“Freedom’s just another word for…nothing left to lose.”
We went to see A Night With Janis Joplin show last week and loved it.
The show features many different female blues singers from the past and some of the best known Janis Joplin songs. If you like the blues this show is great.
I was spurred on by the Janis boho style when I came across this knit vest while thrifting.
I saw these distressed jeans, or very similar ones when I was in NYC in Sept last year with Sylvia in a Ralph Lauren window display and fell in love with them. When I recently spotted these heavily patched and reworked distressed jeans I couldn’t pass them up.
I don’t care that as a woman well over forty I’m not supposed to wear distressed jeans anymore.
“Desperate, trying too hard, ridiculous, sloppy”…you name it, distressed jeans provoke some serious commentary from the forty plus community.
I will admit that when I saw the jeans I heard some nagging female voices in the back of my head insisting I was too old to wear these.
I dislike those voices.
I want them out of my head.
They don’t belong there anymore than the voices that tell me I’m too heavy.
When I saw the jeans they spoke to my inner voice, the one that defines how I see myself rather than how others see me. The one that makes me happy and feel good about myself and doesn’t pay attention to the passing years but rather to the reflection of myself in my mind’s eye, the way I see myself.
Style is personal.
Style is subjective.
Style isn’t defined by other people.
Style is how you feel on the inside, reflected on the outside.
Distressed Jeans Over 40
It just so happens that my very favourite pair of jeans of all time are distressed.
My favourite distressed jeans happen to fit me better than any other pair of jeans I own.
There isn’t an age expiry date sewn on the inside of them.
I know distressed jeans aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Style is in the eye of the beholder.
And that includes distressed jeans.
Do you ever hear other people’s voices in your head telling you what you should or shouldn’t wear?
Do they bother you or help you?
Linking up with Visible Monday, I Will Wear What I Like Throw Back Thursday
Hey why not? I am all about ripped jeans lately and I am 51 haha – check out how I did it here and lemme know what you think – http://redtagchiclosangeles.com/2016/02/08/spring-prelude/
Have a great week ahead!
Suzanne L. says
I LOVE what you have to say about distressed/ ripped jeans. Who are “they” that get to determine your personal style. I’m in my 50’s and happy in my skin, active and feel in my soul much younger and much more confident than I ever felt when I was young. I feel people should express themselves in whatever clothing makes them happy.
I love you in jeans! You look funky, fabulous and hippy-tastic. If I found a pair like those I’d buy them in a heartbeat.
Who says women over 40 can’t wear jeans? Some envious 20 year old, I expect! xxx
I just purchased a white pair of distressed jeans online (hope they fit) .. so I’m all for woman (of any age) wearing distressed jeans. The only area where women over 40 should probably be more selective are the very distressed, see through jeans .. just my opinion 😛
And BTW .. LOVE your velvet orange blazer !!
suzanne carillo says
I also own a pair of white distressed jeans that I love. I hope yours fit like you’d hoped.
Good for you! Wear whatever appeals to you. The best make their own stylish choices. I also love Janis and the blues. I’ve seen several shows of her music.
suzanne carillo says
Is there anything so sad and wonderful as the blues?
“My inner voice, the one that defines how I see myself rather than how others see me.” I love this so much. It’s our daily back and forth between the positive voice in us and the negatives we sometimes get from the outside.
When Sylvia, Susan and I did our “Blab” last week, someone commented “ah this is the old hags’ chat room.” As Susan said, there are worse things we can be than old hags (like jerks!)
I love seeing you in these distressed jeans, with a great boho feel. Party on, and stay excellent,
suzanne carillo says
I saw that. I was a “lurker” and not logged into Twitter for the blab. I thought, “Why on earth does someone go out of their way to write that?” How can they possibly feel good about themselves?
Kudos to all of you ignoring that and maintaining your dignity.
I did think the guy under the blanket asking for advice about how to get a woman was hilarious. WTF? He was under a blanket! I think he was afraid his Mom might catch him using the internet. Seriously.
I love that seeing the Janis Joplin show inspired this lovely outfit! I do love that long vest so much! It is a very cool piece! Although I have never owned a pair of distressed jeans I can appreciate a good pair when I see one and these are really awesome. I don’t think they are perfect for over 40!
