Dame Joan Collins is starring in the latest Valentino campaign, rocking a sexy red lace column dress at the age of 86.
In an interview with American Vogue, she bemoaned the general lack of elegance in the way people dress today (she’s not wrong) but then went so far to say that the wearing of jeans is “tragic”. Whoa there, Joan. Them’s fighting words!
No woman over the age of 40 should wear jeans? I disagree completely. I love jeans, always have, always will. They are practical, comfortable, and when well cut and well-chosen, forgiving.
They add youthfulness, a sort of insouciance, to grown-up items like jackets and blazers. They are a wardrobe staple, like a white shirt, or a trench coat or a black cocktail dress. I disagree that they don’t look good on older women – I often find myself admiring more mature women in Paris, wearing their jeans and sweaters and blazers, with sneakers or sandals or boots.
Joan hates the jeans and T-shirts with logo ensemble, and I’m with her there, that’s for the young’uns. But I see jeans as a sort of ongoing security blanket.
I went on a trip to the US recently and when I looked at the itinerary it said “casual”. The whole trip. Dinners were in diners, or semi-smart restaurants, where jeans and a blouse or a sweater would be perfectly acceptable. What a dream that was to pack for.
With good accessories, jeans are an easy passport to everywhere, from a first class lounge to a campsite.
Jean shapes and trends change all the time in the fashion world, but that is one edict you can choose to ignore, because what is most important is that the cut it right for you.
Don’t feel you have to shimmy into a skinny stretch jean if you don’t want to. It took me a year to decide to buy a pair of those cut-off, frayed styles and I had to try on at least 10 pairs before I found one that was suitably flattering around the middle.
I was wearing them the other day, and a very young, very cool sales assistant who was singing along to Kanye’s terrible new song which was blasting through the store speakers said, “ l like your jeans” – and he wasn’t making fun of me, so I’m glad I put in the dispiriting hours of research.
I believe wide leg jeans are making a re-entrance soon. I’ll be skipping those, thanks, because the answer to, “Do these make my bum look big?” here is: “Hell yes.” The high-waisted, straight leg cut is thankfully still around, the ‘mum jean’ if you will, which all of us mums with tummy rolls are happy about, thank you very much.
So as much as I admire Joan Collins, and applaud her dedication to high camp Hollywood glamour, I think I am far more likely to head into the future wearing my beloved jeans and chinos, and being inspired by icons such as Patti Smith or Jane Goodall.
Jeans are cool, at any age.