Best jeans for women over 50 to shop right now

Looking for the best jeans for women over 50? Experts choose the 10 pairs that are perfect for every occasion.

best jeans for women over 50 shown on models: Good American, Wyse, Madewell, Levi's, River Island
(Image credit: Good American, Wyse, Madewell, Levi's, River Island)

The best jeans for women over 50 are a wardrobe staple you'd be wise to stock up on. From new emerging styles to the silhouettes that will underpin multiple outfits, regardless of your age, you don't have to compromise on style. From high-waisted straight legs to skinny jeans, discover the best pairs to wear now. 

Shopping for jeans that are versatile and flattering is no easy task, and while there are no hard and fast rules as to what makes the best jeans for women over 50, you might find the latest trend-led styles not quite as wearable as faithful staples. The variety and consistency of denim silhouettes has vastly improved over the last decade meaning the best jeans at any age is no longer such a tall order. 

With many types of jeans available, don't be afraid of embracing some newer denim silhouettes when putting together an over 50s capsule wardrobe, but do think about the support and shaping that makes you feel the most confident. If you want to give a nod to the latest denim trends 2024, fold those skinny jeans away and opt for the straight legged jeans. This silhouette is just as streamlined but feels a little more polished and less casual than its figure-hugging counterpart. 

Above everything else, you want to feel at ease with your choice of denim. Lisa Illis, Head of Womenswear Design at M&S, says comfort should be the only thing that dictates what style of jeans you buy once you hit 50.

“It’s important to feel comfortable and confident in your jean style,” she says. “Within our range we try to have styles that will “fit and flatter” whatever the age, shape or size of our very broad customer base.”

10 best jeans for women over 50: what to look for and how to style them

Personal stylist Lisa Talbot who often helps her clients select the best jeans, recommends looking across a wide range of brands, including those you may dismiss because they feel quite 'young'. 

“As women get older, they can certainly feel that some of the high street and online retailers are off limits due to them being for the younger generations, but the reality is style does not have an age limit,” she says.  

“The majority of the stores always carry lovely collections for all age ranges. They recognise that as ladies get older, they still have the need to look modern. For a women over 50, great stores to purchase jeans from are ZARA, River Island and ASOS.”

While the most affordable jeans are a great way to up your stock of everyday pieces in your denim capsule wardrobe. Investing in quality jeans, from the best jeans brands will ensure your denim is long-lasting and in turn, means you'll get more wear out of them. Opting for darker jeans, or pairs without distressed details will add versatility, as these can be worn for smart casual outfit ideas from AM to PM.

best jeans for women over 50

(Image credit: Levi's)

1. Levi's 724 High Rise Straight Jean

Best straight leg jean


RRP: £100
Sizes: 25-34 waist

Reasons to buy

Wide variety of washes to choose from
Contains stretch for comfort

Reasons to avoid

They run a little on the small side

According to stylist Lisa Talbot, these are some of the best straight leg jeans around. Not only are they available in 3 different leg lengths, but they come in 12 different washes meaning you can choose the shade that suits you best, or buy several shades if you want straight jeans to be a building block of your capsule wardrobe. Made with 2% elastane, the stretch makes these some of the most comfortable jeans when sitting down, while the high waisted silhouette helps to contour your silhouette.

If you can’t usually be prised away from your best skinny jeans, a straight leg can be a great way to try something new as they’re not radically different in leg shape.

“If you’re looking to try out a new fit, we recommend dipping your toe in the trend of looser-leg styles such as the straight leg jean,” says Lisa Illis. “Look for washed or authentic finishes for a lived-in effect.”

Not sure how to style straight leg jeans? These really are a versatile jean and will go with anything in your wardrobe, but Lisa Illis says they look particularly good with classics.

“Wear tucked into your boots or with a trench and loafers,” she advises, an ideal, early spring look.

Model wearing River Island Molly sculpt skinny jeans to illustrate the best jeans for women over 60

(Image credit: River Island)

2. River Island Molly Bum Sculpt Skinny Jeans

Best skinny jeans


RRP: £48
Sizes: UK: 6-18 / Leg length: short, regular, long

Reasons to buy

Made from innovative, stretch denim
Has shaping seams to fit and contour

Reasons to avoid

Not available in a wide range of sizes

“The ‘Molly’ sculpt skinny jeans are very flattering,” says Lisa Talbot who recommends them if you’re looking for the ultimate slimming jeans. Thanks to the innovative stretch denim, these skinny jeans help to sculpt your bottom and contour your midriff. They also feature shaping seams to improve the fit and overall silhouette. Available in 4 different washes and 3 different leg lengths, whether you're after great petite jeans or the best jeans for tall women, there is a fit for you.

