How to wear jeans over 40 – some guidelines and ideas

by Sylvia

How to wear jeans after 40
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Jeans look great on many women, no matter what your age is. But in order to look stylish in them over 40 you should choose your jeans with a little more thought. Here are some general guidelines to follow for wearing jeans after 40.

  1. Opt for a dark solid color. This looks dressy and has the added advantage of making you look slimmer.
  2. I also love white jeans. More tips on how to wear white pants here.
  3. Heavily stone washed or bleached jeans often don’t look so good on older women.
  4. It’s also best to avoid ripped jeans.
  5. You can also opt for another even color, like grey or black. Just make sure the color is solid.
  6. Make sure that the jeans don’t cut into your stomach area. Muffin tops over jeans are not flattering!
  7. Do not show your stomach. Either tuck in your tops or wear tops big enough so they cover your stomach area.
  8. You shouldn’t have this problem if your covered up your stomach / back area properly, but just to make sure: don’t show your g-string!
  9. Flared jeans or wide legged jeans look great on many older women. It’s nice to wear high heels under them and ensure that the jeans have good length and almost touch the ground. This will really give you length to your legs. You make like to check directions for your body shape to see which jeans would be best for you.
  10. Skinny jeans or legging jeans will look great with tunics and longer tops. You can see more tips for wearing leggings over 40 here.
  11. Jeans will already make you look younger so go easy on the rest of your outfit and your accessories. Best to keep it reasonably simple and classy.
  12. Cropped jeans can look good too if you have a decent length. These usually look best when tapered and are best worn with heels. More directions on cropped pants here.
  13. As mentioned before, it’s best to dress up your look a bit while wearing jeans, so dressing in denim from head to toe is not recommended.
  14. Avoid really low rise cuts. Best to choose models with medium rise fitting. No mummy jeans please, as those look unflattering and will age you. Not Your Daugthers Jeans is very popular amongst 40+ women.
  15. I like comfort so I usually opt for jeans with some stretch. They usually also fit better.
  16. Avoid really baggy jeans. Boyfriend jeans, however, is popular and can look great for casual days.
  17. Ensure that the jeans fit you well, and don’t go for jeans that are too tight. You need to be able to bend in them.
  18. Don’t overdo the embellishments on jeans (or avoid them altogether).

As always these rules are not always meant to be followed and as any stylish woman will know, you should on occasion bend and break the guidelines! Jeannie who is over 50 is still rocking her ripped jeans and is looking very stylish indeed.

Here are a few examples of some great blue jeans that you can buy online right now

How do you like to wear jeans? Did you set different rules for yourself after 40?

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula

I do have more guidlines with my jeans than I used to. I care about fit now more than I had to then.
Thanks for these tips; they are great!

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Sylvia

Glad you liked them Paula!

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The Style Confessions

I was totally disinterested in jeans during the Big Jeans Trend of the 2000′s, but now I’ve become re-excited by them. I’m especially into skinny jeans and colored jeans, which is weird because when skinny jeans first came out I thought they were the least flattering things I’d ever seen. (It’s not a cut for everyone and I can only hope they look as good on me as I think they do.) As a general rule I agree with your suggestions however!

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Sylvia

I look forward to seeing you outfits with skinny jeans. As a slight pear, it’s not my favorite model, but I do love skinny jeans with a long top or tunic as I showed in my Zadig & Voltaire post. Would certainly have that in my closet if I lived in a colder country…

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Suzanne

I love jeans! If I had to pick just one item to wear for the rest of my life it would be jeans. I have them in every shape from leggings (perfect with over the knee boots) to flares (perfect with platforms) and in many colors – even a pair of yellow ones to wear to my son’s college football games. I have them at every price point but like them all equally. I do follow most of your guidelines – no light washes (though I do wear white jeans for 3 months of the year), no muffin top or bare tummy. I don’t do crops but will roll up the legs on straight jeans to show off a pretty shoe. I am not one of those people who wear jeans everywhere – I do not wear them to parties and our country club has a complete ban on them, but I am confortable and happy in my jeans.

