My Favorite Sweater In A Beautiful Fall Color!

Hey everyone! Ok, I played around with taking pictures of myself and this is the mediocre result! I have to rest the camera on a flat surface then remotely click the shutter through an app on my phone. Most of the pictures had me looking down at my phone so I tried to hide the phone. Unfortunately when I hid the phone behind my back the screen would shift and I wouldn’t be hitting the right place on the screen, so a steep learning curve there! Not to mention the long delay between clicking and the actual camera taking the picture. Did I mention the clicking camera is also a cat magnet? So, adventures in photo taking, now let’s talk about this sweater!

Best Sweater For An Apple Shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve read about my favorite sweater in black and gray (here and here) and I have gushed over how much I love them. Now, I’ve added another one but in this beautiful burgundy.

Best Sweater For An Apple Shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

These sweaters are pricey ($89) but I think of them in price-per-wear and I wear these all the time in the cooler months and I even bought a lighter knit white one for spring and summer. I probably wear them at least once a week and they still look new (they were bought in 2014) and I am a totally careless throw-them-in-the-washing-machine-then-throw-them-in-the-hot-dryer sort of person too. The burgundy version doesn’t have pockets, which is a bummer, but has these pretty gold accents and the split sleeve that makes up for the missing pockets. I’m wearing a petite XL.

These sweaters are a nice heavy knit that hangs so beautifully and flatteringly. You can wear anything under them and they add instant style. By the way, underneath I’m wearing the best black shell that I’ve had for years and is worth the price (and 25% off now!). I’m wearing an XL.

I wanted to show you guys this sweater early on in the season since they always sell out of their fall color and I have missed it the last couple of years, so I intentionally purchased it early. I may photograph it again later in the season to remind you all and when I have better control of this camera!

Best Sweater For An Apple Shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing it with my new NYDJ jeans that I haven’t washed yet and seem a little bit big. There is plenty of room in the waist (so much so that I’m pulling them up!) so I’m hoping they shrink a bit. I remember their shorts that I showed off here shrank a bit so I’m hoping these do too. I’ll try to remember to keep you updated on how that turns out. I’m wearing 16 petite.

And, a casualty of having half of your life in a storage unit is forgetting what you already own! I saw these cute flats and thought how versatile and comfortable they look, totally forgetting that I already have these! I’m trying to decide if I can justify having two similar pairs. I need to make a trip to the storage unit anyhow to pull out my fall clothes so I can remember what I already own!

Best Sweater For An Apple Shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, you will probably see this sweater again since it is so flattering for an apple shape and we know that does not come around often! See you Friday!

Linking up with all of these lovely ladies at High Latitude Style!

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A Diversion Today of the Horsey Kind!

Hey everyone! Ok, yes, I haven’t tried the remote photo-taking yet since I spent the weekend watching horses and being with my eldest daughter, Kealan. So, I’ll give you a little equine diversion today! I’ll be back with fashion on Wednesday –promise! Though I’m wearing my favorite “control top” jeans here (which are on sale now for $21)!

Hanging with my eldest! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, my eldest daughter was a working student for a professional rider, Bobby Meyerhoff, this summer. A working student is just like an unpaid internship where you do all the grunt work but in exchange you get riding lessons and learn about the profession and are able to spend a summer surrounded by horses. This does not sound like my dream but it definitely is my daughter’s! She also was offered a full-time position as part of his team so she’ll be doing this as a job for the next couple of years except for a quick semester to finish the one class she has to take before she graduates. I’m happy for her!

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The discipline that she rides in is called eventing. This means the horse and rider have to be able to do three different types of riding: dressage, showjumping and cross country. Usually a rider and horse specialize in one of these areas, but eventers are gluttons for punishment and do all three!

What a working student does!

I ride, but I consider myself a backyard rider, so pretty casual. I had started lessons for myself when my girls were young and as they got older, they took over my lessons and our free time (and $) with their riding. I have to say though I’m going to get back into it for myself. I am really looking forward to re-claiming the activities I did before motherhood took over.