🙂 You always look good, Suzanne!
Distressed jeans or not – you wear them well!
Have a very HAPPY week and greetings from Vienna xo 🙂
Jodie filogomo says
When you get that voice out of your head, will you come work on mine? I have a pair also….but I admit to being selective on when I wear them (like i’m embarrassed or something—silly, I know, but truth). I think it’s because I used to think they were crazy—you know…why would I pay money for jeans with holes in them? Ahhhh….we are such complex creatures! jodie
suzanne carillo says
Ha! Yeah. I also used think that paying for wrecked jeans was weird. Now of course I love them.
Sheela Goh says
So I just left this comment on that “serious commentary” website you were referring too, Suzanne, “I do think that as with anything else, any item of clothing can be made to look chic, with the right complementary piece and/or accessory. I’m in my mid 40s and have been wearing distressed jeans of varying degrees my entire life. I’ve seen many women across all age groups pull them off with panache. I’ve also seen an equal amount of women across similar age groups wear NON distressed jeans in the most tacky fashion possible. At the end of the day, it’s truly a matter of personal preference.”
The key here is to own it. Wear it and own it.
p/s I just shot an outfit with distressed AND graffiti paint-spattered (heaven forbid) jeans last week, the post is scheduled for Friday, 4th March. Let’s see how many bricks and bouquets shall be thrown my way GRIN
suzanne carillo says
Your comment is spot on. Confidence makes up for everything.
I love paint spattered jeans. Looking forward to your post. And look at you…with your posts all planned out so well in advance!
Sheela Goh says
Hahaha trust me, Suzanne, this is absolutely no indication of how organised I am. Far from it. It’s merely because I’ve recently engaged the services of a professional photographer and in order to maximise time/investment, we shoot between 4-5 looks every Friday, thus allowing me to somewhat plot ahead of time xoxo
No Fear of Fashion says
My favorite jeans are my distressed ones as well and I’m even older than you, so I really like your ideas on personal style. Your new ones, dang, can I just take them off your hand (legs)? They’re fabulous. I saw those in anthro but just couldn’t get myself to pay the price they were asking. Yay for you getting to attend Janis Joplin concert, I bet that was amazing! Did you wear this outfit that night? She would have been so happy to see you in it. And that vest, seriously some of your thrift finds . . . wow!
suzanne carillo says
Did Anthro have some like this? These are from TJ Maxx, by Ralph Lauren. I’m pretty sure I paid less than what they were asking at Anthro.
I’m so addicted to thrifting now. It is scary.
Debbie Stinedurf says
The inner voice is the only voice that matters. And you my smokin’ hot friend are killin’ it in those jeans! You are so channeling Joplin with a cool modern twist. Here’s to our inner voices kicking the asses of all of those other voices that have no place in our heads!
You look fabulous in these ripped up wonders. I mean it. I agree that many women over 20 shouldn’t wear them because, hey, they can’t help themselves and they feel protected by rules. They are indeed too “old” for them even at 21. It’s a state of mind and they like it there. I like your state best!!
That vest!! Wow!!!!
The newest, most unripped pants in the world will suddenly be distressed when I pull them on. So sad.
Hollie Ramsey says
I’m going to put this one in my top 5 favorite outfits of yours. I seriously dig it. You look wicked groovy.
Happiness at Mid Life says
I live in my distressed jeans so I am a big fan of them. I love how it gives an outfit a good mix of casual even if you are wearing a dressy top or heels. I love your new vest and jeans!
Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.
It would be a fashion crime for you to NOT wear those jeans – you look amazing in every single look. I have several pair of distressed jeans, and I don’t care what anyone says, I love them.
yeah baby you rock in your jeans!!! 😉
YOU + Distressed Denim = Aching Coolness.
I am lovinging theses looks!!
The distressed denim adds a little two-finger salute to the frigid fashion police.
(From that last comment, you probably have guessed how I feel about people telling me what I should/shouldn’t be wearing. :oP)
In fact, I get quite passionate about us, as women, being free to make our own fashion choices. Regardless of age.
Style is personal.
