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 how to wear jeans after 40.

How to wear jeans: Jeans outfit ideas

As well as plenty of tips on how to wear jeans in the most flattering way, read on for lots of jeans outfit suggestions and inspiration on what to wear with your jeans.

1. Opt for a dark solid color

wearing an on-trend puff sleeve sweater |

This looks dressy and has the added advantage of making you look slimmer. A pair of dark blue jeans really is one of the most versatile items you can have in your closet.

Suzie (above) teams her dark jeans with an on-trend puff-shoulder sweater. While calf-height boots can be tricky to wear, if you choose a similar shade to your jeans as pictured, they can be flattering.

Get her look with these similar skinny jeans, mock neck sweater and boots.

PAIGE Transcend - Manhattan Bootcut style

PAIGE Transcend – Manhattan bootcut jeans

2. White jeans also look great

wearing your blazer with white denim |

White jeans are fabulous for spring and summer and make every outfit look fresh. Also, take a look at how to wear white jeans.

Sandra (above) adds a touch of the unexpected with her purple-pink shoes.

Check out these similar jeans, button-up shirt, linen blazer and pumps.

These Citizens of Humanity jeans are a great basis for many outfits.

Citizens of Humanity Racer Slim leg style |

AG The Ex-Boyfriend crop slim jeans

For more style inspiration, read our article on how to wear blazer with jeans

3. Heavily stone-washed or bleached jeans are harder to wear

Faded denim and leopard print pumps |

I personally avoid these. Slightly darker jeans are much easier to wear with other clothes and can be worn to work too.

I’ve seen many 40+ women looking great in ripped jeans but I personally avoid these too.

Helen (above) opts for a slightly washed look, but still keeps it very flattering with a darker style and subtle fading.

Steal her look with these similar jeans, sweater, leopard print flats and crossbody bag.

That doesn’t means you have to go too dark though. The PAIGE boyfriend jeans below are a great example with a very subtle distressed feel.

PAIGE Brigitte Transcend Vintage High Waist Crop Boyfriend denim |

PAIGE Brigitte Transcend Vintage high waist crop boyfriend jeans

4. Crop flare jeans are one of my favorite options

Cropped flare jeans from Paige |

My personal favorite jeans at the moment are my cropped flare jeans by PAIGE which I wear with short cropped tops and longer tunic style tops.

5. Make sure that the jeans don’t cut into your stomach area

Muffin tops over jeans are not flattering!

You may want to go for jeans with a higher rise. If you get a firm stretchy fabric they will do a great job of tucking the tummy in.

I love this pair of jeggings from Uniqlo that I pair with tunics or short dresses.

uniqlo stretch leggings |

Uniqlo denim cropped leggings

For more tips on avoiding muffin tops check out my hiding belly tips.

6. Do not show your stomach

Either tuck in your tops or wear tops big enough so they cover your stomach area.

If you’re wearing skinny jeans, you could try a longer, tunic style top like this one below. The asymmetry adds extra oomph to any look and is effective at hiding a belly.

Anne Klein asymmetrical scarf blouse |

Anne Klein asymmetrical scarf blouse

7. I don’t want to see your g-string either

You shouldn’t have this problem if you have covered up your stomach / back area properly, but just to make sure: don’t show your g-string!

Wearing a pair of high-rise jeans should solve this problem, rather opting for the low-rise style jeans beloved of Britney Spears in the 1990s.

Madewell high waist skinny jeans |

Madewell high waist skinny jeans

8. Flared jeans or wide legged jeans look great on many older women

bootcut jeans with high-heeled boots |

These pants can give you a great shape as they highlight your waist. Make sure they fit well around the waist and hip area.

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 lengthen your legs.

This style is particularly on trend at the moment after years of skinny jeans.

A wider style is particular flattering if you have an inverted triangle body shape as they will balance your figure.

Michelle (above) wears heeled booties under her wide jeans.

Check out these similar wide leg jeans, long sleeve top and booties.

Mavi Jeans Sydney flare jeans

These kind of jeans will look great on shorter women. Read all my tips for petites.