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And today is a melancholy day for me, with tears ever at the ready. My eldest is driving back to North Carolina and my youngest is flying out to France this afternoon for 3 months. My birds are flying the nest! I’m happy for their adventurous lives and I’m happy I successfully did my job to raise happy and healthy young ladies. However, I am really going to miss them. I think my job now is to plan my adventurous life and to get back into the things I loved that I had to forego for them. I know I’m not the first mom to feel this way and I know everything is going to be ok, I just have to get used to the change. Thanks for listening as I go through this very normal phase that every other mom goes through. I do heed the words from all of you that have gone before me that the next phase is pretty awesome, so I’m looking forward, not back, because that’s not the way I’m going!

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Not Dead Yet Style!

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Easy Transition To Fall!

Hey everyone! I know it’s probably still warm in most of the US, but here in Michigan it’s getting to be fall weather. Yesterday I had to close all the windows before bed and dragged out a down comforter! Luckily, my cats have transitioned from sleeping with my daughter to sleeping with me, so we were snug!

Easy Transition! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, this top is a great transition piece. The fabric is light enough for the warm weather but has long sleeves you can roll and unroll as the temperature demands. It’s also long on the backside, something I appreciate! They also have it in a couple of different patterns and several solid colors here. They also have it in talls and regular sizes in a pretty denim-looking fabric.

Easy Transition! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you know, I stay away from blouses that button up since they usually gap open for me. This blouse has the ties at the collar which is a nice on-trend look and the pattern is busy enough that I don’t feel the need to add a third piece to look pulled together.

Easy Transition! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Just a short post today because I have to figure out how to photograph myself using the remote for the camera that’s controlled with an app on my phone. Who knows? I may have all my future photos with a phone in my hand! Plus, my eldest daughter is back in Michigan for the weekend for a big horse show with the professional rider she works for, so I’ll be hanging with her at the horse show. If I remember, I’ll try to get some photos for the blog or at least for Instagram.

Easy Transition! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Have a great weekend ladies!

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My Last Summer Outfit!

Hey everyone! So, I say this is my last summer outfit and looking at the forecast right now it may very well be! It’s 59 degrees right now and it’s supposed to get into the 40’s tonight. Yikes! However, I love fall and have ordered some really fun fall items that should be reaching me soon. Don’t worry, I’ll show you them all!

My Last Summer Outfit! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

When I look in my closet I see a lot of stripes and solilds, so I’ve been making a conscience effort to branch out. I’ve been veering towards polka-dots instead. They are a fun change and would be really easy to pattern-mix since it’s a pretty subtle pattern. This top is actually two pieces, with the camisole underneath so it can be worn in other combinations. There are also a bunch of different patterns and solid colors besides just the polka dots. I am wearing a black bra underneath though since you can see through the polka-dot layer, so keep that in mind.

My Last Summer Outfit! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired this top with my Chico’s shorts you’ve seen before here. They also have them in petite and all of their shorts are really on sale now. I’m thinking they may be put away soon until next summer. Luckily white shorts never go out of style!

My Last Summer Outfit! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m also wearing my Memphisto sandals from last year that are holding up really well and they’ve introduced some really fun colors and patterns. Yes, I’m back with the green Lug bag too!

My Last Summer Outfit! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And I didn’t go down south to see the total eclipse so my daughter sent me her video. I love hearing all the exclamations from the people around them. They had just pulled off on the side of the road and lots of people were doing the same. She said it was one of the most amazing things she’s seen. We live on a pretty cool planet don’t we?

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A Pretty Pink Wrap!

Hey everyone! Is everyone looking at the sun today (or not looking at it!)? My youngest headed down to North Carolina to visit her dad before she heads off to France. Charlotte is only an hour or two north of the band of complete totality so they’re heading further south to get the full experience. They managed glasses and everything!

