The older gentleman’s sense of style is very different from what popular culture dictates, which is usually informed by a much younger audience. When you’re older, you don’t need to stick out as a style icon (even though some are!), but that also doesn’t mean you have the licence to completely let go – there are small additions and adjustments you can make to your wardrobe to maintain an age-appropriate style.
One major fashion mistake many older guys tend to make is not paying much attention to fit, which is the first rule of style. The idea is not to have your clothes look like they’re wearing you, or on the other side of the spectrum, to try so hard to look young that your clothes look like they are sucking the very breath out of you.
Here are four ways you can remain age-appropriately stylish without dressing like an “oldie”:
Invest in a statement piece
Everyone needs to own that one piece of clothing that’s outside of what they would normally wear – this is the essence of a statement piece. This can come in the form of any item, from a colourful blazer to print pants. But for the older gent, there’s a certain sophistication you want to exude and while a statement piece for you would still be something out of your ordinary, it would be in a understated context.
A good example of this is what one would consider as a statement piece for President Jacob Zuma. In the picture below, Zuma wears a Chinese-collared blazer. This is a great example of something that’s outside of the ordinary, but is still distinguished, isn’t too young and says something about one’s fashion sense.
Coat worn over a suit
In many instances, especially when you work in a corporate environment, you’ll find that when you become older, you will have built a wardrobe of suits – many of which may look very much alike. A great way to change up the overall look and feel of the suits you now find to be so boring is to invest in different coats, from trenches to parkas, and to wear these over your suits in the colder months of the year.
This not only exudes effortless sophistication and class, but it also gives you major style points with your mates and the younger crowd.
Invest in a double-breasted blazer
When you’re older, it becomes quite easy to get stuck into your way of doing and viewing things and this includes your fashion sense. It’s highly likely that many of, if not all, your blazers are traditional two-button suit jackets, which can get pretty boring. This is the perfect time to invest in a double-breasted blazer, an item that was very prominent in the men’s fashion landscape of 1960s SA, particularly in Sophiatown.
The double-breasted blazer epitomises power dressing and has an effortlessly modern touch about it. So let people forget that you’ve long left your youth behind and let them rather focus on the style lessons they should be picking up from you with this piece.
Exploring with colour can go terribly wrong if not approached correctly, but in the same breath, black, grey and navy are not the only colours on the planet. If your wardrobe is predominantly filled with these tones, lighten it up by adding a red pocket square, a pair of happy socks, or even a warm-coloured polka-dot tie. Playing around with colour doesn’t mean creating a rainbow out of your outfit, but rather adding elements that bring life to your otherwise dull outfit.