It’s always fun to make a new outfit out of clothes you already have in your closet. Have you tried upscaling? Join us in conversation with fashion blogger Jodie Filogomo who has some great ideas to share! Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Jodie Filogomo. Jodie is a unique fashion blogger who believes that style is ageless. She maintains a wonderful website called Jodie’s Touch of Style where she features models of all ages. She loves to show clothes and have fun with fashion. Welcome to the show, Jodie.

Jodie Filogomo:

Thanks, Margaret. This is fun.

Margaret:

Yeah, it is. And when I looked at your site I noticed that you are adept at making fashion a pleasure.

Jodie:

Actually, I’m not the only one who maintains my site. My mom and my stepmom help out too, so it’s really a family affair, which makes it very good.

Margaret:

It shows in all the photos you have, because you’re all relaxed and having fun and enjoying yourselves. I can tell you’re inspiring each other.

In our community, we have women in their 50s and 60s who feel a little lost when it comes to using the clothes they’ve got in their closet to reflect their true selves. So, today I’d like to ask you about upscaling clothes.

That is, taking clothing that we’ve got in our closet and switching it around a bit, adding an element that gives it a different vibe or just changing it in a unique way. How would you go about doing that with your clothes?

Jodie:

Upscaling clothes is one of my favorite themes, because I think it opens up our creativity. It creates more pathways in our brain because we start to look at our clothes a little differently.

When I buy something, I always think of it exactly as the item I bought it as. But what if the piece can serve a different purpose?

The perfect example is a wrap I had bought. The lady at the store said, “Oh, this is a great wrap to wear over a dress to keep you warm.”

I bought it because it was cute and different and a pretty color, but I never wore it. It never really kept me warm, and I’ve had it for years. This year, I happened to hang it with my scarves, and I realized that it’s just like an infinity scarf. Now I wear it all the time.

Margaret:

So, you’re saying that you’re looking at your clothing differently, like they’re individual pieces. What I might do with your wrap-turned-scarf, then, is take a nice brooch and pull it over to the side. And it doesn’t have to be a brooch, there are all kinds of cool elements you can use.

Jodie:

Exactly. So, you’ve changed it from what it originally was to something that you like. I find that works very well if things don’t fit – not that you should always keep such items.

In my case, I have blouses that don’t button really well, but I love the material. So, I’ve learned to wear them as a jacket instead. You see, it’s about looking at some of our pieces in a whole different way.

Margaret:

You just gave me a really interesting idea. I was looking at a white shirt in a vintage store, and it was a gorgeous material, but it didn’t do up in the front. Now that you shared this advice, I realize I could have just worn a black t-shirt underneath it to make it really fun.

Jodie:

See? We have to train our brains to look at things from a different angle.

Margaret:

Yeah, this is really fun.

Jodie:

We also limit ourselves based on season-appropriate clothes. I often get stuck thinking that this is a spring shirt or that is a summer skirt. But really, with leggings and thick tights, we can make some of those items work for other seasons. It’s all about training our brain to look at our clothes differently.

Lately, layering has become a favorite thing. For instance, I would layer a vest over a jacket, though changing my mentality to accommodate that feat was difficult. But sometimes, it even looks like it was meant to be worn that way. Really, it’s all about having fun with what you already have in your closet.

Margaret:

I really like the idea. In fact, when I was looking up upscaling clothes just a few months ago, I found a whole group of young people in South America who started this trend of cutting off the sleeves of one jacket and sawing them onto another jacket.

There was one that had a piece of faux fur sawn into it. It wasn’t like a vest, but it was kind of the same idea of taking a material that you love and just making it work with what you have.

Jodie:

My mom is a talented seamstress. She used to be a public teacher, so she loves to think outside of the box. I think I owe my creativity to her. So, she had a real fur jacket that came out of style and she couldn’t wear it anymore. But I cut off the sleeves and made her a vest that she now loves to wear.

Margaret:

That’s a great idea. I know that in India it’s common to saw a piece of fabric to a top and turn it into a dress. But I really do love the idea of layering as a way of using things in different ways. Have you tried other layering experiments?

Jodie:

Well, I have also layered a coat over a jacket. It’s a difficult idea and needs some getting used to, but I try to be creative.

Some of my leather jackets are very thin, and I can’t wear them in the dead of winter. So, I’ve worn a leather jacket under a coat. Sometimes I would layer it with another jacket underneath. It takes some experimenting with your clothes and thinking outside of the usual box. It’s a great mind challenge, and you get more usage out of the clothes that you have.

Margaret:

These are wonderful ideas. But what about dresses? I often take a dress and put a top on top and treat it like a skirt.

Jodie:

I love that. I only learned that through blogging, and I thought it was brilliant. I used to think I had to show the whole dress. So, to put a top or sweater over it was a no-no. Now we know the effect is pretty awesome.

The same goes for putting another skirt over the bottom half of your dress. The advantage here is that you get a nicely ‘tucked’ top that doesn’t come out.

Margaret:

As you’re talking, I keep thinking of all the clothes that I don’t wear. For example, I would buy a beautiful dress to wear in season, then it would sit in my closet for months on end. Whereas, if I apply your ideas, I could wear it year-round and make use of the beautiful material that drew me to it in the first place.

Jodie:

This is true especially with dresses because we think of them as ‘dressy’, but you can make them look more casual by adding a denim jacket or a sweatshirt. Really, you can make them work for almost every occasion. I think people appreciate it when you dress a little over than just jeans and a t-shirt.

Margaret:

I now know why you’re so successful. It’s because you are so enthusiastic about fashion, and you like to approach your projects with creativity and an open-mind. In a way, you’re breaking the rules, but you do it your way, and you have a blast with it.

I’m very happy that your step-mom, who’s 70 is also on board with experimenting. This sends a very strong message to those of us who are younger – and older!

Jodie:

I do get the eye roll, occasionally, when I ask her to wear something new, but you just learn that sometimes it is fun to try new things. For instance, she’d never worn over-the-knee boots, but now she has three pairs and loves wearing them because they are warmer.

Margaret:

I haven’t got any over-the-knee boots, but I know people that love them. I’m not quite there yet, but I think that what you show on your website is that there’s something for everybody at every age. Style really doesn’t have an age.

This has been super inspirational and fun. Do you have any last-minute thoughts?

Jodie:

I say, go through your closet and have fun. We get into the habit to always pair this with this, so try different pairings, different options, it’s really a fun experiment.

Margaret:

I’m certainly inspired by your great ideas. Thank you for being here, Jodie.

Jodie:

Thank you, too, Margaret.

Do you like to layer your clothes? What is the boldest combination of clothes and accessories that you have tried? What would it take for you to try something new? Please join the conversation below!

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