Written by JON CLARKE
As you enter your fifth decade on this good earth, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on your image. Granted, you’re not the fresh-faced, 21 year-old you once were. That cock-sure graduate who was willing to try all kinds of fleeting fashions (or fads) is gone.
As a 40+ year-old man, you’re more assured now, and less impressionable. You know what you like, and you wear just that. This is absolutely fine, but if you’d like to try out some new looks and outfits, we’re here to tell you: don’t be afraid.
With a little guidance and know-how, we can show you the right way to mix up your trademark look, giving the personality of your wardrobe a new lease of life in the process...
Harness the power of identity
By the time you reach your 40s, chances are your waistline has found the extra inches your hairline has lost. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t always the case, but if it is, guess what? That’s okay. As we get older, it becomes harder to shed extra pounds, and harder to resist the inevitable growth of grey hairs. Depressing thoughts for those trying to cling onto their youth, but we aren’t asking you to do that.
We’re saying embrace the ageing process.
Alessandro Del Piero, 43, wears some sleek combinations to recapture a youthful vibe.
How do you do that exactly? By switching up your style.
You see, by the time you reach 40, you’ve established a real identity for yourself. Your job, your living situation, your family, everything around you is likely to be stable, consistent and content. This is a good thing. As a result of routine though, your wardrobe has likely stagnated. You’ve been playing it safe for years, with the same style shirts and identical pair of jeans on an endless conveyor belt.
This isn’t a good thing.
In a time of your life when your identity reaches full maturity, you should be looking at new ways to express it. Developing a trademark look is fine and we advise doing so in certain cases, but mixing up your wardrobe can be the key to all kinds of mid-life opportunities...
Conviction and confidence matters
With your identity comes a sense of confidence and nonchalance younger men may lack. Use this to your advantage by trying bold outfits. Doing this with conviction can really open up a whole new ‘look’ for you to harness - be it on a casual or smart basis.
Hugh Jackman, 49, works the rugged look in a way younger men might struggle to pull off.
Ask yourself: “I’ve never worn monkstraps before. They aren’t my style of shoe. But, If I did wear them, what would I pair them with? How do other older men wear them?” This is just one example, but having this mindset is the kind of thing we advocate. Yes there are some things you should never wear in your 40s (we even wrote an article on that), but there are also plenty of things you should…
Judgement calls and key takeaways
Patterns in small doses…
Those loud, risque shirts of your student days may be behind you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use patterns and textures to your advantage. chequered patterns and puppytooth are your friend, while thick stripes and oversized designer logos are things to avoid. Add ripped jeans and ‘anything metallic’ to that avoid list too.
Accessories are more important…
Investing in higher quality accessories is an essential of getting older. Instead of having five high fashion (Armani, Michael Kors etc.) watches, buy just one premium watch (Raymond Weil, Rado, Cartier). And while we are at it, settle for nothing short of calf leather gloves and cashmere scarves too - you’ve earned it.
57 year-old Designer and Model, Nick Wooster, breaks the mould when it comes to older men's fashion.
Be savvy about sportswear…
Stay away from football jerseys (especially if they have a name across the back, and especially if that name is Neymar). These are fine on younger men, but you should keep your hero worship for these athletes under wraps when you get older - it’s not a good look. Stick to classic colours - black, grey, navy, teal - and avoid the loud fluorescent ranges Nike tend to release.
It might sound like being stylish in your 40s is an expensive task, but it’s just about investing your money into different things. Chances are you’re not buying a video game every week and spending £300 on limited edition Yeezys (urgh) - so the money you save here, channel into the things mentioned above. Et viola, you're a desirable silver fox.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan to most), 49, knows that keeping it simple is often the best form of expression. Oh and he knows how to wear a grey beard very well.
Take a look at some of these 40+ year-old actors for inspiration. They all have a great individual look, which you can make your own.