Jeans When I’m 80?

I recently read an article that stated that women should stop wearing jeans when they are 53. Really?


Most clothing can be worn in good taste if you keep an open mind about what looks good on your body and honor that reality. When I am getting dressed, there are certain elements I always take into consideration.


1. Is it appropriate for the weather and the occasion? My first thought is always, “Am I going to get cold?”

2. Does it suit my personality? Prints and ruffles do not make me happy.

3. Does it suit me physically? For this reason, I will never wear a skirt with no hose and black shoes.

4. How old are the clothes I am about to wear? Even the cut of classics gets updated about every ten years.

5. Quality fit and fabric can make all the difference when combining separates.

6. Good grooming. If I break a nail, the rest get trimmed to about the same length. If my polish gets chipped, I remove it until I find the time for a proper pedicure. Nail polish lasts for about fifteen minutes on my hands, so I gave it up years ago. If my hair gets unruly, I get a trim. I am careful not to wear too much makeup or perfume. I don’t see or smell as well as I once did. I don’t want to give anyone a headache or scare small children or pets.


Yesterday our plans included grabbing some lunch, visiting my parents, running a couple of errands, and then attending an open house at my friend’s new antique store. These are all casual events, the weather was cold, and the sun was shining, so I wore dark rinse NYDJ Sheri Slim style jeans, a white tank from Chico’s with a blazer from White House|Black Market in the color they call Russo. The handbag was by Ralph Lauren via last year. The sunglasses are a couple of years old from T.J.Maxx. The ring was a gift from Mr. Mickey. The hoop earrings are so old; I don’t remember where I bought them. The boots are from last year by French Connection.



  1. 53 for jean? Pfft to that idea! I am 58 and love my jeans for the right occasion. My 85 year old mother still wears jeans at times. They are not the jeans that you or I would wear but they are styled appropriately for her and she is comfortable (physically and mentally) with them so it is fine as far as I am concerned.

  2. Good Morning Susan. Your outfit looks great! I did notice that you wore black shoes with your brown bag. At one time that was a no-no. What are your thoughts on this subject?

    1. Current stylists say that matching your handbag and shoe colors can add ten or more years to your appearance. We have to be careful not to follow fashion rules that are from twenty or more years ago. I strive to stay open minded about trends and accept some (not all) of those changes on my terms.

  3. You look great Susan. I do have a question to pose to you since it does give me much concern. I am a winter (cool coloring) and struggle with the small details. I always wear white gold or silver jewelry and never purchase an item of clothing in a color that would not flatter. If I have my choice I’ll even choose a purse, shoes or clothing with metal buttons, zipper or buckle in silver tone. Occasionally I will buy something that has gold colored hardware if it’s not close to my face, but many times I do not. The same goes for scarves–I try to choose patterns and colors that compliment. If the scarf has gold or yellow tones in the print, I find it difficult to wear my jewelry. I try to purchase scarves with most or all of the colors that look best on me, otherwise I pass them by. I figure the scarf is drawing attention to my face and if the colors don’t look best on me, why would I want to highlight them. I would love to hear from others on this subject, as well as your opinion. Thank you. Enjoy this beautiful fall we’re having.

    1. Hi Rose, I do try to wear only cool colors near my face but if there are other colors such as the browns and golds in the scarf I am wearing here I consider how much of the space is dominated by the warm colors vs the cool colors. This scarf is mostly royal blue so it is a winner for me. I don’t obsess about metal colors, in fact, I have jewelry that has both silver and gold within the same item. I don’t wear gold earrings very often.

  4. 53? I’m soon to be 60 and still wear jeans. They may have a little more stretch in them, but they are still a large part of my wardrobe.Not wearing them just because you’re over a certain age is ridiculous.

  5. 53!? Seems awfully random, doesn’t it? Must have been written by a 20 something thinks 50 is really, really old! LOL!
    Scarves are look lovely!

  6. I love this polished look for jeans. You have proven that the proper fit of jeans can go from weekend wear to business casual for any age.

  7. Don’t you have problems when wearing tanks that do not give your jackets protection from perspiration/antiperspirant. I would always wear at least a short sleeved top when wearing a jacket.

