Dressing your age, or even knowing how to dress well for men, can be tricky at any stage in your life. While there are no set rules on how men should dress, fashion for older men compared to younger ones can be pretty different, so you want to make sure you're getting things right.
How Young Men Should Dress
So, with a title like 'how to dress your age' this article probably isn't sounding all that promising. However, before you assume we're going to tell you exactly how to tuck in your shirt and to steer clear of 'ghastly' tattoos, remember that this isn't actually Victorian England, and when you're young it's kind of your duty to push the boundaries when it comes to fashion. So, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your looks and on how to dress appropriately.
How to Dress in Your 20s
Guys in their 20s are the most 'catered-to' audience when it comes to clothes. This is your chance to try out bold looks and trends before committing to more classic styles as you get older. Don't be afraid to try out bright colours, unusual cuts, bold prints and the trends that everyone hates, but you secretly kind of like. You can look back and cringe at your choices when you're older, but for now just enjoy the oddities of fashion.
Bag Yourself a Good Barber
Clothes aren’t the only thing that can affect your style and a decent haircut can definitely improve your overall look. If you're unsure what cut to go for don't try to go for anything too 'crazy'. Man buns and pompadours can look great but they need to be regularly maintained to look their best, so if you're not confident in hair styling you'll just be adding more stress to your daily routine. Stick to simple tapered cuts that look good left on their own but can be changed up with some simple products.
Buy a Good Watch
Accessories are just as important as clothes when creating an outfit. A staple watch that you can wear with anything is never, ever a bad investment, so don't be afraid to spend a little more to get a good one. If you prefer warm toned clothes then a gold watch will go perfectly with them, while a silver one will match well with more muted, cool tone outfits.
This is a great example of how to dress in your 20s as it references all of the above points. Experimenting with layers can be a great way to make your outfit stand out. The simple navy top and bottom is a good way to keep your outfit monochromatic but not boring. A classic pair of trainers like Vans are also great for completing this look. You can wear these at any age but they're best when you're young.
How to Dress in Your 30s
Fashion for 30-year-old men can be varied, and while you can still get away with the trends, you can also begin incorporating more classic styles and shapes into your wardrobe. This is honestly the best time to dress, as you've got the perfect balance of youth and maturity on your side, ensuring you can pull off a range of styles.
One general rule in the fashion guide for a 30-year-old man is to keep your body shape in mind. While you can get away with some questionable cuts when you're in your 20s, 30s men's fashion is less forgiving, and you need to work on flattering your form.
A good 30-year-old man's fashion should include something like a well fitted, patterned suit, as it is the perfect way to keep your figure in mind while maintaining a unique style. Alternatively, you really embrace the can mix up the styles, going bold with your smart casual look.
Make Suits the Most Important Thing in Your Wardrobe
You might have got yourself a decent suit in your 20s, but when it comes to 30s male fashion, the more suits the better. It’s time to expand in colour, quality and patterns - try out tweed, see if the crop leg trouser is for you, get something specially tailored. There are so many ways to wear a suit casually, so you don't have to wait for a formal occasion to pull one out. Learn what colours work for you and suit up.
Invest in Go-To Items
It's likely that you'll be a whole lot busier in your 30s than you were in your 20s, so free time is going to get eaten up faster than a receding hairline. The last thing you want to do spend hours putting an outfit together. To help with this, invest in well made, staple pieces. A fitted blazer, a few classic Oxford shirts and a good pair of formal shoes are a great start. Other investments like jeans that fit you perfectly will also help make putting an outfit together that much easier.
Indulge in Labels
While your 20s is all about experimenting and playing around with fashion, 30-year-old man fashion is all about honing in on your personal style. This involves steering clear of cheap, trend-focused pieces and investing in fewer, more expensive ones. Instead of buying a pair of £30 jeans that will last a year, consider a £100 pair that will last you forever. The extra money is usually worth it.
Below is a great example of how sticking to our style rules will help you nail your look in your 30s. A good suit can go a long way, especially when worn casually. A navy patterned suit is a great everyday work choice, as well as a more casual weekend run around. Marry the whole outfit together with a striped T-shirt and some Chelsea boots and you've got a great 30-something ensemble.
