Best Jeans for Mature Women

Best Jeans for Mature Women
Best Jeans for Mature Women | Source

Which jeans suit older women

Ladies, do you ever wonder if you're too old to wear jeans? The thought has crossed my mind as well, but then I think, 'Heck no, I love wearing jeans!'.

The doubt often starts when we see a photo or video of ourselves then a reality check sets in. We tend not to see a problem area as the changes to our shape tends to creep up on us over the years. So what can we do about it if we refuse to give up wearing jeans? It isn't that we're too old to wear them, we just need to adjust the style to suit our changing body shape, as jeans which once suited us may not be the right cut for us now.

Never before have there been so many styles, makes, and adornments to jeans. In fact, if the original makers of jeans, Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis, could see what has become of their initial idea, I think they would shake their heads in disbelief. The robust and reinforced pair of work pants for the Californian gold miners have now become a fashion statement often sold with holes and tears in them and costly more than a miner would have earned in a month.

How to get the best fit

Unlike men, who buy jeans solely by the waist and leg measurement, women need more information. This might work if we were all the same proportions but think about the women you know, how many are shaped the same? Not that many I suspect. Throw in personal taste and you can see that we need more options to get an ideal pair of jeans. For some women choosing jeans is a minefield with all the new terminology, jargon, and some might say utter nonsense. I will aim to clarify this, as I have contacted my nephew who works at a large fashion house in San Francisco for the latest insider scoop.

To get the correct fit we need to look at the waist rise, the upper leg and the lower leg. Using this combination you will be able to select the perfect pair of jeans whether you're 30 or 90 years old.

Things have changed a lot since you first starting wearing jeans, when there was one waist height or rise as it is called. Now it is possible to walk into a store and find jeans where the waist rise can be anywhere from the navel to ones which barely cover the pubic hair line.

Short waist, long waist or normal?

It isn't only the shape of our hips, condition of our abs or length of our legs we need to concern ourselves with. Knowing if you have a short or long waist will also be a factor to consider when choosing a pair of jeans. Here is how to determine which category you fall into.

  • Measure the distance from your armpit (A) to your natural waist (W).
  • Then measure from your waist (W) to your bottom of your buttocks (B).

If the distance from armpit to waist is less than the distance from your waist to buttocks, then you have a short waist. Sometimes this is called a high waist.

If the measurement is longer then you have a long waist or sometimes it is referred to as a low waist.

Here's the equation:

  • B=buttock
  • W=waist
  • A= armpit
  • A/W>W/B= Low waist or long waist
  • WB>AW= High Waist or short waist
  • WB=AW= Balanced or normal waist

Now that you know this, you are in a better position to select a pair of jeans which will suit you.

For women with a short waist, stay away from high rise jeans. The visual effect is that your jeans begin in your armpits which is not the look we're after. The fact that our breasts are also lower makes for a bad combination. On a positive note, having a short waist generally means your legs are longer or at least appear longer. Opt for jeans which are a normal or lower rise as this will lengthen the look of the torso.

For those who have a low waist selecting a pair of jeans with a higher rise will give the illusion that your legs are longer.

For those whose measurements were equal, you can wear either high or low rise jeans depending on your preference and the overall look you want to achieve.


Although one can choose a pair of jeans with a low rise, caution should be exercised, because unless you are the queen of crunchies or planks at the gym, these should be left for the younger ladies, in my opinion. If you have had kids, or love indulging in bakery goodies leave these for the 0 size models. Unless you have a flat tummy, low rise jeans allow the skin on the abdomen to flop unceremoniously over the top of the jeans resulting in what is often called a muffin top.

What are Muffin Tops

Avoid Muffin Tops
Avoid Muffin Tops | Source
7 For All Mankind Women's "A" Pocket Jean, Slim Illusion Barcelona Bright, 25
7 For All Mankind Women's "A" Pocket Jean, Slim Illusion Barcelona Bright, 25

These are one of my favorites as they combine the waist rise, thigh fit and boot cut I like. I like the traditional style of these with a slightly worn look across the thighs and subtle whiskers.

