This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
Once, any self-respecting 50-year-old would have been horrified at the idea of wearing jeans. Now the teens of the 1950s are grandmothers and still wearing them.
With so many styles on the market, finding the right pair can be overwhelming. It’s up there with finding swimmers – and can be just as depressing. Get it wrong and you look like somebody’s mother trying to look hip. Finding the right jeans takes time (don’t worry, it’s not just you!). Be prepared to try on dozens of pairs before you find the right one; best regard it as a jeans safari – because it could take up several Saturday mornings. But, it’s worth it; the right pair of jeans can make you look 10 years younger and kilos lighter. Once you’ve found the pair, celebrate. Then keep going back to the same brand.
Here are a few pointers:
Skinny jeans with narrow legs will look too tight and too young, unless you are quite slim. Wide-leg jeans can make you look dumpy if you are short, and blokey if you are big around the middle. The safest option is the straight leg or the boot-cut.
A little touch of lycra is a good thing. No stretch, and jeans can be unflattering and uncomfortable. Too much stretch and they look unfashionable and clinging.
Believe it or not, these are very important. Jeans designers spend time getting it right. Too-small back pockets can make your bum look bigger. Bigger, well-placed pockets can give your bum a visual lift!
Well before I start I’ve gotta draw attention to that gorgeous little ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the image above. As soon as I saw this image I knew I had to include it with this post. Regular readers would know that I have a ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Ava and love her to bits!
Ok – so on to the subject at hand – JEANS!
I have never thought that jeans were a no go because of my age. Never! In recent years I’ve gone with the trend and bought a couple of pairs of skinny jeans. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not to be honest. Whilst I’ve found a pair of skinny jeans suitable for my ‘petite stature’ I’m not so sure that the skinny jean style is the most flattering option for me. My honest opinion is to agree with Pamela that this style is better suited to tall, slim, long limbed people! I think this style draws attention to my short legs and I need to be careful with what top and shoes I put with it as I need them to help give the illusion of more length.
I think for my body type the most flattering jeans style is the bootleg. I haven’t really tried the straight leg so can’t comment on that one. Unfortunately I don’t have a bootleg style of jeans that fit me at the moment. They’re much harder to find in ‘petites’ because they’re not all the rage at the moment like the skinny jeans.
One thing I LOVE about jeans these days is the ‘stretch factor’ – yes the lycra that is infused into the fabric providing some give and an enormous amount of comfort. Remember the old days where jeans were stiff, rigid, scratchy and uncomfortable? They sure have come a long way since then! Be careful though because as Pamela indicated there are some jeans that have way too much stretch and the jeans that fit you like a glove in the morning are being continually hitched up by afternoon!
For me, jeans shopping is complicated by the fact that I’m vertically challenged. It bothers me paying a lot of money for an item of clothing, only to have to cut up to 2 feet of fabric off it in order to be able to wear it (this is not an exaggeration either). Of course, it’s usually an additional cost too because I like to get it done by a professional who can match the stitching in the newly altered hem etc. No-one wants a new pair of jeans that look home-hemmed! Ugh! SO, there is a huge market out there for ‘petites’ sized clothing – made especially for smaller frames and shorter arms and legs. Yes there are some petites ranges around but there needs to be much more and how about offering more than just skinny jeans in the petites range hint hint!!
Ok – I’ve spoken up for us shorties. Any tallies out there are welcome to say your bit in the comments about jeans shopping for tall people.
What’s your favourite style of jeans? Where’s your favourite place to buy jeans?
Ciao for now,
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Hi Min, I’ve never thought that I was too old to wear jeans. I prefer the skinny jeans except when I’m tired and trying to get them off can be a challenge! I found the perfect pair at Target. The Danni Minogue brand fit me perfectly and feel so comfortable. I wear them all the time in Winter. I love that jeans can be dressed up or you can be flopping around at home in your slippers and they still feel and look good. Have a great week. #Lovin’LifeLinky
Those are the jeans I wear too Sue – the Dannii Minogue Petites – perfect fit/perfect length – bingo! Just found a pair of bootleg jeans (petites) by another brand and have ordered. Hoping they’ll be good too *fingers crossed*!! I love wearing jeans and wish I could wear them year ’round but of course with the heat here it’s impossible in summer. So looking forward to some cooler jeans friendly weather! 🙂
I don’t wear jeans at all. Never really have. I know. Weird. #Lovinglifelinky
Um … yep sorry Lydia – but weird! lol I LOVE wearing jeans and can’t imagine not wearing them. They’re so comfy these days and can be dressed up or kept casual. So versatile! Go get yourself a pair! 😉
I buy my jeans online or else when I’m in the US.
