Once upon a time, the world of men’s fashion was seen by the masses as inferior to women’s trends. But in the 21st century, that attitude has changed rapidly.
Today, men’s fashion is just as well-respected as its female counterpart and older men haven’t been immune to its effects either. In fact, many major male style icons are aged over 50, like actors George Clooney, Bill Nighy and even Johnny Depp, who turned 50 in June 2013.
So if you’re an older man hoping to inject some of this new fashion consciousness into your wardrobe, you can rest assured that you’ll find inspiration in many corners.
Invest in key wardrobe staples
The first step to revamping your wardrobe is to invest in some good quality, staple items. Remember that although attitudes to men’s fashion may have changed, its building blocks haven’t. So trousers, shirts and suits are still your bread and butter. Start with bottoms: avoid the tight-fitting skinny jeans favoured by younger men and look for well-tailored, straight-legged trousers instead. Choose lighter colours like beige, blue and green for casual wear, or stick to black and grey for more formal office-wear.
Also make sure you have a range of shirts and tops to choose from. Collared shirts are ideal for work but instead of sticking exclusively to white, branch out into pale blue, stripes or a light checked-pattern for variety. T-shirts and polo necks look great under V-neck jumpers in autumn and winter but in spring and summer, a collarless shirt unbuttoned at the top is much more elegant choice for the older gentleman.
Don’t skimp on formalwear either. Every man, no matter what his age, should have a classic suit on which he can rely. When choosing a new suit, don’t be too influenced by trends. A three-piece suit, for instance, may be the height of fashion today but will date quickly over the next few years. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy one – simply look for a three-piece suit that can be easily worn without a waistcoat, or perhaps with its waistcoat but without a jacket, so you can mix and match as the years go by.
Look for quality, not quantity
On the high street, retailers like Country Road and Sportscraft are great places to find affordable staple wardrobe items. But as you get older, it becomes more important to “invest” in clothing rather than simply buy whatever catches your eye. This usually means spending a little more on a pair of trousers or a shirt than perhaps you might have in your 20s and 30s, but doesn’t have to break your bank account.
Key designer brands like Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss, for instance, are widely available in department stores and their emphasis on heritage style means that their clothing is ideal for fashionable over-50s. Slightly more upmarket are design icons like Zegna or Armani whose menswear range has been satisfying gentlemen of all ages for 150 years. And if you really want to splash out, a bespoke tailored suit will last you a lifetime.