When you were growing up, I bet there was a trend or style that every girl had to have. For some women, I hear it was saddle shoes, and for others it was the Capezio shoes! Well, in today’s day and age the item is denim jeans.

Of course, many of us might have read the article that said after the age of 53 you shouldn’t wear jeans anymore. Really? Who of you out there believes that? Because I’m here to say that even if you’re 90+ years old, you can rock a pair of jeans! And let me tell you why.

Contemporary Style: Why Jeans Work for Any Woman

Even if you aren’t retired, our society has certainly gotten more casual compared to the standards that we grew up with. And not that I think we must wear what everyone else is wearing, but…

Let’s talk just a minute about when you were growing up. What did you consider old lady style at that time? For my mother, it was the “old lady” shoes. For me, it’s the same color pants and top worn together. And I know some of you think that brooches are only for old ladies. I’m sure we all have different takes on what constitutes old lady style!

Therefore, I do think it’s smart to dress in the contemporary styles of the decades. Not that I want each of you to look like one another. Nor do I want you to lose “yourself” in fashion trends. But I want you to embrace the time that you live in.

The other aspect of looking modern in your clothing is the fact that you are smart women. Each and every woman I meet has some personal trait that is amazing unto itself. And part of having that trait should be to share it with the younger generation.

But let’s be real. The younger generation doesn’t always want to learn things from “old ladies,” right? But if your clothing blended in more with the younger crowd, then they might be more open to your valuable experience.

Riveting History of Jeans

See the play on words I did there? Rivets are a big part of most jeans’ design and construction.

Blue jeans go back to 1871 when Levi Strauss & Co. first made them as workwear for cowboys and miners. The original fabric was woven in the French town of Nîmes, thus creating the iconic name. Denim transliterates from de Nîmes, or from Nîmes. The indigo dye came from indigo bush plantations in India and was used right up until the end of the 19th century, before being replaced by more inexpensive synthetic dyes.

Jeans sure have come a long way!

Let Me Tell You About the Modern Jeans

Have you tried on many jeans lately? Have you noticed there’s some new technology in most of the jeans made now? It’s called spandex. And I know you’ve experienced it because the majority of you love your leggings. So, if you love your leggings so much, then you should love the fact that the same spandex is now in denim!

As for the wonderful selection of jeans, there is almost every option imaginable now. One of the latest fun trends is embroidered denim. This may transport you back to the 1970s, but that’s the fun aspect of style. Everything comes back around at one time or another.

If you’re not a fan of embroidery, then how about the distressed versions? Now, I realize most of us look at distressed jeans and think, why would I pay extra money to have a pair of jeans with holes in them? But it’s not just about holes. There’s the detail of the raw hem at the bottom of the jeans!

Coming from the perspective of someone who always needs to shorten their jeans, this is the best trend. It means I can just cut off the extra material to make them the right length without having to sew anything!

Another fun aspect of the new jeans is colors! There is almost every color available. If you like pink, then hey, you are in style! But grey, black, red, and print can all be found in the denim jeans right now.

However, if you like your basic blue denim jeans, you too can be happy, because there are classic jeans that look fabulous also. This is because there are many different silhouettes available.

We are starting to see more flared jeans, and then, there are the skinny jeans. If you don’t think an older woman should be wearing skinny jeans, then I have to ask how are they that much different than leggings? Maybe you try a pair of skinny jeans with a tunic over them?

My point would be to make sure the fit is good. That can make or break the entire look, so let’s talk about that!

The Right Fit

I know every stylist out there will clamor on about the fit of an item. And there’s a reason for that. Fit really can make an item better or worse!

Let’s talk about jeans that are too tight. In my experience, most older women steer away from any piece of clothing that is too tight. But just in case, if your jeans are too small, it can make you feel uncomfortable in them or look squashed.

Most women I work with end up buying their jeans too big because they worry they will otherwise be too tight. And having your jeans even just one size too big tends to make you look sloppy. Having a saggy butt in your jeans can be just as bad as leaving the house in your pajamas. It makes it look like you don’t care about your appearance!

There are a couple of ways to figure out the correct size for your jeans. And trust me; it’s not always easy, but it’s extremely worth it!

The first aspect is to have an open mind and be in a good mood. Don’t even try to go jean shopping if you’re crabby or hungry! The best time is to take a fun friend and make it an adventure. Include wine if that makes it special for you!

