sure when I wear this shirt I have on bottoms that don’t indent in my middle and I wear a lycra camisole underneath so the two fabrics glide across each other without getting hung up!

Basics for Plus Size Outfit!

The black vest. You’ve seen it before here and here. I love it because if I have a shirt with interesting sleeves I can top it with this vest and still have the coverage I like with a third piece but show off the cuffs and sleeves. It’s starting to show it’s age though because I wear it so often. I’m on the lookout for a replacement and this one here may be it!

Basics for Plus Size Outfit!

And then the scarf. I actually bought the striped shirt and scarf at the same time because I could see how well the black and tan colors in both would work together and this could be another way to mix patterns. This is also a pretty big and long scarf so I had several options of tying it and wearing it. It’s sold out but here is one I’m thinking seriously about!

So, when you have the basics in your wardrobe, like all of these pieces, it’s easy to get dressed in the dark!

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

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Lookin’ Like A Boss!

Hey everyone! This outfit makes me feel like such a boss. Or bossy. Either way, I feel like this is one of the most formal business outfits I own. Between the black jacket and black skirt I feel like a CEO!

Big Bust and Apple Shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you know I mostly shop at J. Jill. However, I love White House Black Market’s clothing too when I can fit into it. WHBM has the cutest jackets. I wear their size 16 and sometimes it’s a hit or miss depending on the fabric and the cut. This jacket I bought about two years ago and the style still looks fresh

Big Bust and Apple Shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The skirt is also from WHBM from about 3 years ago. I can actually zip it up! The waist has enough stretch to fit comfortably without having to keep pulling it up. WHBM does have some pants and skirts that have waists with stretch. I really find you have to try them on to see which ones will work for your shape.

Big Bust and Apple Shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

My original intention was to photograph with and without the belt, but I forgot. I think it would have looked nice without the belt, but perhaps a bit more casual. I also would have added a necklace if I didn’t have the belt to give it some sparkle.

Big Bust and Apple Shape - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Similar jacket here in pink, denim and red. Similar skirt here. Similar top here. Similar purse here. Similar boots here.

And here is the complete mural image if the previous pictures have gotten your curiosity up. This is the last of our Detroit mural photoshoots as you have seen in the previous 4 posts. But don’t despair because we’ll probably be back photographing in Detroit and we (my husband Dave and I) are having fun picking out unique places to do these photo shoots.

Detroit Mural - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Linking up with these lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style and Not Dressed As Lamb!

This post contains affiliate links for products I love and own or love and would like to own!

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A Tunic With the Perfect Cut for Apple Shapes!

Hey everyone! So, you all know I usually like to wear two tops. Usually one base layer and then a sweater or vest or something as the “third piece” over the top. I do this to look more polished, but also to do some covering of whatever lump or bump I decide that day to cover. Occasionally, I will find a top that has just the right cut so I don’t feel the need to wear the “third piece”. This top has the perfect cut.

A tunic with the perfect cut for apple shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you’re a long-time reader, you’ve seen a similar top here. The reason this cut works for me is the fabric below the horizontal, midsection seam hangs perfectly. It skims my torso without clinging or billowing. The fabric is a bit heavier, as you can tell by the cowl neck, which stands up on it’s own. It also doesn’t assume I have a small bust and have the seam too high like so many shirts that have a similar cut.

A tunic with the perfect cut for apple shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This fabric has stretch and texture that I like because it helps to camouflage any indent from waistbands, bra straps or whatever. And, of course pockets! Yes, they pull down and stretch when I put my hands in them so I don’t do as often as I would wish!

A tunic with the perfect cut for apple shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve seen these pants here before. I’ve shown the shoes before but didn’t talk about them. They are green suede and have a slight heel and slightly pointy toe. They are really comfortable. You can find them here. If you are looking to add some subtle color into an outfit a dark color like this green will add some definite sass!

A tunic with the perfect cut for apple shapes - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Couple of Happenings!

I have started using affiliate links for items I mention in the posts. I have been linking the whole time to items, just not getting any credit for doing it! Now, I get either a few cents for anyone clicking on the item or a small commission (usually $1-2) if you buy something that I linked to. I promise all of you I will never link to something that I don’t own, have tried on, or think is a good item for an apple shape. I will always be 100% honest about my opinion and if I don’t like something it will not be on this blog.

