What is the best multi-purpose piece of clothing out there? Let’s talk jeans! Join us in discussion with fashion blogger Mel Kobayashi who will share several of her awesome jean looks. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret:

Today we’re going to be inspired by my guest, Mel Kobayashi. Mel is a style blogger at Bag and a Beret. She’s got a very unique sense of style, and her blog is filled with all kinds of inspirational ideas for how to break the rules with fashion. Welcome, Mel.

Mel:

Hi! It’s such a pleasure to be here, Margaret.

Margaret:

For us as well. We have a large community of women over 60, each with her own unique style. There are also people like me, who have the basic things that they wear day in and day out. We feel good in them, and the look fits our body type.

Today I’d like you to talk about one of your unique skills – taking a signature piece of clothing and transforming it by using different techniques to make it fit different outfits.

Mel:

Okay, I’m going to show you how you can style a pair of blue jeans into so many different looks – from upscale to street. We all wear jeans, and these are just different looks that I incorporate into my own style.

Margaret:

Jeans are huge with our community. We’ve done several articles countering the argument that women over 50 should not wear jeans. Our women just say, “Forget it. I love my jeans.”

Mel:

Exactly. We can wear whatever we want to wear. We can wear a gown. We can wear jeans. We can wear jeans with holes in them if that’s what we’re into. And we can wear the “mom jeans,” though I hate that word. High waist, low waist, whatever we want. We can do whatever we want.

Margaret:

So, what would you do with jeans?

Mel:

If I’m feeling casual, I’ll wear my basic blue jeans and a t-shirt. It could be a simple white t-shirt, and I have this one that says, “I am my own brand.” It’s kind of slouchy, and it’ll show my bra strap, so I’d make sure I’m wearing something really cute underneath. Maybe a tank top or something.

Margaret:

I love it. It really fits you.

Mel:

I’ll probably wear my running shoes with this outfit. I’ve actually scribbled all over them just to make them uniquely my own.

Margaret:

Are they white?

Mel:

No, they’re Converse, but the vinyl rubber toe cap is white, and I scribbled on there with sharpie. It turned out so cool.

Margaret:

You really do have no rules. You just go by whatever moves you that day, that moment, that second.

Mel:

Yeah. And then I just keep scribbling on them when it fades away. Some people pay thousands of dollars for those things at the designer shop but mine are free.

Then if the weather is cooler, I’ll wear a cotton sweatshirt. I have this one with sushi bites on it.

Margaret:

It’s nice. What about the legs of your jeans? Are they straight?

Mel:

These have really tight-fitting legs. They have a little bit of stretch to them, and that’s great because we all go up and down in our weight. Then I may wear an accessory, like this one with the praying mantis.

Margaret:

Very cool, really.

Mel:

And then, I would add these glasses. They’re kind of basic, but they’re saying, “I’m just going about town but I’m still feeling good.” So, when you dress up and get the right attitude, you can wear whatever you want. You can wear jeans and a t-shirt but still carry that signature walk. So, these glasses add a whole new character and flavor to a simple pair of jeans and a sweatshirt look.

Margaret:

We focus on the power of accessories in another discussion, but what you just did with those glasses completely changed the look.

Mel:

It’s amazing how much you can do with one simple item. If glasses aren’t your thing, then you might wear a baseball cap turned to the side, or whatever else you want to do.

Margaret:

Jeans are known to communicate comfort. They show you’re comfortable in your skin and wear what you like.

Mel:

Jeans, in general, can convey a lot. For instance, you might have dark wash jeans, and they tend to be a little more classy, a little more dressy. You can have really wash or wear ones with rips. Those are more casual, but people wear them as upscale too.

When I’m wearing those, I might also wear my bag. It’s gives the “student that never graduated from dormitory life” kind of look, which is so appropriate at 55 years old.

Margaret:

Is it a canvas bag? It’s really nice. Handbags are a great accessory for communicating a non-verbal message.

Mel:

They’re really fun, and they change the whole look. I also get creative with the shoes I wear. I could put on army boots, not just runners, or maybe even heels, with these jeans. And if the weather allows, I can wear my denim jacket.

Margaret:

It’s a nice jacket, though I’m surprised you haven’t got patches on it.

Mel:

Well, the secret, Margaret, is that there’s a bit of a glitter element to it.

Margaret:

I see. It’s subtle.

