Chic boyfriend jeans for women over 40

Ok so here it is – the chic boyfriend jeans post. As you’ll know if you’ve been following the blog for a while, I love boyfriend jeans but have taken a stand against ‘distressed’. I’m not saying that I don’t think women over 40 shouldn’t wear them, or indeed that they don’t look fab in them – it’s just that, as its name suggests, the whole purpose of midlifechic is to encapsulate ‘chic’ and I maintain that distressed is cool but not chic. Now as you know, I am a huge fan of Next’s relaxed skinny jeans which if we’re honest are probably closer to boyfriend than skinny and I have 4 pairs of them. However, I’ve been aware that silhouettes are changing and to remain on trend, you need a proper boyfriend in your wardrobe (now there’s a thought)!

Unfortunately, to get boyfriend jeans to look right, I think you need to go for a better quality denim – after all it’s the elastane that matters in skinnies more than anything else. So my first order was from Hush as I’d read great reviews on them from other bloggers and they’ve also been out of stock since about February so I thought they must be good, they’re not cheap though at £75. I read the onsite reviews and they all said to size up so I ordered a 14. I was hugely excited when they arrived on a Saturday morning when we were due to meet friends for lunch – wardrobe issue solved – until I tried them on. Problem number 1 – they are distressed. The website says ‘subtle distressing’ but in my view it was more than that. I was happy with the whiskering but not the fraying and small rips.Problem number 2 – they were HUGE – I know boyfriend jeans are supposed to be a relaxed fit but look:

hush boyfriend jeans reviews

(Sweatshirt: Barbour) Here’s a front on view:

hush boyfriend jeans reviews

So, back they went (couldn’t exchange them because smaller sizes were out of stock).

I then scrutinised what felt like a thousand websites until I landed at Jigsaw. Now Jigsaw used to be one of my favourite stores until about 2008 when it seemed to lose its way. Recently though I’ve been noticing lots of positive comments about it so thought it was worth a try. The boyfriend jeans looked great but were £75 again and the really irritating thing is that postage isn’t free until you spend over £100 so I ordered them in my usual size 12 from John Lewis. Again they came on a Saturday, they weren’t remotely distressed, the denim was fantastic but there was something just not quite right about them. It was only when my youngest asked if I was sure they weren’t men’s jeans because they looked like there was space for a willy that I knew why – see what he means!

jigsaw jeans 12

(Breton: Johnnie B, Hampton Boyfriend jeans: Jigsaw)

So, back they went. It was the weekend when I’d ordered a huge box of stuff from House of Fraser that also went back so I just couldn’t face any more returns and decided to wait until I went to Manchester to try them on. When I finally got into Jigsaw they agreed that they come up big and persuaded me to try the size 10 and even the size 8! Now I didn’t really want to waste my time on an 8 but the shop assistant insisted and they fit!!! Here they are:

Jigsaw boyfriend jeans size 8

(Spotty blouse: Boden last season)

jigsaw boyfriend jeans size 8

However, once I’d got over my joy, I decided that they actually ended up looking more like relaxed skinnies again so I settled on the 10 and here they are back at home:

chic boyfriend jeans for women over 40

(Worn with Superdry t-shirt bought from TK Maxx with my son’s mothers’ day gift vouchers, Boden plaited belt and Boden pointed slingbacks)

It’s silly but I smile every time I wear them because they’re a 10! I love the colour – it’s a great, midsummer blue – and I love the denim, it reminds me of a perfect pair of vintage Levi 501s I had back in the 80s when we all wore them. I will still wear my Next relaxed skinnies – strangely I think they look slightly smarter with heels than the expensive Jigsaw ones but these are great for weekends.

As for my quest for a pair of straight leg white jeans, I have now officially given up. I was aiming for that immaculate Spanish look – worn with heels and tan accessories. I have tried: Boden, Next, Gap, Wallis, Zara, Massimo Dutti, White Company and Tommy Hilfiger – all by mail order – all returned – I am single handedly keeping a team of delivery men employed in this area.

Chic shorts for women over 40

Swayed by other bloggers who are doing the boho look so beautifully, I have been trying to find a non-distressed pair of denim shorts (and also trying various kaftan blouses with embroidery). I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a pair to suit me. The list that I have ordered and returned includes: Oasis, Warehouse, Next x 4 pairs, Gap, Fat Face and M&S. The problem is that after 40, you need a bit of flattery around the thigh area – by this I mean you want shorts that are slightly loose and cut at the right point where the thigh begins to go slender (or at least slightly less thick than the top)! This year’s denim shorts all seem to be tight and high and make me look like a titan. I haven’t done photos – it has just been too grim.

A friend who is high up at Louis Vuitton in Paris tells me they don’t ‘get’ boho over there and that Isabel Marant is much more loved by the English than the French.I am consoling myself with that and have decided that the boho look is another for my ‘cool’ but not ‘chic’ list. I’ve tried it and I felt like mutton. When I’m stuck with summer clothing I always try to picture what a woman who is used to a warmer climate would wear.  I have therefore decided to channel the ‘French woman with basket at Provencal market look’ as much as I can and wear simple summer dresses with chic accessories (a whole new challenge)! However I do still need shorts for picnics, camping trips, zipwires and all the other things that a mum of 3 boys is required to do. So I’m sticking with chino shorts as they give you the necessary slimming loose thigh look. This is how I wore them for today’s school run:

chic shorts

  • Chino shorts: Gap
  • Broderie top: Johnnie B (last year)
  • Navy pointed slingbacks: Boden

My Mumsnet Week

Finally I just wanted to welcome all my new readers from Mumsnet. I couldn’t work out what was happening on Tuesday when my visit numbers started going through the roof until a nice new reader contacted me with a question and let me know I was being discussed on the ‘style blogs for women over 40’ forum. I therefore spent Tuesday night rocking in a corner waiting for psychological annihilation but thankfully it didn’t happen, everybody was very kind – such a relief. I need to send a cyberhug to MauraFedora who mentioned midlifechic – I’m so grateful – I’ve had over 2000 readers a day for the last 3 days which is really exciting (I would have been grateful even if they’d been mean about me – all publicity etc..). So if you’re new, I hope you’ll join me on the journey I’m trying to make from ‘lost it mum’ to ‘found it again mum’ – I’m not there yet but I’m making progress. Do get in touch via the comments, even if it’s just to say hello – I always reply as soon as I can. To my regular, ever-encouraging commenters – thank you – without you I would have given up by now.