8 Fashion Tips for Men Over 40
Men of a Certain Age
Most guys over 40 will admit that they don’t care about men’s fashion and that’s because most of those guys are married or in committed relationships and their significant others do all the caring. For the rest of us, transitioning from our 30’s to our 40’s is a real struggle when it comes to receiving fashion advice.
We look at the world differently now. Most of our goals have been met and we are reaching for new goals which are quite often centered on personal desires rather than professional accomplishments. The struggle comes from being comfortable while also denying that we are getting older. Some men want to regress rather than embrace their refinement.
We always hear that one should dress their age. We even find humor when we see older people dressing like teenagers. I know I do, and it is for that very reason that I actively pursue fashion tips for men over forty. I certainly don’t want to be the target of someone’s joke.
I may not have the answer for every fashion disaster but I do know enough to share these 8 fashion tips that will help any man over 40 rise above the crowd.
When you think about fashion for men, what is more important?
Advice for Men Over 40
- Avoid the fads and marketing ploys. Those work for guys in their teens and 20’s but those guys are still experimenting with their style. Don’t wear sport caps high on your head and tilted to the side. Don’t wear $300 sneakers just because they’re endorsed by an iconic athlete. Don’t wear T-shirts with silly catch phrases that make a 40 year old seem perverted or creepy.
- If you have clothes in your drawers and hanging in your closets that you haven’t worn in over a year, then you should probably consider donating them to charity. Yes, some styles cycle back eventually but they usually come back with a slightly modern take. Some vintage clothing is an exception not a rule. Even if you are hoping to fit into them again, chances are that by the time you can fit back into them, the style will have changed.
- Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle free, and have no tears, holes, or missing buttons, and they fit. Dirty and wrinkled clothing make you look lazy and lazy people are unattractive. Jeans with holes in the knees are juvenile and other tears and missing buttons make you look like a slob. Clothes that are too big or too tight are going to make you look lumpy.
- Give your jeans a rest and try out some trousers. Cotton or linen trousers with flat, not pleated, fronts will add comfort and style to your appearance. You can’t go wrong with beige or khaki, but you can go with a wide range of colors as long as they are solid colors. Don’t opt for loud patterns or multi colored styles.
- Don’t forget your accessories. Tie clips, cuff links, watches, belts and shoes are important pieces for a total ensemble. Whatever you do, make sure the color of your belt matches the color of your dress shoes. And speaking of shoes, men in their 40’s only wear sneakers and gym shoes when they are going to the gym or working out, they are not anytime casual shoes, and if you do wear gym shoes at least make sure they are clean and scuff free. Casual loafers are a better option for men our age.
- Don’t buy into the slim or fitted tags; they’re not going to give you that 25 year old body you once had. So, unless you are at the gym working out every day, a better option is to find a local tailor. Buying off the rack is not going to give you the best fitting or make you look like the models in the fashion magazines. A well tailored jacket and pants will give you the exact look that fits your body. Do not wear baggy pants or pants with folded cuff. The bottom of the pant leg should only reach the top of your shoe. Conversely, pants that are too short and show off your unmatched socks will speak volumes about you.
- Keep yourself well groomed. A cleanly shaved face or a well trimmed beard shows that you take pride in yourself. You will also notice that if you are losing hair up top, you are most likely gaining hair in other places more rapidly. Keep an eye on that nose and ear hair and make sure your barber gets that hair on the back of the neck. Also, go easy on the fragrances because your aftershave, cologne, deodorant and body spray is not going to cover up your body odor and please don’t use them all at the same time.
- Work on your teeth. Teeth are the second thing most noticed by women so if yours are yellow or stained or even rotting away then it’s time for a trip to the dentist. Consider having a whitening procedure or, if you have to, implants. Think of it as an investment in your health because a healthy smile is an indication of a healthy person. Neglected teeth can lead to some serious health issues, such as gum disease and gingivitis. Plus, bad teeth can seriously put a damper on your confidence.
Wardrobe Essentials for Men Over 40
This will be far from conclusive but these are the essentials that men our age should have in their wardrobe and closet:
- Every man should own at least one tailored suit, preferably in a dark color. There are so many men’s suit shops that are offering 2 or 3 for the price of 1, so when you see those deals take advantage of the savings. Unfortunately, men of our age see too many funerals popping up and if you don’t have a dark suit then what do you do? I would recommend purchasing at least 3 suits, a Navy Blue, a Charcoal Gray, and a Black. Don’t just buy off the rack, make sure that the suits are tailored to fit your body style.
- You will need at least 3 dress shirts but 6 would be better. Select 3 dress shirts with single barrel cuffs and 3 with French cuffs. The shirts with the French cuffs will allow you to show off your cuff links. Choose solid colors, white, pale blue, and something dark.
- Every wardrobe should have at least one blazer or sports coat. If you are only going to get one them make it black. Black pretty much goes with everything and you can wear your blazer with trousers or jeans. Add more colors when you can afford it and you can’t go wrong with a solid beige either.
- Every guy should own at least one pair of jeans. Make sure they are straight legged and not baggy or skinny jeans. They should be made from a strong and durable denim and be a dark blue. If you still have some stonewashed jeans in your closet then ditch them or donate them to an 80’s museum.
- You should have at least 4 pairs of shoes. You do not want to be wearing the same dress shoes every day, the foot sweat will stretch and warp them. If you need dress shoes for work then select at least 2 pair of black and 2 pair of brown so that you can rotate them out. For casual attire, you will want a pair of Oxfords or a pair of loafers. Keep them free of dirt by cleaning them after each use and polishing them when needed. Also, apply some weatherproofing to protect them from rain and snow.
- Casual shirts are a matter of your own sense of style. Solid color Polo shirts are always a good choice. For me, I have an assortment of bowling style shirts and Hawaiian shirts both styles are made of silk and short sleeved. But an assortment of plaids and solid color button ups, in both long and short sleeve, should be in your closet.
- As far as accessories go, you need black and brown belts both for casual and formal wear, with small metal buckles. Don’t go for the large Western buckles or anything that is going to make you look like you’re a WWE fanatic. You will need at least one set of cuff links and a watch. Personally, I hate wearing a watch because my wrists are too big but on occasion and when going out on dates a watch is part of the ensemble. Select a plain watch with a metal or leather band. Do not wear your old Micky Mouse watch or that 80’s Swatch that you still covet or any watch that looks like you won it at a carnival.