Buying Jeans For Older Men| Best Denim For Guys Over 40, 50, 60


Jeans are just as appropriate on older men as they are on younger, and with a bit of attention to the style you wear, jeans can be one of the most versatile pieces of a fashionably mature man’s wardrobe. But buying jeans for older guys can be tricky if you don’t evolve your style as you get older.

You never want to be that guy that makes people do a double-take as they think, “wow, doesn’t he know he’s not 20 anymore?”

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. This is our guide to buying jeans for older guys. In this article we’ll cover:

Best Jeans For Older Men

older man wearing jeans with suit jacket

“How hard do I have to think about this?” you may be asking yourself.

They’re just jeans, after all. And you’re right. There’s not too much to think about here.

A couple of considerations an older man should take a look at that a younger man doesn’t.

#1 Buying Jeans For Older Guys – Waist Size

Not an issue for everyone. Some of you guys will go from 20 to 30, or 60 to 90, with the same waist size. And more power to you if you can pull it off.

But if we’re honest with ourselves, some guys have a little bit of an expanding waistline phenomenon as they age. Nothing to be ashamed of there!

If you go up a size or two, you go up a size or two. As long as you’re healthy and happy with yourself, the numbers don’t have any substantial cosmic significance. They do, however, have practical relevance.

Be aware of the way your waist size affects the fit of your jeans. A few points to keep in mind:


man in jeans measuring his waist size

The “waist size” doesn’t necessarily sit at your natural waist. Most men wear their jeans at their hips, and that still works as you age.

Just be aware that it’s a broader part of your body, so the best jeans size for you may be a size up from your dress slacks, suit trousers, etc., which are worn higher on the body.

Size and Fit

Infographic - The Best Jeans For Your Body Type

Waist sizes also relate to the size of the leg opening, the crotch, and the butt.

If your jeans seem too tight in the thigh, you may need to go a waist size up and either belt tighter or wear them lower on your hips — or find a different brand or fit.


Be realistic about the jeans size you need. If you’ve got a soft belly that hangs out a lot, squeezing a too-small waistband tight around it will not cinch all the bulk into non-existence magically.

Instead, you’ll squeeze half of it down into your trousers (uncomfortable) and the other half out over your belt (hideous).

Get a looser fit and close it lightly over the broadest part of your belly, without tugging anything tight, so that the cloth sits comfortably on the skin.

Ideally, you want jeans that don’t pinch anywhere but that are tight enough you couldn’t step out of them without unbuttoning and unzipping all the way.

Avoid "ballooning" around crotch area
Avoid “ballooning” around crotch area

If you can pull the waist straight down without unzipping, you’re going to need to belt it pretty tight. That can cause an unattractive “ballooning” around your crotch and butt that’ll make you look more expansive in the waist.

#2 Buying Jeans For Older Guys – Fit, Cuts, and Rises

Jeans For Older Guys - Fit, Cuts, and Rises

The denim industry is jargony. Every manufacturer (and every advertiser) uses buzzwords a little differently.

There are some general conventions but no strict definitions for many of the terms that get thrown around.

Don’t bother trying to become an expert.

Things vary too much from brand to brand. The best test is always going to be the fitting room — buy your jeans live, in a store where you can try them on, or else from a brand that offers free shipping and exchanges for online orders.

Generally speaking, jeans carry any or all of the following terms:

Jeans Fit

Infographic - Straight vs Slim vs Skinny Jeans Silhouette

This will be something along the lines of “relaxed fit,” “classic fit,” “slim fit,” etc. Use it as a broad starting point and not much more.

If you’re built heavy in the middle and the legs, you probably want to start with a brand’s “relaxed” or “comfort” fit; if you’re a skinny guy who wants a tight fit, look at “slim” or “skinny” styles, and so on.

But be prepared to change it up a little because every brand is different. You might love the regular fit from one and the relaxed from another.