“Have a think about the wash,” she says. “A deeper, darker denim creates a more formal look, whereas a light wash gives a more casual appearance.”

If you’re wondering what to wear with black jeans like these, smarten them up with an oversized blazer and heeled ankle boots. Alternatively, add a casual vibe with an oversized sweatshirt and a pair of high-top trainers.

Madewell slouchy jeans

(Image credit: Madewell)

3. Madewell Slouchy Boy Jean

Best relaxed jeans


RRP: £131
Sizes: 23-33 waist / Leg length: petite, standard, tall

Reasons to buy

Available in plus, petite, regular and tall sizes
Manufactured in an eco-friendly way
Plus, tall and petite available (colourways may vary)

Reasons to avoid

Might be too casual for some outfits

If the thought of wearing mom jeans again brings you out in a sweat - and a flashback to your days of frosted lipstick and big hair - try boyfriend jeans instead. So, what’s the difference when it comes to boyfriend jeans vs mom jeans? They still come with the comfort factor, but without any of those ‘80s connotations you might not want to repeat.

“For a comfortable fit and roomier leg, try a boyfriend jean,” says Lisa Illis. “Ideal for teaming with casual outfits, they flatter the figure while creating a relaxed, low-key look.”

Not sure how to style jeans like these? The looser fit gives you that ‘borrowed from the boys’ effortless look, so you can continue the vibe by teaming with an oversized shirt. 

A lighter wash or distressed finish will add to the casual vibe. Cuff the legs if you want to add to the laidback feel or if they’re a little on the long side. If you want to smarten things up a bit, try a fitted top half such as a body or t-shirt - just keep your tops tucked into balance your frame and keep your ensemble neat.

Model wearing Abercrombie Ultra High Rise Straight Jean to illustrate the best jeans for women over 50

(Image credit: Abercrombie)

4. Abercrombie Ultra High Rise Straight Jean

Best high waisted jeans


RRP: £75
Sizes: 23-37 waist / Leg length: extra short, short, regular, long, extra-long

Reasons to buy

Good selection of sizes and leg lengths are available
Super flattering high rise waist

Reasons to avoid

The rise may be too high for some

High waisted jeans are largely considered the most flattering jeans. This is because the higher rise helps to contour your midriff, helping to nip you in and smooth out your shape.

“The high waist flattens the tummy line, while the stretch allows the jeans to fit into the waist and curve over the lower body,” says Lisa Talbot. Making them first and foremost comfortable and secure to wear, as well as acting like the best shapewear too.

The best high waisted jeans, like these, contain stretch so that they’re not corset-like, especially when you sit down. These ones not only have 1% elastane for that comfort, but the ultra-high rise sits at your natural waistline, enhancing your curves.

Wondering how to style high waisted jeans? There’s no fashion magic here, simply, just tuck in your top half to maximize that waist-accentuating high rise. If you feel a bit body conscious, a shirt or jacket over the top offers a slimming silhouette, without showing everything off too much, as it creates a central, optical illusion panel that automatically narrows and lengthens your frame. 

As these Abercrombie jeans come in a variety of washes (33 to be precise), you can find a pair for all occasions, however, the darker denim would work best for smarter occasions, teamed with a pair of sparkly heels and a fitted top.

Model wearing Topshop Petite Jamie Jeans to illustrate the best jeans for women over 50

(Image credit: ASOS)

5. Topshop Petite Jamie Jeans

Best petite jeans


RRP: £42
Sizes: 24-34 inches

Reasons to buy

Cult jean status
Ankle grazing style

Reasons to avoid

Only available in one leg length

The Jamie jeans became a cult hit when they were first introduced by Topshop in the noughties. Often selling out in super quick time, these skinny jeans are still available to buy via ASOS - and still sell out quickly thanks to their form-fitting style and high rise waist. And according to Lisa Illis, this version is a great style of jeans for women over 50, who clock in under 5ft 4” to go for. 

“If you’re looking to find the best petite jeans, skinny jeans are the best solution,” she says. “With just the right amount of ankle shown, this style of jean helps to create the effect of longer legs, great for a petite shape.” 