Lee Women's Modern Series Curvy Fit Ruby Boyfriend Jean, Dreamer, 16
Lee Women's Modern Series Curvy Fit Ruby Boyfriend Jean, Dreamer, 16

Lee have really thought about the design of these. They are a mid rise in the front which makes them look stylish. The back rise is higher, which helps to cover up any small love handles. A nice relaxed fit for curvy women. With the addition of Spandex, they are a little stretchy but keep their shape beautifully.


Jean Fits Demystified

The jargon surrounding the fit of jeans is confusing. Let's clarify the meaning of some of the terminology. Remember though, all manufactures do not classify their jeans the same.

  • Jeggings: A relatively new term which is a combination of jeans and leggings. Jeggings are basically leggings made to look like denim jeans. If you are a fan of leggings then maybe these are the ones for you. Unless you have a firm tush and flat abs, opt for a hip length top.

  • Skinny: These are tight from the waist, across the thigh and taper to the ankle. Skinny jeans look best on people who are slim and have a balanced or normal waist line. With a bottom which isn't too large or too flat. If you carry weight around your abdomen, then wearing skinny jeans will only emphasize this into what is commonly called a muffin top. Skinny jeans will not make you look skinny!

  • Slim: Fits close to the body although not as snug as skinny jeans, they are a narrow fit. These are usually slim at the waist, thigh but not necessarily tapered.

  • Relaxed /Straight: These are comfortable at the hip and fall straight. This style is the most popular among mature women, as these suit most figure types.

  • Boot cut: These can be a high, normal or low rise which has a slim fit through the thigh and flares out at the bottom to accommodate boots. For me, this style is my personal favorite.

  • Boyfriend jeans: You may have been married for 20+ years but you can still wear boyfriend jeans. So just what are they and will boyfriend jeans suit the mature woman? The answer is definitely because boyfriend jeans are a little baggy or loose fitting, somewhat worn in and just plain comfy. The idea of some marketing guru, these relaxed fitting jeans are suppose to be ones which we have borrowed from our boyfriend. They are assuming our boyfriend is roughly about the same size as us and the same height. Convenient isn't it? Usually they are also straight leg and a normal rise.

  • Tapered: These are full at the hip and narrow towards the ankle. These can be flattering in either jeans or regular pants.

Top Tips for Jeans


More Useful Words Associated With Jeans

Besides the fit of jeans there are other useful words to be aware of when buying a pair of jeans. Some of these will be describing the treatment before you buy them.

  • Whiskers:These are the faded lines which run from the crotch towards the outer leg. Often there will be several on either side.
  • Distressed: This will be jeans which are ripped or have the appearance of being well worn. Again in my opinion, these are best left for the younger generation. In fact, I could never bring myself to pay for anything which would have been fit for only rags when I was growing up.
  • Stone washing: This process is done with pumice stones. These are the same type of stones you use to remove rough skin from your heels. The manufactures wash the jeans with these to give them a worn-in and roughed up look.
  • Worn-in : This effect can be seen on the thighs, the back of the knees and on the seat. This is a slight lightening which is produced by artificial means.
  • Rail tracks: These are the faded lines which run down the outer seam of the leg. It resembles a train track, hence the name.
  • Vintage: This is a term which is used a couple of different ways. These can be jeans which are genuinely old or in a 'Vintage' style. Manufactures are quick to jump on the latest phrases if it helps shift their jeans. However the term vintage means 25+ years old.

Various Jeans Brands

I have looked through various jeans manufactures to see how they class their jeans. I looked at traditional brands Levis, Lee, and Wrangler. Plus Pepe, Hilfiger and Diesel to compare what you can get. The upshot of this is most of these brands carry the various waist rises and different fittings through the legs although there is a gray area between what some call skinny, slim and straight. As always sizing is all over the place so it is best to try it on or, if buying online, read the reviews to see if it is true to size.

