In your 20s, you can spend a lot of energy figuring out who you are and what it is you want to do. But by the time you reach your 30s, it might be easier to have more than one identity. For example: work-man, husband-man and father-man all in one!
As your youth fades you find new ways to cling onto it, which can be difficult at times. To avoid being stuck in the same dull outfit everyday or buying a thousand of items that later won’t be worn, these are our 5 wardrobe hacks for the modern day rockstar.
On the one hand, you have more money to spend, and a respectable wardrobe already pre-assembled. On the other hand, there’s a chance you’re a slave to a mortgage, are married with children or all three.
A lot of men are afraid to change their style as they get older. But modern fashion isn’t anything like it used to be so there’s plenty of stylish clothing that doesn’t make you look old.
And one age-related payoff is that no more do you have to spend time and effort to stay ‘down with the kids’. Good job too, because your knees are really starting to play up…
END THE EXPERIMENTING
As you turn 30, it’s more important to dress in a way that reflects who you are. “There are no hard and fast rules here,” says stylist Freddie Kemp of men’s personal shopping service Thread. Basically, it all comes down to dressing for your lifestyle – and staying true to yourself.
When you’re young, it’s less risky to wear fashion trends since you’re not expected to know what works. It’s also easier to get away with bolder choices because you’ll be more confident at that age.
You should probably stray away from single-season trends and stick to timeless pieces instead. This is because indiscretions in your 20s often don’t cost as much as they would when you’re older.
BUY QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
It’s often said that you shouldn’t buy more clothes, but rather save money by replacing less expensive pieces with higher quality garments. Put your budget towards investments instead of spending on items often considered ‘placeholders.’
“Buy less but buy better should be your maxim at this age,” says Kemp. The idea is to gradually upgrade the items in your wardrobe with a few key quality pieces.
With all the perks that come with completing your wardrobe, upgrading your level or expanding and replenishing the items you wear most often, there’s never an end to the game. Never stop playing!
“Now’s the time to cultivate some favorite staples,” says Kemp. “You should be on first-name terms with your denim of choice and T-shirt style. Ditto for a favourite item of jewellery or watch.” Achievement unlocked: you have mastered your personal style
CUT OUT CERTAIN CUTS
If you’ve managed to ward off early onset dadbod, then you might still be able to pull slim off, or rather on. But irrespective of the logistics, there’s something impoverished, even infantilising about too-skinny clothing past a certain age.
Embrace relaxed-tapered jeans, wider lapels and tailored jackets that actually cover your behind. They make you look more grown up, and you won’t grow out of them anymore.
LIFT LONG AND PROSPER
Developing good style is an ongoing process. You need to stay in shape so your clothes will fit you better and you can search for the newest styles more easily. You don’t have to be super thin or muscular, just keep your body healthy and active.
There’s an inconvenient truth that people might not want to admit. Most stylish men in the public eye are, if not buff themselves, then at least trim. The same is true of those who don’t have a considerable amount of muscle mass but still desire to wear clothes that will look good on them. Daniel Craig, who was once the ‘007’ at 49 years old
FORMALISE YOUR CASUALWEAR
If you get the feeling that you are too old to ‘push the boat out’ when it comes to fashion, then this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep up with trends at all. It just means that it is important to use fabrics and fits as a way of speaking about your credentials rather than using louder styles like logos or certain colours
There are some days you want something tailored and ready to wear. Other days call for something lighter that you can throw on in a pinch.
CASUALISE YOUR FORMALWEAR
In your twenties, it’s worth investing in clothes that you can wear to work and into clothes for those special occasions. For instance, you might have one suit for important events and then a tailored skirt or dress for interview suits.
When you’re in your thirties, that distinction becomes more blurred than the bottom line on a sight test. Suddenly things like blazers and suits seem more ‘essential’, as does buying something that might never get worn at work.
That’s to say, they won’t be as rigid or bulky like your suit jackets and will sit on your arms a little bit lower. This is cut to sit on top of jeans and chinos.
Dressing smartly can be a struggle sometimes as balancing casual & formal styles can be difficult. So, if you’re struggling to dress smart-casually, there’s an easy solution. Here are 5 of our favourite looks that are perfect for those days when you don’t know what to wear.
Being smart never looked so good! This coat is equally suitable for work and weddings and can also be worn with jeans or joggers. It’s not too formal so you can wear it no matter the occasion or temperature.
