They say fashion is a young man’s game…
Okay, perhaps they don’t, but sometimes it feels that way. Teenage models plague fashion magazines and in the rare event you do find forty plus fashion on the catwalk it’s usually being sported by models barely out of college.
But there’s a large leap between fashion and style, and becoming a senior needn’t signal the start of puffy sweaters and comfortable slacks (unless, of course, you want it to). Here are a few top tips for the older reader to help them look and feel stylish whatever their age:
Throw out your pensioner clothes. Just because you’ve got grandkids, it doesn’t mean you have to dress like a grandpa. Don’t let those thick, drab cardigans and grizzly khaki slacks loom over you. Follow the same basic fashion rules as other men, with the proviso that simple, timeless pieces will look particularly dapper and sophisticated with your laughter lines and white hair. In fact, speaking of hair…
Cut out the comb-over. If you are currently sporting the three-strand fop I want you to put down your laptop and get your barber on the phone right now. Your manhood isn’t tied up in your locks, so don’t let those remaining strands bring you down to their level. Chop ‘em off!
Avoid the trends, but don’t ignore the zeitgeist. In other words, don’t fall for the latest ‘in’ thing, but still endeavor to keep up with the times; there’s really no excuse for bell-bottomed flairs and zoot suits, nor socks and sandals.
Have a shave. Facial hair will advance your years no end, not to mention the fact that clean shaven gents are all the rage nowadays. Cut off your beard and ditch the moustache.
Stop holding out for the come-back. When anything becomes ‘hot property’ after a long time away from the limelight it’s inevitably accompanied with a new twist; don’t pull out those twenty-year-old pieces from your closet and expect them to work in this new context. For instance, Brandon Dyce of AskMen.com uses the example of aviator sunglasses:
“Though they cycle around quite frequently, they always reappear with a slightly modified frame or lens that’s different from their last go-round… Invest in the new version to ensure you’re updated, not outdated”
Learn from your mistakes. With several decades of fashion faux pas under your belt, you should have picked up an essence of what looks good and bad on your body. If that fuchsia polka-dot tie didn’t work for you in the late 70s, it’s certainly won’t now.
Use nostalgia as a template. Think about your favorite pieces from the past; what made them so special? Can you take those pieces as a starting point and update them with a more contemporary twist? Look for the same pieces of clothing in department stores and notice how the tailoring has been modified in recent times.
Don’t forget the influence of celebrity. Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis are both nearing their half century; if public-eye movie stars can confidently work stylish pieces then so can you.
If you’ve still got it – use it! Have a full head of hazelnut hair? What about a size thirty-two waist? You should be exploiting your greatest assets whatever your age; don’t let your advancing years put you off working your best features to their fullest.