Mel:

But it makes it a little bit different. Now we’re going to kick it up a notch, so next I’m going to wear this tuxedo shirt with my jeans.

Margaret:

That’s such a nice, lovely look. Jeans with a white shirt, the collar up a bit. It’s just perfect.

Mel:

And I’d starch it up a bit… No, wait, I never starch my shirts. What am I talking about? Maybe I iron them.

Margaret:

It sounded so good though.

Mel:

Yeah, and I might starch it, and I might wear a men’s tie. We could go a little bit androgynous with this and wear the men’s tie.

Margaret:

I’ve seen pictures of you with men’s ties on. It’s a nice look for you, especially with your hair and your attitude.

Mel:

Yes, the attitude does it. I also have this satin jacket which I love, and it complements the look.

Margaret:

It is pretty. Is the back straight?

Mel:

Yes, and I’ll wear it with the tux shirt and the jeans. Maybe I’ll also carry a cool funky handbag like this one which says, “I’m not the accessory – she is.” I wrote this myself, and it turned out pretty cool. It’s a great handbag that I might carry around with that outfit.

Margaret:

Your writings are conversation starters, for sure.

Mel:

I could also wear a belt with the jeans. A belt really changes the look as well, depending on the kind that you choose.

Margaret:

This one is very southwestern. It’s nice.

Mel:

And I like it. I might wear a chain kind of belt or I might even wear pearls.

Margaret:

Honestly, those three belts have just changed the whole outfit. That’s amazing.

Mel:

Yes, it changes everything. You can also add a chunky men’s watch with the jeans and tux shirt, or with the jeans and a t-shirt, or with the jeans and a sweatshirt. You can change your sunglasses to something more classy.

Margaret:

Also, you’ve got a choice of colors. I’ve seen women wear white jeans with a black off-the-shoulder top, and it’s so pretty and classy. I love that look. Then, like you said, the stone-wash ones are more casual.

Mel:

I’ve actually seen them worn with really dressy shoes, and suddenly they’re more upscale. It changes everything. I had a friend who said, “Oh, look at that couple. This guy is all dressed up and she’s just wearing jeans.” I had to say, “Wait a minute, those are like $300 jeans. Look at the shoe she’s wearing. And look at her hair.”

You can’t just jump to conclusions because they’re jeans. You don’t have to wear a dress and pantyhose and heels to be dressed up anymore. We choose how to dress up.

Margaret:

That’s awesome. Actually, guys over here in Switzerland wear red jeans a lot. It’s like reddish going on burnt orange color. It’s strange, but not so bad when you style it properly.

I was at a church one day, and there was this couple there. The woman wore white pants and an orange kind of longer jacket, and the man had golden-yellow pants with a black longish jacket. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough.

I knew no one would believe how good it looked just by described it, it just doesn’t sound appealing. But seeing it… It really makes a difference.

Mel:

Really simple things, depending on your attitude, can make you either pop out or stay invisible, because sometimes I don’t want to be visible. It’s mood-based, and there are days when I might wear a hoodie everywhere. It’ll be a nice hoodie, though. So being invisible would be my choice.

Margaret:

Yes, one of your hoodies with a special message, like initials or a question mark.

Mel:

Exactly. And I’ve got a cute clutch bag that could go with the jeans outfit.

Margaret:

That’s sweet. And of course, it does not have to cost $500. This could be a $3 bag you found at the thrift store.

Mel:

This one probably cost $5.

Margaret:

You’ve got an eye for the beautiful. I think you did a really good job of inspiring our jean-loving women who now can take your advice and implement it to create their own jean-inspired outfits.

Mel:

Yes, you can build an entire wardrobe around your jeans. If you want to wear jeans all the time, knock yourself out. Jeans are very flexible, and you can add so many fun things to the outfit.

Margaret:

Do you have any pictures of your jean transformations? It would be nice to show them to our women and inspire them even more.

Mel:

That would be great. I have some photos, and I’ll take some if I don’t.

Margaret:

Okay, cool. Thank you again. You’re always a wonder and inspiration to us, and I really appreciate it.

Mel:

Thank you so much for having me, Margaret. I always have a blast talking to you.

Margaret:

Good stuff. Take care, Mel. Bye.

Do you wear jeans? Which colors do you prefer? Have you found any particular combinations that work for you? Please share your favorite jeans combo in the comments below.

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