45 undeniable pants truths you need to know

#maturefashion Canadian tuxedo What to wear when traveling Alaska @ http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

Pants can mean iconic style

One of the ultimate pants style icons is probably Lauren Bacall. She once said

I wear pants almost exclusively so I can sit like a truck driver. I own one dress – an evening gown.

I wear pants almost exclusively so I can sit like a truck driver. I own one dress - an evening gown. - Lauren Bacall #fashionquote Click To Tweet
Many women over 50 remember times when women weren’t allowed to wear pants or jeans to school. When we also happened to be the oldest girl in the family, we had to fight our way to finally wear them. Many of us made the experience that the younger sister(s) took the position of the parents. However, after you declared victory, she/they were the first to wear benefit from your battles.

#styleover50 how to pick your perfect pants

Pants can hide flaws over 40

Whether it was the fight to wear what we wanted or just the comfort like for Lauren Bacall, most of us still love to wear pants or jeans. A new reason may be that they perfectly hide spider veins and/or bumps on the legs. Let’s get down to the bottom of why pants are great for us over 40 and which ones to wear. In the following, I will just use the word “trousers” when it doesn’t matter whether we are talking about jeans, pants, slacks, cargoes, etc.

#maturestyle woman in business casual outfit looking chic in straight brown trousers
Front view of work outfit with Orvis Irish blazer, GNW Luxe sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, I.N.C. straight leather trousers (similar pants), Nine West plateau loafers (all own), and leather pearl necklace c/o Wendy Mignot
#midlifestyle woman looking posh in straight leather pants
Orvis Irish blazer, GNW Luxe sweater, I.N.C. straight leather pants (similar), Nine West plateau loafers, Hermes collier de chien bangle,  Festina watch, DKNY socks (all own), and leather pearl necklace c/o Wendy Mignot

