The mature man’s guide to looking great in denim

jeans mature man

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Jeans – not just for the callow youth

Can you still wear jeans when you’re the far side of 40? Or should you stick to men’s trousers? We say yes, you can. By paying attention to the cut, colour, style and fit, it’s perfectly possible to wear denim with dignity.

Here’s our guide to choosing jeans that flatter the more mature man.


honest waist measurement

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Be honest, now, gents…

There’s no easy way around this one. What’s your waist size? Whatever your body type or indeed your age, it’s important that your jeans hang properly and that starts with making sure they fit you around the middle. For the definitive answer on how to measure your waist size, we turned to the folks at UK Models:

“Find your waist by locating the top of your hip bone and the last of your ribs, then as you breathe out naturally, run your tape measure around your middle to take your measurement.”

Never cheat by breathing in. Jeans that cling to your hips below a protruding belly look terrible. Our number one piece of jeans-wearing advice is select the right size. You’ll look so much better.


cut important

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The cut is crucial

Leave skin tight or skinny jeans to guys in their twenties. In any case, we’re sure you’ll agree a lot of the younger fellas look pretty awful in them anyway. The advantage of your advancing years is being able to leave herd mentality of the younger generation behind.

Being over 40 is great because now you have the confidence to look like yourself. Go for straight leg jeans; the cut gives you a slim silhouette without unflattering bulges. What you need is a certain amount of gravitas and skinny jeans are not the way to go.

Think about what shoes you’ll wear with your denims because as the guys at Fashionbeans say:

“It’s important to get the footwear right here, making a pair of jeans casual, not sloppy. Think a pair of loafers, boat shoes or brogues and you’ll keep on the smart-casual line.’

We think Chelsea boots also look great with jeans – as do monk shoes and chukkas. Wearing blue jeans? Black or brown shoes are fine. But if you prefer black jeans, either make a statement with bold colours or stick to black shoes.



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Classic colour, classy style

Our top colour choices for jeans are raw denim and black denim. The simple rule here is to avoid fads. Do you have a pair of white or stonewashed jeans lurking at the back of your wardrobe? Cut them up and use them for rags. Why? Because you’re over forty – you’ve made all your fashion mistakes – it’s time to move on.

As you grow older, your colouring changes. What suited you when you were 20 might not suit you now. But that’s OK because as GQ Style Director, Robert Johnston says:

“You no longer need to be adventurous and now is the time to look the same every day, not different, so pick a colour that works for you and stick to it.”


classy combo

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You just know his jeans are perfectly cut…

Avoid ripped jeans, hoodies and logo-emblazoned t-shirts because they only make you look like an aged teen. Instead, go for a smart casual look that combines un-tampered-with jeans with a smart shirt and jumper or jacket.

If you do opt to wear a t-shirt, steer clear of all but the smallest of logos. Heavily branded gear is for younger people who’re desperate to belong. Show your maturity by going brand-free.

A plain white t-shirt looks great worn under a check shirt or a rugged fisherman’s jumper. “The aim here is to look like a man who’s comfortable in his own skin. Which, of course, you are!” Leave the daring fashion statements to people who don’t know who they are yet.


accessories jeans

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You just know his jeans are perfectly cut…Choose the right accessories for sartorial success!

When you’re over forty, there’s no longer any need to shout your individuality through your choice of clothes. Instead, give your outfit personality through your choice of accessories.

Now’s a good time to start building a collection of watches. Not sure what to go for? The Telegraph’s Alex Proud suggests you ignore ads for premium watches and get yourself a vintage Omega from the 1970s:

“It’ll look classy and understated – and at a tenth of the price of today’s lairy platinum wrist-doughnuts.”

The same goes for cufflinks, shoes, hats and scarves – go for something timeless, like a fedora or flat cap, brogues and traditional tartan neck gear. And get yourself a snazzy pair of socks too, for a splash of colour against your classic blue jeans.

Most men change the way they dress as they get older. Do you think it’s ok for more mature men to wear jeans? We’d love to know what you think.

Posted in Men's style guides.