A Summer Wrap! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve seen me wear my black deep wrap shirt many times (like here), especially if you follow me on Instagram. This top is similar except it came with it’s own camisole underneath and in a pretty color! It’s also available in a summery pattern. It dips lower in the back for more backside coverage.

A Summer Wrap! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The armholes are a normal size, so no bra peeking out. I’m wearing a black bra in these photos and I think I should have gone with a tan or white since the camisole is a bit thin. This is the kind of shirt I just throw on when I want to run out to the store to do a quick errand. I don’t have to worry about what else I’m wearing with it, because it’s so easy to wear. It’s also a good shirt if you’re going somewhere where you know you’re going to be eating a lot and you don’t have to worry about your tummy sticking out or unbuttoning your pants (What? Who does that?)!

A Summer Wrap! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It also has a button that you could button if you wanted more coverage. Usually with these kind of tops those buttons don’t work for my bust, but there is enough fabric that I’m able to button it. I’m wearing it with my JJill jeans from many years ago that are starting to get worn out but I’m still wearing. These Sam Edelman sandals are a couple of years old too but I really find them comfortable and the block heel (as far as heels go) are really comfortable and make my foot feel stable.

A Summer Wrap! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

As you know, I’ve packed up most of my clothes, shoes and bags and they are buried in a storage unit so I’m left with only a couple of purses. I thought you were probably getting sick of my yellow purse so I brought out my green Lug bag. This bag is a couple of years old too though I found the exact bag just in different colors here and here. I carry my laptop in it and always take it on travels because of all the pockets to store everything.

Ok, that’s it for Monday. Everyone be careful looking at the sun and I’ll see you all on Wednesday!

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Catching Up With Life!

Hey everyone! Gosh, that was a longer break than expected! There is a lot going on in my world and I haven’t had a chance to take outfit photos. I thought I’d use today to catch everyone up with my non-fashion life. If you’re totally not interested in that (don’t worry, I’m not offended!) check back on Monday because I will be getting some photos done this weekend and have some cute outfits planned.

Did a lot of this on vacation! How pretty is that color of rosè?

So, when I last left you I was going on vacation and turning 50. Two big deals. The vacation was fine. Not great. Just fine. My eldest daughter Kealan wasn’t able to join us since she is working her dream job for a professional rider, so it was a bummer not to have her with us. She is 22, so I need to start getting used to the idea that we all won’t be together for vacations in the future. We also usually take a big group with every teen bringing a friend and this year it was a small group, so pretty low-keyed.

The other part that was disappointing about our vacation was it was hard to relax because of this cloud of moving hanging over us. My youngest daughter, Sara, calls it false relaxation. Even though you’re on vacation there is a big weight on your mind that makes it hard to relax, with any moment you could get a text for a showing in an hour (!) to not knowing where you will be living in the fall. I know, this is definitely first-world problems and in the scheme of life it’s not a big deal, so I guess I’m lucky to have these be my disappointments.

My garden is beautiful this summer! The phlox is so thick and tall and the colors are so invigorating!

When we returned from vacation the perfect property showed up for sale in Charlotte. After a sleepless night, I hit the road at 3:45 am (might as well be driving rather than laying in bed looking at the ceiling!) to see this house that evening. We loved it! It was actually better in person than the pictures and we were excited and ready to buy. I was already planning which furniture was going where. So, I guess I don’t get this whole real estate finagling thing. Even though we made a full price offer, it took a day and a half for the seller’s realtor to get back to us to tell us the sellers were going to go with another offer. Isn’t there such a thing as counter-offers? Or tell us what the offer is up to and perhaps we’ll top it? We never heard any amount from the seller. I don’t know. Anyway, we felt extremely manipulated and didn’t get the house. Since I was down there for a few days we looked at a couple of other houses and they were all “meh”. We could settle for a house that was fine, but I really want to be excited and love a house (though the thought of knowing what your kitchen will look like and what your address will be is very alluring at this point!). I know, totally privileged whining.  I dejectedly drove back to Michigan and left my husband down there in his bachelor apartment for a few more months.

