How to Rock Modern Jeans For Women Over 50

It’s no secret that I love a great pair of jeans. Blue, white, black, or any color… I’m an equal opportunity jean lover. The shape of jeans does change year after year so in order to look modern, we need to know what’s current. Today I’m sharing the newest shapes and most wearable modern jeans for women over 50.

blonde woman sitting on wall wearing cuffed jeans, chambray shirt and gold sneakers

Remember those balloon shape jeans we wore in the late ’70s? They’re baaack! I picked a pair up to try on last week then put them right down. I’m not ready to go there again. I may never be ready for them but the good news is we have lots of modern options. I’m back with my friend Cindy for our monthly fashion edit over 50 and we’re talking about jeans for spring.

balloon jeans on woman

Modern jeans for women over 50

The Rise

High rises still reign supreme this year and are a great option to prevent muffin top. Midlife women often need a little more help with the muffin top dilemma so the rise is critical. If you have a short torso and/or are petite, you may get the same benefit from mid-rise jeans. Low rise is mercifully out, but it will likely be back when we least desire it:)

woman in white duster and blue jeans on steps

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans have been a staple in many women’s wardrobes for years. Word is that they’re on their way out but my guess is they aren’t going anywhere fast. They’re snug from the waist all the way down and flattering on, well, skinny legs. My legs are thin but I’m not a huge fan of skinnies on me because they get stuck on my calf and look wrinkled until I adjust them.

woman over 50 wearing white skinny jeans

I find skinny white jeans a bit harder to wear than dark ones because the wrinkling and pooling around the ankle are more visible. The above jeans are no-stain skinnies which are a bit more forgiving than many and have a nice high rise.


Modern Straight Jeans

These are a natural transition from skinny. They’re fitted through the hip and thigh, then narrow (not tight) from the knee down. There’s a lot of variety in the fit of straight jeans so it’s trial and error to find the most flattering ones for your shape.

woman wearing grean sweater and straight jeans walking on path

The above jeans have a nice high rise in a heavier fabric so they hold their shape well. The pale wash makes them more casual than a darker wash. They’re intended to be slightly cropped but are ankle length on my 5″4″ frame.

blonde blogger wearing pink kimono with stovepipe blue jeans and white wedge sandals

The above stovepipe jeans are a slighter tighter version of straight-leg jeans and are slim to the knee then straight to the hem. They’re a great option for the skinny-loving gal who isn’t ready for or fond of straight-leg jeans. You see my hand raised here because these are my current favorites.

Girlfriend Jean

These are a more feminine version of the boyfriend jean. Duh 🙂 They’re fitted through the hip and thigh with a narrow leg. The distinction between them and straight-leg jeans is minimal. They’re often in a more substantial fabric which gives them less spandex so they hold their shape and are less prone to stretch out.

Modern Cuffed Jeans

These are popular again this spring in all variations. A wide cuff made by the manufacturer or a casual one you turn up yourself. Cuffed jeans have been popular for years but I’ve avoided them because I know they make my legs look shorter. Maybe it’s a reaction to all we’ve been through the last year, but I’ve decided that if they make me look shorter, oh well.

blonde woman walking through gate wearing cuffed denim and chambray shirt

*Style Tip – style rules aren’t hard and fast regulations. They’re proportion truths we can choose to use or ignore. They may be factual but that doesn’t mean we need to adhere to them. By the time we’ve reached our age, we can wear what makes us happy so long as we feel confident wearing it.

blonde woman weaing chambrays shirt, cuffed denim and gold sneakers standing in front of tree

These high-rise cuffed jeans are super stretchy with a nice high rise. They’re intended to be a bit cropped but I opted for the regular rather than petite version so they’re ankle length on me.


Distressed Jeans

This trend is still going strong and women of all ages either love it or hate it. The level of distress varies all the way from some tiny frayed areas or unfinished hem to rips and holes the size of a grapefruit. Let’s agree to let other women wear what they like. I’d love to see more women be supportive of individual choices. Fashion is meant to be fun so let’s enjoy it.

Bootcut or Flares

Another blast from the past and the newest versions a quite wearable. A flare or bootcut jeans are flattering on every silhouette so they have a timeless quality depending on the width of the flare. I spotted these awesome flares in Madewell last week but I would have had to cut 8 inches off the bottom to make them work for me. That would destroy the flare so this is one style of jeans that you’re better off ordering in the petite versions if you’re short or shorter than me.

