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No Mom Jeans! The Light and Dark Side of Denim

Over forty? Just say no to Mom Jeans. In midlife, denim can become either our best friends or our worst enemies!

In Charla Krupp’s book, How Not to Look Old (affiliate link), she writes, “(In 2003) I bought my first pair of jeans since college.  I’ve since appeared on The Today Show in jeans – in jeans segments and even when the segments are not about jeans.  Why?  I look better in my jeans than any piece of clothing in my closet.”


I know exactly what she is saying, since I have experienced her exact euphoria after I learned the right way to wear jeans. I feel more confident in my jean-styles than anything else, and have worn denim just about everywhere.

Last fall, I even had a mom ask me why I was so dressed up for a football game.  I said, “These are my jeans.”  She was surprised at how great and professional denim could look.

They can be our worst enemy when we try to follow denim trends (like the ripped styles) or when they are too light, too tight, too floppy (mom jeans!), too high up, or purchased in the junior department.  Taking time to locate a great fit is essential, and it is worth the price to find the fit and style.  In the beginning, go to the dressing room and do not order online until you find the ones meant for you.

Krupp recommends:

  1. A mid-low rise.  You are looking for an eight-to-nine-inch rise.  Still below the belly button.  But not low enough to expose anything in the back!
  2. A dark wash.  (I believe this is critical for a more polished, slimming look)
  3. Boot cuts and straight legs do your hips a favor.  The best fit for a woman’s body.
  4. Jeans with a touch (not too much) of stretch will hug your curves and move without tugging.
  5. Pockets should have NO embellishments (this will make you look older not younger) and the jeans should be solid dark wash with no fading or stripes.
  6. The right length hits one-eighth to one-quarter inch from the ground.
  7. Look in the back and buy the pair that makes your butt look the best

As I have done before, I recommend purchasing this book.

She gives some great dressing room guidelines, with specific things to do in the dressing room to test and see if these are “your jeans.”

If you read my blog, you know I wear denim a lot–most of the time.  I love it, and a great looking pair is essential.   Sadly, some of my favorite jeans are from Coldwater Creek, and that chain is  shutting down.  I also like my jeans from INC Concepts sold at Macys.

Have you found your perfect jeans already?  Where did you find them?  Please share!

Summer is here Let’s have some fun, ladies!  Thanks for stopping by The Joy Boutique.  Have a fabulous week!

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Suzanne Fluhr

Thursday 29th of May 2014

An old pair from J. Jill. ---totally Mom jeans, but they fit and are really comfortable. I have trouble finding a pair that aren't too big in (near) the waist if they fit everywhere else. Shopping for jeans is still one of my least favorite activities---almost, but not quite, up there with shopping for a bathing suit.

Lucia P.

Wednesday 28th of May 2014

Great post. I will confess to a deep and abiding love for Not Your Daughter's Jeans (NYDJ), I wrote a love letter to NYDJ on my blog. I also like Talbot's (signature line I think), KUT KLOTH and just bought a pair of Eileen Fisher skinny jeans that were highly recommended online.

Some of the lines that fit me the best (forgetting the brand) always have bedazzling on the butt. So I have to pass on those.

NYDJ are often on sale at Nordstrom Rack at deep discounts and they come in colors, faux leather. They really are worth giving a try. I'm going to try the other recommendations here as well.

Pamela, I really enjoy your blog!


Val Newman

Wednesday 28th of May 2014

Yes, jeans. The fit is most important. Vera Wang from Kohl's makes good ones for me, also Elle. My best favorite jeans shorts are Seven7 from TJ Maxx. I wear the dark wash but there's a soft spot in my heart for the light, washed out jeans. I save them for home. From my first pair of denim bell bottoms which I had to embellish with a band around the bottom because they were too short always (the hippie days) to now when I refuse to wear pull up stretch ones; jeans have been my mostly.



Wednesday 28th of May 2014

Most recently, my perfect fit has been from Coldwater Creek, the slim leg style. They are not super skinny, but just lean enough and I love how they look. I'm sorry they are going out of business. I have had success with Levis straight legs, though the pockets are always embellished. I agree with you that a dark wash is most flattering, though I wear white jeans alll summer and for super casual will sometimes wear a light wash, but I don't have many in the lighter washes. I need to find a replacement for the Coldwater Creek jeans, so will be checking out Macy's and J. Jill this weekend.


Tuesday 27th of May 2014

My favorite jeans are also INC concepts at Macys. They are a great fit for me. I shared with Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for the great post.

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