  8. My mom is 91 and still wears jeans…and she hates elastic waists. So there…fashion pundits. A big thank you for talking about wearing hose. I can’t say I love wearing them, but they camouflage a world of flaws and really unify a look. I hate that expanse of bright white leg exposed. I’m getting so many ideas from you. Thanks!

  9. Soon to be 72 and still wearing jeans, even jean leggings. NYDJ does have nice fitting ones for we “mature” women.

  10. You look very pulled together and your jeans are perfect for the day’so activities. I love jeans as long as they don’t have too much stretch.

  11. You look very pulled together and your jeans are perfect for the day’so activities. I love jeans as long as they don’t have too much stretch. Also I had to laugh at your concern with being cold, as I am prone to being cold myself.

    1. Susan you look wonderful. I think I might purchase one of those jackets, I am similar size and body shape to you, would you mind telling me the size you are wearing in the jacket?

  12. My husband read that article and told me about it. We don’t agree with it either. Susan, I have problems with NYDJ stretching out. I have tried to size down but I need to be able to button the jeans! I even had my tailor take them in but I am still pulling them up all day. Do you have any suggestions for other jeans you like?

  13. 53? What a weird and completely arbitrary age to stop wearing jeans. Most of us our age (I’m 63) grew up wearing jeans. Why on earth would we stop now? You are spot on with your grooming tips, and the outfit you are wearing is just about perfect. Oh, and by the way, my 87 year old mom wears skinny jeans and looks fabulous!

  14. 53? I am 62, wear jeans every which way most of the time-so versatile!
    They will pry my jeans off my cold, dead body…ha!
    You look fabulous.
    Donna B

  15. Good advice! Although you write about proportions, etc., in choosing clothing, I wonder if you have any comments about fitting through the shoulder area? I’m more aware, I guess, cause I have square not broad shoulders, but I see many women whose clothing does not fit their upper body correctly due to shoulder slope or even osteoporosis problems. Do enjoy your comments.

  16. No jeans after 53? Where did they come up with that arbitrary number? Ridiculous. You look fabulous in your jeans. (And in everything, I might add.) There are many varieties out there, and if a woman chooses the style appropriate for the occasion and her body type, what’s not to like?

  17. I saw that article about giving up jeans at 53. NEVER! I wear jeans almost everywhere. It’s easier to find well-fitting jeans than regular pants.

  18. You look amazing….as always, and I agree with your comments about ageless style. But what about ripped jeans? I wonder who came up with the idea that rich people should dress like poor people???

  19. I know 80 year olds who still wear jeans and look good in them. I’m 59 and I’ve been going through my wardrobe and getting rid of things that are outdated or make me look dated. My pants and jeans have been the focus in that process. I’ve been updating pants and jeans which means I’m getting rid of pants and jeans I’ve kept forever! Now I realize how the wrong style can date me. Loving skinny jeans and how they make me look!

  20. Hi Susan, I read that same article about the jeans…I was flabbergasted and a bit depressed about the notion that I should give up my blue jeans because of my age. Thank goodness we have you to set the record straight about acceptable fashion. No one could see these photos of you and possibly think you don’t look divinely appropriate — at any age! You look stunning in your jeans. Thanks for the inspiration and the pick-me-up. 🙂
    Also, thank you for taking the time to share your ideas and style secrets. Your advice is incredibly helpful! Blessings to you.

  21. You look fabulous in jeans!! That is a very ridiculous, outdated rule! I know many women “of a certain age” that still look wonderful in jeans provided they are wearing them appropriately and tastefully. That’s really what it’s all about – dressing with dignity.

  22. Those generally much younger women telling our generation what we can and can’t wear infuriate me. Don’t they realise we are the rule breaker/maker generation?

  23. I love your list…….when I turned 30 my mother asked me if I was going to stop wearing jeans! Poor dear would be so sad if she was alive as at 67 I still wear them – not all the time but to my Quilting group and at other appropriate times. Love your handbag but sadly way out of my price range as very expensive in Australia

  24. Susan, you make so much sense! Such good fashion goals to follow. I am heading over to your shopping site right now to check out the scarves. Thanks for finding them as I had been on the look out for just that thing.

  25. Susan, I just love your hair. I used to have brown hair, but it is now ash blonde and I wear it in a similar style to yours, but seem to have too much bulk around the neck in the back. Could you please post a close up picture of the back and sides of your hair and tell me how you have it cut and how you style it? Thanks! I enjoy your blog so much. Keep up the good work!!!

