No matter how old you get, denim is a fashion staple that is timeless. For women over 50, although their relationship with fashion evolves, jeans remain a reliable choice. Unlike the younger generations, whose tastes often are influenced by social media and what celebrities are wearing, the more experienced generation favor classic cuts and more sophisticated styles.
“Most women, once they hit 50, gain extra weight around the middle during menopause so there are several things to think about their newer bodies,” says stylist Michelle Barrett. “Look for a medium waist with a straight leg. A medium waist will cover that lower tummy area many women are not comfortable with.”
There are of course other flattering silhouettes such as high-waisted or bootcut jeans. We spoke to celebrity stylists, fashion experts and tested out pairs ourselves to find the best jeans for women over 50. We looked for wide size ranges, comfortable yet supportive materials, and silhouettes and washes that make you feel confident at any age.
What We Love: There’s standard, petite, and plus-size options available.
What We Don’t Love: The sizing can be inconsistent between washes.
Look no further for the ultimate pair of jeans — Gloria Vanderbilt has designed this collection with a range of women in mind. This Amazon favorite boasts an impressive 78,000 reviews, catering to every woman’s needs, be it standard, petite, or plus size. This classic high-rise taper jean embodies comfort and style, complete with functional pockets, an easy zipper fly, and over 60 different washes to pick from. In fact, Priyanka Chopra says she can spend all day in these jeans and feel comfortable. Plus, a pair is only $12, so at this price range can you really only buy just one?
Hitting right at your natural waistline, these jeans don’t cut into your middle and extra support helps smooth your middle. Not too high waisted or too low, versatility reigns supreme as these jeans effortlessly pair with a spectrum of tops, from chic fashion pieces to casual tees, and look good with various footwear choices. Due to all the different washes, some reviewers say the sizing is inconsistent between colors, so you may want to order a couple options and use Amazon’s great return policy.
Price at time of publish: $12
Size Range: 2-26 | Material: Cotton, Spandex | Inseam: 31-inch | Wash: 64
What We Love: The fabric sculpts your curves and doesn’t sag.
What We Don’t Love: Due to the sculpting nature, these jeans tend to run small.
Lee, a renowned denim brand with a rich history since 1889, remains timeless for women of all ages and sizes. This pair is especially popular. Labeled as a relaxed fit, these high-waisted jeans skim your body so that they are comfortable without being too baggy. Robust stretch fabric not only ensures flexibility but also contributes to a sculpting effect on the silhouette. Plus, these jeans provide a supportive fit, so they won’t sag when you wear them hours on end. Since these jeans offer some sculpting, they tend to run small, so consider sizing up.
Price at time of publish: $18
Size Range: 2-26 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 29-inch | Wash: 5
What We Love: It’s the perfect everyday jean that is easy to style.
What We Don’t Love: You have to line dry these jeans.
When I showed my mom (who is 57) this pair of jeans, she was ready to whip out her credit card and buy herself a pair. Working in a hospital, my mom needs a pair of pants that will allow her to be mobile in her workplace but dress with poise. These jeans allowed her to move around with ease, thanks to the cropped leg and cotton makeup. Plus, the high rise and tapered leg go with so many tops and shoes, making getting dressed that much easier. Because they are made from 100 percent cotton, these jeans don’t belong in the dryer, unless you want them to shrink. With a $200+ price tag, sure this pair is a splurge, but we love how it’s available in so many different colors and a universal fit for that “everyday” jean look.
Price at time of publish: $235
Size Range: 22-32 | Material: Cotton | Inseam: 29-inch | Wash: 7
What We Love: This straight leg jean lifts your backside without gapping.
What We Don’t Love: The shorter inseam can fall short on tall folks.
Many celebrities including Chrissy Teigen, Ashley Graham, and Kelly Rowland are all obsessed with Good American jeans, and so are we. Everyone needs a good straight leg jean, and this pair goes above and beyond by sculpting your legs and enhancing your booty thanks to a deep yoke. With a high amount of stretch, these jeans are not only comfortable but also offer great retention so that they maintain their curve-hugging shape all day. We also love how they feature a gap-proof waistband, which is especially helpful for anyone with wider hips. Though petite frames will be a fan of the cropped length, this style may be too short for those who are tall.
Price at time of publish: $129
Size Range: 00-30 | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Inseam: 27.5-inch | Wash: 2
What We Love: These black jeans sculpt your abs and booty.
What We Don’t Love: Some colors might bleed in the wash.