Style is for everyone.
If you love distressed denim, and feel great in those jeans, then you should be wearing them.
Even if some people might disapprove…that is their problem, not yours!
Probably just jealous because you look so damn HOT.
I could not even pick a favourite look….but that cute dog-T outfit is high on my list!
I love you in these distressed jeans!!! So much so that I think I want a pair just like them… And, honestly, I normally don’t like distressed jeans – on anyone. Maybe it’s because when I think of distressed jeans I think of the “overdone” versions that fall apart… The distressing on yours looks perfect – just the right amount (for me).
Your concert outfit is perfect! All the outfits are great!
Heck yeah! Just like any other article of clothing. It’s all in how you style it. And you are definitely the master of styling distressed jeans! Love that Janet inspired boho look.
And as far as the people who go on about what over 40 women shouldn’t wear. It’s only their opinion, which really only has meaning for them.
So here’s my opinion that has meaning for me. If you’re loving what you’re wearing and not hurting anyone in the process, then have fun wearing it and just ignore the opinion of anyone who doesn’t approve!
The jeans look great on you because they fit you well, and you’ve styled them with interesting accessories. There’s no reason why you couldn’t wear distressed jeans when you’re 70 if they fit well, and you wear them with confidence.
Personally, I’ve never liked distressed clothing of any kind because I don’t want to pay money for clothes with holes already in them. If it’s a pair of jeans I’ve loved and owned for years, and they have naturally worn out, that’s a different thing.
So can we talk about distressed jeans over 60? I own 7 pairs of jeans. Three of them distressed. It never even occurred to me that I was too old for them. Hmmm. This is such an excellent outfit. You look so beautiful. I’m with Hollie. One of your best.
You do realize you don’t even look 40, right? Chick you are a hotty!
While I am a woman who loves men, yes they are delicious…. I have absolutely no problem looking at the beauty of another woman and saying so. You look way better than most 20 year old running around… Rock the jeans ripped or not, cause they look good on you.
I get where you may question if you can pull it off. Only because of the number of our age we know we are versus what we think other women look like at that age, or remember our mothers and thinking we may look middle aged. So it is ingrained in us to doubt.
I always worry if do I look like an older woman trying to look young. For me that is horrible, it makes a woman look older than she is.
Hence I stopped coloring my hair and now I love it! As I may have mentioned I have a pretty silver streak right in the front, I rock it by emphasizing it with the colors I wear. I almost never ever think anymore does this look like I am trying to look young, do I look too old in this…
When I try something on I look at it and say, does this look good on me? Does it accentuate my body in a positive way? Is the color for me right? Does it look simple yet elegant on me, meaning not overdone…
suzanne carillo says
It is so true that what we remember our Mother’s looking like at our age skews the way we perceive ourselves at the same age.
I agree…we have to look at ourselves as individuals. It is all about personal choices.
Lucky you to not have to colour your hair anymore! I could go back to my natural blond but it washes me out so much. Also 90% of my closet looks better on a redhead now.
The Style Crone says
You make distressed jeans sing and they look great on you. I’m for wearing anything that makes us feel good at any age. Who makes these rules anyway? Shine on!
You blond??? No way! Nope, you are a true red head at heart, it was always in there hiding, you just brought it out. It suits you, your coloring and everything. Okay I don’t know you personally, but your attitude in writing style and things you say doesn’t suit for a blond hair that washes you out:)
suzanne carillo says
Haha! Truth be told my Dad is a redhead and my one younger sister does have a bit of red in her hair. My brother is a very light strawberry blond and the rest of us are true blonds.
But yeah…my hair is obtained through monthly visits to my stylist and is far from low maintenance. When a blond goes darker and your roots start growing in you look like you’re bald. Not cool.
You are still very pretty as a blond, but is almost like looking at another woman:) Fun photos, brought back down memory lane with some of them.
It isn’t that I don’t have to color my hair, I used to and with the whites streak in the front I was doing it every two weeks, because being the type A that I am could not stand seeing it in my dark hair. My hair was virgin til I turned 42, then I started with washin to cover it which turned into semi permanent which turned into permanent hair color.
What a person doesn’t realize when they start just how truly hard it is, to grow out.