I just ordered a pair online – some bootleg petites – fingers crossed they’ll fit perfectly and be a win! xo
I rarely wear jeans – not because I don’t think that I should because I’m over 50 (what a load of rubbish that is), but rather because I find them uncomfortable. Like you, I’m vertically challenged, however, I also have a high waist and my legs are therefore a tad longer for my body. This means that I rarely have to take the length up, but most jeans do get a tad uncomfortable in regions that I would prefer not to be so uncomfortable – if you get my drift. The only style I’ve found I can wear is the straight leg or a slight bootleg & the only brand that suits me is Sportscraft.
That’s a shame you find jeans uncomfortable Jo! I used to find them uncomfortable years ago when they were stiff and blah but these days with the stretch factor etc they’re super comfy on me as long as I buy the right pair. I have to agree that Sportscraft is a very good brand!
Joanne, you need to order Tall jeans (even if you’re not) with a longer rise. Takes care of that uncomfortable problem!
I like the straight leg or boot cut style and wear jeans often. #Lovin’LifeLinky
I think they’re flattering styles Natalie! xo
I love jeans (though tend to wear looser linen pants a lot of the time). When I do wear jeans, it’s often in bright colours. Bought some hot pink ones yesterday. I find I have to buy more expensive or ‘older women’ brands, like David Lawrence or Trenery or Jac & Jac (when half price only) to get a good fit that suits me.
Hot pink! Go you! I agree that I seem to need to buy better quality (more expensive) clothes in order to have clothes that fit well now that I’m um ‘midlife’. I’m not all that familiar with Trenery or Jac & Jac but I absolutely love David Lawrence clothes – quality and always a good fit!
Jeans are my fave for cooler weather and having lost lots of weight in the past few years, I can wear them from regular shops. I tend to buy 3/4 length for slightly warmer times and with luck 7/8 is at my ankle. I buy where I can afford them and on special and Suzanne Grae work for me. I have also ventured into colours too. I love jeans because I can dress them up as well.
I love Jeans too Denyse. I generally shop for the ‘petite’ style but I’ve had luck with 7/8 & 3/4 pants before (just not for jeans). You’re right – jeans can be dressed up or kept casual, depends on the style though. I don’t wear the ripped variety so I’m usually pretty safe to go dressy or casual! lol xo
I still very clearly remember a friend’s mother coming to visit (her parents were divorced and she lived with her dad) in the early – mid 1980s and her mother WORE JEANS. My mother would NEVER have worn jeans and I vaguely recall being envious that my mum wasn’t like my friend’s.
Fast forward 30+ years and my mum now wears jeans in her 70s. Not the torn kind obviously but she wouldn’t think twice about it now so it’s interesting how things change.
I’ve never been someone who finds jeans really comfortable – you read about those throwing on a pair of jeans to be comfy. Nope, for me it’s tracksuit pants with elastic. But, they’re generally my ‘go to’ pants for winter. I like bootleg style but wore my first skinny leg / tapered pair last year and got lots of positive comments about them!
I don’t recall my mother ever wearing jeans either Deb. She wore pant suits and dresses and skirts and tops but not jeans. I think she might now but I’m not sure. I’ll check once winter hits! 😉 Jeans didn’t used to be comfortable but they’re soooo much more comfortable these days with the stretch they have in them. Must say though – I do love some tracky dacks for uber comfort! I’m picturing a rainy, cold, winter’s day curled up in some tracky dacks with a good book and a hot drink. Perfecto! 🙂
I was looking for the legacy post but stopped to read this one. I like the skinny jeans from Massimo Dutti. They come in many colors, and are a great fit on my 5′ 5″, frame. I own a black pair, and a grey pair, and am going to look for a lighter color for spring. Glad I’ve had a chance to come back and visit. I’m looking forward to more of your posts.
Hi Christina – the legacy post/s were on my Facebook page (not here on the blog). I’ll have to check out Massimo Dutti! 🙂
Min, I’m looking forward to the day when the ripped jeans fad falls by the wayside. I would not like that at any age. And I don’t like it ON any age of wearer (but can *tolerate* it on a teenager!).
I think ‘some’ rip looks ok on the younger (MUCH younger) folk but not the over the top ‘more rips than fabric’ look! What is the point? All that money and not much there? LOL
Hi Min, I’m a tad short too but love the skinny jean look. Luckily my legs are quite long and not too big so I feel comfortable wearing them ‘at my age’. I like the ones that zip at the bottom as the length is just right. I hate taking up jeans and will not buy jeans if I have to do too much work on them. I also like straight leg style and couldn’t imagine not wearing jeans!!! I have a great pair of orange jeans and always get comments when I wear them, I don’t know why???? Great post 🙂 #Lovin’LifeLinky
I wish I could say my legs were long Debbie! lol However, I might change my mind on the skinny jeans vs bootleg for me. I ordered a pair of bootleg jeans and had to send them back – too long, too big and not at all flattering. I guess if they were the correct length and fit properly I’d feel very differently. However, after that disappointment, it made me look at my skinny jeans in new light. I pulled them on – perfect length, fit snug – not so bad after all! 🙂