Thanks to the “Ab”solution fit technology inside all of their jeans, these jeans smooth and support your tummy. There’s a no-gap elastic that conforms to each wearer’s waist and prevents gapping in the back. Plus, the slightly arched back yoke creates the illusion of a lifted and round booty. Coming in black, this bootcut jean will soon become your wardrobe staple, as it works with a wide range of footwear and tops. Due to the deep shade, the jeans might bleed in the first wash, so be sure to wash it with other black fabrics.
Price at time of publish: $98
Size Range: 14-24 | Material: Cotton, spandex | Inseam: 32-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: With a shorter inseam and comfortable fit, these jeans are a must for petite figures.
What We Don’t Love: Some colors might bleed in the wash.
As a petite woman, I worry about finding jeans that aren’t too long for me or where the material doesn’t bunch at the bottom of my ankles. Thanks to this pair by Mott & Bow, which comes in three different inseam lengths, all petite women can take a deep breath of relief. These slim boyfriend jeans finish well above your ankles which is ideal to pair with boots or comfortable white sneakers. The extra comfort and elasticity of the jeans allow for flexibility, so I prefer wearing them when running my weekend errands or going for brunch.
Unlike the traditional boyfriend jeans, this fit is not too baggy for anyone who prefers more fitted clothing. Just in case you want a slightly worn-in look, opt for the gray wash and style with a neutral color for a clean, yet minimalistic look. These darker shades can bleed when washing, so only throw them in with similar colors.
Price at time of publish: $129
Size Range: 24-32 | Material: Cotton, polyester and elastane | Inseam: 28, 30, and 32-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: Finally, a skinny jean long enough for tall limbs.
What We Don’t Love: They can run large, so consider sizing down.
Just like petite women struggle with jeans being too long, those who are tall often can’t find jeans that are long enough. Thankfully, 1822 makes their buttery soft skinnies with an extra long, 34-inch inseam. With a timeless indigo wash, flattering mid-rise, and elongating stretch, these jeans can work both in the office and on the weekends. A perfect match for women in their 50s, they effortlessly complement a crisp white shirt and boots or chic closed heels, creating a sophisticated ensemble that speaks volumes. Even tall reviewers say they run large, so consider sizing down.
Price at time of publish: $49
Size Range: 24-33 | Material: Cotton, polyester and spandex | Inseam: 34-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: This style actually fits your waist and hips correctly.
What We Don’t Love: These jeans don’t have stretch, so you’ll have to break them in.
For curvy women, one of the most frustrating aspects about finding the perfect pair of jeans is finding something that fits your hips and waist without a waist gap. Now enter Everlane’s Curvy Cheeky Jeans. Tailored for hourglass figures, it flaunts an extra-high rise, flattering straight leg, and booty-enhancing fit. The best part is that the hip to waist ratio creates a snug hip-thigh fit that is crafted from premium non-stretch Japanese denim. Made from 100 percent organic cotton, these jeans don’t have any stretch, so you’ll likely have to break them in at first. It’s the perfect throwback to the ‘90s, which I’m sure any woman in her 50s will appreciate the vintage inspiration.
Price at time of publish: $110
Size Range: 23-33 | Material: Organic Cotton | Inseam: 26.5 or 28.5-inch | Wash: 4
What We Love: These jeans are made with social responsibility in mind.
What We Don’t Love: We wish there were more washes.
Making sustainable fashion choices is not only important, but vital in today’s fast fashion world. Experience sustainable elegance with Etica’s Tyler Straight Crop Torrent pair which will easily last for the next 50 years. Crafted with refibra, an upcycled cellulose fiber from recycled cotton, these jeans epitomize responsible fashion.
Personally, I love the high-rise straight with the frayed detail at the hem which adds a contemporary flair that I can see myself pairing with a cozy sweater or a crisp pastel button down while coasting through Europe. The best thing about these jeans is that they are so versatile, and effortlessly suit vacations, summer, or autumn outings. In the winter, you can even pair them with boots and take advantage of the cropped leg. Though they are more expensive, you can be assured that they were created in an ethically-certified factory dedicated to social responsibility. We just wish the style came in more washes.
Price at time of publish: $188
Size Range: 24-32 | Material: Cotton, refibra tencel | Inseam: 26.5-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: These jeans elongate your legs.
What We Don’t Love: Some customers recommend sizing up.
Levi’s is a clear household name and you can rest assured they know how to make a good bootcut. The soft denim not only supports but also sculpts the rear end, boosting your confidence. Thanks to a trusted tummy-smoothing panel and a well-crafted bootleg cut, your legs also enjoy a flattering elongation – a true win-win scenario. Praised by customers for their glove-like fit and body-contouring magic, these jeans feel like a second skin. Again, due to the shaping qualities, you may want to size up.