I’ve also started as a contributing writer over at 40plusstyle.com. I will be writing the occasional article from the apple-shaped woman’s perspective and already wrote one here. I’m excited by this opportunity because it will make us apple shapes more visible. As you all know, apple-shaped women are never (ok, not never, but rarely) photographed for fashion, so if we’re not seen, we’re not thought of or designed for and I’m happy to be making us more visible. We’re a force to be reckoned with but they’ve got to hear us and see us.

If you’re in the U.S. then have a happy Thanksgiving and I hope you’re spending time with people you love and eating delicious food. If you’re not in the U.S. I hope you’re doing the same!

This post contains affiliate links for products I own or would like to own!

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A Buttoned-Up Sweater for a Big Bust!

Hey everyone! I’m back with a casual outfit for fall with a different type of sweater this time, one that’s buttoned-up. If you’re a regular reader, you know I rarely button up a jacket or sweater and usually prefer for them to hang open. Though that is a flattering look for me, sometimes I just want to wear something different.Buttoned up sweater for a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This sweater buttons up with one button right in the middle of my bust. I actually call this my grandpa sweater because of the material and the deep pockets. It’s a couple of years old from J. Jill but here is a similar style.

Buttoned up sweater for a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I paired it with a super soft dress made of bamboo. It’s considered a tunic but on my short frame I wear it as a dress! Here it is in a print and here in black.

Buttoned up sweater for a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Finishing it off with leggings and booties. This is a “youngish” outfit for me so I wear it for casual outings. Between the soft dress/tunic and leggings it’s as close as you can get to comfort dressing!

Buttoned up sweater for a big bust - www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Where We Are:

My husband and I are photographing in Detroit’s Eastern Market which is a large, open-air farmer’s market that has been running for over 150 years and one of the many places where I have worked. It was such a little community inside a major city in the 90’s. Now, it’s hip, crowded, cleaner and getting popular…at least the graffiti is better!

This is a short post because my sister, her husband and three boys are about to descend on our house for the next week so I’ve got to prepare. I love having them though it gets pretty chaotic here! Happy weekend everyone!

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

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A Fun Dress for A Day Out!

Hey everyone! So, this is a fun dress that you saw as my “makeover” dress in my post about why I started this blog. I love wearing it with tall boots. In fact, I don’t wear it without the boots. The bottom of the skirt part reminds me of a go-go dress the way it swishes around. Plus, it’s so fun to wear!

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It is old so I can’t link to a specific dress but I can tell you the fabric is a cotton/spandex knit so it has stretch, plus it’s lined which makes a world of difference. I think that’s the reason between this dress and this one being less clingy. In fact, I’m willing to bet on it.

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Fabric is Key! You know as an apple shape there is a small space between being too clingy and being a tent. The key is to find fabric that fits the bust, goes a little bit under the bust (but not too much!) then skims over the torso and hangs straight down under the tummy. A rare find, but when you find the right one you should buy two! Or at least commit to memory the fabric content to arm you in your future shopping adventures!

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you’re not an apple-shape and you’re reading this and rolling your eyes, let me tell you these are all real considerations when purchasing clothing. We apple-shapes are thinkers.

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve styled the dress with a sweater and without. It was an unusually warm November day and with the boots and tights the sweater was unnecessary.

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Usually cap sleeves are unflattering and supposedly the edge of them points to your bust and makes it look bigger. However, I think when you get to a certain size, a little cap sleeve edge is not much of a consideration. And, as you can see here, the edge of the sleeve does not point to my bust. It definitely doesn’t do much for my arms, but gosh, sometimes I don’t care. I just want to wear a shorter sleeve to keep cool without any other consideration.

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m showing more than the usual four photos because I’ve styled it two ways and because we captured so many good photos with this background!

img_4655

The dress is from White House Black Market so perhaps they will have similar dresses. The sweater is old from J. Jill and I’m sure they have similar sweaters. Primary colors work so well with black and white so let that be a little bit of knowledge I can give you with this post.

fun dress for apple shapes | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I have to say, my husband and I are having so much fun finding places to do these photoshoots. We usually do these on a weekend morning about every other week. Then we go out for lunch. So, now we have a scheduled date thanks to this blog! Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them!

I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.

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