We all make style mistakes. I have had menswear malfunctions and committed many a sartorial sin over the last 20 odd years (fashion felonies before 17 years of age don’t count). I don’t like being too prescriptive when it comes to personal style, but some style disasters just have to be called out in the hope that such travesties can be avoided in our next 40 years. They are not all mechanical or systems errors as such, some are based around our own attitudes to style and the mature man. Here are a few I have committed and observed over the years.
Thinking you are past it
Never, ever put a limit on how good you can look and feel.
Dress well for yourself.
Exercise hard for yourself.
Eat healthily for yourself.
Don’t think that because you feel battered by parenthood, work stress, lethargy and age, then the game is up. It is never up until Father Time says so and he is not calling for a while.
Read my Health as a Fortysomething
Keep your standards high and aim to improve with age as opposed to the opposite trajectory. I fully intend to be knocking about in a well-cut suit, while bashing out some dumbbell curls and chin-ups in my seventies. Age is no barrier to style and attitude. In most walks of life “experience” is looked upon as an advantage, so make it count.
Style comes in all sizes
I only recently put a few suits in to be altered on the waist and another pair of smart trousers in for a leg adjustment. No, my legs have not shrunk, but I didn’t like the pooling of trouser leg on my shoes, so I am getting them taken up. I must have liked it 7 or 8 years ago, but not in 2018. The quality of the cloth is a constant, but the cut of it needs a change.
Now, it took a while for the penny to drop, but in a week or so, I shall have myself three new suits for my work rotation for the price of a few alterations. Hold the credit card. I just saved myself a small fortune.
Our bodies change a bit as we get older. Such is life. It is not worth beating yourself up over (unless in the company of a tough PT of course). You cannot defy physics by battering yourself into a medium shirt if you are now a large and your waist measurement will change.
By all means keep clothes that don’t fit if there is a possibility they may fit at a later stage (use it as an exercise or healthy eating barometer?), but sometimes you can get them altered or recycle them in some way. Whatever you do, do not throw them in the bin or pour yourself into them for a night out or for workwear. Clothes should always fit well. It is a basic rule, but is regularly flouted by men.
Dedicated follower of fashion
Ever see an older guy out with one of those deep plunge v-neck t-shirts on? Thoughts? Yes, mine too. How some of this stuff is ever deemed fashionable is beyond me. Ripped and “distressed” (ie wrecked looking) denim are also in this chronic cohort. I will put holes in my own denim (after many years of wear) thanks very much. Any t-shirt that is too shouting about a brand is for home wear only too. I don’t want to be a walking advertorial at my age. I am not Neymar.
Think style as opposed to fashion.
Classic style as opposed to fast fashion.
Will you wear it in 5 years? Sure?
How I buy my clothes Starting a Sustainable Style Search
Let the young lads look like they got dressed in the dark, while the fortysomething man exudes quiet sophistication in built to last boots, smart, well-fitting denim, tailored shirt and leather jacket. Sorted.
Not putting in the effort
I once mused about whether the average guy gave a hoot about what he wore. I still wonder from time to time of course. However, overall I reckon most guys do. I was perhaps overly harsh on my brethren? You be the judge Men don’t care about clothes. Fact or fiction? What is a different matter is whether that comes across in daily life. A fair bit of the time it does not quite come across that due consideration has been given to this department!
Heading out with your partner in a pair of battered sneakers strongly suggests a lack of effort. OK. Idris Elba turns up on a talk show in sneakers (pristine ones), but it is a fair stretch for us to channel his style on a Saturday night out, in our forties and not look like a man-child who has not discovered grown up “going out” shoes. Battered sneakers have their time and place. Polo shirts have their moments. Short-sleeved shirts have their time in the sun (and only then). Don’t forcibly ram a shirt inside trousers if they won’t easily go.
The mature man, with his style together looks prepared and well turned out. It is easier that way. If you do not put in the effort, then somebody else almost certainly will. So, don’t be so blasé as to assume your partner will not “notice” the stylish guy at the bar placing an order. If he made the effort, then it is only fair his wise choices are acknowledged. Right?
Keep something special in reserve
I have certain shoes and clothes that are only for reasonably special occasions, nights out and good times. Under no circumstances would they be worn on a bog standard Wednesday afternoon. Keeping my good gear good, means that I am not on my hands and knees excavating 3 day old pasta off the kitchen floor in my best clothes.
There is also the psychological angle to consider; If say my Drake’s shirt is sullied by workwear or domestic duty, then when I throw it on a for a night in the pub or a dinner date, it is not going to feel “special.” I like and value that feeling when I am going out. God knows these occasions can be few and far between at times. Months can disappear without a special night, so it is all about feeling good about yourself and creating an outfit that puts the bounce in your step. So, get yourself some good gear and keep it in reserve for when you really need to impress someone or just want to feel great about yourself.
Thanks for reading,