Age Appropriate Jeans


Following on from my post on How Not to Look Like Mutton Dressed as Lamb, some interesting thoughts were put forward.

Karen asked that I do something on Jeans for the woman who is neither mutton nor lamb, who is of a certain age, so I’ve created this little image to share with you.
how to choose jeans that are neither mutton nor lamb aka too young or old and frumpyThere are two no’s and two yes’s (those are the ones in the middle).
  • If you’re past your 20s then slogan and cartoon t-shirts are too young for you, and ultra skinny jeans are likely not to be flattering, especially those with ‘interesting’ washes.
  • This look just says ‘trying too hard to look young’ on a more mature woman.
  • Go for a higher quality look with a dressier top and shoes, still casual and easy to run around in, but way more stylish.
I also spend a lot of time throwing out floral garments that are very dated – florals will always be ‘in’ but the look and feel of the floral changes over time.  And then, of course, there is the jean, a straight leg or boot cut with a medium rise is flattering for many women.  High rise/waist jeans with pleats and tapered legs are usually not, yet I see so many women still wearing these jeans, and usually, they’re a couple of inches too short too so we can see the colour of your socks.

You all asked for a flat shoe version too – so there are no heels here, just comfortable shoes you can run around in all day – but still look stylish.


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  • Great post,i love those shirts.;D
    And look at those sandals,they are so cute.=) Hope to see you on my blog too..;D Have a nice day.

  • This is a great polyvore, Imogen. Thanks. I really like the shoes. Since summer’s short where I live, those shoes have been the last to get updated. For a place-holder until I get something better, I spent last summer in stylish flipflops (dark gray). I’m glad to see your other alternatives.

  • Summer – thanks for dropping by and commenting – I’ll come and have a look.

    Sallymandy – There are so many great flat comfortable and stylish shoes on the market – hope you find some great one!

  • that is right on!!! I see both ends of the spectrum alot! I practically live in comfy flats and glad you featured them!

  • Christina – The pair on the right are a travesty! Unfortunately I see women in jeans like this every day as I go about my business. I just want to help them look more gorgeous, but it’s not like I can walk up to women on the street and point out what their jeans are doing to them!

    Julianne – thanks!

  • Thanks Imogen! I love the sandals for California. The first look is what my daughter (sixth grade) wears. I hate rubber sandals anywhere but the beach!

    I need new jeans. It’s such a hunt though, and so much work trying on. Luckily the GAP is cheap and fits, and is always current.

  • I saw a photo of some Marc Jacob jeans in last Sunday’s New York Times that look laughingly like your “frumpy” jeans. The article was called “Mom Jeans Get their Props” and was in the Style section. The prediction was that these “slightly slouchy, peg-legged trousers” would be the it jeans for chic women in the fall. Hopefully only truly skinny chic women will wear them because they are definitely NOT for everyone.

  • Ingrid – thanks so much for coming by and commenting. Given that the 80s is the current trend, it doesn’t surprise me that these will be on the fashion radar again – but I hope that they are just a blip!

  • Great advice, I totally agree. A lot of women really need to give up the ‘trying to hard to look 20 look”.

  • My “secret weapons” in the hunt for good jeans are my daughters, especially my oldest — they make sure my jeans are more like your middle examples than your outer ones! While I used to be skeptical, I’ve found that it’s worth spending more for a “designer jean” like Citizens of Humanity (my favourite) or 7s, etc. — the fit, the wash, the quality of the denim all just add up to jeans that make me feel happy and confident when I wear them. Great post — thanks!

  • Fun! Is the dowdy jean is meant to sell to young people as an ironic statement? For 20 years I did not wear jeans, last year bought 2 pair of wide legged cuffed ones in very dark denim. I’m 60 and at this point you have to be really careful you don’t look like MDAL or a boring brown wren in jeans.

  • Duchesse – I think one of the keys to buying jeans as you get older is to avoid all the different treatments such as whiskering and fading and the like, and just look for a plain dark denim in a straight, non-exaggerated bootleg, or wide leg (if you have the height as you do) cut.

    Mater – you are lucky to have such great daughters!

  • The ‘Don’t’ outfit is identical to one my 12 year old daughter wears! Spot on Imogen!

    I wear darker denim now, and always bootcut as it seems to suit me better. Am I getting something right?!

  • I need to go shopping! I am trying to pull togther a “uniform” that screams no thought required and I love the idea of a dressy (ish) shirt with great jeans.

  • Hi Imogen, love your advice for the older woman, I am approaching 75 and hate revealing my legs because of the varicose veins!!!! Yet I want to look reasonably current in my style of dress because of my fashion conscious grand daughters. I love your advice thanks so much.

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