This is how I felt after we didn’t get the house. Orangie captures emotion so well!

Now I’m back in Michigan where our house is currently sitting for sale with no activity at all. We live in the middle of nowhere so someone really has to want to be out here (where it’s beautiful, I might add) to buy our house. We luckily have a Plan B if our house doesn’t sell by December so we’re ok there.

Catching up with life! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
You know I must love you guys if I’m posting bathing suit pics here!!!!

In more free-wheeling news: my youngest daughter, who has been living with me here in Michigan and helping me with the house and animals, leaves in a few days for a semester abroad. She is attending a language school in France to learn French since she wants to study international relations in school and already speaks Spanish. She has been saving up for this for over two years and has planned it all herself and paid for it all herself. I’m proud of her but I’m going to miss her. Talk about being an empty nester! My whole family is spread to the four winds!

Since I’m going to be taking my own photos, and that might be harder than I’m imagining. I thought I might branch out into other topics important to midlife than just fashion. I’ve been thinking about the whole transition since I turned 50 (well, actually way before that) and my children are striking out on their own and how my life is changing a lot right now. I may quickly find myself annoying and just go back to outfit posts but I’d like to add a little breadth and depth to this corner of the internet. So, bare with me as I try that out and let me know your thoughts.

Catching up with life! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And what am I absolutely loving this summer? Ann with an E, the new Netflix series based on the Anne of Green Gables books. I devoured those books when I was growing up and this show is just as good. I confess I’ve probably watched the whole series more than once (or twice or more. I’ll never admit!). I find it comforting to watch while things seem crazy (I’m having a hard time listening to the news this month). The scenery is beautiful and I love how the actors look like every day people.  The main character, Anne, loves nature and the director takes really beautiful shots of sunlight on trees and grasses and flowers. Really a bright spot this summer.

So again, I know my problems are minuscule and very manageable, but this is what is happening in my world right now. When I write this blog I write it as if I was talking to a girlfriend and these things are what I would be talking about. Of course, she can’t just x out my page like you can! So, if you’re still reading this then thanks for listening and here’s another thing I’ve enjoyed this summer!

Thanks for all of the lovely birthday wishes and have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

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Surrounded By Sunflowers!

Hey everyone! I’m wearing all florals today and decided to photograph in a field of sunflowers. Yes, we really have fields of sunflowers in the midwest!

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my new reversible tank top with the floral side showing instead of the polka dot side. I’m still loving the fit and how it skims without clinging and the size of the armholes. No bra showing when I raise my arms!

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It was a little cooler here this week so I pulled out my cropped, “control top”  jeans that I still love. They are so easy to just pull on and the fabric hasn’t stretched out, neither the denim fabric nor the “control top” fabric. It’s available in plus size here and it’s really on sale now.

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I don’t think I’ve shown these sandals before but I bought them last year and they’ve aged well. Usually the leather stretches out but these have been holding it together really well. Also, I love sandals, but I can’t stand the flip-flops where it rubs in between your big toe and second toe. That has always been a no-go for me and these just have a ring of leather around your big toe and the band of leather over your arch.

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and won’t have any internet so I won’t be able to post your comments after Friday, so I’ll catch up with them when I get back. And, I haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m turning 50 tomorrow! How do I feel about it? Hmmmmm. It’s been quite a year, so I haven’t had time to think much about it, even though last year, at 49, I said I was going to start focussing on myself and determine how I want the 2nd half of my life to go. Perhaps I’ll have some time this vacation for quiet contemplation and introspection so maybe I’ll have some insights when I get back. 50 — here I come!


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Pretty Like A Flower Garden!

Hey everyone! I’ve been pretty casual on the blog lately, so I thought I’d show a more professional look, but one that still has some pretty to it!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This shirt, another one of my Chico’s finds, is my version of how I wear the off-the-shoulder style. I think these shoulders stay up better because I have a big bust. Score one for the big bust! It has a cotton lining so it’s actually a bit heavier (great for air conditioned rooms) but it is in no way see-through.