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Sylvia

I’m not a huge jeans wearer although I always take them with me when I visit colder countries. It’s mainly due to the weather. Jeans are just too hot here…

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Nanne

Like Suzanne I love jeans, too! I have skinnies, straight, bootcut and flares, but so far I stick with blues and blacks. I’ve been thinking of a pair of red jeans though:) I’ve never been a fan of ripped and embellished jeans or very low rises (super uncomfortable), so I’ve kind of always stayed away from them, altough I remember some acid washed ones that I loved when I was in my teens;)

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Sylvia

Red jeans are very much on trend right now. I just bought myself some wonderful wide red pants (not jeans) and I’m already thinking up some lovely outfits with them. Stay tuned…

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GreetjeKamminga

A late comment from me who has 9 pairs of jeans wearing them very often. For me the jeans of “7 for all mankind” are really good as they provide me with a bum. They used to be flared and, unfortunately, low rise, so problems with love handles. I used to wear wider, longer tops until I discovered shape wear. No love handles and…. the jeans feel much more comfortable round my stomach. And also jeans of the brand ” Not Your Daughters Jeans” (NYDJ) are great.
I have to confess that I do wear cropped jeans. Very tempting when you have good legs and you want to show them off. I will take a good long look at myself one more time to see whether it is wise.

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Sylvia

Cropped pants and jeans are still very much in style and you will be able to pull those off. But it is a challenging style and on many women I prefer the ‘illusion’ and silhouette of a longer leg which can only be achieved by longer styles..

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Phyllis Edson

Great tips. Thanks. I’m short and not skinny. I tend to find jeans that fit and look good and then buy 5 pairs. . . all the same. Maybe I should branch out? I’d really like to try jeans which are more tapered at the ankle (and wear boots) but I always feel like those emphasize and enlarge my hips. Thoughts?

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Sylvia

Although it’s a good idea to buy multiples of jeans that are perfect, 5 seems like a lot to me. I would try other pant styles or other colours as well. You are right that more tapered jeans put more emphasis on the hips. If that is not an area you like to highlight, you may want to stay away from them. On the other hand you may just need to get used to the silhouette. You could always try a (cheap) pants and see how they make you feel? Another way to wear skinnies and tapered jeans effectively is to wear them with tunics, which is a favorite look of mine. In general though, straight or bootcut jeans tend to be more flattering on most people.

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sophie Willow

Show of your generous bust….and wear boots with heels

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Nicolene Richards

The best invention South of Europe is that Levi Strauss introduced the “curve” jeans when the realized that the population down here have more buxom and more rounded hips than anywhere else in the world. The joy about the “curve” jeans is that they come in variable shapes of curve, accommodating the pear shapes and making allowances for the wider hips! I personally prefer the bootlegs as they elongate the legs, allowing high(er) heels, and giving instant height (not that I need it at 1.78m) but it does have a slimming effect.
FF

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shima

Thanks very much.
I’m from Iran and in Iran women are not free for choosing clothing.
Your set is very good.
Some of the models wearing the clothes you have an excellent and I can wear those in iran.

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Odysseia

Some of the tips are useful while some do not apply. It also depends upon looks. There are 40+ year olds who look older than they are and have to pay attention to some details such as baggy jeans etc. Actually, baggy jeans are not bad at all as long as they are worn smart according to the fit and to the wearer….Sharon Stone looks great in baggy jeans and she is 54 years old. Teri Hatcher is 47 years old and looks awesome in ripped jeans. But then again, not all middle aged women are in good shape. Bottomline though is that, a FIT woman can look good in anything as long as it is worn with some minor but important changes. For example, for a woman over 45 ripped jeans might look good as long as they are not too ripped and as long as she is fit and in good shape. Over weight and out of shape women, women who look frumpy and unkept in general, they have to be a lot more careful in their wardrobe choices.

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Sylvia

You are very right Odysseia. All my advice is quite general and everyone should just make their own judgement about what applies to them. Quite a few women like guidelines which is why I provide them, but I also encourage everyone to do their own thing and break any ‘rules’ or guidelines whenever they please.

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Robin

Hi Sylvia,
Liked your article :) Just wanted to let you know that your links do not work for the jeans.

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Sylvia

Thanks for letting me know Robin. I have now corrected this and updated the page with lots more jeans you can buy right now.

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Sheghaf

Hello,

Is it appropriate to wear yellow pants for 40 years old? It is a bit bright? Not mustard

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Sylvia

I feel you can wear any color after 40. I personally would keep the rest of your outfit quite neutral though. Don’t make it all over bright. A white top would look fabulous!

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