You can wear denim in midlife and beyond
You love your denim as much as the next gal, so wear it. You want to look polished, not floppy, or frumpy, but also not like trying too hard or even worse, trying not at all. Going beyond the basics in wearing denim over 40 sounds like to balance on the sharp side of a carving knife. Denim is associated with casual and weekend and can go easy frumpy or looking like wearing a uniform.
Advanced styling tips for denim over 40
In an earlier post of this Ageless Style series, I gave tips what to look for when seeking for an ageless outfit in denim. Today’s post expands on those tips by providing tips how to style denim like a pro.
First let me give you some outfit inspirations.
Stylists’ secrets on wearing denim
- Recall to stay away from the extremes like a superwide bell-shape or super-distressed. Both look sort of ridiculous at any age. A straight cut is a classic, but pairing shoes with it is much more difficult than for skinnies, or a slight bootcut.
- Pairing jeans with a button-down shirt, scarf or pearls, pumps and a blazer is a fool-proof business casual look to try. Paired with a white shirt is an American classic.
- A turtleneck sweater with jeans and blazer also falls in this category.
- Many stylists advise against wearing a denim skirt over 40 due to the stiffness of the fabric. However, when the cut is to the advantage of providing shape to a straight-up-and-down body and the skirt is above the knee it can work to your favor.
- If you wear a denim skirt, stay out of dressing like a cowgirl, i.e. don’t add a plaid shirt plus fringe leather jacket and cowboy boots and a hat unless you go to a western bar or festival. You would look otherwise like Rosie in Disguise.
- Style the denim skirt like you would style a corduroy skirt with a striped Tee or polo shirt or like a black pencil skirt with a white button-down shirt and black or nude pumps.
- Denim jackets are a nice way to style a dress down. Click To Tweet
- Try a denim jacket as an alternative to a cardigan.
- Belt your denim jacket and/or wear it under a vest.
- Pair a denim jacket with a romantic dress or skirt, a lace dress or sequin skirt for an unexpected going out look.
- Denim-on-denim looks best with two different washes, but same texture. Click To Tweet Think one of the denim-on-denim pieces just has been washed over and over again while the other hasn’t.
- If you aren’t tall like Karlie Kloss don’t go for her Texas tuxedo, i.e. denim everything.
- Soft fabric denim shirts look great with dark wash jeans, corduroy or leather pants and even a black pencil or a classic tweed skirt. Go for a tailored cut to look polished.
- Try a denim piece with a white (or colored) denim piece.
Inspirations how to wear a denim skirt
Inspirations how to style a denim jacket
Styling down an Elli Tahari abstract floral print sheath dress with a Fossil white denim jacket for Casual Friday. The red Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Chanel belt, Ray Ban sunglasses and fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim tote tie the look together (all own)
Styling a Ruby Belle plaid sheath dress down for Casual Friday with a Levis denim jacket worn as a top under a VS leather vest, GNW tight, dagwood flower and beads statement necklace, Festina watch, and Harley Davidson motorcycle booties (all own)
Inspirations how to wear jeans
Inspiration how to style a denim shirt over 40
How do you style your denim? Do you wear denim-on-denim? What’s your favorite outfit with this fabric? I am curious.
Discussed example: Denim dress
In the look shown in the photos below, the color scheme is given by the plaid scarf, red, blue, black.
Discussed example: Styling distressed jeans
What about distressed jeans? You surely have read the countless memos in various fashion magazines, the fashion sections of newspaper, and style books:
No distressed jeans after 40.
Well, I am a midlife blogger, and proud of it. And after buying the distressed jeans shown in the photos below I think I hesitated way too long to get my own pair. I have loved distressed BF jeans ever since I saw them the first time when Kate Holmes wore a pair. About a year ago, my best friend bought a pair of sweat pants with a distressed print. That made me even more to want my own pair of distressed BF jeans.
When I saw these sweat pants the last time, I mentioned it. My best friend was like “do you really want to pay more money for a pair of jeans that is already broken?” “Sure, the distress is another step in the production process. That’s why they cost more.” “Right, but they are ugly.” “Then why did you buy sweat pants with a distress print?” “They are not broken.” “But have an ugly print?” We both LOL. 🙂
After doing some insomniac online shopping I got these. When I wore them the first time, my best friend pointed at the distress and said “yack”, but loved them in the overall outfit/look so much to take not only one photo, but one from from all angles. 😉Wear what looks great on you and forget about the rest. #personalstyle Click To Tweet
Alway experiment with new things you like. Some items that are first a trend – like distressed BF jeans – become later a classic and when worn with classics they just add the little twist that keeps a classic look from being boring. Classic with a twist. The distress as the surprise.
How to make distressed BF look great for Casual Friday
Wear distressed jeans with a blazer, knit silk or cashmere sweater, high heels and accessorize with a necklace that also builds on the unexpected. In the example above, it’s being bold and delicate at the same time. The blazer should be high quality and have a tailored cut. Add a statement belt. The patent leather high heel pumps add polish. In one sentence, style distressed jeans with luxury items for a classic with a twist and stir clearly away from anything “frumpy”.
Discussed example: Skinny jeans
In this example, I paired skinny jeans with an ethnic shirt for a western vibe Casual Friday work outfit. The ethnic top was a gift of a girl friend of mine. She bought it in India for me when she visited her family during the winter break. To keep the look from going Bohemian or 70s, I added a classic trench coat, and a luxury bag. To give the outfit a little edge and a little more color I added my neon yellow pumps. Always repeat a color at least twice in an outfit like in this example neon yellow and sunflower yellow.
When you like any of these outfit inspirations, it would help me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.
When you liked this post share it with your friends by tweeting them: Great tips to look awesome in denim over 40.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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