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with my every faithful pencil skirt from J.Jill and my ballet flats (actually they’re called ghillie flats) that I find so flattering to my ankles!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my hair in it’s natural state, i.e. curly with a mind of it’s own. When we took these pictures it started lightly sprinkling and I am sure you can guess which pictures were the first we took and which pictures were later! If you have curly hair you know exactly how it takes the slightest opportunity to to become unruly. This haircut, with all the layers, also encourages this subordination!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, this photo is taken in my garden. I spent years trying to grow a tame vegetable and flower garden, then gave up and tried to make it more an english garden with bushes and flowers and then gave up and just let it go wild. The only thing I can maintain is the path and now I call it my pollinator’s garden. I have noticed lots more butterflies and bees and hummingbirds. The goldfinches love the thistle and the Monarch butterflies love to lay eggs on the milkweed. It’s actually the prettiest little garden to look at out of my kitchen window, with a mix of planted flowers like foxglove and daylillies and all of the wild flowers. Something is always in bloom.

Alright, so a little off track from fashion, but I find sometimes I just can’t think of anything helpful to write about in regards to the clothes, so I may veer off-track now and then. Hope you don’t mind!

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White Shorts Are A Classic!

Hey everyone! I’m back with the white shorts again (which are seriously on sale now!). I’m determined to get a lot of wear out of them! This time I’ve paired it with the top I bought back in March? February? that I knew I would be wearing a lot when it got warm out. The fabric is thin, so it covers without being hot. And I can’t believe it, but they still have this shirt in plus sizes here.

And the real test of white shorts: can you see your underthings? I’m wearing white underneath since I had tried purple but that was pushing reality too much for these shorts! I also forgot to mention that these shorts come in several lengths of inseam and petite so you can get a better fit. They also come in tan and black and a black with very subtle white polka dots!

Keeping to basic colors like black, white, brown or tan means an item will go with a lot of other items I already own, especially if you’re building a capsule wardrobe. Yes, it’s nice to have a pop of color like the red tops or some flowery prints, but items that are classics, and I hope to wear for several years like these shorts, I try to keep pretty basic.

I’m wearing the spongey espadrilles you’ve seen before. These are a fun pop of color and pattern to brighten up a tame outfit.

So, I’m going on vacation next week to a place without internet! Even though I feel like I just got back into the swing of things with this blog, I’ll be absent for a week. But, until then I’ll be here getting my internet fix! Have a great week everyone!

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My Alternative To A T-Shirt!

Hey everyone! Often in the summer I like to keep it casual. I’ve always thought that meant a cotton t-shirt. However with t-shirts, the fit is usually emphasizing what I would prefer not to have emphasized. I kept thinking I just needed to try a different cut of t-shirt. If I went with the “feminine” cut it was too tight and clingy, especially in the midsection. If I went with the boxy, traditional fit I looked like I was wearing a bag. I finally realized that I needed to re-think casual and t-shirts weren’t working for me.

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, an alternative. This top is becoming my go-to, quick-out-of-the-door top. The fabric is light and skims nicely without billowing. It’s a light crepe fabric that doesn’t wrinkle or show sweat. The armholes are cut correctly so my bra does not show at all. And it’s reversible!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I prefer the polka-dots, rather than the floral side, because I still have a bit of a hang-up that florals (especially this size) ages you, even though they’re everywhere right now. I think that’s an out-dated notion and I need to get over it!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I know lots of us prefer to not show our arms, or at least the top half of our arms. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to let that worry just pass over me. Yes, my arms aren’t what they used to be and they’re not the beautiful, toned arms that many women are sporting today a la Michele Obama. But, they’re normal, healthy, pretty common arms and everyone needs to get used to seeing them! I’m not going to over-heat because people aren’t used to seeing middle-aged women’s arms! Now, they need to get over it!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with my new black shorts you saw a couple of posts ago and these comfy espadrilles that are also getting a lot of wear this summer. Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking up with Jennie at A Pocket Full of Polka Dots!

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