"Pair with a tucked-in or cropped jumper to add height. Alternatively, if you opt for a roomier top, add length by pairing them with your favourite chunky heeled ankle boots."

wide leg jeans

(Image credit: Boden)

6. Boden Wide Leg Jeans

Best for spring/summer


RRP: £90
Sizes: 25-34 waist / Leg length 28-34 inch

Reasons to buy

A classic style that won’t date
Gorgeously soft denim

Reasons to avoid

Limited sizing

Reminiscent of a sailor trousers, ankle grazing wide leg jeans are enjoying a revival right now as more fluid designs are slated to be a major part of the latest seasonal trends.

“We are currently seeing a huge success with the newer styles in the range at M&S such as wide leg and cropped wide leg which gives a youthful look,” says Lisa Illis, 

These wide leg jeans offer a relaxed fit across the thigh for added comfort, while the high waist creates definition and shape. A nice mix between smart and casual, they may look tricky to wear, but the key, to styling wide leg jeans says Lisa, is in the cut.

“Look for these new styles in a slightly higher waist, which is flattering for layering over or tucking in tops.”

Slightly cropped knitwear or t-shirts will work well with this style as the high waist creates an hourglass silhouette that is balanced by the wider hem. While heels will help elongate legs, don’t be afraid to wear ballet pumps or flat sandals with this style - just ensure you balance the look by highlighting your waist and keeping top halves neat and fitted.

slim flare dark blue jeans, with sculpting properties

(Image credit: M&S)

7. M&S Magic Shaping High Waisted Slim Flare Jeans

Most slimming jeans


RRP: £45
Sizes: UK: 6-24

Reasons to buy

Large range of sizes
Special shaping technology

Reasons to avoid

Flares can be overwhelming

The Magic Shaping jeans from M&S are a fashionista firm favourite and some of the best M&S jeans thanks to the special Sculpt & Lift™ technology that lifts the bottom and sculpts your shape. The bi-stretch denim and the contoured waistband holds in the waist to ensure a gap-proof finish, perfect if you are after an hourglass body shape.

While there are lots of different styles in the range, Lisa Illis recommends the slim flare jeans in a dark blue for the most directional look this season.

Slim through the leg, the jeans feature a subtle flare, allowing you to tap into the latest trends while remaining timeless. The shaping darts to the back pocket help to minimise waist gap and help to add a perkiness to your behind. The discreet front pocket technology adds a smoothing finish to midriffs too.

As for how to style flared jeans, the general rule is to balance out the flare by keeping your top half fitted. These dark jeans will work well for smart casual outfits. Try wearing them with a cream boucle fitted jacket and a heel to make this look work for a French capsule wardrobe.

Model wearing Hush Lenny Coated Jeans to illustrate the best jeans for women over 50

(Image credit: Hush)

8. Hush Lenny Coated Jeans

Best for nights out


RRP: £85
Sizes: UK: 4-18

Reasons to buy

Available in two leg lengths
Glam alternative to regular denim jeans

Reasons to avoid

Only goes up to size 16/18

If you’ve always wanted to rock a pair of leather trousers, but feel they’re too OTT for your lifestyle, these coated jeans are a great way to get the look with a more attainable feel. Cut in a high-rise silhouette, and available in two-leg lengths, this style is great if you normally can’t be prised out of your skinny jeans.

“If you’re used to wearing skinny jeans and making the jump to boyfriend jeans feels a little scary, try a straight-leg style for a similar effect,” recommends Lisa Illis.

The perfect addition to spring and autumn outfit ideas, these coated jeans will go with everything from simple t-shirts to your best jumpers, and the leather fabrication adds an edge to your basics. Dress them up with stiletto ankle boots and a slinky top or give them a casual rock chick vibe with a logo or slogan t-shirt and your best white trainers.

Good American classic flared bootcut in light blue

(Image credit: Good American)

9. Good American Always Fit Classic Slim Bootcut

Best plus size jeans


RRP: £170
Sizes: 00-32 (US sizing)

Reasons to buy

Contains 3.5% elastane for stretch as each pair fits a number of sizes, so will move and grow with you and still snap back
Huge variety of sizes

Reasons to avoid

Light blue denim is quite casual

Lisa Talbot loves Good American jeans as they have a wide selection of denim styles, that also come in a great range of sizes. If you’re weighing up straight vs skinny jeans, these are the perfect solution. 

The slim leg isn't quite as clingy as skinny jeans, flaring into a small boot cut at the bottom and they're incredibly versatile to style. The added stretch makes them super comfortable, something Lisa says is important when trying to find the best jeans for women over 50.