What style of jeans are you wearing this spring?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share it so other ladies can find us.


  1. I wear the style jeans I like, and l love skinny jeans. At 5’ 128 lbs they look best on me. I do have a few booth cut jeans I wear in the winter with my boots. To address the lady with holes in her tops, I can’t begin to tell you how many top I’ve ruined with holes at the waist where the buttons and metal fastener are. Since I’m so short with short arms I’m up against the kitchen counter top with the button rubbing it. The solution I’ve found is pull up jeans. Landsend has a very good selection, the waistband is wide and lays flat. Usually order one size up since they are a snug fit. Come in both high rise as well as mid rise. Other solution when cooking is a bibbed apron which I wear when I remember 🥰

  2. Sarahlondonstyle says:

    Great article 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I’m quite ignorant when it comes to jeans, so found it very interesting. And you look like you could rock just about any shape !

    1. Thanks Sarah. I try because I love jeans

  3. Maribeth Conklin says:

    I love the pink kimono and I really like the last picture with your friend. The black shirt and black duster and gray hat and little booties. Great look.

  4. I usually find jeans too hot and heavy for summer wear. I have found some Madewell jeans with a good percentage of tencel that makes for a softer lighter feel that will give me a couple of more months of wear. I found them in a high rise straight leg style that is flattering and reasonably on trend.

  5. Interesting post about jeans. I had given up on them for a while because they feel constricting. This is probably because of being at home so much this past year in more comfortable clothes, LOL. I have decided that when a pair of jeans or other pants fit well, and I feel good in them, I’m not going to worry so much about do they make me look short, etc. I am vertically challenged at barely 5′, so unless I wear high heels (Not) I am not going to look tall. I think it’s good to give a reference point of height and body proportions, and hope that at your height of 5’4″, you feel good that you are an average height.

  6. What do Mom jeans look like?

    1. Mom jeans are a loose fit through hip and leg and often narrow slightly at the ankle.

  7. Great post full of so many options and always so many things to consider. Your blog has been such an inspiration for me. I try to adapt what I already have in my closet and your are my inspiration. I’ve found that boot cut and straight leg are my best options in jeans. I’ve always loved boot cut with any type of boot and they are cooler in the summer. I recently purchased a pair of wider leg pants for summer but haven’t quite found the right shoe to wear with them so the hunt continues. Thanks again for your posts. I always look forward to them.

  8. From what I’ve read; high rise and straight legs are the number one style in Europe right now with skinny jeans not far behind, so you are ahead of your time Jennifer as we in North America are often a year behind them in trends. Also for colors indigo is apparently out whereas clean washes in various shades of blue denim is in. Personally and currently I do not own a pair of dark denim nor do I have anything but skinny jeans however once our stores open I might try the straight leg style. (Prefer to try several pairs on due to their industrial construction as when cutting, fabric is stacked so there can be a difference in fit regardless they are same label/size/style.) Always appreciating your fashion savvy and links provided. -Brenda-

    1. You’re absolutely right about the variation in size which makes it hard to know which one you’ll need.

  9. Several years ago I bought a pair of inexpensive high rise, cropped & cuffed jeans at Target to wear around the house. Surprisingly, they’ve become my favorite jeans for fall & spring because of their comfort & fit. Recently I bought a pair of cropped, wide legged jeans at Talbots, but now I’m not so sure I like them. To be honest, I was trying to copy a look I saw on Jessica Lange about two years ago when I just happened to see her walking through a park in NY City. Her wide legged jeans were more like culottes which she wore with simple clogs. How silly of me to try to copy her! Thanks for the informative article. Most of us will never completely tire of wearing jeans.

    1. I don’t think it’s silly. I often copy because that’s how we learn. Maybe you just need to tweak it a bit to work for you. It sounds like yours may need to be shortened to get closer to her look.

  10. I love jeans and prefer the slim cut. I recently purchased the higher waist with middle seam from JJill and love the Jean so much, I went back and purchased in beige. Jeans work with everything from sweaters to tees to shirts…cardigans to blazers. It is great there is a Jean out there for everyone!

    1. When you find the perfect jean, it’s smart to buy two

  11. Great post. I love my jeans and usually wear the darker colours or white. The problem I find is that my t-shirt or sweaters I wear with my jeans start to develop a hole right where the button is. Does anyone else have a collection of t-shirts with holes because of jeans?

    1. I found it was the quality of the tee so I tuck the front and then pull it out to blouse over a bit so it won’t rub against the top of the button.

