The Complete Jeans Guide for Women over 50

Finding the best jeans only gets more difficult as we mature. Having a clothing line for women under 5’4″, I have many customers who are over 50.

I’ve put together this guide to help make your jeans shopping experience a more positive one and in order to do that, I’m going to share some key tips to consider along your journey of looking for that perfect pair of denim.

Best Jeans Rise Over 50

Before I get into the best jean rise for women over 50, I want to clarify what rise actually means.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the ‘rise’ of a jean throughout your jean shopping experiences, but I know a lot of women don’t REALLY understand it.

Rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam (right between your legs) to the top of the waistband. It usually ranges from 7 inches to 12 inches. There are three types of pants rise: regular rise, low rise and high rise.

Ok, so now that we’ve established what exactly the rise of denim refers to, there are two rises that are best suited for women over 50.

Mid-rise or high rise

Mid-rise and high-rise are the winners!

These two rises help to flatter your midsection or to create a more defined waistline if you don’t have a natural definition. Another reason mid + high rise is best for mature women is that the higher the rise the more of a slimming effect it has on your legs and waist.

Let me explain.

When you wear pants that have a higher rise, like a mid or high rise, it creates the illusion of a longer leg line. That illusion helps to elongate your entire shape which aids it in helping create that slimming effect I mentioned.

Avoid low rise

Even though low-rise jeans is making a comeback this year, I do not recommend anyone over 30 to wear it.

They are just not flattering in general because they make your legs look shorter. In addition, when you sit down, you have to worry if your undies are properly covered.

Best Length over 50

The key to selecting the length of the most flattering jeans is to focus on creating a long and lean silhouette for your bottom half.

This applies to women of all age, but when you are over 50, this can be critical.

The reason is at this age most of us would carry some weight in our midsection, or perhaps on our hips, or thighs.

Therefore, choosing the right length can be important to balance out our otherwise might be “bottom heavy” shape.

Since jeans length has a lot to do with the leg shape, here’s how you can find the idea length for each of these types of jeans

Wide leg

Go as long as you can handle it. The longer they are, the longer they can balance out the with of. the leg shape.

Style with wide-leg jeans When you are wearing heels, make sure your jeans cover part of your heels but do not bunch up in the front of the shoes.

Flare leg

The ideal length is 2 inches under your ankles

Wear with low heels to maximize the leg elongating effect of the flare jeans.


Avoid skinny jeans bunching up on your booties. If you notice that, it is a sign your jeans is too long.

In that case, cuff your jeans, or hem them.

What lengths are recommended for skinny jeans? Ankle length is the best This will make sure you can either wear them with flats or pair them with boots

Straight leg

Length recommendation with straight-leg jeans

Ankle length is ideal, as it makes sure you can wear it with sneakers, flats or booties

If you intend to wear them with heels, choose a length 2-3 inches longer than your ankle length

Best Jeans Wash over 50

Yes, there are certain denim washes that are going to be more flattering when you’re a woman over 50.

Dark wash jeans

While there are exceptions to things, in general, darker-wash jeans are best for mature women.

The reason? There are a couple reasons!

First, a darker wash of jeans tends to be much more figure flattering.

Why opt for darker-wash jeans? Do you know how black is known as a ‘slimming’ color? Well, dark-wash jeans have a similar effect.

In addition to the figure-flattering aspect, dark wash denim also lends to a more age-appropriate wash. Light, distressed denim is fun but it often leans toward a more youthful vibe that doesn’t always flatter a mature woman. Stick to the classic jeans in a darker wash to give you a modern, updated appeal that’s also age appropriate.

White Denim

I don’t want to confuse you, but I do want to give you another jean wash that can be a great choice for women over 50. You may be surprised but WHITE denim is another great choice for you.

Reasons to go with white denim White is different from light-wash denim because it’s a crisp, fresh, modern aesthetic denim. The reason they are a great choice for women over 50 is that they look really youthful and they go pretty much with anything in your summer closet!

White is different from light-wash denim because it’s a crisp, fresh, modern aesthetic denim. The reason they are a great choice for women over 50 is that they look really youthful and they go pretty much with anything in your summer closet!

Black jeans

Ok, ok so the last denim wash to consider: is black.

Black jeans are the best This one may go without saying because, well…black is black and it’s always a great choice. But I wanted to mention it because sometimes it’s an overlooked wash in regard to jeans!