You become a slave to the color.
Hairdresser did some awful crap to try and hide the out growth then she wacked it so bad, the b**** (yes I was pissed). It was so ugly my colleagues were like what happened to your hair. (was my bosses hairdresser).
Well I chopped my mid back length hair (yes I was extremely depressed it took me forever to grow) Short hair like three different freaking shades kind of speckled looking, I didn’t let my husband even touch me I felt like a freak….
Now after two years it is past my shoulders silver/white streak in the front super thick straight hair with a bit of wave. I feel like a woman again, thank God. So no I will never color my hair again, or wear it short.
I get all kinds of comments, it makes you look older (many Dutch are brutally honest), it looks cool, your hair is gorgeous (usually the men say that, so it tells ya something, not all men think women look old with grey hair).
I was insecure about my decision, til the day trying on a white silk grecian style dress alone standing outside the dressing room looking in the mirror and this guys says you look ravishing….. I looked around wonder who the guy was talking to and tell ya girl he was better looking than Antonio Banderes ever hoped to look. He said yes, you, really is ravishing.
Well I went up hugged the guy (tried not to drool) bought the dress and walked around the rest of the day with the craziest grin on my face.
I felt so damn sexy, I was sexy, heck I am sexy. So I figured I look good with this hair and kept it ever since.
By the way he wasn’t working at the store he was a customer picking up his coat. So he didn’t have to say it.
But my opinion you made the right decision, red hair all the way!
I think your new patchwork jeans are fabulous! They’re really artsy, and funky, and cool.
It makes me cringe that critics use phrases like “trying too hard” and “desperate” to comment on other women’s outfits. Trying too hard to do what? I’ve heard those three words plenty of times from passersby, usually when I’m “over-dressed.” It’s frustrating because what some people deem “overdressed” I deem to be my regular, everyday style.
I totally agree that fashion is reflecting how you feel on the inside on the outside. It’s about more than just clothes. It’s about who I am and what makes me happy. So leave me be! lol
Katie D (Hello Katie Girl) says
You totally rock the distressed jeans look! There are so many rules for what you can and can’t wear at certain ages, but I think it just boils down to wearing what you feel comfortable in and what makes you happy. Your outfit was just perfect for the Janis Joplin tribute.
I find it;s the that people whose style I don’t admire are always the ones to tell me what I should wear. I’ll be 47 years old this year. I have the same style I did in my 20’s . Leather jacket, distressed denim, skinny jeans, band tees, etc. The problem is not what you are wearing. It’s really all about how frumpy you make other people feel when you look better in those jeans than they do. Sorry, but the truth hurts. People who put down other people: it’s about them , not you.
Lynn so true so so freaking true.
Also 47 and it took me till now to realize that.
With the grey hair I mentioned about, a colleague said “it makes you look older, like for sure 10 years older, I would never do it.” I played it cool but was so upset, she said it a couple times more after that, like I didn’t hear it and everyone else the first two times…
Well now we work in the same building and I am seeing how she puts on a front but realizing she doesn’t feel so good about herself.
That and some other things this past year, just made me finally say live your life stop worrying about how others perceive you.
I am so much happier since.
Anna Parkes says
I love that the blogging community has responded with such fervour to this post. You dress to please youself and therefore have no need to listen or worry about “their”opinions. Distressed jeans look like they’re your default setting. The most important thing is that you don’t look uncomfortable or apologetic in them, you look cool, rock chic, hot, sexy. This might ruffle some feathers with the more staid, conventional, fashion community, but so what? You define yourself with utter clarity Suzanne, so just carry on. We love you for being you x
Anna’s Island Style
OK – so we’re told to buy lots of crap to stop us looking old – but then not to try to look like we’re trying too hard to look young. And we can’t wear this or that just in case someone doesn’t like it or laughs. Does the world end if we don’t follow/subscribe to the ‘rules’? No – but you will TERRIFY some folks who want you to stop rocking the boat.
As to all the folks passing opinions on others – JUST PLAIN RUDE. Really – it isn’t anybody’s business but mine (and yours) as to the sartorial (or other) choices I (or you) make. Even the bad ones. I OWN all of it (in brackets or not).
