In this guest article, Christopher Legard, Managing Director of premium menswear retailers Joseph Turner, offers his advice for finding clothing and accessories that help you look your best.
Confidence is supposed to come with age, but it doesn’t always feel like that’s the case. Perhaps you’re finding it more difficult to know what to wear as you get older, or maybe you’re just bored of your usual style and fancy shaking it up a bit. Either way, your 50s is a great time to overhaul your wardrobe and turn it into a gentleman’s collection full of fashionable items of clothing.
The trick is to find the balance between contemporary and traditional looks without compromising your personality. So, below I’ll be sharing my tips for looking fab in your 50s.
Look for timeless essentials
There are some items of clothing that every gentleman needs to have in his wardrobe. These include (but are not limited to) a tailored suit, at least one good pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, a cable-knit jumper, and Breton striped top. What all these items have in common is that they are timeless essentials that suit everyone, no matter their age, style, or colouring.
Your goal should be to build a capsule collection of classic pieces, and the best way to achieve this is to buy premium, trusted brands. By doing so, you’ll find clothing that will stand the test of time and be more confident that it won’t go out of style. Plus, by buying high-quality clothing that is less likely to fall apart, you’re decreasing the demand for fast fashion and being more sustainable, which is better for the planet.
Focus on fit
A good fit becomes more important as you get older and, if you want to look your best, you should make sure that what you’re wearing is flattering. Clothing that is too small can make you look larger, and clothing that is too big often looks shabby. Plus, a good fit is usually more comfortable, so you can carry yourself with confidence in your new clothes if you buy the correct size.
Look for pulling around the buttons on jackets and shirts, as well as under the arms and across the shoulders, to determine if your tops are too small. Equally, make sure the shoulder seams rest on the tips of your shoulders and don’t hang over the edge — if they do, you need a smaller size. Check the length of the sleeves and legs, too: the cuffs should end at your wrists and ankle bones respectively. Prioritise the body: if you’ve found a good fit there but they’re too long in the sleeve or leg, you can always get them shortened by a tailor.
Accent with accessories
The difference between a good outfit and a great one is attention to detail. As such, when getting dressed in the morning, it’s important to remember to accessorise. Accessories are a great way to add personality to your outfit, and even a plain t-shirt and jeans can be elevated from a basic ensemble to a smart outfit through a few choice additions.
Choose statement pieces for your watches, belts, jewellery, and your eyeglasses to make sure they get noticed. The unusual dark red mottle of these Tommy Hilfiger frames, for example, can either enhance your look or be a source of inspiration for you to build the rest of your outfit around. Accessories also act as talking points, so don’t be afraid to pop on something quirky.
In general, it’s best to stick to neutral tones for your clothing as these are the most flattering. Although choosing patterned and brightly coloured clothing can be a great way to liven up a plain outfit or suit, to keep things classy they should be layered underneath other plainer garments and allowed to peep through. For example, a floral shirt should be worn beneath a blazer, or a striped collared shirt under a knitted jumper.
Likewise, look for accessories that incorporate pops of colour alongside earthy, neutral, or metallic tones to give your look a mature polish. Horn-rimmed and cat-eye glasses are great for this because you get the sheen of silver or metal with coloured resin or plastic accents, rather than a solid block of colour.
Get a grip on grooming
Your carefully curated wardrobe will go to waste if you don’t look after yourself, too. You can get away with more casual clothing if you have a neat haircut and trimmed facial hair, plus you’ll be in a better position to pull off formal attire too, so make sure you’re taking regular trips to the barbers. You’ve probably noticed your complexion changing as you age but keeping your skin clean and using a daily moisturiser can help if you’re feeling dry, oily, or dull.
Presbyopia (long-sightedness) is more prevalent amongst gentlemen over the age of 45, so you might want to get a check-up at the opticians if you don’t already wear glasses. You may also find it increasingly difficult to wear contact lenses as your eyes become drier, but you’ll earn a lot of fashion points by choosing cool eye accessories instead.
The tips in this guide can help you find stylish, timeless pieces to add to your wardrobe. Now you can wear them in ways that are flattering as well as fashionable — without masking your personality.
Thanks to Christopher Legard, Managing Director of premium menswear retailers Joseph Turner for a fab guide!
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