Jeans Cut

Most of the time, this refers to the lower leg of the jeans – below the knees. Skinny or tapered cuts get narrower, classic and straight-leg cuts stay the same width down, and boot cuts or wide-leg jeans widen slightly at the cuff.

Keep your sizing in mind when you pick a cuff — if you’re wearing large-waisted jeans with a relaxed fit, you may not need a boot cuff to fit over a work boot or western boot.

Jeans Rise

Infographic - Guide To Jeans Rise

This term gives an estimate of how high on the body the jeans are worn. “High-rise” usually comes up to the natural waist, near the belly button or so, while “low-rise” barely comes up over the hips.

Most jeans will usually ride a little above the hips if it’s not specified, but as usual, it can vary from brand to brand. There is no one best combination of terms for a man older than 30.

It’s good to stay away from extremes as you age — don’t wear an ultra-high rise or a super low sag, and stay away from skinny jeans so tight they look painted on, or boot cuts so wide they look like flares.

A touch of moderation makes a man look more refined and less experimental as he ages. But because there’s so little standardization, your only actual course of action is to try on as many brands and styles as needed until you get a few that you like.

Don’t get worried if the terms or even the sizes don’t match up — it’s common to wear something like a “34-inch waist relaxed fit” from one brand and a “36-inch waist classic-fit” from another brand, with relative comfort from both.

#3 Buying Jeans For Older Guys – Colors and Fades

older guys in wearing different jeans fades

It’s nice to be able to say “blue jeans” and leave it at that. They’re jeans. They’re blue. What more is there, right?

Quite a bit, as it turns out! Even your basic medium blue can look very different depending on how it’s been “washed” or faded after the initial dyeing, and time and wear will create unique patterns as they age.

As with cuts and fits, there are many focus-tested advertising buzzwords for dyed denim, especially in the raw denim segment.

Try not to get too hung up on the details, and instead look for colors and dyes that are going to work well in a flexible, dress-it-up, or dress-it-down wardrobe:

Dark jeans for dress

darker jeans are more dressier

When you want to look a little sharper, wear a darker shade of denim.

That doesn’t have to be black (in fact, most men look better in something a little less severe), but go for deep indigo rather than a bright blue or a faded light blue.

It’ll give you a more neutral and a classier look for low-lit evening environments, in particular.

Blue jeans for work

guy making bbq wearing blue jeans

Steer clear of jeans dyed in colors like red, green, and yellow unless you’re wearing them for fun-only social occasions.

If you’re into the colored denim look, that’s fine but keep it strictly on the social side.

For outdoor labor, stick with light or medium blue and dress-casual with deeper indigo and navy.

Naturally faded jeans

man wearing blue naturally faded jeans

Skip the acid-washed, the distressed, and the otherwise artificially “unique” treatments. A bit of natural weathering is fine when you’re wearing your jeans casually, but you want a clean dark look for dressier situations.

And by the time you hit 30, people expect you to know better than to pay someone to rip your clothes up before you even wear them – so don’t disappoint expectations, eh?

Staying within those general guidelines still gives a man plenty of ways to wear his jeans.

You can go plain-blue-cowboy, deep-indigo-dressy, artfully-faded-hipster, or any number of other looks, all while looking mature and like you care about your appearance.

The trick is to avoid extremes: of height, color, or fading. Make your jeans look natural and relaxed because that’s how you want to look.

Dressing Jeans Up And Dressing Jeans Down

older guy wearing dark blue jeans for social event

So you own the perfect pair now — but do you know how to wear jeans?

Pretty much any way you want. Jeans are versatile.

Throw a suitable, well-fitted pair on with an equally well-fitted plain white T-shirt. You can look fantastic — if you’ve got a cut figure and some arm strength to show off.

If you don’t, a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled once gives you the same insouciance with a little more forgiveness for a softening figure.

Wear your jeans casually by pairing them with plain, simple garments. Like the white shirts mentioned above or a simple sweater in cool months.

Leather shoes or boots for work give you a little added authority and keep you from looking like a college kid in jeans and sneakers.