    2. Kathleen Doherty says:

      I’ve had holes develop in my cashmere sweaters from the button in front, Now I check the sweaters and if they’re looking thin in that spot I reinforce with iron on patches on the inside. Makes those sweaters last a bit longer.

      1. Vivian Catricala says:

        Thank you! That’s is an excellent suggestion and will do that to my cashmere sweaters.

      2. Great idea, Kathleen!!

  12. Thanks for the jeans lesson! I wear almost all styles and colors. I have a few pair of printed and embroidered jeans too.

  13. This was packed with good information. There certainly are a variety of styles out there now. I agree about the skinnies especially if they aren’t dark. My daughter says they make our legs look like sausages. I also don’t think they are going anywhere fast because the stores are packed with them. I think the girlfriend and boyfriend are my new best friends. Those mom jeans ick….I hope that passes soon…I see pictures of myself in those and ask “what was I thinking”

  14. This was a very thorough and informative post. Thanks… I think the cuffed jeans look adorable on you! I’m 5’2″ and prescribe to what you said at the end; I wear whatever I want and what makes me happy. I happen to love skinny jeans the best and that’s usually what I buy, but I do love to stay modern too, so it’s great to see what all the different types look like.

  15. Linda Wiggins says:

    I recently bought a pair of Chico’s Girlfriend Jeans, and your description of them is right on. Mine have unfinished bottoms, which I worried were too young for a woman in her 70s but I love these jeans. They are slim without the old “catching on your calf” issue, but still stylish and straight. I’ll look for them in summer colors.

  16. I have large thighs and calves. Can you suggest a Jean that might work for me?

    1. Flares will most likely be your best option. Experiment until you find ones with full enough thighs. They offer a visual balance that’s flattering.

  17. Interesting post, I think there are so many options with jeans that there is a flattering style for all out there it just takes patience. I think we are about the same height 5’4ish and small so we likely gravitate to similar styles. I have learned with the current styles that the most flattering length for me is right above my ankle. I’ve cuffed or chopped off the bottom for a raw hem that seems to be very on trend. I also find that skin showing between the hem and the shoe is very flattering. I’ve had so many people ask me how I’ve gotten taller! I try and keep me shoe choices un clunky or if a wedge it seems to be more flattering in a lighter color close to my skin tone. Great post and thanks for showing all of the different options in one read😊

    1. I’m coming around to that length jean too. Still experimenting here.

  18. Thank you for showing us the new styles of jeans Jennifer. Although I hardly ever wear jeans, I do like the look of a white jean. I like how you wore the white jeans with a b&w top and black cover-up in last Sunday’s email. A very chic look.

  19. SUSAN BLAKEY says:

    I love the cuffed jeans on you, Jennifer!

    1. Thanks Susan. It’s a real change for me but I love them too. They feel fun and we could all use some more fun in our lives.

  20. Oh gosh, it seems like it took forever to find the most flattering and well fitting pair of jeans, which happen to be skinny jeans. It is interesting to see new trends though. Thanks, Jennifer

    1. That’s why we are all lucky to have such great options! You have the most because skinny jeans are everywhere.

  21. I love just about any kind or color of jeans! So great to see how all the different kinds fit on you. They all look wonderful. I’m with you about not wearing mom jeans again. Looking back at pictures shows me that! I probably won’t wear flares anymore either. I just feel they make my legs look too short. I would like to find a pair of bootleg but haven’t seen any around. Thanks for all the info.

    1. The fact that they narrow at the ankle is what does me in for mom jeans.

  22. We shout from the roof tops when we find that perfect pair of jeans!!
    Today, my choice is a straight or slim cut and definitely in a high rise. I do want to add the wide cuff also. In the summer months, weather permitting, I do prefer a lighter, softer wash. Jeans offer the opportunity to create that high/low style that I really like.
    You showed us so many examples that we can easily recreate.
    For me, that finished look is all in the small details.

    1. I love wearing jeans with a blazer and nice jewelry. As you say, the hi/low option really appeals to me.

  23. Great Jeans are the foundation of nearly every American woman’s wardrobe. We wear them from cradle to grave. These are great. All of them but I really like just the simple high waist, straight leg the best and bootleg when I wear boots. Any color though usually stick with med wash blue jeans, I’ve get a few like my golden brown, maroon or black too. Tee, button down and tennis shoes. What else do you need? Denim or chambray shirt., and a great white button down. Good to go.

    1. I couldn’t agree more!

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