Price at time of publish: $49
Size Range: 24-34 | Material: Cotton, polyester and elastane | Inseam: 30-inch and 32- inch | Wash: 7
What We Love: This pair strikes the right balance of relaxed yet tapered.
What We Don’t Love: The capri length can make you look shorter.
Unlike other affordable pairs of jeans that contain a high percentage of spandex, these Jen7 slim boyfriend jeans only feature a mere 3 percent; jeans with a lot of spandex can cause a pair to lose their shape over time, but many prefer it to get a better fit, especially over curves. With such a small amount of spandex included, this pair has just enough to ensure a comfortable fit, while maintaining that rigid denim look. What we really admire about this pair is that has an overall fitted shape with just a touch of slouch. These mid-rise jeans also have a gap-proof contoured waist and shaping panels that subtly sculpt any figure. Those who are shorter may want to avoid this cropped cut, as the capri length can make them look even shorter.
Price at time of publish: $99
Size Range: 00-16 | Material: Cotton, elasterell and spandex | Inseam: 28.5-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: These jeans are timeless.
What We Don’t Love: Sizes tend to sell out.
Elevate your style with Swedish brand Na-KD’s high waist mom jeans, a perfect choice for women seeking comfort and style. These stretchy jeans offer a flattering high waist, accentuating your silhouette. With a five-pocket design and raw details, they exude an effortless chic and are available in three versatile washes. Personally, I love how giftable this pair is and would make a great present for the upcoming holiday season because they will last a long time in someone’s wardrobe. Plus, Na-KD aspires to embrace sustainability and by 2030 is aiming to utilize 100 percent organic, recycled or other low-impact materials in all their products to create a more conscious fashion future. Because of how popular the brand is, sizes tend to sell out, so don’t sleep on this one.
Price at time of publish: $50
Size range: EU 32-42 | Material: Cotton, polyester and elastane | Inseam: 27-inch | Wash: 3
What We Love: The black doesn’t fade when washing.
What We Don’t Love: We wish it came in more colors.
I fell in love with this pair of black jeans the second I put them on. I am always looking for a timeless pair that is perfect for travel, wrinkle-resistant and stretchy, and behold the Daria Jean, aptly named as “Better Than Denim.” Made from nearly 100 percent cotton, the stretchy style offered a flattering high waist that accentuated my silhouette and remained wrinkle-free even after I traveled for more than six hours on a plane.
What I also loved was how easy it was to pair this: though I opted for a casual airport fit, I could easily wear a dressier blouse or blazer for a polished look. Despite washing these jeans a handful of times, the color never fades, which is unfortunately the case with other black jeans. While I do love the black and green, more color options would be great.
Price at time of publish: $225
Size Range: 00-20 | Material: Cotton, elastane | Inseam: 26-inch | Wash: 2
What We Love: They run true to size.
What We Don’t Love: Not everyone may be a fan of the ultra-high rise.
I can never find a good pair of white jeans, and I mean actually white, not off-white or beige. Yet, once again Good American reigns supreme with these bright stunners. The straight leg is uber versatile and the side-split hem provides that unexpected detail that elevates these from the rest. With just a touch of elastane, these pants move with you while retaining their shape and sculpting your legs. And there’s no gaping at the waistband! While some love the ultra-high waist that lifts your booty, some may want to go with a lower rise.
Price at time of publish: $135
Size Range: 00-28 Plus | Material: Cotton, elastane | Inseam: 32-inch | Wash: 1
What We Love: The light wash and flared leg resemble your favorite vintage pair.
What We Don’t Love: The flared leg tends to run long.
Contrary to what people think, certain washes, such as lighter washes are not reserved just for younger women. We really like these flared jeans, as the high-rise and light washes give off that nostalgic vintage look we can’t get over. Featuring the brand’s magic pockets, these jeans smooth your middle while a touch of spandex adds comfortable stretch. They do run long, so consider opting for the petite inseam—we love how Madewell offers, petite, plus, and tall sizing!
Price at time of publish: $128
Size Range: 23-33| Material: Cotton, spandex | Inseam: 32-inch | Wash: 3
What We Love: You can take a quiz to find your custom size.
What We Don’t Love: The waist can gap on curvy figures.
