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Clothing for the 40yr old - Page 3

post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
Spring/summer casual for the 40 year old is easy. In your case, the move from cargo shorts to lightweight chinos in light brown, white, and maybe other pastels if you want, will make a big difference. Polos are fine but be picky. Solids that contrast with whatever you wear as pants are always good. Short-sleeve button down shirts in madras, poplin, any weight of cotton or linen that you like, are good. Popovers. For shoes you might look at suede plain toe bluchers ("bucks") and loafers of the Alden leisure handsewn variety. They are a bit more neutral and versatile compared to boat shoes. A lot of my summer pants are by Hickey Freeman. They do chinos well in my experience. Otherwise everyone sells this stuff. Stay out of malls. Go into better independent men's stores when you travel--you are a pilot--and see what they have. And buy what you like. Don't be afraid to pay for quality. $100-$150 is not too much for a quality summer shirt that you love wearing and that looks good on you. Economize by purchasing fewer things. A small rotation of high-quality stuff you love is the way to go, especially with summer wear which can pretty decadent in terms of wearing pleasure. SF is a good place to learn about stores worth visiting when in you are different cities. Ask or use the search function.
I think linen pants are more elegant, interesting, and cooler-wearing than light-weight cotton chinos. Besides, too many people do chinos. Be different. But ... I agree whole-heartedly on the white bucks and Alden loafers. I have both and they are very versatile and both have a degree of panache without the dandyism. I also agree completely on a small rotation of high quality clothes rather than a large collection of "meh" articles. You don't need more than six or seven pants per season or more than about a half-dozen casual shirts. Use the money you save by buying less but buying better. You won't regret it. Regarding brands, my baseline is Ralph Lauren. Everything else is measured against it re price point and quality. Sometimes I find better, but usually, I don't. But do splurge on the fresco trousers. Light and dark grey slacks are really versatile in the summer and they wear very cool.
post #32 of 91
The main problem with clothing for those mid-life is the sad truth of getting out of shape.
Stay fit and you won't have any problems. Avoid mall brand stores, unless for basics only
post #33 of 91
Warning: Much of the advice in this thread is from dumpy looking old dudes. Use at your own risk.
post #34 of 91
Stay fit. That is best. I do long quality black long sleeve tees for casual (in California). But these days are letting the shorts go. I don't pump iron, can't stand that look, just stay fit and thin enough via moderate aerobics...hiking...using my bike for things instead of the car, ect. Fit is the key to 40 year old-dom. Figure that part out and the clothes come second BTW: Can't stand polos, OCBDs and Khakis, myself, those are the most insipid and dreadful things a 40YO can put on.
post #35 of 91
+1 for linen pants and untucked short sleeve button for summer. Pretty much all I wore last summer Also, with linen pants, you can still wear nice dress shoes, which makes you dressed sharper than most people, even in the summer.
post #36 of 91
I'd agree that fit is key (I'm 40 too). It makes fairly conservative clothes look modern rather than staid and fusty. Of the SF posters to look to, as well as Man of Kent (who seems to be over on the Streetwear bit of the forum more these days), I'd add Phat Guido and his Mostexerent blog for examples of how to do clobber at 40. He's much lauded for his bespoke suits but I'm often impressed with his weekend stuff. He's a completely different build from me so it's not something I'd try to replicate but I saw him wandering through Sydney on ocassion and he's a great example of how classics like chinos and button downs can be made to work: a million miles from the sort of thing that makes some of the younger posters run screaming at the thought of.
And don't listen to the youngsters on here: a 20 year old wearing a bespoke suit to college is not necesarily a fount of wisdom on appropriate dress.
post #37 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Working Stiff View Post
Warning: Much of the advice in this thread is from dumpy looking old dudes. Use at your own risk.

And you would know this ... how? For what it's worth, I'm 6', 170 pounds, and pretty damned trim. I gravitate toward Ralph Lauren's Black Label, which is virtually unwearable by anyone not in really good shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timpdx View Post
Stay fit. That is best. I do long quality black long sleeve tees for casual (in California). But these days are letting the shorts go.

