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5 Tips for Wearing Wide-Leg Jeans Over 60, Stylists Say

The trick with this trendy style is to seek balance in the rest of your ensemble.

In case you hadn't noticed, many women, especially those over 60, are trading their skinny jeans for wide-leg styles—and with good reason.

"Wide-leg jeans offer a relaxed fit and come in a variety of fabulous fabrics," says Carol Himelhoch, president of Himelhoch's Department Store. "Notably, they feature high- and mid-rise waistlines, which are particularly flattering for more mature body types—they reduce pressure on your midsection and help distribute weight around the waist, resulting in a balanced and flattering look."

Not only that, but Himelhoch notes that wide-leg jeans can also create the illusion of longer legs: "Their vertical lines draw the eye up and down."

However, stylists say you should keep the following tips in mind when wearing wide-leg jeans over 60. Read on for all their best advice.

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Pair them with fitted tops that hit right at the waistband.

older woman sophisticated jeans look
Anna Zhuk / Shutterstock

According to Brigid McGrath Stasen, elite stylist at Bridge Your Style, longer tops and sweaters tend to look disproportionate, sloppy, and downright unflattering with wide-leg jeans.

"Wide-leg jeans have a more voluminous, looser fit," she explains. "To create a balanced silhouette, it's important to pay attention to proportion. Long tops can obscure your waistline—a feature that can be accentuated with wide-leg jeans—and interrupt the visual lengthening effect."

That's why Stasen advises opting for tops that sit right at the natural waistline—in other words, they should fall right around the waistband of your jeans.

More specifically, Erica Hanks, founder of women's fashion retailer SHOWROOM, recommends pairing wide-leg jeans with a tucked-in sweater or top, or a cropped blazer.

"Wear slimmer fitting tops to help break up the outfit and add to the dramatic effect of the baggier pants," adds Roger LaGrone, fashion expert and founder of Alexander Noel. "High necklines and turtlenecks can also help elongate the torso, which pairs well with the wide-leg style."

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Try a nude pointy-toe shoe.

Nude pointy heels shoes with clutch, sunglasses, and lipstick
Neirfy / Shutterstock

According to experts, wide-leg jeans can make you look shorter if you don't wear the right color or style of footwear.

Elizabeth Kosich, a certified image consultant and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, suggests matching your shoes to your skin tone, which can create the illusion of longer legs.

Monica Liang, a fashion and style expert and founder of Vain Affair, advises choosing sandals, pumps, or booties with a chunky heel.

Hate wearing heels? Hanks says wide-leg jeans can also work well with flats. Just opt for a nude, pointed-toe style for that leg-lengthening effect.

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Go monochromatic.

OPOLJA / Shutterstock

When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a monochromatic outfit. According to Himelhoch, pairing your wide-leg jeans with a top that's the same color not only creates a more elegant, polished look but may also make you look taller since it gives your figure one long, clean line.

"Some wide-leg jean cuts have voluminous amounts of fabric which make them overpowering," adds Kosich. "Streamline the silhouette by creating vertical color blocks that elongate. Try matching your top and jean colors for an inside color column, and then layer on a thigh-grazing cardigan or jacket over the base layer."

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Find the perfect length.

An older blonde woman wearing jeans and a white shirt sitting on a chair against an orange background.
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Perhaps the most important element to consider with wide-leg jeans is the length. Unlike with skinny and straight-leg styles, you can't get away with rolling them up—and stylists agree that if they're too short or too long, they won't look very flattering.

"Choose a length that grazes the ground or hovers slightly above it, as excessively long jeans can overwhelm your frame," explains Himelhoch.

This is an especially important consideration if you have a petite frame, says LaGrone. If the jeans' legs are too long or too wide, you'll deal with unsightly bunching of the fabric around your ankles, which is why he recommends taking your wide-leg jeans to a local tailor to make sure they fit your body flawlessly.

Speaking of fit—Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a stylist, luxury fashion expert, and contributor to Margo Paige, recommends finding wide-leg jeans that hug your body around the hips and thighs: "You'll feel more supported throughout the day."

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Choose the wash based on the occasion.

Person holding a stack of folded jeans.
White Bear Studio / iStock

Wide-leg jeans come in a wide range of washes, from white and faded light blue to deep midnight and black.

Keep in mind, says Himelhoch, that dark washes naturally have a more sophisticated look that's ideal for going out at night, while lighter washes tend to create a more casual, laid-back vibe more suitable for daytime.

Feel free to experiment with different washes until you find the ones that work best for your lifestyle, body type, and personal preferences. But as a general rule, you can never go wrong with dark washes, says Fonseca—because they're more versatile and slimming. "You can always dress them up or down, depending on the occasion," she adds.

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Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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