To dress up, keep the leather shoes but go for something a little more decorative — brogues or unusually-dyed leathers do a good job here.

Throw on a collared shirt of any kind and a casual sports jacket, and you’re in business.

A sharp pair of indigo or other dark jeans can even pair with a pretty dressy blazer or deliberately mismatched suit jacket if you’ve got a nice shirt to tie it all together. (But speaking of ties, no neckties with your denim, please. Jeans are sexy enough to demand an open collar, and maybe even an undone button or two on the shirtfront.)


It’s all very versatile and free-flowing. Denim should be.

Start with a good pair of jeans. Don’t pair it with anything cheap or juvenile-looking; you’ll be looking good — from 30 to 100 and even beyond. Avoid these mistakes older men make trying to look young.

FAQs: Best Jeans For Older Men

What are some recommended jean styles for older men?

Classic straight leg or relaxed fit jeans are often recommended for older men. They provide a comfortable fit without being too tight or too loose, and they have a timeless appeal that suits men of all ages.

Are skinny jeans appropriate for older men?

While it ultimately depends on personal preference and comfort, skinny jeans might not be the best choice for older men. They can be too tight and uncomfortable. It’s often more flattering and comfortable to opt for straight leg or relaxed fit jeans.

Should older men opt for jeans with or without stretch?

Jeans with a little stretch can be a good choice for older men as they offer more comfort and flexibility. However, too much stretch can lead to the jeans losing their shape over time.

Are designer jeans worth the investment for older men?

Designer jeans can be a good investment if they offer a better fit, comfort, and longevity. However, it’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money to get good quality jeans.

What is the importance of high-quality fabric in jeans for older men?

High-quality fabric not only ensures the jeans will last longer, but also makes them more comfortable to wear. It’s also less likely to fade or lose shape after multiple washes.

What is the best way to care for jeans to ensure they last longer?

To make jeans last longer, wash them infrequently and in cold water. Always turn jeans inside out before washing to protect the color. Air dry instead of using the dryer to maintain their shape and size.

Are there certain brands that are recommended for older men?

Some recommended brands for older men include Levi’s, Lee, Wrangler, and Dockers. These brands offer a variety of styles, sizes, and fits that are well-suited to older men.

What are the best jeans for older men with a larger waist size?

Jeans with a relaxed fit and a higher rise are typically best for men with a larger waist size. These styles offer more room in the waist and thigh for comfort and ease of movement.

How important is the length of the jeans for older men?

The length of the jeans is crucial. It should be long enough to reach your shoes without bunching up excessively. Jeans that are too long can be a tripping hazard, and jeans that are too short might not provide a flattering look.

Can older men wear distressed or ripped jeans?

While it’s a matter of personal style, distressed or ripped jeans are often associated with younger, trendier fashion. Older men might prefer classic, clean-cut jeans for a more sophisticated look.

Should older men tuck in their shirts when wearing jeans?

This depends on the occasion and the overall outfit. If it’s a casual setting, or if the shirt is designed to be worn untucked (like a Hawaiian shirt or a polo), it’s perfectly fine to leave it untucked. However, for a more polished look, tucking the shirt in is advisable.

Are jeans appropriate for formal events?

Generally, jeans are considered casual wear. However, dark-washed, well-fitting jeans can be dressed up with a nice button-down shirt and a blazer for more formal events. It largely depends on the specific event’s dress code.

How often should older men buy new jeans?

There is no set rule on how often you should buy new jeans. It depends on how often you wear them and how well you care for them. However, if the jeans start to lose their shape, fade excessively, or have worn-out spots, it’s time for a new pair.

Can jeans be tailored for a better fit?

Yes, jeans can be tailored for a better fit. If the waist is too big or the jeans are too long, a tailor can make adjustments. However, major alterations might not be worth the cost and can sometimes distort the original design of the jeans.

Click below to watch the video – Jean Buying Guide For Men over 30:


Read next:

How To Wear Men’s Denim Shirts


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