Distressed Jeans for Women Over 50?
Yes We Can!
Distressed jeans. Do you wear them? It took me a few years (I’m never an early adopter of new fashion trends), but I’ve warmed up to the look. I decided to give them a try about six months ago. I popped into one of my favorite boutiques, Ethical Clothing, in the nearby city of Petaluma, and decided to go for it and finally try the distressed jeans trend.
The first pair I tried were super cute and featured the standard horizontal slit knee that gaped open a little. OMG! It was an instant frame around my sagging knee skin. No way! Definitely wasn’t going there!
Right then and there I knew that if I was to jump on the distressed jeans bandwagon, I had to do it my way – a bit more subtly. That brings me to the more over-arching question of whether the distressed jeans trend is something that over 50 women should wear.
Most people who chime in on the topic of over 50 women wearing distressed jeans answer a resounding “Yes!” Just because we’re past our 40th decade doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with style trends. For women over 50, the caveat to wearing any trendy look is to wear it appropriately and tastefully. We aren’t going to reach back to the 90s grunge look (don’t even think about it!). And we don’t want to look like those cool 20 and 30-somethings who are wearing the edgiest version of the distressed jeans trend. They can really pull off ripped denim look. But . . . Not for me.
Distressed Jeans that Work for Me
So, back to shopping. There was another option at the boutique in the distressed jeans category. It was a brand I didn’t know . . . yet. I tried the pair below by Yoga Jeans (contrary to what the name would suggest, they aren’t jeans to wear while doing yoga!) The distressing was there but more subtle and more modestly placed. Hey, I could do this!
A subtle distressing may be more in your comfort zone if you haven’t yet tried the look and want to. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of over 50 women who have embraced the full-on distressed jeans trend – ripped knees and all (check out this Google search to see some of them).
The jeans I walked out with that day are the skinny jeans below. There’s the small and prominent (can I say those words about the same thing?) abrasion at the front hip that put these jeans in the distressed jeans category. There are other slight abrasions on the pocket edges that are not so obvious. But I know they’re there!
(A trick I learned from a younger fashionable lady is to use an iron-on patch behind more moderate rips to cover skin that may show through. It also gives the abraded area longer life because it reinforces the rip. I did that with these jeans, and you can’t see the patch from the right side of the jeans.)
Raw Edge Hem = Distressed (according to me)
I was okay with one pair of distressed jeans in my closet. I’ve enjoyed wearing them – I feel kind of “in.” Then one day recently I was walking by another Petaluma boutique (there are a lot of great boutiques in Petaluma, a Sonoma County city about an hour north of San Francisco), and was drawn to the “Everything is $50 rack” outside. There was a pair of Yoga Jeans – for $50! And they were my size. The style is a little different from the jeans I’ve been wearing lately, almost boyfriend style, with a looser fit. What sold me was the raw edge hem. It gives them an edgy vibe (no pun intended). I love the raw hem with the high stacked heel peep-toe bootie.
(Coincidentally, the bag in the photo below came from the same $50 rack about a year ago from the boutique J. Fermi.)
The Time I Faked Distressed
The jeans in the photo below are a pair of Mother Denim jeans. In one of my klutzy moments, I tripped over a curb, fell, and ripped my not-very-old jeans. I was NOT going to stop wearing them (I paid a pretty penny for them). So, although the rip isn’t fashionably placed, I decided that if people wear ripped jeans, I can wear these, and I patched them, and I wear them! (See that tiny rip on my right knee?)
How to Style Distressed Jeans
You may be intrigued enough by this look and ideas about how to style it to do your own research on how women of all ages style distressed jeans. I did a simple Google search (click that link to the left to check it out) to see how stylish women over 40 or 50 (or 60) rock the distressed denim look.
The key is not to go really grungy with the look. It’s harder to pull that off when you’re past 25 or 30. That doesn’t mean you can’t go casual. Slip-on or tie tennies can also be a great look when what you wear on top isn’t super casual. In my looks above, one is very casual with the striped crew sweater and booties. The lady-like Coach bag gives it just a bit of polish. Accessories are often the key to giving a look that tweak that makes it a look to notice. You could also add a scarf to a casual distressed jeans outfit to give it a fashion boost.
In the second look, the raw edge hem outfit incorporates a feminine blouse and high heel booties that kick up the very casual jeans a level. I added a belt for fun and chose one with a diagonal angle for another point of interest since the jeans are pretty plain til you get to the hem, and the blouse has an understated geometric pattern.
Check the style bloggers below for their take on styling distressed jeans (the photos are linked to their blogs).
Clothes are fun and styling outfits is a way to express yourself – like art! Be a little risky. If you hate what you put together, you just don’t wear it again!
Thinking of Getting Distressed?
There are distressed jeans everywhere – it’s almost more challenging to find jeans all in one piece! But you may have fun perusing some styles below