Let’s begin by contrasting two males, one 21 and the other 51, who are both dressed in a t-shirt and pants.
Which of the two men do you think has the best appearance?
Keep that notion in mind. Let’s look at another example.
Let’s compare a 19-year-old and a 40-year-old, both dressed in a suit this time.
In general, younger men appear better in casual clothing, whereas older men look better in dressier clothing, assuming all other criteria are equal.
Why is this the case? And, more importantly, what does it mean to dress your age?
This is the topic of this article. I’ll teach you how to dress for your age group and why it matters.
Man in His 30s
Let’s start with a consultant who is 30 years old. He’s just not a suit and tie sort of person. He stands around 5’7″ tall, weighs 160 pounds, and is muscular.
What I’m curious about is how he dresses for his age.
The solution is straightforward.
He only needs to respond to five easy questions.
- Is there a dress code?
- What are the societal expectations?
- What’s the weather?
- What body type do you have?
- What do you want your clothes to say about you?
He has a couple of dress codes in this scenario.
When he’s not at work or at home, he dresses casually. But, guess what? He’s in the office, dealing with high-net-worth clientele anytime he’s at work. He’ll have to dress it up a bit.
Then there’s the issue of societal expectations. This is what we would expect from a 27-year-old businessman on the rise.
They want him to look the part in the city, to wear attire that fits their figure. For a consultant, these are societal expectations.
Are we going to expect you to dress the same way a consultant does if you work in construction in the same city?
Obviously not. There is, nevertheless, a societal expectation for someone who performs high-level thinking work.
Then there’s his physical surroundings.
He has a white-collar job and works indoors. This is something he’s expected to wear while the temperature is controlled, so he’ll probably want to wear a necktie or at the very least a collared shirt. If it’s too hot outside, he may want to loosen the collar, but he’ll probably want to wear a necktie or at the very least a collared shirt.
Then there’s body type. He’s got a muscular physique and wants to flaunt it. He prefers to dress in clothes that are tailored to his shape.
He also appears taller when he wears close-fitting apparel that flatters his frame. It helps to slim down that figure. He also wears shoes with a slight heel, not because he has a problem with his height, but because he like to be able to look all of his peers in the eyes.
Finally, he considers what he wants his clothing to convey, as well as how he intends to express himself through what he wears.
And he knows he enjoys bright colors, as well as unique patterns, such as a floral that isn’t too overbearing. He wears it, layers it, and can wear it in a rather conservative setting because he knows how to incorporate it into his outfit.
Man in His 20s
Let’s go on to another character. He is a 20-year-old student who want to dress appropriately for his age.
He wants to know what this means to him as an adolescent.
Let’s start with the first of the five questions: what is the dress code?
In most of his life, he dresses casually, if not ultra-casually.
But there’s a catch: he has ambitions. Not only is he majoring in Business, but he’s also majoring in Engineering. This person wants to make a difference in the world. He wants to create apps that he can then sell. He aspires to be a huge success.
As a result, he is meeting a lot of successful entrepreneurs who are visiting the campus. So, do you want to hear what I’m going to suggest for him?
To dress up his style and indicate that his day’s uniform is a little more formal than the other students’.
Why? Because he’s aiming for something specific. He wants to make a name for himself so that his professors respect him.
What are societal expectations, then?
They’re quite low for a 19-year-old. You have a lot of leeway in this situation. You are free to try new things. This is an excellent opportunity to try new things.
However, if you do dress up, keep in mind that it is unusual and unwelcome in many parts of society.
Your pals will question why you are dressing so formally, why you are wearing a collared shirt when everyone else is wearing t-shirts.
You can now dress casually, and I’m not saying it will harm you in most instances. However, there will be times when you will need to deviate from societal expectations.
And that’s why dressing up for a younger person is often tough, since everyone else is so casual, and when they do dress up, they stick out.
It makes other people uncomfortable when you stand out.
So, if you want to improve your style as a young man, you should be aware of cultural standards. Some people will attempt to bring you down.
But, if you understand that society’s standard is pretty low, this is to be expected.
What about the weather and the physical environment?
If you live in a dry, hot area, you can dress in clothes that allow air to flow in and out. Linen is a fantastic choice.
Going for a looser fit, you still want your clothes to fit and look beautiful, but you might want to opt for longer sleeves. You’re free to roll up your sleeves.
Choosing breathable trousers is a good idea. You may still dress up without going overboard if you look for methods to do so. Sweater coats, on the other hand, aren’t for everyone. However, you may be able to wear them in the fall. You’ll be able to wear them all winter and possibly into the spring.
However, if you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, as you will in most of your classes, you can bring something to layer in class.