  26. The reason pundits declare jeans inappropriate for us “older” gals is because they haven’t seen YOU wear them. You are a wonderful role model and personally until my daughter tells me I look sad in them, I will continue to wear my jeans.

  27. This outfit is fabulous – timeless, sophisticated, age appropriate, but young and hip at the same time (is that possible?)
    My first thought when getting dressed is the same: am I going to be cold?? And then trying to dress in layers without feeling and looking like a stuffed sausage – ha!

  28. I’m still wearing my jeans and I’m 70. I’ve got skinnies, bootcut, straight leg and some jeggings. Nope, not giving them up. It’s all in how you style them isn’t it? Love your jeans and the scarf. The little tip you gave the other day about a scarf hiding tummy rolls is so right!

  29. I came upon “you” while searching Pinterest…and thoroughly enjoy your posts and blog. Although I am a bit older than you…we dress similar and we think very much alike…no ruffles and prints. I “shop in my closet” and wear a lot of my clothes, mixed in a variety of ways. Have a lot of scarves, jewelry, shoes and purses which I inner change all the time. Keep up the good work!!

  30. Tell that to Iris Apfel! She has taken personal style to another level. Never mind if it’s not one’s taste, no one could deny she has nailed it. I’ve just watched the documentary ‘Iris’, such a delight.

  31. You’ve got to be kidding? 53?? I’m 60, soon to be 61 and I live in jeans – and always will!! Love your post!

  32. Like many I plan to wear jeans at least until I’m 80! Now with some stretch for comfort that shouldn’t be a problem.
    You’re funny Susan. I had a chuckle with your #6 comment. I needed a good laugh today so thanks for that 🙂
    Have a great day

  33. great idea! Scarves are easy to store and fun to collect, and can add such variety when used in different combinations. I am happy you are offering ones that are reasonably priced.

  34. My question is why do you like square scarves? I don’t care for the way they work onmy neck. I much prefer the long style for wrapping around my neck. As to not wearing Jeans at 80? That’s a ridiculous statement. There is no age limit.

    1. Great question! I love silky square scarves because they add a touch of luxury and a pop of color near my face. I can use them to tie a classic look together. They soften my sagging jawline and hide my wrinkled neck. If I just drape them around my neck and let my jacket anchor them in place, they do all the above PLUS hide my tummy rolls. To my eye, they are a sophisticated classic that I can’t do without unless it is ninety degrees outside. They look timeless and elegant and ageless. They do not add bulk to my tummy area the way those long, bulky scarves can, depending upon how and where you tie them.

  35. Love this look Susan ! I’ve been looking for a red blazer, but a darker red. Often the reds I see in stores are more orangish… I don’t wear orange well.
    White House Black Market had an amazing sale on this blazer… and one left in my size 16… (my local WHBM store does not carry the larger size).
    I ordered the blazer and eagerly await its arrival. Most likely will need to get the sleeves shortened, but can’t wait to wear it. Looks to be machine washable too, which is awesome. Thank you Susan, for your style and inspiration !

  36. Thank you for the scarves!! They’re beautiful. I’ve been looking for affordable ones for months and now I’ve found them thanks to you.

  37. Do you ever wear distressed jeans? I’m 69 and I love them, but I am careful not to wear jeans that are really distressed!! Several of my friends also wear them, but like me we feel our choices are on good taste…

  38. Thank you Susan.I really enjoy reading your blog each morning…I wake early and love the inspiration I get from your tutorials.We are the same age

  39. Who came up with that magic number 53? I think you look very stylish and gorgeous in your jeans. Keep wearing them. I still enjoy wearing my jeans. I don’t wear them as often as I’d like since I’m mostly going somewhere that I don’t wear jeans. But I try to wear them whenever I can.

  40. It’s not the jeans I’m concerned about as I am those boots!
    Who could wear those at 80?
    I like the outfit !

  41. Susan I m 80 and still wearing jeans. Mine are Talbots. But you are inspiring me to shop around. I love classic design, you do it right.

    1. Dark wash, nicely fitted straight-leg jeans can look appropriate on anyone at any age. Pair them with a blazer or cashmere sweater, a good handbag, and loafers to complete the look.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.