“When buying jeans over the age of 50, consider the styles and shapes that make you feel comfortable and confident,” she says. “As well as the regular dark and light blue washes, also alternative colours for your jeans to mix up your wardrobe. You can try a grey or a khaki for a change.”

Quite possibly the best jeans for curvy women over 50, the added stretch helps to shape and support your silhouette. They feature recovery fabric, so you won’t get that baggy knee effect, plus it means you'll get more wears between washes, which also makes them eco-friendly. Retaining their shape well, these are some of the best designer jeans on the market. .

flared black jeans

(Image credit: Wyse)

10. Wyse Flossie Flare Jean

Best for being bang-on-trend


RRP: £180
Sizes: UK: 6-18 / Leg length: regular & long

Reasons to buy

On trend look
Contains stretch for extra comfort
Flattering high waist

Reasons to avoid

Small variety of sizes

If you really want to bring your denim wardrobe up-to-date, flares are a key silhouette for the coming season.

“Flares have a moment every few years, and we’re about to see this again too,” says Lisa Illis. “Flares with patch pockets are a key trend this season, best styled with shirts or jersey tops. The patch pockets give a new life and edge to the denim whilst delivering a slightly ‘70s feel, which is in right now.”

To embrace this retro look, these flares are available in 2 washes, 2 leg lengths and are designed with a sculpting high waist and volume at the bottom for a well-balanced cut.

“Fitted at the waist, thighs, and knees before gently flaring to the hem, flared jeans help to create the illusion of longer legs,” says Lisa.

Just add heels, such as platform sandals or pointy-toed courts, to enhance their leg-lengthening properties. Don't just leave flared jeans for nights out though. Lisa says they work just as well as part of a more laid-back look. 

“For a casual, everyday look, pair with a half-tucked top and biker jacket,” she says.

Should women over 50 wear skinny jeans?

Absolutely! If you feel comfortable in skinny jeans and they suit your style, wear them says Lisa Talbot.

“The styles we wear will vary based on our style personality, I would highly recommend you wear what you love and those that feel comfortable,” she says. For the most supportive fit, try a high waisted silhouette.

Lisa Illis says skinny jeans are still popular with M&S customers, ranking in the top three of the most popular styles in both 2021 and 2022. She puts this down to the fact that they can be worn in a variety of different ways.

“The skinny jean is so versatile, and the current trend for roomier tops means they look more flattering when styled this way,” she says.  “The skinny is also available in leather look or glitter embellishment for example, creating a more contemporary take on the classic jean shape.”

How should jeans be worn after 50?

The best jeans for women over 50 are those that fit properly so you feel comfortable and confident. Lisa Talbot says there’s so much choice out there it’s just a case of finding the best jeans for your body type and lifestyle.

“This season there is the straight, wide and flared leg, as well as the grunge jean, so a great selection to choose from,” she says.

As for what stylish tops to wear with jeans, Lisa says it’s really all about personal taste.

“Jeans are great with a shirt, blazer and loafer or a t-shirt with a cardigan and trainers for daytime,” she advises. “For an evening out try throwing on a leather jacket over your favourite top and adding heels.”

Lisa Talbot
Lisa Talbot

Lisa specialises in elevating successful female leaders and professional women with a wardrobe that represents their brand, personality, lifestyle & body shape.

Lisa Illis

Lisa Illis joined M&S as Head of Womenswear Design in October 2018 and brings with her significant experience of working with Design and Product teams across various UK and Global brands including Nike and Crew Clothing.  Lisa has also worked at Marks & Spencer previously in her career as Head of Kidswear design; alongside an array of iconic British brands including Cath Kidston Ltd. Betty Jackson and Joseph. Her passion has always been to connect with brand DNA and enable designers to bring a vision to life. Her in depth understanding of design aesthetic and creating great ranges will enable us to continue to refine and elevate our womenswear product. 

Jayne Cherrington-Cook

With over 22 years’ experience in journalism, Jayne has written about a variety of subjects. She spent the start of her career within the world of film, interviewing Hollywood stars, attending premieres and lusting after red carpet outfits, and then moved into fashion, launching websites for big magazines such as Look, Woman’s Own and Wedding and working with top fashion brands such as Westfield, LK Bennett and Hunter. 

Career highlights include dressing up as Kylie (in gold hot pants!) for a national newspaper and working on big fashion events alongside Giles Deacon, Henry Holland and Naomi Campbell.