Caution with Distress

While we’re on the topic of jean washes, I’ll address the elephant in the room: distressing. I know this is an area woman over 50 struggle with when selecting denim jeans. Especially since it can often feel like ALL denim has to distress on it.

I generally suggest staying away from a lot of distressing on your denim jeans when you’re a woman over 50. Similar to the way light wash jeans can look too young, a lot of distressing on jeans can have the same effect.

As a mature woman, stick to a more classic style/wash of denim jeans. The less distressing and ‘stuff’ on denim the more classic it looks and classic style choices are a woman over 50’s best friend.

Best Leg Shape Over 50

Now that we’ve established some of the basics you need to look for when choosing the best jeans, let’s get into one of the biggest factors to consider: the silhouette of your jeans. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the actual fit, or silhouette, of your jeans is really the focal point of the jeans as a whole. Unfortunately, not all jeans fits are flattering for everyone.

Straight leg

First up, one of the best jean silhouettes for women over 50 is a classic straight-leg denim fit. Straight-leg jeans have maintained their classic denim appeal for YEARS now, and with good reason!

Why opt for straight-leg jeans? One of the main reasons is that it’s a jean style that’s universally figure-flattering. Yes, straight-leg jeans look good on every body type.

More than just being figure flattering, the classic aesthetic of a straight-leg jeans is also flattering on a mature woman aesthetically.

Skinny jeans

Another great jean silhouette for women over 50? Skinny jeans!

This one may come as a surprise, especially because skinny jeans can feel intimidating for a lot of women. However, skinny jeans are incredibly flattering for women over 50 because it’s a simple silhouette that fits close to the body to enhance your natural shape.

Aren’t skinny jeans too tight? Yes, I get those skinny jeans are meant to fit close but you want a happy medium on the fit. Skinny jeans that are too tight have the reverse effect and end up NOT being flattering at all.

I will say when choosing skinny jeans for a mature woman, it’s essential that you stay away from skinny jeans that are TOO tight.

You also need to wear skinny jeans with the right shoes to create the look for different outfits.

Bootcut jeans

Last but certainly not least, another one of the best jean silhouettes to try is a boot cut. You may notice a theme by now: the best silhouettes for mature women are the classic options.

Bootcut jeans are another great classic choice! Since the boot cut just has a slight flare at the bottom, the silhouette isn’t too voluminous or bold – making it a great choice for women 50+.


You’ve likely tried jeans on that are made of different materials throughout your life. The great thing about jeans today is all the variety available.

Stretchy fabrics

When denim has stretch they’re more likely to fit to the body in a more natural manner, giving you fit AND comfort.

Major focal points when you’re a woman over 50 – gone are the days of sacrificing comfort for style.

Generally, I find jeans that offer some stretch are the best for mature women.

When you have denim with natural stretch or spandex, they’re SO much more comfortable to wear. In addition to the comfort factor, stretch denim tends to be more flattering.


Styles with leggings The best way to make jeggings look flattering is to wear them with a pair of tall boots.

I’m always about finding jeans that are a mix between a legging and a jean – these options give you ALL the comfort and style you’ll feel great wearing all day long.

Best Jeans for Women Over 50

With maturity comes wisdom, along with the occasional change in our bodies that nothing seems to stop. But that shouldn’t signal a dramatic shift for your wardrobe, especially if you love your denim and can’t imagine a life without it. The key is to embrace the beauty of your body type and slip into the jeans that best suit your figure.

What’s the best way to navigate those all-too challenging racks filled with a seemingly endless sea of light and dark rinses? Start with these styles that capture the spirit of what it means to be sexy in denim, all ideal for women over 50.

5 Best Jeans for Women Over 50

1. The straight silhouette

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring, especially when you slip into a pair of jeans that captures classic style so well. These jeans from Everlane feature a traditional straight-line silhouette that makes them ideal to wear with nearly anything, from your favorite tee to a prim blouse. Keep it Audrey-chic with a pair of ballet flats or go the sporty route in sneakers.

2. The girlfriend jean

A more tailored version of the beloved boyfriend jean, this style is the answer to your “what should I wear?” conundrum. Whether you’re meeting a friend for brunch or catching a football game with the family on a cool Sunday afternoon, this jean will keep you comfortable and relaxed all day long. The beauty here is in its weathered, broken-in appearance — never has laid-back looked so pulled together.