I don't pump iron, can't stand that look, just stay fit and thin enough via moderate aerobics...hiking...using my bike for things instead of the car, ect. Fit is the key to 40 year old-dom. Figure that part out and the clothes come second

BTW: Can't stand polos, OCBDs and Khakis, myself, those are the most insipid and dreadful things a 40YO can put on.

Nothing can beat weight lifting for staying in shape. Nothing. Aerobics might keep you trim, but if you want shape, you've got to lift. No other way around it.

I am torn on the polos/khaki/OCBD thing myself. As I said earlier, I think they have their place and can be worn well, but they are often worn just as you say - insipidly. A look I killed last summer; tropical weight houndstooth pants that were carefully tailored and a black, tight-cut polo. Looked just great. By paring the polo with the dressier slacks, it was deadly and not at all insipid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
I'd agree that fit is key (I'm 40 too). It makes fairly conservative clothes look modern rather than staid and fusty. Of the SF posters to look to, as well as Man of Kent (who seems to be over on the Streetwear bit of the forum more these days), I'd add Phat Guido and his Mostexerent blog for examples of how to do clobber at 40. He's much lauded for his bespoke suits but I'm often impressed with his weekend stuff. He's a completely different build from me so it's not something I'd try to replicate but I saw him wandering through Sydney on ocassion and he's a great example of how classics like chinos and button downs can be made to work: a million miles from the sort of thing that makes some of the younger posters run screaming at the thought of.
And don't listen to the youngsters on here: a 20 year old wearing a bespoke suit to college is not necesarily a fount of wisdom on appropriate dress.

Agree totally.
post #38 of 91
post #39 of 91
+1 on the dumpy part. 170 lbs. at six feet is chunky.

Around 40 is when you stop being a young man and start being middle aged. Your gut hasn't reached its full potential, so jackets/suits still don't look right on you. It's not a good time to get a new wardrobe. Better just replace clothes as they wear out, but with better versions. Replace a T-shirt with an A-shirt, a pair of blue jeans with a pair of slacks in any color but blue, etc. Anything but blue. Wearing blue jeans is a bad habit of youth -- like sucking one's thumb. Substituting blue casual or dress clothes for blue jeans is just a pacifier. Cross dressing with a sportscoat and blue jeans together is like never being potty trained. Trust me, your gf or wife will try to remake you in boring "he's mine," so she will overload you with blue clothes. No need to wife yourself.

Blue has a role in the rotation, and cotton pants have their uses on weekends. But it's only too easy to put yourself in the mindset that "gee whiz, SF says khakis and chinos are great for me, now I can go buy what I was gonna buy anyway."
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
+1 on the dumpy part. 170 lbs. at six feet is chunky. Around 40 is when you stop being a young man and start being middle aged. Your gut hasn't reached its full potential, so jackets/suits still don't look right on you. It's not a good time to get a new wardrobe. Better just replace clothes as they wear out, but with better versions. Replace a T-shirt with an A-shirt, a pair of blue jeans with a pair of slacks in any color but blue, etc. Anything but blue. Wearing blue jeans is a bad habit of youth -- like sucking one's thumb. Substituting blue casual or dress clothes for blue jeans is just a pacifier. "Cross-dressing" with a sportscoat and blue jeans together is like never being potty trained. Trust me, your gf or wife will try to remake you in boring "he's mine," so she will overload you with blue clothes. No need to wife yourself.
A pretty broad generalization on the weight my friend. I wear a small or medium sports shirt. The weight is largely muscle. The body fat is presently at 12%. It all depends on one's frame. Don't understand what you mean about "the gut not reaching its full potential." Either you have one or you don't and there's nothing inevitable about aging and gaining a gut. Sure, if you do nothing, it will come. But if you work out and watch what you eat, it won't. Agree on the blue jeans and blue slacks though. I do own one pair of jeans for tumbling around outside with my son, but otherwise, they're a no-go. But blue slacks, as you say, just look awful under all conditions. I wouldn't wait for clothes to wear out before replacing. If your wardrobe sucks and you know that it sucks, it's time to do what has to be done. Life's too short.
post #41 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Working Stiff View Post
Warning: Much of the advice in this thread is from dumpy looking old dudes. Use at your own risk.