9. Skinny jeans or legging jeans will look great with tunics and longer tops

wearing jeggings |

I like to wear tunics and short dresses over jeggings (jeans that are leggings). Here I’m pairing my uniqlo jeggings with a long top.

Want to know more, check all my tips for wearing leggings over 40.

10. 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.

Although denim on denim can work, embrace it with caution.

11. Cropped jeans can look good too if you have a decent length

cropped jeans and heeled booties |

Although cropped jeans can look good on many women, you need to take your proportions into account.

If you have proportionally short legs, make sure you tuck in your tops or wear a cropped tops. That way, you will make your torso look shorter and your legs look longer.

Take a look at how to determine your vertical body type if you aren’t sure about your proportions.

Cropped jeans are easiest to wear when tapered and are best worn with heels.

Sarah (above) shows how fabulous cropped booties can look when styled with heeled booties.

Recreate her look with these similar jeans, sweater and booties.

Levi's high waist crop straight leg jeans |

Levi’s high waist crop straight leg jeans

For more ideas check my guidelines on how to wear capris and cropped pants.

12. Boyfriend jeans are great for a casual vibe and are still very popular

mom jeans worn with a blazer |

Jas (above) wears a style which would be classed as mom jeans as they are tapered rather than the straighter style of a boyfriend pair. You can get a similar look with a boyfriend style, however.

Get her look with this similar jeans, blazer and pumps.

You can also roll up your straight leg jeans to create a similar look.

7 For All Mankind Catherine boyfriend jeans |

7 For All Mankind Catherine boyfriend jeans

Jennifer Aniston loves wearing her boyfriend jeans with a blazer. Take a look at how to dress like Jennifer Aniston.

13. Avoid really low rise cuts

mid rise jeans with a zebra print top |

Best to choose models with medium rise fitting.

High rise is popular too but make sure it fits you around the tummy area. Take note that mom jeans (very high jeans that are roomy and don’t fit properly) can be hard to wear unless they fit really well as those look unflattering and will age you.

Kim-Marie (above) opts for a mid-rise pair and tucks in her shirt.

Check out this similar skinny jeans, blouse and sandals.

NYDJ is very popular among 40+ women and the below high rise jeans will suit many body types.

Not Your Daughter's Jeans |

NYDJ Ami high waist side seam crop skinny jeans

14. Get jeans with stretch!

I like comfort so I usually opt for jeans with some stretch. They usually also fit better.

Take a look at the best jeans with tummy control for more ideas.

15. Avoid really baggy jeans

Boyfriend jeans, however, as discussed earlier are popular and can look great for casual days.

16. Ensure that the jeans fit you well, and don’t go for jeans that are too tight

black skinny jeans paired with animal print and neutrals |

You need to be able to bend in them.

Michelle (above) opts for a well-fitting pair of skinny jeans.

Steal her look with this similar jeans, sweater, fedora hat, booties and crossbody bag.

17. Getting the length of your jeans right is very important!

When you find a pair you love, buy one to wear with flats and one to wear with heels.

You may need to take up the hem of one pair, but it will be worth it.

You may want to check our guidelines on the best lengths of pants.

18. Bootcut jeans are a classic and will continue to look good

Dark bootcut jeans from Paige |

Bootcut jeans are flattering for most body types and can be very lengthening.

Make sure they skim the ground. They look best with pointed shoes for an even more lengthening effect.

I still love my PAIGE denim bootcut jeans that are now at least 5 years old and still look good! They fit like a glove and feel soft on the legs. Buy them long enough to wear with heels and your legs will look a mile long.

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!

What are the best brands for jeans?

Looking for your perfect pair of jeans can feel like an impossible task, so when you find a brand you love, stick with it! Here are some of my favorites.


NYDJ was created especially for women over 40 even though they now also target a younger crowd. These jeans are comfortable and they have a good assortment of stretchy mid rise jeans

NYDJ Slim Ankle Straight Leg Jeans

NYDJ slim ankle straight leg jeans

Kut from the Kloth

Kut from the Kloth offers high quality jeans that are very affordable.