Middle-Aged Men's Fashion
How to Dress in Your 40s
Dressing in your 40s is all about developing style, as opposed to trends and fashion. Filter out the more dubious outfits you tried in your 20s and 30s and instead pay more attention to the fit of your clothes and a colour palette that suits you.
40 year old man style tends to be more conservative and focused on fit rather than colours and patterns. A white T-shirt and a good pair of jeans can work well into your 50s, but you need to make sure you're working with good fits and quality materials. You can't get away with cheap pieces anymore, so remember to invest wisely.
Stick With a Definite Haircut
Clothing styles for men over 40 are important, but a haircut can drastically change a person's overall appearance. Men in their 40s might start to see their hair thin and their hairline began to recede a tad. A shorter, tapered style can flatter your features as well as help to disguise any male pattern baldness that might be going on.
Appropriate Your Fit
It's unlikely that you'll be quite as trim as you were in your younger days. You might have been able to get away with a skinny fit suit in your 20s. It's better to avoid these styles when you're in your 40s and opt for a more conventional fit instead.
The best jeans for men over 40 are the ones that aren't too skinny. You want to opt for slimmer fit jeans as they'll give your body an all round better shape.
Revise Your Wardrobe
It's likely that you'll have a decent amount of clothes from your 20s and 30s in your wardrobe. Although many of these may well work for you, others might be a little past their sell by date. Chuck out the pieces you've grown out of and stick to simple, flattering pieces instead.
David Beckham is the best example of how to dress in your 40s. He knows exactly what the deal is when it comes to picking the perfect colours and how to keep it simple. All black is great at any age but as you get older it should become a uniform of sorts. The hair is also a great focal point. Although you might think it's boring to have the same hair as you get older, there's a lot less room for it to go wrong. Sticking to one style is ideal.
How to Dress in Your 50s
Fashion for men over 50 is pretty similar to men's fashion over 40, with a focus on fit and colours rather than trends. Although you'll still look great in a tailored suit for more formal occasions, when it comes to casual clothes footwear such as trainers may become a little harder to pull off. Opt for smarter looking shoes such as loafers and Chelsea boots. These can easily be mixed into casual looks yet have a more mature, sophisticated edge.
Splash Out on Accessories
Accessories can be the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. No matter it's a simple jeans and T-shirt combination or more refined suit and tie look. You shouldn't feel restricted to plain, simplistic outfits all the time. It's best to go for classic, versatile accessories that won't look out of place when paired with a range of looks.
A leather strap watch with a clean gold or silver frame is ideal. Spending a little more on a good quality model is always worth it. You're a refined older gentleman now - no more cheap crap.
Keep your Hair in Check
The worst thing you can do in your 50s is let your hair and beard go. They need love and attention as well. Use good hair products, cuts that work with the texture of your hair and, hey, even a good beard oil. There's no shame in having a beautifully scented beard.
Much like dressing in your 40s, as you get to 50 and become a silver fox, it's important to stick to the rules. By now you should be used to dressing more formally as you get older. However, now you're in your 50s, you should be doing it all the time. Never leave the house without a blazer, or with a collared shirt. You're trying to look as well dressed as you can all the time. How many times have you seen your average 50-year-old in a pair of skinny jeans and Vans? Exactly.
The all important haircut is also a vital part of maturing gracefully. A classic undercut, or something along the short side, is exactly what you're looking for. Accessories also make all the difference as you get older so make sure you invest wisely.
How to Dress Your Age
- Your 20s should be experimental and exciting, so don’t worry too much about getting things wrong.
- Your 30s should be about streamlining your wardrobe and adding a few luxury essentials.
- A 40-year-old man's style should be all about investing in luxury pieces to stand the test of time.
- Men's fashion over 50 is about essentials and updating wardrobe staples.
On That Note
Despite the message of this whole article, there are no real rules on how to dress for your age. Only bits of advice that you can choose to follow if you want. We do recommend going for more classic cuts and simple colours the older you get. However, if you're not afraid to stand out, wear whatever you want. There's no reason not to break out the neon jacket and camo prints when you hit 50. Just, don't tell anyone we recommended it.