When the craving for white jeans hits and our lifelong fear of "looking fat" kicks in, we cave and stick to dark denim or black capris because they're "thinning." This is irrational, as Christie Brinkley 59, Elle Macpherson, 49, and Sarah Jessica Parker, 48, clearly prove. Forget low-fat frozen yogurt. All you need are t he right white jeans - the ones that flatter 50+ bodies regardless of size, shape and age. They'll brighten every cloudy day and take 10 years off your mood. Grab one or all three of these:
SLIM WHITE JEANS. Fit is everything so splurge if
necessary. You want them body-skimming, straight as cigarettes but with ease. Skip super skinnies that cling, low-slung hipsters (keep your star tattoo to yourself) and bootcuts (dated and they don't balance your hips either, FYI). Choose a rise 9-plus inches that holds you in, gives you a waist and eliminates bulges. Select ankle crops an inch or two above the ankle bone or roll them to that point. If you're 5-foot-2 or shorter, tailor the hems to nail the proportions. Just by showing your ankles, a trim "thin" body zone, you create the illusion of slim legs and focus attention on your fabulous sandals. Add an easy tee like Elle or a shirt over a floaty blouse like Christie. Try: Lafayette 148 New York Curvy Fit Crop Jeans ($198,nordstrom.com), J Brand "Sylvie" Crop Jeans ($172, nordstrom.com) and Gap 1969 Real Straight SkimmerJeans ($69.95,gap.com).
WHITE BOYFRIEND JEANS. Relaxed white jeans are perfect for women 50+ who love cargos or loose baggy jeans. They're super-comfy and slimming if you define the waist with a belt and roll them at the ankles (and I mean roll; do not fold up). Both moves register a shape beneath the fabric that "reads" as slim. Wear a tucked in tank as a base, then add an equally relaxed A-shape pullover and sneakers like SJP. Try: Kut from the Kloth "Catherine" Slim Boyfriend Jeans ($79.50, nordstrom.com).
SLIM CROPPED WHITE PANTS. These are pretend "jeans" for women who hate jeans but want to feel contemporary, look modern. They must have lean tapered legs and be a stretch cotton blend. Beware of cropped white capris cut full in the legs that make every woman look shorter and wider. Stop worrying about "see-through." Just wear nude seamless boyshorts like the Spanx Heaven Brief ($34, spanx.com) for total comfort and security. Try: Eileen Fisher Slim Capri Pants ($148, nordstrom.com) and Banana Republic Hampton Fit Sateen Crop ($69.50,bananarepublic.com). Add a tailored shirt for a polished look like French model/designer Ines de la Fressange, 55. Make white "jeans" your 24/7 summer uniform for a simple, low-cost wardrobe boost.
For more beauty & style tips for women 50-plus, check my book The Wardrobe Wakeup, Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age by Lois Joy Johnson ($16.09, amazon.com).
Photo credits: Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Sarah Jessica Parker
Also of Interest
- Channeling the Tropics in Your Summer Look
- Aging Differently In Good Jeans
- Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being
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