or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The fine line between dressing like an old man and a sharp GQ/Esquire guy.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The fine line between dressing like an old man and a sharp GQ/Esquire guy.

post #1 of 519
Thread Starter 
So, I met some friends at a local bar recently. I wore navy Mabitex houndstooth pants, a white Oxford, a blue blazer (no tie), and bluchers. Yes, I was dressed better than anyone in this casual sports bar. A good friend, female 32, said I was dressing like an old man. (This is not some tacky Jersey Shore type either, but an educated professional) For example, she could not get over the padded shoulders that protrude a bit when propping your elbows up on a bar stool. To be clear, I am not trying to dress like a 20-something. In fact, I dove into the SF realm in order to age gracefully. However, I am NOT trying to age myself prematurely either! The next day, I gave this some thought. I think there is merit to this. There is a very fine line b/w dressing like an old man and looking "GQ/Esquire" sharp (for lack of a better term). As you know, one subtle item can swing the entire vibe of an outfit. So, what is the tipping point? For one, I think a light blazer vs. dark blazer is a huge differentiator. Rarely do I see young 20s "GQ" models wearing loud checked "vintage golf pant" blazers. (Evidenced by Uniqlo, H&M, etc) It's always dark jeans, white oxford (or T), and dark blazer. To that end, I think I'll avoid any blazer that is not grey or navy. Even tweed I have given away or stopped wearing. If there is a pattern, it has to be DARK and SUBTLE. I have been doing this from the start, but now it's "official". Next, I also think choice of pants is a huge determinant. Wearing dress slacks (even if slim fit) gives off a very different vibe than dark jeans. Stiff and formal vs. hip and casual. 40s vs 20s? For now, I love wearing slacks, but also realize it's best to sport jeans if I am on a date with a 20-something female. Choice of tie. First, I rarely ties in social settings, as much as I'd like to (overdressed, trying to hard, out of place, etc) It's just too over the top, and only at certain venues would it fly (fundraiser vs. local happy hour) But, if I do wear a tie, it is something with texture or character (Drake's Shatung, square knits, grenadines, purples, etc) ie: I'm avoiding generic "corporate drone" ties. These are 3 measures I have decided to take. Has anyone else in their 20s and 30s also struggled with this fine line?
post #2 of 519
wear something shiny.
post #3 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
So, I met some friends at a local bar recently.
I wore navy Mabitex houndstooth pants, a white Oxford, a blue blazer (no tie), and bluchers.
Yes, I was dressed better than anyone in this casual sports bar.

Sounds like you overdressed for the occasion. If you're in your 20's, take the opportunity to dress casually.

Just apply the same principles to casual clothes as you would to tailored clothing - fit and quality.
post #4 of 519
You were at a bar. Visit the streetwear forum.
post #5 of 519
I "struggle" with this a bit... Nonetheless, I enjoy my clothes so much, I really don't care what others think. I've stated this in some thread a while ago: I think that changing my style has affected my life in numerous ways, more than I could have imagined, but one thing that haven't changed was my relationship with women. I haven't been getting more or less attention from girls. I don't think they pay a lot of attention to clothes as long as you behave and carry yourself in a certain way. Of course, one has to avoid looking comical, so a tie is rarely a good idea. I have so many ties that I'd love to wear... and never do. But nobody is going to give you shit for slim-fitting slacks/jackets and nice-looking shoes. If they do, you are doing it wrong or lack confidence.
post #6 of 519
IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later.       I AGREE

TIP: to embed Youtube clips, put only the encoded part of the Youtube URL, e.g. eBGIQ7ZuuiU between the tags.
post #7 of 519
i avoid this problem in a very simple way: when i'm not at work, or at some sort of semi-formal social event, i am a 100% SW&D guy.

while i take incredible care over how i dress for work and in other professional and formal / semi-formal situations, i view my suits, sportcoats, and finer clothes as functional tools for the occasion. i don't think they are particularly "me" outside of that context. left to my own devices i'll wear a pair of dark jeans and a casual jacket any day over slacks with 2" cuffs and a gun club sportcoat. i just happen to find the latter look fussy and, to be honest, a bit asexual, and the reality is that many others do as well. most importantly, at a very visceral level, it is completely not "me".

so -- my "style" personae are very distinct and compartmentalized, and for most of my waking hours i'm not really an MC type of person.

don't let MC brainwash you and turn you into something you're not, RE. harness it as a tool to make you dress better -- when you wear MC-type clothing. and that is a conscious choice you should make independently of what you see in WAYWRN. let others wear the pink chinos.
post #8 of 519
Unless you're interested in her, who cares what she thinks.
post #9 of 519
Post a picture. I'm guessing shitty fitting clothes.
post #10 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhateverYouLike View Post
Post a picture. I'm guessing shitty fitting clothes.

I'd say it looks a little "old" to me too. No offense, you asked for our opinion.





post #11 of 519
Thread Starter 
Ace, absolutely no offense taken. This is all a work in progress and a constantly evolving target. Actually, that last picture is what I was wearing. Otto, I do partly associate myself with MC. I have been a preppy guy since my college days (albeit, with horribly ill-fitting outfits) I'd say my motivation for overhauling my wardrobe is more social than professional. Looking asexual is the exact opposite of why I decided to take it to the next level. I'd rather be overdressed than be generically dressed in "streetwear" For me, the question is "How do I avoid looking like a boring old man?" Is the answer simply "Get a pair of jeans?" Seems like a step backwards (less distinct)
post #12 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post

The next day, I gave this some thought. I think there is merit to this.
There is a very fine line b/w dressing like an old man and looking "GQ/Esquire" sharp (for lack of a better term).
As you know, one subtle item can swing the entire vibe of an outfit. So, what is the tipping point?

For one, I think a light blazer vs. dark blazer is a huge differentiator.
Rarely do I see young 20s "GQ" models wearing loud checked "vintage golf pant" blazers. (Evidenced by Uniqlo, H&M, etc)


The devil is in the details and your personality/demeanor/body type is also part of it. I remember seeing skinny model types in Nolita wearing all sorts of loud checks and etc. looking edgy and hip just as if they walked off the catwalk. I knew I wouldn't be able to get away with what they were doing just because I have their body type, looks and demeanor.

I think you are over generalizing about what to wear and what not to wear. Style is very individualistic and you have to learn what works for you. What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa.

BTW, what passes for hip and young depends on your social circle.
post #13 of 519
post a picture buddy
post #14 of 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
Otto, I do partly associate myself with MC. I have been a preppy guy since my college days.
But looking asexual is the exact opposite of why I decided to take it to the next level.
Frankly, my motivation for overhauling my wardrobe is more social than professional.
I will never go back to "SW&D". I'd rather be overdressed than be generically dressed.

SW&D does not mean generic... you can be very sharp if you don't buy mall clothes.

your choice, of course.

the most critical thing if you do the full-on MC thing all the time is perfect fit. a sharp fit overlaid with a bit of swagger can turn even the most grandad's-sofa-plaid sportcoat into something hip. and the same item with a bad cut will look tragic.

the MC universe is a lot more unforgiving than SW&D when it comes to cut -- there is a thin line between quirky coolness and the deep pit of failure.
post #15 of 519
The jacket is what pushes it into old-man territory, IMO. It just looks very dated. And is ridiculously long. It's hitting like mid-thigh. Shoulders are really heavy as well.

SW&D is not generic or asexual. It just seems that way sometimes because of the people wearing it
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The fine line between dressing like an old man and a sharp GQ/Esquire guy.