How to Wear Coloured Jeans for the 40+


Catwalk Trends Spring and Autumn 2012

Hi Imogen, How do you feel about coloured jeans for the over 40s? I’m a size 12-14 H shape and keep finding myself drawn to them in shops. I tried on some straight (not skinny) legs in cobalt that I really loved with a small heel, but I walk away for fear I’m too old in my mid 40s.

Coloured jeans are continuing to be 2012 catwalk trends, and you can easily find them in stores and will see them everywhere on teenagers.  So how do you interpret this trend without looking like a fashion victim when you’re a little more mature?

The reality is that coloured jeans really make a statement.  For a long time the only people wearing coloured trousers has been the much older market, and so it can easily been seen as Old Lady (OL for short).

So how do you add this trend into your wardrobe?  Here are my top tips:

How to wear coloured jeans


  1. Choose a colour that suits your colouring too – so not too bright if you suit a more muted or smoky palette.
  2. Only go with a cropped option if you have long legs or are prepared to wear them with heels.
  3. Choose a shape that flatters your figure.
  4. Team with a neutral or two for a more sophisticated outfit.
  5. Repeat the colour close to your face to draw attention upwards.
  6. Colour blend shoes to jeans if you want to elongate your legs.
  7. Choose a darker colour if you don’t want your bottom, hips or thighs to be the focus, wear a lighter coloured top
  8. Don’t forget to add that essential focal point!
Are you keen on this trend?  What is your favourite coloured jean outfit?  Share a link if you’ve posted a picture on your blog.


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  • Very inspiring suggestions! I love having all these colours to choose from but find it difficult to wear the skinny fit being a larger size. Maybe that could be a topic for a future post?

    • I’ve seen the trend for coloured trousers in all shapes and sizes in the catwalk photos too – not just skinny jeans – keep your eyes out for them!

  • Thanks for the reply, Imogen. I’m wondering if the cut I tried were a little bit OL (they were at Sportscraft), and perhaps that was why I questioned the suitability.
    I think I’ll keep looking for the right pair.

  • I’m planning on sitting out this trend! I prefer trouser jeans, and those are hard enough to find in a dark wash. Since I’m one who needs a dark color, might as well stick with the traditional.

  • My question is: what about colored jeans for a petite, slim 62 year old? Mutton dressed as lamb? In fact this is always my number one question when Ishop: I can wear anything because of my size, but what about age? i can wear it, but should I wear it? Any advice?

    • Connie, if you really want to wear them go ahead – just make sure that your jeans fit well and are modern, that your top fits well and is modern. Mutton dressed as lamb tends to appear when we expose too much skin, or we are complete slaves to fashion. When you’re wearing clothes that suit you and your personality even when they are the latest fashion you won’t look try hard, you’ll just look modern and youthful. Maybe team your colour jeans with neutral tops and a more classic jacket, and don’t go for the really bright colours, look for a colour that is more muted.

  • I have bought three pairs of colored skinnies this season! The pink ones are the most risky, but I can just top them with navy to help tone it down. Also, wearing a long sweater helps to “blot” out the large hit of color on bottom.

    I want patterned jeans next! As I am a V I am always looking for ways to make myself look bigger below the waist.

  • Do you think bright coloured jeans should not be worn with another bright top (for instance: bright blue jeans with bright red top, or bright yellow)? I’m in love with bright colours. But when wearing two bright colours together, I wouldn’t know what colour shoes to wear. I’ve got long legs, so wearing the same colour of the trousers in my shoes is probably not the best idea.

  • Would you follow the same rules for what shoes to wear with them from the guidelines provided for leggings. I once heard it said that if you wore it once you shouldn’t wear it again. . . nee too old. I didn’t so I might but still need to start with the longish top first. Blue seems a safe choice as well.

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