absolutely true, your best investment is gym membership. once you're fit, and have a decent haircut (head shave if you're receding), everything else falls into place, just keep it simple. apc new standards, some nice brogues/chelseas, a few cashmere v necks and then tailored sports coats,peacoats, leather jackets and barbour jackets = casual wardrobe sorted.
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Cogburn View Post
A pretty broad generalization on the weight my friend. I wear a small or medium sports shirt. The weight is largely muscle. The body fat is presently at 12%. It all depends on one's frame.

.

Small? What size jacket do you wear? A 36?
post #43 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by timpdx View Post
Stay fit. That is best. I do long quality black long sleeve tees for casual (in California). But these days are letting the shorts go.

I don't pump iron, can't stand that look, just stay fit and thin enough via moderate aerobics...hiking...using my bike for things instead of the car, ect. Fit is the key to 40 year old-dom. Figure that part out and the clothes come second

BTW: Can't stand polos, OCBDs and Khakis, myself, those are the most insipid and dreadful things a 40YO can put on.

Thinking about it some more, I think the polo shirt works best when it's worn in a manner very differently than the way it is worn by the masses. The advantage a polo has over a short sleeved shirt is that, if you are selective about which polos you buy (say, a custom fit Ralph Lauren or a Black Label of the same), they can be worn rather tight - much like a tee shirt. Short sleeve shirts - even slim fit shirts - can't be worn as tight as a polo - at least, not very well. If you've got a good upper body - and decent biceps - then the tight fitting polo can look even better on you than a nice short sleeve shirt.

This really comes into play when you're thinking about your shirt in relation to you pants. A good rule of thumb is that you want to pair fuller-cut trousers with tighter shirts and slim-cut trousers with fuller shirts. It's hard to describe exactly why those combinations tend to work better than the alternatives, but they just do (usually). Hence, it's worth having some tightly fitting polos in your wardrobe and they can do things for you (sartorially speaking) that other shirts can't. Sure, you could wear tee shirts instead, but let's not go there.

Do the great herds of middle-aged men wear their polos in this manner? Hell no. But you will.
post #44 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by robinsongreen68 View Post
absolutely true, your best investment is gym membership. once you're fit, and have a decent haircut (head shave if you're receding), everything else falls into place, just keep it simple. apc new standards, some nice brogues/chelseas, a few cashmere v necks and then tailored sports coats,peacoats, leather jackets and barbour jackets = casual wardrobe sorted.
Do we know that the OP needs a gym membership? Maybe he already has one. Maybe he's in shape. Maybe he could kick your ass. Just because he's 40 doesn't mean he's a pig. By the way, I generally dislike v-necks. Crewneck or rollneck. V-necks are primarily about showing-off a tie. Well, I rarely wear sweaters over a tie. Without the tie, what exactly are you showing off? Peacoats are too omnipresent for my taste. Nothing wrong with them, but they're getting to be like polos. Barbour jackets look schleppy on most. They were originally designed to be worn over a tweed jacket - something with some shoulder structure. Without such a coat beneath the Barbour, you look like you're wearing a dumpy potato sack. I've tried to like 'em but I just can't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
Small? What size jacket do you wear? A 36?
Depends on the brand. I've wore 38 from some but have had to size up to 42 for another to account for my chest (Black Label). But I'm buying primarily bespoke now so unless I find some good second-hand deals on Black Label summer suits, I'm out of that market. So sweaters and casual shirts are small or medium depending upon the maker. Most recent "small" purchase was a Vince cotton sweater.
post #45 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Working Stiff View Post
Warning: Much of the advice in this thread is from dumpy looking old dudes. Use at your own risk.

Speak for yourself, troll.
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