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Style Guide | The Right Jeans For Women Over 40

4 min read

Jeans are an essential outfit for women of all ages. However, finding the right flattering pair of denim for ladies over 40 is not that easy. Not all jeans are created equal, and there are so many options to choose from.

Do you prefer a high rise or a low rise? Which will be the right one for your body shape: skinny, bootcut, or flare? The key is to know what features to look for in order to flatter your figure, then adjust the style to suit your changing body shape. Here are some things to consider before you make your choice.

Get perfect jeans for your body type

To get the correct fit, you need to look at the waist rise, the upper leg and the lower leg. Using these three measurements, you’ll be able to select the perfect pair of jeans whether you’re 40 or 90 years old.

In general high-rise jeans work best on most women. You shouldn’t force yourself to be a boot-cut, skinny or flare lady unless the style suits you. Dark-washed and classic straight-leg jeans are universally flattering on all body shapes thanks to their looser trouser-like fit. They are versatile and have the added advantage of making you look slimmer.

And if you’re curvy, like us, choose jeans with spandex in the fabric and a mid to high-rise: this combination will hold you in, highlight your waist and keep you comfy all day. Look out also for the placement of back pockets: they can mean a difference between a lovely rear and a big bottom, so make sure you get a back view when you’re trying them on.

What’s your body shape?

Body proportions are important, too. For instance, many women don’t know if they are long or short-waisted. If you are long in the torso with short legs, you need a high waist to trick the eye and give you ‘more’ leg. If you have a short body with a larger bust, a mid-rise waist is going to look better.

  • Hourglass Figure

Make sure to choose a high-rise style to flatter and skim over your hips. For the ultimate slimming effect, try out a bootcut or slim flare. A design that is fitted through the thighs and then flares out to wider hems flatters you most because the wider bottoms balance out your generous hips. However, skinny jeans and well-tailored wide-leg styles fit incredibly well, too.

Stay away from jeans without stretch: you need it to help jeans follow your curves.

  • Tall and Leggy

Your tall legs make it essential to find a longer inseam. Ideally, it should fall to the bottom of your heels in the back.

The best denim cut for you may be a straight leg or bootcut jean that shows off your long stems while skimming over your legs without being too tight. You also look best in a mid-rise or low-rise fit, which adds a flattering curve effect to your hips and bottom.

  • Athletic Figure
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Bootleg and flare options will add curves to your straight shape, and skinny jeans will balance out a more loose-fitting top while showing off your legs. Search for pockets that sit higher on the rear: they will give a visual lift to a flat or saggy bottom.

  • Plus Size

When in doubt, always look for a classic, high-rise style, whether in a bootcut, flare, or skinny, to sculpt your ideal silhouette. Straight-leg jeans would be perfect on you as the cut is designed to fall in a long, lean line down the body, skimming your shape without squashing your legs. This design is also able to balance hips and thighs, especially when you choose dark-wash denim.

  • Petite

When shopping, make sure to look for shorter inseams if you want to avoid your jeans dragging on the ground (or paying a visit to your wardrobe’s best friend, the tailor). Choose straight-leg jeans and make sure they fit you snugly, too, as your petite frame gets easily lost in baggy styles.

When in doubt, buy a pair that fits tightly. Avoid cropped jeans (cut at the ankle or above), which can make petite legs look even shorter.

How many pairs of jeans do you really need?

There is no such thing as the one perfect pair of jeans. You should have at least one true to your size that works best for your body type. Then, a boyfriend cut, which means, straight leg, loose-fit jeans for a casual weekend or those days you relax at home. Also, consider a bootcut to wear with your boots or your high heels, and a pair of white jeans for summer.

What if I want to follow trends?

Add the latest trendy jeans, only if they flatter your body. The everyday denim had a huge presence on the S/S 2020 runways, with every big designer from Givenchy to Gucci and Celine showcasing the much-loved fabric in a variety of refreshing ways, including cropped culottes, vintage washes, and ’70s flares.

Luckily for us, high-waisted and wide legs jeans, in particular, are back. Usually cropped to an ankle-hovering length, the high-rise wide-leg jean is a nod to the Seventies. According to Elle UK, “this year’s update to a style that has been around a couple of seasons is the wider leg in selvedge denim. Selvedge denim is formed using an old-fashioned weaving technique – one performed on a loom, but the practice has been modernised, this was the way denim was created before we bought into the type of machinery that allowed for mass production”.

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