The full truth about looking chic in pants over 40

  1. Trousers hide spider veins and/or bumps.
  2. Some trousers styles are best for one shape or the other.
  3. Cropped trousers shorten your legs.
  4. Wide trousers shorten your legs unless they have a high waist 40s style.
  5. Just because everyone wears cropped or wide trousers is not a reason that you wear them when they actually shorten your legs.
  6. Evening cropped trousers look terrific with high-heeled ankle strap evening shoes. Just make sure that the fabric will not get caught in the buckles.
  7. When you are slim and petite, go for slim leg trousers.
  8. When you are long-legged high waist wide leg trousers wokr for you with flat. Otherwise go for plateau shoes at add height and a hem that is 1/2 inch above the ground when wearing the plateau shoes.
  9. Low waist trousers elongate your torso, i.e. they are great for women with short torso, and bad for those with long torso.
  10. When you have a short torso, stay away from high waist trousers. They shorten your torso even more and sit under your boobs. Recall an “empire waist” is a style for dresses, never for trousers.
  11. Low waist trousers bear the risk to expose the Y of your bum or the tail of your thong. Any exposure of this kind is never in style. Thus, always sit down and take a selfie of your derriere to make sure you are covered appropriately.
  12. When wearing low rise trousers make sure your top is long enough to cover their waist band.
  13. Getting the leg length right is important. While there is the classic rule that the hem should hit just 1/2 of an inch over the ground, trends may be different. Thus, have classic cuts that will be basics in your wardrobe hemmed this way and buy them in the best quality you can effort. Go cheap on those with trendy leg lengths like the leather pants in this phost.
  14. Unless your bum is flat like a pancake, avoid pockets with flaps.
  15. Small back pocket make your bum look huge, while large back pockets do the opposite.
  16. Pleat-front trousers carry off. If you don’t need the illusion of that extra weight, skip them.
  17. Only when you have a tummy that carves in you can wear pleated trousers.
  18. Floarl print trousers are for vacation, open air festivals, garden and beach parties. Don’t wear them downtown.
  19. Animal print pants come back on a perenial cycle. Thus, wear them only when they are (again) trendy.
  20. Wear white trousers after Labor Day for ageless style in a fall or winter outfit. So chic and unexpected.
  21. Trouser worn with a dress are a do. However, watch which dress length is on trend at the moment (short tunics vs. knee length or longer than this).
  22. No matter how perfect your body is, anything that bulks out of the trousers waist band looks like you have a huge tummy and/or bum. (That’s why I hate blouses and shirts!)
  23. When you wear skinnies with high boots, try to stay as close to the same color to not visually cut your legs in half.
  24. Buy your jeans in a dark wash. They look slimming and more posh.
  25. When you are on the fence between jeans sizes, go for the lower size.
  26. When you find a pair of jeans that make your bum look hot get two pairs, one to wear with flats, one to wear with heels.
  27. Skinnies look awesome with a chunky sweater and high heels when you have great legs.
  28. When you have slim legs, wear your skinnies with stilettos and a slim cut blazer for date night. It’s a nice Rock’n Roll attitude.
  29. When you want to wear cargo pants go for a slim cut. Make sure all pockets are flat and basically useless to carry anything in them. Otherwise they will add weight in undesired locations. You don’t want to risk to look like a walking diamond.
  30. Unless you are in your twenties, cargo pants need a high heel, no matter whether the heel is chunky, stiletto, skinny, strappy, …
  31. Leggings bear a high risk to make you a fashion victim. Important pre-requisites are slim legs and knees. Only style them with a tunic, sweater, trench coat, shirt or dress that entirely cover your bum.
  32. When you are on the curvy side, classic or relaxed fits are best for you that sit on the hips rather than on your waist. Your waistband should sit just below your nattural waist. The legs should skim your legs, i.e. not be tight. Furthermore, stay away from small back pockets, wide away set back pockets, and back pockets with flaps. They all make your curves look even wider than they are already.
  33. When you are curvy and have a tiny waist go for low rise stretch jeans with straight legs.
  34. When you are curvy and have a tiny waist avoid all high-waist trousers like the plague. They make your hips look unproportionally large compared to your waist. Who needs to look unbalanced?
  35. When your bum is flat, decorated not body concious, but slim stretch jeans with decorated back pockets or flaps are your best bet jeans wise.
  36. When your bum is flat, stay away from boyfriend jeans, baggy or loose trousers, and trousers in stiff fabrics.
  37. When your tights are heavy go for an easy fit around your hips. Stay away from tapered trousers and tucking in.
  38. When your tights are heavy bootcut jeans can balance your tighs.
  39. When you are straight up-and-down like a light pol, the boy friend jeans are for you. Depending on whether you have a long or short torso go for high and low rise, respectively.
  40. Jeans always look best in a medium weight (12 oz). However, when you are living in a cold climate region wear leggings underneath or go for Alaska weight (16 oz).
  41. When your trousers have belt loops and you tuck your top in, wear a belt that fits for the size of the belt loops.
  42. Match your belt to the color of your trousers when you are short-legged and/or have a long torso to elongate your legs. Match it to the top when you have a short torso and/or long legs.
  43. Watch the proportions. Slim trousers can take wide tops, wide trousers need slim top.
  44. Boyfriend jeans need a heel unless you are a twenty something.
  45. Cuffed trousers shorten your leg. Leave them to the 5ft 10 (1.78 m) women.
#advancedstyle woman donning straight leather pants and an Irish blazer for a posh office look
Back view of posh casual office outfit with Orvis Irish blazer, I.N.C. pants, and Nine West plateau loafers, and pearl hair clip (all own)

Are you interested in what to look for in a Fair Isle or the original details of an Irish cable knit sweater or a Norwegian Lice jacket? If so check the posts at the links.

Which style of trousers is your favorite? Which style would you like to try, but never did? What are your style challenges wearing trousers? Send me an email with your style challenge so I can help you with an answer and many other women with a post.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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