So, pay attention, understand where you’re at, but keep in mind that you want to set the tone, because if you’re going to a business school interview, you’ll want to make sure you have at least a blazer, if not a suit, with which you can step up your game.
Let’s discuss about his body type next. He’s a tall, thin man. And it’s something he wants to make sure he looks well in when he wears his clothes.
You can now wear a t-shirt and jeans, but you’ll appear lanky. Wearing clothing and layering it will not necessarily make you look muscular, but it will add weight and make you appear more proportionate.
Finally, he must respond to the question, “What do you want your outfit to express?” What message did he want to send to the rest of the world?
He spends a lot of time in the dull engineering and business departments, so let’s face it: everyone there wears the same.
He desires to stand out from the crowd. As a result, this is where he introduces new stylistic elements. At the same time, he does not want to appear to be an elderly man. He recognizes that traditional styles are timeless and that he could afford to pay a little more on these items.
He may incorporate some exciting patterns and bright colors, and all of a sudden, he stands out from the crowd, he looks fantastic, and he receives praises and feels good about himself.
Man in His 50s
Next up is a 52-year-old male who is newly single, living out in the Los Angeles area. He stands about 5’10” tall and weighed around 175 pounds for the most of his life. He suffered an injury around ten years ago that forced him to stop running, and he gained about 25 pounds, the most of which was in his middle.
He’s been working in the entertainment industry on and off for the past 15 years, and he’s now single and dating again.
So, first and foremost, what is the dress code?
He works from home on his computer the vast majority of the time, thus it may not appear that there is any.
He does, however, hold Zoom meetings. He does see the client with whom he is working once a week.
As a result, he still wants to look sharp on occasion. And, I’d say, he’d want to dress more formally when he’s at work so that he can deliver better results.
Because the research is clear, whenever you dress the part, even if you’re working from home, you’ll be more on point, and you’ll be more productive.
Let’s talk about societal expectations for guys in their 50s now.
They are unquestionably higher than those of teenagers. However, they are not too high, particularly in the United States, which is unfortunate since I believe that when I encounter an older man, I want him to have his life together at this time.
This is the person you should get advice from. And, if you’re at this point, I recommend that you start dressing that part.
You may not realize it, and you may still have a lot of things to work on in your life, but you want to look the part.
Because when you start dressing up and enhancing your style, people begin to regard you as a man of authority.
He wants to dress the part of a professional, not necessarily that of a professor.
As a result, anytime he shares his experience with someone, whether it’s a prospective new client or a potential relationship, they take him seriously.
The weather, or your physical environment, is the following question.
The majority of people believe that Southern California is sunny and gorgeous all year. This is not the case, and it varies depending on where you live.
Even in the middle of the summer, inland in the desert, it gets cold at night. Also, when you’re near the ocean on the coast, it gets cold, especially at night.
In the winter, temperatures in Southern California dip into the 40s and 50s.
Sweaters are a must-have for Californian men, and you should have them as well. Look at that sweater jacket, that shirt jacket, and the layering options; they’re all fantastic choices, especially at that time of year.
But, if this person is truly thinking, I’d like to have a wardrobe that communicates that I’m someone worth talking to.
Now, let’s speak about body type, which is crucial for him because he’s carrying 25 pounds around his middle. This guy used to be a runner; he doesn’t lift weights, and his arms and legs are both slender.
He does, however, wish to strengthen his shoulders. When others look at you and approach you, you’ll have a more manly profile if you can build up your shoulders and slim down your waist.
And it’s only for your own good.
If you’ve got a huge stomach and you’re accentuating it with a t-shirt, that’s not a good appearance.
You should strengthen your shoulders since it will make you appear stronger, more appealing, and more confident.
Why? Because you appear to be in good health, and healthy individuals are thought to be clever.
Yes, that is unjust, but that is how things are. So, when you layer up, when you just build up those shoulders, when you make those arms, when you make those hands look a little larger, this is a great look for you, and one that you want to enhance with the correct wardrobe choices.
Now let’s chat about his desires. What is the message he wants his clothes to send?
He wants to command respect when he enters into a room. He wants to come across as self-assured. He wants people to believe in him and not question his decisions.
People form opinions about you based on their first impressions, and a bad first impression can be quite damaging, especially in a professional setting and especially in a personal setting when you’re trying to get to know someone.
So, what does he do?
He pays close attention to the smallest details, such as his bags and accessories. Because he’s usually bringing out that computer, he’s got a lovely leather bag.
He is meticulous about his accessories, including his pocket squares and neckties. He does, in fact, wear neckties. Why not? Because he has no choice. But he wears them because he likes how they connect the whole outfit together, and he chooses a lot of wool in a variety of colors.
With his accessories, he adds color since he understands it makes him stand out from the crowd.