Jeans are durable, comfortable, and can be quite stylish. Though old precepts about age and fashion dictated that women shouldn't wear jeans after 40--switching instead to trousers and other cloth trousers--that is no longer the case. With a discerning eye toward style and brand, mature women over 40 can find a perfect pair of jeans for their rear end and their budget.
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Relaxed bootcut jeans stay close to the leg and help older women avoid looking like middle school students. However, these jeans should only be worn by women taller than 5 feet 4 inches. Keep your boots under your jeans unless you're doing some type of messy labour, according to Oprah. Levi's 550 comes in this style in sizes 4 to 16 short and regular, in a range of attractive washes.
Trouser fit jeans flatter any figure and can be paired with a nice jacket or top to keep your look from verging toward the sloppier day wear of your 20s and 30s counterparts. This style is suitable for everyone--even those below 5 feet 4 inches--because the trousers stay closer to the leg, which doesn't make the thighs look wider by flaring out. You can find trouser fit jeans--along with many other styles that hug the leg for shorter women--at the Gap.
Keeping a classic wash on your jeans--preferably a dark blue or medium blue--keeps your look classic. Acid washes, studded appliqués, and fringed hems are great for kids, but can look out of place on a mature woman. Old Navy has a wide range of sizes and washes of jeans--most of which come free of any extra designs--and they're made to fit most women. Remember that dark washes are almost always less casual than lighter washes--they're a great way to look classy but stay comfortable.
A medium rise jean is one where the waistband sits at or slightly above the hipbone. These jeans offer a contemporary look, staying away from typical high-waisted jeans that have been associated with mature women in the past, but they also avoid the low-rise band that is best suited for very young women. Seven for All Mankind makes a great pair of mid-rise jeans.
Make sure that your jeans are as comfortable and useful as they are attractive. Bend over in them; squat down in them. Try Seven Jeans at Lane Bryant if you're having trouble finding a good fit. They're designed for plus-size women with a variety of body types.
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