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I entered the gym one day this week with a little boy on his way to a basketball clinic. He was about 10 years old and he was wearing a T-shirt that caught my eye: green on the bottom with a big V-shaped slash of pink that started at his shoulder and ended at his waist.

As I got closer, I realized the pink V was bordered by white and dotted with black seeds. “Watermelon shirt, eh?” I said. Barely looking over his shoulder at me, he hustled on, a man on a mission. “Yep. I like it,” he said. Everything about him said he could care less what I thought of his shirt.

That’s the same spirit and approach we need to have for fashion. If you want to wear it and you like it, damn the torpedoes, full-speed ahead. With confidence, you can wear almost anything.

But still. Skinny jeans. I can’t resist lobbing a grenade at this trend. Actually, it’s not the profile I despise. I’ve been smitten with it since I wore slender stirrup slacks in 1965 as a kindergartener. Back then, Audrey Hepburn, Mary Tyler Moore and Lucille Ball rocked this look, which has made a few comebacks over the years. I wore it again in the mid to early 80s. I best remember a pair of ankle length jeans, fitted and zipped at the calf, which I teamed with a pair of red flats, pointed at the toe. On the right woman, skinny jeans are a super chic vintage look.

Who should buck it

Almost everyone. Definitely everyone over 40, give or take a few years. (Sorry about that, Chico’s.) Nothing screams “Give me back my youth!” like a mature lady in skinny jeans. Don’t get me wrong: a woman’s 20s and 30s are wonderful!

Most of us beyond that age should be moving forward—not reaching for the past. We know what looks good on us and it isn’t a pair of skinny jeans. Why would we want to show the exact girth of every part south of the waist? Yes, they can be paired with things that camouflage or deemphasize. But so often those tools run us into other troubled terrain like creating a horizontal line over our widest dimension. Borrowing another phrase from the past: unless you’re a reed, “Just say no.” Let the wispy girls wear this one and move on to other things they can’t wear.

What to wear instead

Like what, you ask? Won’t I be out of style if I don’t wear skinny jeans? Listen, you’re NEVER out of style if you’re wearing something that flatters your body! This is the beauty of fashion today. We have the freedom to wear what suits us best. When it comes to jeans, fit is everything. Shop it hard until you find what’s comfortable and flattering. Boot cuts and trouser style jeans are favorable to more women than a pair of skinny jeans. I’ve discovered two brands of jeans that have swag, JAG and Free People.

Jag Jeans - Attie Pull-On Denim Trouser in Paramount Blue (Paramount Blue) - Apparel

JAG makes jeans comfortable and flattering on mature bodies with flat front, pull-ons in several cuts. (Don’t worry! No elastic!) Some have a mock-zipper that lays flat against the body. Am I the only person who has noticed that my pooch looks even bigger when you add the depth of a zipper? I bought a pair via Zappo’s for $69—a lot of money for a pair of jeans, but the comfort makes them worth it. (Click on the photo above and you can see a larger photo of these.) I had nearly given up on jeans before I found these.

Free People (which also has an eye-catching, but expensive vintage collection) has edgy jeans mostly for the younger set. I found a pair of high-waisted jeans that zipped diagonally at the waist. I would wear them in a heartbeat!

What’s your favorite way to style a pair of jeans?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.