Practical, everyday confident with a bit of sass – A style interview with Julia

by Sylvia

Practical, everyday confident with a bit of sass -  A style interview with Julia

Julia started her blog when she saw one of my comments that there aren’t that many apple body shape women yet on the internet that blog. You will actually see more of her on 40+Style from time to time and she has already contributed the article on the best shops for women with apple body shape.

Let’s find out more about her and discover her style secrets!

Blue jacket outfit |

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Hey everyone! I’m a freelance designer, mom, wife, sister, daughter and friend. I’ve been with my husband Dave for 26 years and we have a daughter, Kealan, who is 21 and a daughter Sara, who is 18. We have a 10 acre horse farm and live in a 103 year old farm house in a semi-rural area.

As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?

Scarf outfit idea |

I am 49 years old. I am never hesitant to tell my age because I totally don’t get why we’re supposed to be ashamed of our age as women. It’s not like we did anything wrong…

Why were you interested in contributing article to 40+Style?

I love the community Sylvia has created here as well as a one-stop reference site for fashion and style for women over 40.

Plus, being an apple-shaped woman I am excited to share what I have learned on my style journey and look forward to bringing women who look like me into the spotlight.

What can we expect of you at 40+Style?

Chic dress outfit |

Besides fun? Well…

First, I’ll be keeping it real. I own all the clothes you’ll be seeing and though they aren’t the cheapest clothing options out there they will be realistic, accessible items that don’t require you to choose between new shoes and the electric bill.

Second, I will give courage and encouragement, as well as real working knowledge, from a genuine, apple-shaped woman, to put together an outfit that you will feel good wearing.

Outfit idea: Black vest with accessories |

Third, my goal is to give women with an apple-shape the same jolt of confidence that other women get when they put on an outfit. I hadn’t felt that little lift in decades, but when I figured out what to wear I did get that thrill and would look in the mirror and say “I am one foxy lady!”.

Casual business outfit for women |

And fourth, I’m going to keep it light and fun so you don’t have to trudge through my articles to learn and I’m sure I won’t be able to resist some sassy opinions too!

How would you describe your style?

Practical, everyday confident woman with a bit of sass.

What would you consider the most important components of your style?

Mixing prints styled outfit |

I’d say using the “three piece” rule, where you have a bottom, top and a “third piece” like a jacket or sweater to complete the look are the foundations for my style.

And hoop earrings. I love hoop earrings.

Where do you live and how does that influence your style?

I live in the United States in the northern part of the Midwest in a state called Michigan. It is the state that is shaped like a mitten and is surrounded by the Great Lakes.

We have four distinct seasons here varying from very cold and snowy winters to very hot and humid summers, so the weather affects my style.

Soft and feminine outfit ideas |

It’s also probably a bit more conservative and reserved in clothing than the coasts, so I think my style is toned down by that reserve.

What inspires your outfit choices the most?

Ha! Probably whatever is clean! But, let’s say everything is clean, wrinkle-free and on hangers, then I’d say what inspires me on any given day is how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling strong and confident then I’ll pick out a similar outfit.

If I’m feeling the opposite I’ll wear clothes that I don’t need to give a second thought.

Style ideas: Floral top with earth toned jacket|

However, sometimes I’m not feeling confident and I’ll wear something to give me confidence. Some days I don’t mind wearing a high maintenance outfit because I feel I can handle it while other days I want my outfit to be soft and comforting.

So, after what’s clean, I’d say I’m affected most by my mood to make my outfit choice for the day.

Easy chic outfit ideas |

Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?

Oh my gosh, yes. As an apple-shaped woman, body type rules all. Since our shape is usually not designed for, we struggle to find something to fit, let alone like or feel good about ourselves while wearing. My shape determines every item I own, except scarves and jewelry.

Printed turtleneck top |

I do take into account color too. When I stopped dying my hair 10 or so years ago, I noticed the colors that I had worn, especially around my face, no longer looked good.

I have blue eyes, pink skin and white hair now so I look for colors in my tops and scarves that will go well with white, pink and blue. I wear a lot of black and gray and jewel tones. Silver jewelry works best with my coloring too.

Would you say you have a signature style? And if yes, what are the main elements?

Casual business outfit for women: Black blazer |

I don’t think I have a signature style yet and kinda hope I don’t get one since I think it means I’m in a rut. I’ve only been doing this fashion thing for two years so perhaps it’s just the newbie in me talking.

Has your style changed at all after turning 40?

Definitely yes. As my children have grown older, I’ve been able to give myself more time to care about what I wear and how I look. My body has changed a lot since I was a young woman when I could pull anything off.

Striped dress top |

Now, I prefer a bit more sophisticated, tailored look with classic pieces that never go out of style. I’m also more confident now than when I was younger. That has definitely influenced my style.

Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

Leather jacket outfit for women |

Hmmmm, I’d say anyone can wear whatever they feel like wearing whenever they feel like wearing it. For my own self, I know I don’t want to dress like a teenager or look like I’m trying to pass off as a twenty-something, but I do not judge what anyone else is wearing.

If you feel good, wear it!

Black floral top with leggings |

Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?

I’d say I’m much more interested right now. I was very interested in fashion as a teenager and twenty-something but as soon as kids came along, fashion went out the door. Now, I’m more confident as a person, have more money and time and know what I like and what looks good on me so I’m way more interested in style and fashion.

Layering outfit ideas |

Why is the way you look important to you?

Honestly, if I feel good about the way I look, people treat me differently. It almost feels like a spell. If I am walking with a confident step and holding my head high with a genuine smile, people see a better me.

Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?

Holiday outfit idea: Red scarf with leggings |

I follow trends for color because I think it’s an easy way to update a wardrobe and usually they are so beautiful I want to wrap myself in them. The trend I’m excited about at the moment is pattern-mixing because it’s something I haven’t done before and it’s challenging.

I always love a challenge and enjoy learning to master something.

Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?

In the past, women over a certain age (40? 50?) were invisible and/or just considered as the Grandma stereotype or the Crabby Old Woman stereotype or the Ditzy Older Woman stereotype, but that is changing and I’d like women to continue to push those stereotypes off a cliff.

Grey vest and booties |

I’d like to see women over 40 put some sass into their outfits and add a little bit of “bad ass” to their look. So, my tip would be to push the envelope of what you think a middle aged woman should look like.

Try to remember when you were younger and wanted to change the world and put some of that passion into pushing the definition of middle aged woman, even if it’s just with your earrings or a pair of darling boots.

Anything further you would like to add?

I am excited about this opportunity to share what I have learned with your readers, especially the apple-shaped ladies, since they have the hardest shape to dress in today’s designs.

Style ideas: White pants with a scarf |

I look forward to getting to know your readers and having supportive conversations with them to give them the little boost of confidence when they walk out the door in a rockin’ outfit.

Casual outfit: rose pink top with green pants |

I am a woman on a mission to have all apple-shaped women catch their reflection in a window and think “I am one foxy lady”!

You can find more of Julia on her blog When the Girls Rule and her instagram. Get her best tips on 40+Style on the best shops for women with the apple body shape.

Which outfit of Julia do you like the most?


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Thanks for featuring Julia and her fabulous blog. Although I’m already one of her fans and read her blog posts regularly, I still learned a few things about her (and her style) in this interview. As another apple-shaped woman, I appreciate your featuring women of all shapes, sizes, and ages!


You are one of my biggest supporters Bette. I truly appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

Jodie filogomo

I love reading Julia’s blog!
It gives testament to the fact that any shape, or age can look great!!


Thank Jodie! I love your blog too!

Emma McDonnell

Love Julia’s style. It’s so refreshing to see how fab Julia looks in jeans. All the outfits look amazing but jeans sometimes are hard to get right for an apple shape and they just look great. X


Thank you Emma! Yes…jeans…ugh. But, I am determined to find great looking clothes for this shape.


Julia’s blog is so fun! Although I likely have a different body type (which I haven’t quite figured out yet), I find much of her advice transcends body type. As a 40-something (pushing 50), I find so much of her advice helpful. I can’t wait to try some of her tips, especially BOOTS!


Yes, boots! Instant style-elevator! Thank you for your support as always.


I visit Julia’s blog from time to time as I really admire her. Her challenge is a lot bigger than mine and she really pulls it off. She looks very good and has lovely items which suit her and present a pretty picture. Like the burgundy, white,black striped skirt with the white jacket. Or the navy blue shirt, green trousers, pink flats combined with that beautiful and cleverly knotted scarf. But that is just singling out a few outfits. I could go on. Oh and she has a sense of humour and is not afraid to show pictures which are less flattering if she thinks that will be of benefit for other women.


Ha ha Greetje! Yes, I do show the less-flattering outfits as a sacrifice to knowledge! And having a sense of humor is so necessary as you know! Thank you for your lovely comments

Bettye L. Rainwater

I love reading Julia’s blog and am so pleased you chose to showcase it (and her!) here so more people would be introduced to her.

She has such an approachable style of writing, she makes you feel like the two of you are just chatting over coffee. And she has fun with the blog, which makes it great to visit!



Thanks Bettye! Your blog makes me smile every time too!

wendra lynne

What a wonderful interview. I love Julia’s style. So pretty and she looks so comfortable and approachable in every outfit. Too many beautiful outfits to choose just one favorite. I also went to her blog – there I loved the fun photo in the butterfly ! Thank you for sharing, Wendra


Awww, thanks Wendra. That butterfly chair is so photogenic, so I can’t take all of the credit!

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