Hip and thigh
Lower leg
slim, skinny
skinny or slim
HIgh, Normal, Low
slim, straight , skinny
straight, slim
Boot cut
HIgh, normal

Which jeans styles do you prefer?

  • Boot cut
  • I'll leave my answer in the comment section.
  • Straight/Relaxed
  • Skinny
See results without voting

Jean:The most versatile item in a woman's wardrobe

A Love of Jeans

I have loved jeans for as long as I can remember so when the chance came to visit the Levi factory in San Francisco, on a school field trip , I jumped at the chance. I was taking sewing in school and together with a handful of other students we boarded the bus to San Francisco.

I assumed that it was going to be an ultra-modern building full of people whizzing away on machines. As I recall it was more personal than that, as we had a guided tour with a representative from the factory. With a pile of denim about 18" on the table in front of us, we watched as the machine cut through them. We walked past industrial machines, rivets, and large spools of thread until we saw the final product. To me, I had the feeling that things hadn't changed much since they first started. It was in an older building which had housed it for quite some time. It didn't have the feel of a designer's studio, it had the feel of tradition.

Best shoes for jeans
Best shoes for jeans | Source

Footwear for Jeans

If you wonder which footwear goes with jeans, the answer is virtually any type depending on the style of jeans.

Boots, such as ankle boots, desert boots or cowboy boots are perfect with a boot cut style of jeans, obviously. But a pair of boots also can look good with slim fit or skinny jeans team as well with rolled up jeans as in the image above.

Wear skinny or slim jeans inside boots such as Ugg's or knee high boots This avoids the excess fabric escaping. See the first video on this page for instructions on how to fold over the pants leg for straight jeans.

Ballet flats and plimsoll style shoes also look fanastic with straight or slim jeans.

Slim and skinny jeans look great with heels either stilettos or wedges ,if you have the body and the legs to pull it off.

Author's Opinion

There is an old saying “Mutton dressed as lamb” which means an old sheep adorned to look younger than it is. Just because we can fit into these clothes, doesn't mean we should.

Some of us who are mature have better bodies than many of the younger generation but that doesn't mean we have to flaunt it. Confidence in our appearance comes from within and it doesn't need to be cinched in, strapped up and made to look like we are half our age. Maturing means feeling comfortable in ourselves and in our clothing choices.

I will say that many of the salespeople in stores which specialize in selling jeans, know their stuff. Of course they want to make a sale but they realize that if you are happy with your choice, you'll be back.

I remember going into a GAP store in the UK. The young man, enthusiastically came over to help me. He looked me up and down and recommend a couple different styles and sent me to the dressing room. When I emerged from the dressing room, he cast a knowing eye across the lines of the jeans, requesting me to turn around so he could examine all the lines. He put his hand to his chin and paused. He was mentally going through the stock of jeans. “just a second” he said and sped away.

He passed me a pair of jeans as though it was his first born child and said, “try these.”

They were perfect. He knew the style I wanted but more importantly, ones which would suit my body shape and age.

I hope that this article has given you the confidence to continue wearing jeans and a little bit of knowledge with the latest buzz words related to them.

More by this Author


billybuc profile image

billybuc 6 months ago from Olympia, WA

Well, I'm not really sure what to say about all this mature women clothing about this....I love what you said about having better bodies than the younger generation but not having to flaunt it. Love that line and truth. My advice to attractive women....don't try so hard. When you've got it, less effort in displaying it all is better in many cases. :) For what it's worth.

Have a great weekend!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Bill,

I think many women past the age of 40 find it difficult. Clothing manufactures have forgotten about us in their quest to clothe the millennials. We are often left with the choice of clothing which is too young or something only our grandmothers would wear.

Thank you for your continued support.

Anita Saran profile image

Anita Saran 6 months ago from Bangalore, India

Low rise is everywhere and it's been ages. Finding high rise is pretty difficult. But it's so much more flattering for women's bodies - young or mature. Great info.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Anita,

High rise are preferred by many women specifically because they can flatter us as you say. Thanks for your visit.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 6 months ago from The Caribbean

This is quite an education for me (no jeans in my wardrobe right now). At least, I can upgrade my jeans vocabulary. Very interesting!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Dora,

I hope the lack of jeans in your wardrobe isn't age related. I know my Grandmother never wore trousers until she was over 50.