Wear the hell out of whatever you choose – don’t ever hide your light or turn it down because ‘they’ don’t approve – and that inner-critic is an absolute wuss btw lol + xxxxxx
Hi, Suzanne! I would have loved to watch this show, it must have been fabulous! I loved your long vest and hat, and boots and all! You definitely look stunning and distressed jeans are for everybody, I guess. I don’t wear because, like you said, style is subjective, so now I don;t wear, but maybe in the future I will. I think that people are always so concerned in creating labels for other people, and I am short, so I am not supposed to wear long skirts, or flares, or this or that… I simply wear what I like! Loved your outfits and the shoes in the last pic – divine!
All I see is a cool, confident woman! ROAR!
All I see is a cool, confident woman! Go Roar!!
I love distressed denim…trying not to listen to that voice that says “no, you’re too old”…you look so cool in your favorite pair!
No Fear of Fashion says
I haven’t got any distressed jeans yet. Well… A little bit distressed, but not much. And I so want a paur of truly distressed jeans. And I mean that in the classiest possible way (grin). Did anyone notice I am over 60? They will be mine beofre the end od the month. Mark my words.
And Suzanne…. you look bloody terrific. Ans I love Janis so much.
Petite Silver Vixen says
I’m so behind on reading my blogs but I wouldn’t have missed this post! Ah, Janis, how I’d love to have seen her live. You’re nailing her vibe down to a tee. I’ve just read that other post – boy some of the women need to lighten up! I love Sheela’s comment though – spot on!
I don’t own a pair of distressed jeans simply because I’ve not found a pair I like and I’m not sure it’s me but heck you rock ’em so more power to you. And yes, no item of clothing comes with an age tag so if you love ’em, wear ’em and to hell with the voices!
Darlene Fadem says
My favorite pair of denim , at the moment, are my distressed ON Rockstar jeans. I’m loving that thrifted vest!
I couldn’t love it more 🙂 Great job.
I have no distressed jeans and not sure if I’m going to, but that has nothing to do with age. And they look great on you! Channeling your inner Janis and all; you go, gal!
First off, those Ralph Lauren Jeans are gorgeous. I love them. I actually need more pairs of distressed jeans in my closet, including a pair that is heavily distressed. Plus your hat and long vest are stunning. Great boho styling. And you have created some fantastic outfits with your distressed BF Jeans too.
I loved what you wrote on this post. Sometimes my style is too colorful for a lot of people so yes I have heard some voices too. I used to care but not so much, not at all. Like you said clothes do not have an expiration date and style is objective.
OK Suzanne, longest comment ever but anyway, I am glad I stopped by, today. Also, starting tomorrow I am hosting my own linkup called “Thursday Moda” so welcome by and link up. Thanks so much, Ada. =)
Señora Allnut says
ohhh, love every of them, and love that you look gorgeous whatever you wear, creating those fabulous ensembles, elegant, cool, and sassy!! with lots of style and personality!
You make me feel encouraged to wear whatever I like, even distressed jeans!
See, you always find these really excellent distressed jeans. I can never find ones I like that are distressed. But these pairs you are rocking here? OH. My. Goodness. Love the whole first outfit (and the other outfits too). You look so, so cool.
I had a pair of jeans that were sooooo dowdy. I was about to donate them, but I attacked them with a cheese grater and sandpaper instead. They.are.now.my.favorite.jeans! They are VERY distressed…huge holes at the knees now, tatters up the front thighs, holey back pockets…and I feel awesome in them!!! I’d say I feel as awesome in my jeans as you look in yours! You ROCK!!!!!!! That entire Janis Joplin outfit is amazing!!!
Debbie Stewart says
You look great!
and,… I’ve got on ripped jeans today at work and I’m waaaay over 40!
It was my age group that were the original bohemians. Bell bottoms and turquoise jewelry. I’ve got some turquoise that I’ve had for many, many years!
I remember arguing with my mother when I bought my first Army jacket as a teenager.. I’ve got a couple of those, too!
It’s funny how I wear these things and people actually compliment me on how cute I look… Boho can be done by any age – within reason.
I think it’s most important to be authentic!