Created for women of all shapes and sizes, Measure & Made’s proprietary ShapeLogic technology, delivers custom-like fitting pants. All you need to do is take a 60-second ShapeLogic™ Quiz to find your exact size. You also get 30 days to test the jeans out and return them for free. Coming in two dark washes, these are the ultimate skinny jeans you can pair with boots, sneakers, and heels. And if you’re not the biggest fan of high-rises, you’ll be glad to know this style comes with a mid-rise that hits at the belly button. Some reviewers found that the waist gaps, so if you are blessed with curves, consider a jean like Everlane The Curvy ’90s Cheeky Jean.
Price at time of publish: $119
Size Range: 0-28 | Material: Cotton, rayon, polyester and spandex | Inseam: 29-inch or 33-inch | Wash: 4
What We Love: The denim is really durable and comfortable.
What We Don’t Love: We wish there was a more inclusive size range.
We know you have so many medium wash jean options, but we really love this straight fit from Goelia. Made out of a cotton and acetate denim blend, the fabric is shiny, soft, and an alternative to silk or rayon. As someone who has tried different items from the brand, I love how these jeans feel soft to my skin without causing me any itchiness or ashes.
Also, given that the denim is thick, it has the ability to resist UV light while keeping you cool, making them suitable for summer wear. The last thing you want to do is have your jeans stick to you during those unbearable hot days! The straight-fit is meant to flatter the lower body so regardless of whether you tuck in your top or leave it loose, you’ll look sophisticated. We do wish it came in more sizes though.
Price at time of publish: $61
Size Range: 25-29 | Material: Cotton, polyester, acetate, polyamide and elastane | Inseam: 29-inch | Wash: 1
What to Keep in Mind
Though you can wear any jean silhouette at any age, our experts share those that they find best for those over the age of 50. “Straight-fit jeans are a great choice for people of all ages and sizes and are a timeless option you’ll want to wear for years to come,” says fashion stylist Alicia Lloyd. “For women in their 50s, I also recommend a bootcut or slightly flared denim for a versatile and chic look.” We like Levi’s Women’s 315 Shaping Bootcut Jean for a classic bootcut jean.
Similar to the silhouette, you want to think about the wash of the jean. “A classic blue jean is timeless; lighter blue is beautiful for spring-summer and darker blue going to fall-winter,” says fashion stylist Catherine Bibeau. “A nice midnight black is chic as well for a dinner or work outing.” The Daria Jean is our go-to black jean that’s formal enough for the office and events.
One thing to keep in mind is taking care of your jeans so that the wash doesn’t fade. Fashion stylist Liz Wendler recommends washing jeans before wearing to help remove any dye left from production to avoid staining anything white, like your sneakers or couch. Be sure to turn them inside out and wash cold and then hang dry them until they are fully dry. After which, put them in the dryer for no more than 10 minutes to soften the stiffness of the denim and avoid washing after every wear.
Although many brands like Measure & Made and Good American are actively trying to fix challenges in achieving uniform sizing and accessibility, there is still more work to be done. As a result, put aside the label and trust your instincts. When shopping for jeans, request various sizes within your range to find the perfect length for your height and torso. Instead of fixating on the number of the size, rely on the mirror and your ability to style to guide your decision-making.
Your Questions, Answered
How do you style jeans as a woman over 50?
Styling jeans is all about harmonizing comfort and sophistication, according to Wendler.
“Opt for well-fitting, classic cuts like high-waisted or straight-leg designs. Pair them with a tailored blouse, a chic blazer, or a cozy sweater for timeless elegance,” says Wendler. “Accessorize with statement jewelry and a stylish belt to elevate the look. Embrace versatile footwear such as ankle boots, loafers, or classic pumps.”
Don’t also be afraid to experiment to find your style, according to fashion stylist Ashley Full. “If you want to jazz it up, a subtle sequin top to pair back to your denim wash cuffed jeans,” says Full. “Tone her down with a great sneaker and you will look on trend and chic.”
Can you wear skinny or ripped jeans over 50?
While many associate skinny and ripped jeans with their teenage years, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them past a certain age. At InStyle, we believe you can wear anything that makes you confident and happy. In fact, Bibeau recommends a classic skinny jean, like Measure & Made Skinny Ankle Jean, for women over their 50s who want to show off their figure. And as for ripped jeans, there are plenty of styles with distressed details that work for all ages. Jen7 Slim Boyfriend Jeans has a small rip that adds to the casual feel of the pant.
Why Shop With Us
Pooja Shah is a beauty, fashion and commerce writer for InStyle, Oprah Daily, Women’s Health, Wide Open Country and other publications. In order to write this list, she consulted a number of stylists and fashion experts, including Michelle Barrett, Liz Wendler, Ashley Full, Alicia Lloyd, and Catherine Bibeau and tested some pairs of jeans herself to provide advice on fit, style and material.