HOW A MAN SHOULD DRESS IN HIS 30S
Don’t worry, you’re not in slacks territory yet, Grandpa Simpson. But as a man of a certain age who occasionally has to dress smartly, but not too smartly, for work or social events, you have a need for dressier alternatives to jeans. Chinos offer the perfect balance between being dressed up without crossing over into SL
Sweatpants don’t count.
In the same way that you reserved tailor-made clothing for special occasions in your twenties, shoes were only used on a particular occasion, such as in the office or during an evening out. But then smart-casual dress codes come into play during your thirties.
“A good pair of leather shoes can make all the difference,” says Kemp. A selection of brogues, derbies, loafers and desert boots are great starters.
A “PROPER” WATCH
You don’t necessarily need a mechanical watch to look stylish. But for some of us, there are needs and there are wants.
Besides, why deny yourself this traditional coming-of-age signifier and one of the few things that symbolize a man’s adulthood? You might as well tell your significant other that it can be seen as an investment – which it will probably be if you buy astutely.
Yes, it’s possible that the male model in Mugatu’s Derelicte collection from Zoolander could flex and still look good. But David Gandy is often on the fashion industry’s front row at Fashion Week, while he himself usually passes over the latest trends
And it’s because he resists the temptation of cramming his beef into thin cuts (or moisturising with diluted fence stain) that the Essex exile doesn’t resemble a character from TOWIE.
Eddie Redmayne has had better success than his on-screen performances. The actor is always looking good and getting plenty of awards at red carpet events, as well as premiere events, which proves that he knows how to dress well in any occasion.
It’s not astrophysics: the 35-year-old actor simply wears tailoring that complements his slim build but doesn’t exaggerate it, injecting colour or pattern via fabric or accessories instead of going full-on Jared Leto
HOW A MAN SHOULD DRESS IN HIS 30S
Whether his suit is prefixed by track- or not, ‘Fedex’ delivers off the court as reliably as he does on it.
Consistently classy, the all-time record-holding father of four also manages to sport athleisure without looking like mutton dressed as lamb, or a manchild. The collection that he designs for Nike also ticks all the right boxes: muted colours and dialled-down logos.
The Gos, like all the stylish thirty-somethings, does what he should: find a style and stick to it.
Out of work hours, he wears high-quality basics like white T-shirts and denim. On the red carpet, tailoring is key to creating a well-cut silhouette. He also experiments with color by adding a scorpion embroidery onto his bomber jacket.
Please note: he hasn’t changed his haircut for years. To be fair, why would he?
A man who never seems to take a misstep, Legend is rarely off-point because he’s rarely off-message. His style is consistent: he likes monochrome, muted patterns and relaxed (but still tailored – always tailored) suiting.
The man loves a varsity jacket, too – a good example of how and why your thirties needn’t mean resigning yourself to middle-age
PERFORM ESSENTIALS MAINTENANCE
“At this age, you’re looking to grow and improve your wardrobe with every new purchase, not change it completely,” says Kemp.
Re-up on your staples, upgrade where possible and sprinkle in some hero pieces – just in time to have kids, after which you’ll never be able to afford to buy clothes ever again.
HOW A MAN SHOULD DRESS IN HIS 30S
AUTOMATE YOUR PROCESSES
“Age tends to have a positive effect on your income, but a negative impact on how much time you have to spend it,” says Kemp.
That isn’t a problem though if you eschew trawling for trends online in favour of one-clicking on your go-to staples. We say ‘go-to’ but really, your shopping should come to you.
STILL HAVE IT
“You’re never too old for anything until you wonder whether you are,” says Kemp. “As a rule, sub-cultures – dandy, athleisure, skater – move fast, but silhouettes stick around. Make something your trademark now and you can stay on trend for a decade.” It’s always easier to keep it than get it back.
GET A HAIRCUT
Swerving trends doesn’t just apply to clothes. If you still have hair, then you’ll have grasped that, thinning or greying aside, it doesn’t change much, and neither does your head or face shape.
Find a hairstyle that suits both (ask a good barber), then stick to it (and the good barber) like firm-hold gel.
Just at a lower rate than in your look-at-me twenties. “Not that your style should become boring, but you should learn to appreciate how much of a difference subtle changes make,” says Kemp. “A double-breasted jacket, say, rather than single-breasted. But still in grey flannel, not mauve.”
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