3. The cropped jean

There’s no hard-and-fast rule that states your jeans have to hit your ankles and be the same shade of blue every time. If you’re feeling adventurous, slip into an on-trend cropped pair that keeps you cool and adds a little levity to your wardrobe. These have forgiving flared legs, making them a great partner for a more fitted top.

4. The bootcut jean

When in doubt, slip into a pair of bootcut jeans, like this budget-friendly style from Kohl’s. The famed silhouette is designed to negotiate your curves without hugging you too tight and constricting your movements. The result: endless comfort from waist to ankle, with the added bonus of some give at the ankle. Paired with boots or heels, they also create the illusion of length and are ideal to wear with tunics or lean blazers.

5. The slimming jean

Designed to minimize your personal areas of concern while highlighting your best assets, these jeans have so much going for them — including innovative, moisture-wicking fabric designed to keep you comfortable year round. A hint of stretch ensures a great fit, while a slimming panel at the midsection delivers a smooth silhouette.

Denim Buying Guide for Women Over 50

If the above styles don’t hit your fancy, let’s get you ready to go out and find your own perfect jean. Here are the 5 essential shopping tips you need.

1. Know your body

According to a recent study commissioned by retailer JD Williams, 53% of women over age 50 reported to having difficulty finding clothing that suits them. Knowing the shape of your body and your problem areas can help you narrow down styles that best complement your figure. For example, if your problem area is your stocky thighs, then skip the skinny jeans.

2. Appreciate high-rise

High-rise jeans are making a comeback in the fashion industry among women of all ages, but they can be extra beneficial to women over 50. Why? Because high-rise jeans camouflage midsection bulges comfortably, creating a slimming silhouette.

Avoid low-rise jeans that can create unsightly muffin tops. Want something in the middle? Medium-rise fit jeans, such as Not Your Daughters Jeans, are also a popular choice.

3. Darker is better

Dark denim certainly has its perks, especially when it comes to making the legs and thighs appear slimmer. They also have a dressier, classier look.

You can still go casual though. Just stick with basic mid-rise boot-cut jeans with a bit of stretch in the fabric for comfort. Boot-cut jeans are best paired with boots or sneakers. If you prefer to wear footwear such as ballet flats, kitten heels, or loafers, opt for straight-leg jeans.

4. Stay out of the juniors section

Many styles of jeans are targeted towards teens and favor of-the-moment trends, such as ripped denim, washed out fabrics, and rhinestones and other detailing. Avoid these.

Let the kids rock the bling. Stick with solid colored jeans and spice up the rest of your ensemble with stylish accessories. Opt for classy over trendy.

5. Pair with tunics

Consider pairing your jeans with tunics and longer tops. Shorter tops can make your torso appear out of proportion. Lengthier tops are generally more flattering, especially when paired with boot-cut or straight-leg jeans. To give your figure extra curves, wrap a belt around the smallest part of your waist to give the tunic or long shirt some dimension and to enhance your sexy, feminine curves.

Remember that style is personal — and your good taste supersedes any “rules” that you may worry about breaking, especially where denim is concerned. Slip into what feels and looks great to you, and let your ensuing confidence do all the work.

We know it can be challenging to find great-fitting, age-appropriate jeans over age 50. But don’t let the challenge force you to give up the comfort, look and sex-appeal of denim. Be patient, try on lots of options, and opt for classy, conservative cuts. You can look amazing in denim at any age!

This post about the best jeans for women over 50 was originally written in 2011 and rewritten/updated in 2019.

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The 7 Best Jeans for Women Over 40, Hands Down

There are certain style setters we consistently turn to for timeless yet directional fashion inspiration. Naturally, women over 40 are at the top of that list. Because when you think about it, those in this specific group just seem to get it given their experience with curating a well-balanced wardrobe. To that, when we recently tapped stylish ladies over 40 to fill us in on the going-out basics they wear on repeat, cool jeans came up as an absolute must. So we thought we’d dive into this subject matter a bit more.

To uncover that further intel on the general denim trends women over 40 swear by, we chatted with a range of fashionable and inspirational women in the age bracket for their expert opinions. With that in mind, keep scrolling to check out the specific jeans cuts the women in question will never stop wearing for nights out, the office, and everywhere in between. But remember age is literally just a number (and you should wear whatever you want, no matter when your birthday falls), so all of the denim trends below could really work for anyone.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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