Here in Brazil, it is so warm I don't wear them much but I just can't part with them.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas

I don't think that I ever owned a pair of jeans. If I did start wearing them I would go for comfort first. I do wear pants however in different styles. You certainly have your jean jargon perfected! :)

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Peggy,

Much of this information also applies to other pants as well. You're right, you have to be comfortable.

Thanks for reading.

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 6 months ago from New Delhi, India

Very interesting and informative hub!

I don't wear jeans normally but I loved going through all the information you shared about jeans.

I agree we should dress according to our age. And dressing gracefully is very important. We must understand what suits our personality and should not get carried away by what others are wearing.

Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

I think it is easy to get carried away when you see something new you like. But we have to stop and ask ourselves, 'does this really suit me.' Just because we can buy it in our size, doesn't mean we should.

Thanks for reading, I am pleased you found it interesting.

Deb Hirt 6 months ago

Great article. I used to hate it that I had no butt and no hips, but found out in my older years that it was a blessing in disguise. At least now I know what all these terms mean if I see them.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Deb,

I have the same problem, but as you say, now we are lucky to have the shape we do. You are right to think that some jeans aren't flattering on those of us with a flat backside.

Selecting a pair of jeans with larger rear pockets will help disguise the lack of a booty. Plus it is much easier to do that then hit the gym for a round of squats.

I am pleased you found the terminology about jeans useful, it can be confusing.

Thank you for reading.

teaches12345 4 months ago

Great article. I wear boot cut myself for the comfort and style. I'm glad to know we are never too old for jeans.

SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 3 months ago from Arkansas USA

I need your GAP guy to help me find a nice-fitting, comfortable pair of jeans. I have a lopsided figure, so I settle for elastic in the waist. Perhaps your excellent information will help me find something without elastic that would actually work.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Dianna,

We are definitely not too old. I too like the boot cut as I think it is more flattering. Plus I don't like looking down and seeing all of my shoe.

I may be the only one who is wearing them when I turn 90, but wearing them I will be.

Glad you liked the article. Thanks for reading.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Susan,

There are some wonderful people working in retail who go out of their way to help.

I think we all are a bit lopsided to be honest with you. There is nothing wrong with wearing an elastic waistband as many of the manufacturers have incorporated this as a feature.

The point is, we as mature women have options above and beyond what the glossy magazines show on their rake thin models.

Good luck to you in sourcing your next pair of jeans.

Diana Clarke 3 months ago

Was researching jeans & came across your very interesting article. I was wondering about colour which you didn't touch on, whether light or dark wash. I think I have the cut & style figured out as I have worn them forever, boot cut regular rise, I am only 5'4" and 125 lbs. I also just turned 76 but feel 50 and act 40, retired but still ride horseback, bike, ski and skate. I live in Canada. Still not decided on the colour, light for summer, dark for winter or does it matter ?

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Diana,

It's really down to personal choice. I think with anything if a person feels overweight or carries extra pounds around the hips, a dark color will help to mask this. Small rear pockets also help with this.

I personally don't care for light color jeans. A slight fade is okay but I feel if I have something too light, it looks too worn. I think young women can wear it, but for me, I prefer a light colored top and mid to dark jeans.

Another reason I prefer a darker shade is like yourself, I'm active. I don't wash my jeans every time I wear them. I try and wear them a few times until they get too loose before washing.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading the article, thanks for your visit.

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 5 weeks ago from Peru, South America

This is a very informative article. I appreciate all the tips on style and cut. It's true that our bodies change over the years and we have to take many factors into account when choosing the right pair of jeans. I prefer straight but not too skinny jeans. Thank you.

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    Mary Wickison (Blond Logic)598 Followers
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    Middle age women are forgotten about by retailers. I offer help with clothing choices, skincare, and healthy eating for the mature woman.

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