Dear Deborah, Is there a time in life when jeans are no longer appropriate to wear? I am 60 years old, and I’m a size 14 pear shape with a very casual lifestyle. ~Sharon B.
Great question! I think you can wear jeans forever, as long as your jeans are current and fit you well. Denim may be the workhorse of the modern wardrobe, but after 40, the wrong jeans can make you look like an old mare. Here are a few tips for you to look modern and hip, not dumpy and frumpy in jeans.
1. Avoid Torn or Shredded Jeans – Jeans with rips and faded washes are “iffy” for mature women. Jane Fonda’s shredded jeans make a statement, but the wrong kind. Too teenager-ish!
2. Stay Clear of “Mom Jeans” On the flip side of the
On the flip side of the coin some jeans can make you look too old. I’m talking about jeans that are bulky and make you look lumpy. With high waisted mom jeans the pockets don’t sit where they are supposed to, especially after 60 when your bottom isn’t as round as it used to be. Yes high righ jeans are now in style but thye’r tricky. Most women would do better with a mid rise jean that sits on your actual bum- not above, making it look flat like pancake or big and bottom heavy.
3. Buy jeans with stretch
(between 10-15%- check the tag to find out) to skim your curves and avoid a frumpy look. The best jeans have a bit of stretch.
4. Bootcut Works for Everyone
A dramatic flared jean or restrictive skinny jean can be hard to wear. Flares can be aging and skinny jeans really look best if you have slim legs. That’s why the classic bootcut is hands down one of the best jeans for women over 40. Bootcut jeans are flattering on everyone because the slight flare at the ankle balances out your hips and thighs, creating an overall lean look (and who doesn’t love that?). This balancing effect makes them the best jeans for curvy women with ample hips, but even more boyish frames reap the benefits.
5. Find the Proper Rise
Gals who are “pear shaped” (your hips are much bigger than your bust) or who have a short waist, will find that mid-rise are considered to be the best jeans for women like you. If you carry weight in your middle, you should also try a mid-rise jean (the top of the pant should be two finger’s width below your belly button). If you don’t have either of these body types, then you can wear any rise you like!
6. Darker Wash is Classier
After 40, darker wash denim with no fading or markings is a dream for two reasons. Firstly, since dark recedes making the area a dark color is placed over look smaller, a dark wash is more slimming than a light or faded jean. Also, dark denim looks richer than a casual light wash. To take your dark wash denim into more formal territory, simply add a blazer!
7. Get the Right Hem Length
Getting the right hem length is important to looking fab in your jeans. The hem of your jeans should never drag on the floor- this looks sloppy, but too high will look silly too. Aim for your jeans to hit approximately ¼ of an inch from the ground for the perfect length. If it’s within your budget, buy two pairs of jeans: one long enough to wear with heels, the other hemmed for wearing with flats.
Remember, keeping things simple and classy is the best way to wear your jeans after 40.