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. Below 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
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.
2. White jeans also look great
White jeans are fabulous for spring and summer and make every outfit look fresh. But they also look great for the colder months too – so don’t pop them to the back of your closet. Also, take a look at how to wear white jeans.
Suzie (above) looks winter ready by wearing her white jeans with a sweater and snakeprint booties.
These JEN7 jeans below are a great basis for many outfits.
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
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.
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.
For more inspiration check out our article on what shoes to wear with different styles of pants.
4. Crop flare jeans are one of my favorite options
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.
Adaline (above) opts for a high rise which makes her legs look longer.
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 the one below. The asymmetry adds extra oomph to any look and is effective at hiding a belly.
Madeline (above) looks fabulous in her tunic and straight-leg jeans.
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.
Michelle (above) wears her jeans with a turtleneck and an open coat (and fabulous booties).
8. Flared jeans or wide legged jeans look great on many older women
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.
Patricia (above) adds some 1970s flare (pun intended) to her outfit with her wide 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
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.
Kimba (above) layers her tops over her skinny jeans.
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.
Psyche (above) opts for white jeans worn with an on-trend oversized shirt dress. She keeps her accessories simple with hoop earrings and a crossbody bag.
11. Cropped jeans can look good too if you have a decent length
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.
Jill (above) looks great in her cropped jeans, which are perfect for showing off her on-trend white booties.
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.
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
Jennifer Aniston loves wearing her boyfriend jeans with a blazer. Take a look at how to dress like Jennifer Aniston.
Mo (above) wears her boyfriend jeans with an oversized blazer. You could also style them with heels and a more form-fitting blazer if you’re worried about adding width with a larger blazer.
13. Avoid really low rise cuts
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.
Maite (above) chooses a mid-rise and tucks in her top. She defines her waist with a statement belt.
14. Get jeans with stretch!
I like comfort so I usually opt for jeans with some stretch. They usually also fit better.
Sarah (above) creates a flattering column of black with her jeans, top and boots by wearing a blazer in a contrasting neutral over the top.
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.
Caroline (above) wears her jeans turned up so you can see a little bit of ankle above her tan booties.
16. 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.
Michelle (above) opts for a well-fitting pair of skinny jeans.
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.
Carrie (above) chooses a length which skims over her booties but doesn’t drag on the floor.
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
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 below.
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
Kut from the Kloth
Kut from the Kloth offers high quality jeans that are very affordable.
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.
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. Mom jeans outfit
Mom jeans can be tricky to wear as they were last in style during the 1980s, so it’s easy to look dated rather than current. They can also emphasize a tummy.
To make sure they’re flattering, you could wear with a form-fitting blazer and a little heel.
2. Jeans and heels outfit
I always think that jeans worn with a small heel look fabulous for a smart-casual night out.
3. Thigh high boots with jeans
If you want to ensure that your legs look nice and long, make sure there isn’t too much contrast in the color of your jeans and your boots.
Tanasha (above) looks amazing in her thigh high boots worn with blazer.
4. How to wear high waisted jeans
Wearing high-waisted jeans can be an effective way to make your legs look longer. If this is your aim, then style with your top tucked in, or a shorter top.
5. How to wear straight leg jeans
Straight leg jeans are a classic that won’t date. So you can really wear them anyway you want.
A moto jacket, jeans and sneakers is always a stylish, casual combination.
6. How to style black jeans
Black jeans are such a style staple that go with everything.
Sally (above) opts to wear hers with a striped top and sneakers.
7. How to wear skinny jeans
Skinny jeans are always a good option if you want to wear a tunic or a looser fitting top as they can keep the balance of your outfit in proportion.
8. How to wear flare jeans
Flare jeans are particularly on trend right now as many 1970s styles are currently making a comeback. To make sure that your outfit doesn’t overwhelm you, you may want to keep your top or jacket shorter or more fitted.
9. How to wear bootcut jeans
Bootcuts have never not been on-trend, but they did fall out of favor for a little while when skinnies seemed to be all we saw on the catwalks. They’re definitely back on trend right now, along with many other trends from the 1990s.
A jeans capsule wardrobe for you
Below, you can see many of the outfits created above together in one capsule. You could easily mix and match many of the tops to create different outfits.
For more advice on a capsule closet, also take a look at how to create a capsule wardrobe.
More jeans inspiration for you
The following capsule is past season, but the styles are all timeless so should still provide some inspiration for you if you’re heading into spring.
How do you like to wear your jeans? Let me know in the comments below
- What Shoes To Wear With Different Styles Of Pants
- The Best Fitting Jeans For Women: Choose The Best Jeans For Your Body Type
- The Best White Jeans For Women Over 40 – Our Top Picks
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
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Feature image by Madeline
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