If you are in your 40s or 50s and you want to dress better, this article is for you.
I’ll discuss what older men should avoid wearing, as well as look at an example of a celebrity who, in my opinion, makes the fatal mistake of attempting to look younger.
Then I’ll give you some expert guidance from some of the most fashionable men over 40.
Finally, I’ll discuss a few ways that guys in their 40s and 50s can look younger without going crazy.
Before we get into the tips, I’d like to point out that just because you’re older doesn’t mean you have to dress in a certain way.
Your personal preferences, as well as your lifestyle and what you do for a career, all impact how you dress.
However, for most guys in their 40s and 50s, age does play a role in personal style; you want to look stylish without appearing to be trying too hard to appear younger.
Here’s a quick list of things to stay away from.
Things to Avoid
- Jeans that have been distressed or have visible fading, tears, rips, or stains.
- T-shirts with graphics
- Flip-flops and sandals
- Baseball caps, or at the very least baseball caps with backwards logos
- Any outfit with prominent logos or branding
- Sweatshirts with hoods
- Shorts made of denim
- Basketball sneakers or tennis shoes when you’re not playing basketball or tennis
- Clothing with a tight fit
- Clothing that is too big
- Hairstyles that are overly fashionable
Most guys, in my opinion, should avoid most of the items on that list, but this is especially true for men in their 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Consider the following scenario.
Robert Downey Jr. is a pretty good actor, and I have nothing but admiration for him, but whenever you see him on the red carpet in a suit, he invariably wears sneakers or high tops.
I believe he is doing this to appear young and trendy, which is pointless because he is already cool.
I believe that wearing high-top sneakers with suits, especially if the suit does not fit well, is backfiring and detracting from his image.
It’s like when a small child dresses up in a suit and tie. He’s not trying to fool anyone into thinking he’s an adult. Indeed, his formal attire underlines how young he is.
What Men in Their 40s or 50s Should Wear?
The question is what should you dress as an older man.
Invest on high-quality, timeless pieces for older men, such as a navy blazer, dark wash jeans, or brogues.
It’s not a good idea to follow trends, but it’s fine to be aware of them. You may embrace the tiny variations in silhouette, colors, and details that shift from one season to the next if you keep an eye on what’s going on.
You’ll look well-seasoned and in season if you do this. It appears that I have a knack with words:)
Uniqlo and Beckett Simonon are two of my favorite companies for basic clothes and timeless high-quality footwear, respectively. Nordstrom and Banana Republic are two of the most popular shopping destinations for older men.
Older gentlemen should stick to dark solid colors.
Keep in mind that dark solid colors go with almost everything, making putting together an ensemble a breeze.
The dark tones make you look slimmer. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true. Lighter hues reflect more light and make you appear larger, as if you’re occupying more space. Colors that are dark have the opposite impact.
I propose trying with dark blue, burgundy, and brown black colors.
If you do decide to wear patterns instead of solids, stick to modest, delicate designs with low contrast. Consider the contrast between medium and dark blue against dark blue and white.
Here’s one very specific piece of advice that I believe is critical for older men.
Avoid wearing true athletic shoes with jeans if you want to increase your confidence and avoid looking like your grandfather.
By way of athletic footwear I’m referring to tennis shoes, basketball shoes, or trainers that are designed to be worn while training or playing a sport. In other words, the Steve Jobs look.
These are not appealing to me. Unless you’re into the street clothing appearance, which is probably not the best aesthetic for guys over 40 anyhow, I don’t think they’re a fashion statement.
Rather, invest in a pair or two of simple leather or suede sneakers. Solid white, solid black, or black with a white sole come to mind.
These are going to look great with any denim color, pretty much any chino hue, and any pair of casual shorts.
This is the one and only pair of casual shoes you’ll ever require. When you’re not getting dressed up, it’ll go with anything.
Older men should consider upgrading their clothing and headgear. It’s time to ditch the graphic shirts in favor of something a little more grown-up, like a shirt with a collar and buttons.
The Oxford cloth button-down, or CBD, for example, is a great middle-of-the-road option that can be worn untucked with the sleeves pulled up. It can be tucked in and layered with a blazer. It’s a significant improvement over a graphic tee.
I also advise you to upgrade your headgear. Try a flat cap, a fedora, or a trilby if you’re used to wearing baseball caps, especially backwards baseball caps.
If you don’t like the notion of a fedora, there are a variety of broad brim hats available in a variety of sizes, forms, and silhouettes. You might be shocked if you try one on.
How to Make Yourself Look Younger
I’ve already discussed what to avoid wearing in your 40s and 50s.
Let’s take a look at four things that older men might do to look younger without going overboard.
This is especially true for formal clothing such as suits, jackets, blazers, and coats. Blue is a more youthful color than gray and will give you a younger appearance.
If you want to look a little younger, opt for blue and navy instead of gray and charcoal when getting dressed.
Take a look at Ralph Lauren; he’s constantly dressed in a navy blazer and light blue jeans, and he clearly knows what he’s doing.
Add Pops of Color
Even a single pop of color can give any ensemble a more youthful air.
These can be subtle or overt, such as yellow shoes.
If you do decide to wear something like that, I suggest keeping the remainder of your clothing more neutral and modest.
Change Your Hairstyle
Try shaving your beard or growing a beard if you’ve always been clean-shaven.
I enjoy the medium-length swept-back look if you’ve had short hair for a long period. That’s a great hairdo for guys in their 40s and 50s, in my opinion.
If you’ve previously had longer hair, attempt a short cut textured appearance. This is especially beneficial if you’re losing your hair or have thinning hair.
Trim The Fat
I’m aware that more relaxed, drapey styles are popular right now. Closer-fitting, tailored clothes, on the other hand, is always a more flattering look. Especially for men in their 40s and 50s.
I suggest going to the tailor and having your shirts taken in, your sleeves reduced if necessary, and your pants hemmed.
Trim the fat from around your clothes, and I assure you’ll appear thinner and younger.
That has always been and will always be my number one style tip, regardless of age. Find a reputable tailor and begin having your garments changed for a better fit.
That is all there is to it. That’s the best piece of advise I have for looking nice in your 40s and 50s.
Keep in mind that these are only suggestions. There are no hard and fast rules in this game. Even if you believe these principles are necessary to learn, you should feel free to bend and break them as you see fit.
Most importantly, regardless of your age, dress in a way that makes you feel like a million dollars.