So listen, I recently sent this out to the members on my email list, and it said this; I feel ignored & unimportant. Now, this can be a powerful thing to say and feel, but let me clarify. I don’t necessarily mean that I feel ignored or unimportant by my friends or family, actually, that’s a topic for another video, but what I do mean is in the world of menswear. Please allow me to explain.
Personally, I’ve felt for a very long time that clothing brands and designers leave our demographic of 40+ men kind of stranded. We’re too old to wear all the cheap trendy stuff, but we’re too young for the Tommy Bahama retirement community uniform. There just isn’t a whole lot left in between. So, what typically happens is, once men finally decide that it’s time to give themselves a style overhaul, they end up buying items from stores that run too youthful because that’s all we see marketed to us. Then, they feel ridiculed by bloggers and YouTubers (me included) that constantly list all the “Mistakes” men are making.
Mistakes men make
It’s no wonder guys feel like shit because when they actually stand up and buy some updated clothing, they feel knocked back down when they see themselves at the “Mistake” example in a YouTube video. Look, I’m 100% guilty of making these “mistakes” videos. In fact, they’re my most popular videos. And one of them is almost at 2 million views. Now I also provide solutions in there, but the reason why everyone makes “mistake” videos is because they get views. You click on it to make sure you’re not the one making the mistake. And views help our channels to grow.
I HEAR YOU
Look, I just want you to know that I hear you. What I’d like to do is take a step back for a minute and talk about what you CAN wear in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Let’s start there and see what we come up with. Now, keep in mind that these recommendations are MY OPINION and based around my specific style. They’re simply ideas for your inspiration. If you don’t like something, or if an item I suggest isn’t your style, that’s fine. Take what you want and leave the rest.
I like to do ground up lists, so let’s start down at your feet and talk about shoes. Yes, you can still wear sneakers, but not just any sneaker. The kind I’m talking about have a refined look, not so much an athletic look. Athletic sneakers are a tool to be used for a singular purpose, doing something athletic. Your normal day-to day sneaker can still maintain a youthful vibe while still being refined and not calling too much attention to themselves. Sneakers like this look elegant, expensive and masculine, but they don’t have to BE expensive.
Since it’s currently the summer season here in the US, another show you CAN wear is a driving moc or a loafer. Again, these look classic, expensive and elegant, in my opinion. Leather loafers are a very simple way to take an otherwise normal mundane outfit to a new level without calling too much attention to themselves. They can be worn with shorts, jeans, chinos or even dress trousers. This alone makes them incredibly versatile and something you should definitely have in your footwear arsenal.
Let’s talk for a second about dress shoes with jeans. This is where I see a lot of things can go sideways. If you’re wearing denim, a medium or dark wash, you CAN wear a dress shoe. However, the shoe you CAN wear should be more on the casual side. Here’s what I mean. Instead of wearing a super shiny, spit polished oxford, look for a shoe with a more casual finish. Also instead of wearing an oxford, go with a derby design. I would also suggest staying with brown colors if you’re wearing them with jeans, because black dress shoes just don’t look right. Another thing, look for a show with brogue details on the shoe. That’s all the little hole punches and cap toe medallions you see. This makes a shoe more casual.
Next, let’s cover pants. Yes, you can still wear jeans in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. However, as I’m sure you’ve heard at least a thousand times by now if you watch videos like this, the fit must flatter your body type. If you’re one of my bigger friends, go with a straight fit or athletic fit. This will fit you nicely through the seat and thighs and also taper slightly down to the knee. From the knee down, it doesn’t taper in that much, if at all. This allows everything to stay visibly balanced, and it keeps you from looking like you’re standing on a couple toothpicks.
For the average build guy, you can also go with straight fit jeans, but just try to make sure they’re not too wide down at the ankle. What happens is when the ankle opening get’s too wide on you, it kinda looks like your jeans are swallowing up your shoe. Try some slim fit denim options that have a nice taper from the knee down. Avoid skin tight jeans. One more thing with denim, go with plain styles in a medium or dark wash. They look a lot better all around and make you look more refined while still being casual.
The same exact rules apply with chinos. Chino’s are absolutely acceptable to wear in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Just remember to keep the fit proportional to your body type. The cool thing about chino’s are the color options. This is where you can have a little fun, especially during the summer. If you want to step outside the box of gray and tan, you CAN absolutely throw in something like a light blue, pink, salmon or even white. During the fall, go with darker colors like olive, navy, burgundy and brown.
Okay, moving up to shirts. Let’s start basic and go from there. The most basic of all is the t-shirt. Now, truth be told, I’m not much of a t-shirt guy. I do wear t-shirts around the house, but not really when I’m out. I gravitate more to the polo shirt or short-sleeve button down. It’s just so casual, that to me, it’s not refined enough and it always seems to look a little lack-luster. Now, you can find nicer fabrics that are heavier and have a bit of texture that I could totally get on board with. But the standard, cotton T, I’d reserve for around the house. Again, my opinion.
Better shirt options
As an alternative, you can easily wear a Polo shirt, short-sleeve button down, casual button down or a dress shirt, of course situation dependent. The only two big things here to keep an eye on are the overall fit of the shirt you’re wearing. As in how baggy or how tight it fits, and also the overall length. You want a shirt to fit your body without being oversize and baggy, but also not overly tight where you look like a sausage. When I’m trying on shirts in the dressing room, they might look fine through the mid-section while I’m standing up, but sit down and see how tight it gets. If it’s so tight that the buttons are popping, it’s too tight, in my opinion.
Let’s touch on sweaters for a minute. Personally, I’m a fan of sweaters, but more so the lightweight wool sweaters. I have one medium weight zip sweater that I wear like all the time, in fact, I probably wear it too much. But sweaters add class and visual interest because you’re layering it over something. I like to wear sweaters over a plain white t-shirt or casual button down. The cool thing is, lightweight wool sweaters aren’t so heavy that you have to only wear them in the winter. Depending on your climate, you can probably wear one 8-9 months out of the year.
Bomber jackets and sports jackets
Moving on to jackets. You have options here. You can absolutely wear a lightweight, medium weight or even a suede bomber jacket if it’s colder out. The great thing is, bomber jackets look great on a lot of different body types. Another jacket that looks great on a lot of different body types is the sport jacket. If you’re a bigger guy in the mid-section, the extra padding and structure in the shoulders helps to bring balance to your proportions. Alternatively, if you’re a skinny guy, this same structure in the shoulders can help you look a little more broad through the shoulders. Once again, the fit on this type of jacket is critical. The sleeves should be just long enough to show about ½ inch of shirt cuff, and when buttoned, there should be just a very slight pull at the button. You shouldn’t really be able to pull a lot of the jacket away from your body.
Okay, I think we covered enough ground for today. And listen gentlemen, if you haven’t already subscribed to my YouTube channel, please consider doing that right now because I’m here twice a week with new videos and articles. I’ll see you in a few days for a brand new video, but until then, live well, stay healthy and I hope to see you soon.