Then try on a ton of different sizes and styles! I don’t care if you usually wear a size 10. Take in the size above it and the size below it. And stop thinking about the size as a number that identifies you. It’s just a number and trust me, no one else even knows what size you are wearing.

After you have all of these jeans in the fitting room with you, put them on! And then don’t just stand there – get moving. Sit down, move around, and see how they feel and look. If you don’t have a friend with you, it’s ok to ask someone else their opinion.

Last, but not least, look at your rear in these jeans. The placement of the pockets can really make your derriere look fabulous or not!

One consideration is that jeans can get stretched out at the end of the day, even with the spandex in them. It’s hard to figure out which jeans will do this when you’re only trying them on for five minutes.

So, I would suggest when you take them home, wear them around the house for a couple of hours with the tags still on. If they get awfully saggy after a couple of hours, it’s probably best to return them. Remember that clothing that looks baggy, makes you look bigger!

And the most important piece? Do not get discouraged, although this is easier said than done. Remember, your body is wonderful! If the jeans don’t fit great, it’s the jeans’ fault, not your body’s!

The jeans you just tried on were made for certain measurements, and maybe your measurements are different. You just have to find the style and brand that works for your body. And don’t forget that alterations can make any piece of clothing fit you better! Is the waistband sticking out? That’s an easy fix on jeans!

What to Look for in Your Jeans

Pay attention to the size and placement of the pockets. Side seam pockets will flare out and make wide hips look even bigger. Horizontal tab front pockets are more flattering if you’re carrying a little more weight around your hips.

Back pockets that are very low placed will drag your bum down visually. Very widely spaced pockets will make your bum look very wide. The size of the pockets should be reasonable: too big and your behind shouts: “Hey, look at my big bum!” Too small pockets on a larger derriere can do the same.

Then there is the all-important waistband. If you have anything that resembles an hourglass or pear-shaped body, you must have a contour waistband or you will find yourself exposing your ‘goods’ every time you bend over.

It’s very important to check out how well the waist stays close to your own waist as you move, sit, bend over, and crouch down.

Jeans Reinvented Just for Us Older Women

The tide began to turn in our favor in 2005 when fashion entrepreneur Lisa Rudes-Sandel came up against the same frustrations many of us face – finding clothing to fit her womanly-sized body!

Since she still loved wearing jeans, she set out to re-invent the entire industry by founding Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a brand designed to flatter a ‘lived-in’ body, like yours and mine.

It became an instant hit! A few years later, the company polled its customers to ask about the brand name, thinking it might be a little limiting. Thus the name morphed into NYDJ – a hipper, less ageist moniker.

Marketing aside, this opened up the entire industry to recognize that simply being over 50 was not the end of the buying public’s love of this quintessential wardrobe staple. Today, you will see women from their 20s to their 80s wearing jeans and looking smashing in them.

You could say that, in many ways, they are the uniform of the world’s population. They make us feel young because we first wore them when we were young. And they make us feel part of the fashion culture because you will see them on couture runways as well as at H&M.

What Can You Do to Change Up Your Jeans?

One of the modern ways to wear jeans lately is to cuff them. I know there will be women who say this is silly because it makes them look shorter! And I would counter, would you rather look taller and out of date, or shorter and contemporary? But not only that, I think a cuff can work with the right jeans and shoes. So, give it a try!

Or, if you have some jeans that don’t fit perfectly, you might try taking them to a tailor and have them altered.

You can also take an older pair of jeans you still like and embellish them. I had a reader do this for me, and we posted a DIY article about it.

Jeans Styling Ideas

Sandra Roussy, a Fashion and Beauty contributor at Sixty & Me, put together a few jeans styling ideas for women over 50. She’s also right on board to proclaim high and wide that we are never too old to wear jeans!

medium-colored jeans

For a casual, everyday look go for medium-colored jeans and pair them with matching accessories.

darker denim jeans

Darker denim can be worn to semi-formal events by pairing them with elegant and chic items.

cropped up cuffed jeans

Cropped or cuffed jeans are great for a casual look and when paired with black & white items can instantly give you that casual-chic look.

how to style white jeans

White jeans are a great addition to any closet and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion.

How many pairs of jeans do you currently have in your closet? Are they from this decade? Are they different colors, styles, or what? Tell me what you think, and let’s have a conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!