Kut from the Kloth Natalie High Waist Bootcut Jeans

Kut from the Kloth Natalie high waist bootcut jeans


PAIGE is my personal favorite. Pricier but the jeans keep their shape and color and they feel so soft to the touch. They fit me like a glove.

PAIGE Transcend - Verdugo Ankle Ultra Skinny Jeans

PAIGE Transcend – Verdugo Ankle Ultra Skinny Jeans

Get inspiration for your jeans outfits from these examples on what to wear with jeans

Here is a capsule wardrobe for you with plenty of classic outfit ideas on what to wear with jeans. I’d love to hear about how you wear your jeans in the comments.

9 outfit ideas for your jeans

1. Jeans, t-shirt and sneakers

Is there a more classic way to wear your jeans than with a t-shirt and sneakers? You can add interest by choosing a tee with draping or a twist.

Jeans, t-shirt and sneakers |

ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo teeMavi Jeans bootcut jeansSam Edelman low top sneakerTory Burch crossbody bagKendra Scott hoop earrings

2. Jeans and a blazer

To elevate your look, simply add a blazer and, hey presto, you can wear your jeans to the office or for an evening out.

wearing jeans with a blazer |

Leith check boyfriend blazerBP. crewneck t-shirtHudson Jeans skinny jeansNaturalizer collapsible heel loaferSrathberry crossbody bagCanvas Jewelry statement chain necklace

3. Jeans and a dressy top

For an evening out, simply add a dressy top to your jeans, and wear with heels.

how to wear denim for an evening out |

Halogen tie back lace toprag & bone boyfriend jeansTory Burch wedge pumpNina pleated clutchUncommon James by Kristin Cavallari bold drop earrings

4. Jeans worn with a dress

This is the perfect way to continue to wear a shorter dress if you don’t want to show off too much leg. It also works well with a shirt dress.

wear a dress over your jeggings |

Topshop shirtdress1822 Denim skinny jeggingsVince Camuto open toe bootieALLSAINTS leather shoulder bagKate Spade New York statement necklace

5. Jeans with stripes

Jeans naturally lend themselves to a nautical look. Jeans and stripes is a favorite look of Kate Middleton.

stripes and white pants |

LilyCoco striped teeFRAME crop bootcut jeansNaturalizer sneakerSole Society toteKarine Sultan hoop drop earrings

6. Jeans and a shirt

Another classic way to wear your jeans is with a white shirt.

a classic white shirt with your jeans |

Rails button-up shirtWit & Wisdom jeggingsSteve Madden loaferKendra Scott tassel necklaceLanzom floppy panama hat

7. Jeans with a moto jacket

A moto jacket is a natural partner for your jeans.

wear a moto jacket with your denim |

Halogen cap sleeve blouseBLANKNYC suede moto jacketAG crop jeansSteve Madden loaferKate Spade New York crossbody bagMadewell necklace

8. Jeans and an asymmetric top

Asymmetry offers a simple, yet very effective way to not only add an interesting element to your look, but it can also hide a belly if you prefer not to show off that part of your body.

how to wear asymmetry with your denim |

MissShorthair knitted ponchoVince long sleeve topWit & Wisdom jeggingsSteve Madden pointed toe bootieKurt Geiger London leather crossbody bagBrixton fedora

9. Jeans and a tunic

A longer tunic can be a fantastic option with your jeans.

tunic and pink denim outfit |

All in Favor tunicKUT from the Kloth crop jeansVionic wedge sandalCOACH shoulder bagEttika statement earrings

Here are all the outfits from the looks above put together in a capsule wardrobe for you.

For more advice on a capsule closet, also take a look at how to create a capsule wardrobe.

A jeans capsule wardrobe |

How do you like to wear your jeans? Let me know in the comments below

Continue reading:

  1. The Best Fitting Jeans For Women: Choose The Best Jeans For Your Body Type
  2. The Best White Jeans For Women Over 40 – Our Top Picks
  3. The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You

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How to wear jeans over 40 |

Feature image by Sarah

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