It is easy to think that dressing well is a skill that, once mastered, is maintained forever. In fact, it is something more like playing a musical instrument or learning to speak a language – over the years, you have to practice and keep learning continuously.
The leather jacket and polo of a brass band that led to the Glastonbury festival in 2012 will not be of much use to him in the 2018 boardrooms. That bright blue blazer that made him look dazzling at his cousin’s wedding. It will give a rather ghostly look when he is sixty years old.
On the other hand, it is important not to rush things and not sentence yourself to a life of suits with muted colors. Many designers make great efforts to produce fascinating garments full of prints and designs with sports styles for young people of this world. Make the most of these pieces while you can.
At any age, the key is to find a balance. The following guidelines of the men’s fashion portal Mr. Porter are designed to explain how this balance works with the passage of time.
At 20. In other times, his twenties meant a period of growth. This could have been the decade where you bought a house, you got a steady job and, if you were serious about growing up, you could have become a father or mother. Now, of course, it is a mystically extended and confused adolescence, in which it is not very clear whether one should have fun or be responsible. In this sartorial limbo, an outfit like that of Robert Pattinson, achieves a balance between something “well comibinado” and daring, and is a great initial reference for any twenty-year-old in search of clothes to go to work like other places.
The restricted color palette of white, navy blue and dark blue makes him look mature and tasteful – but the actor has adequately maintained his youthful appearance with militaristic touches on the leather jacket and combat boots. The result is a fine casual attire, which if replicated, will make it look like someone important and worthwhile to listen to (although if you want to put emphasis on achieving the latter, you could take off your beret).
At 30. No matter how young you look, by the time you reach base three you will have to invest in some custom-made clothing. This will not only help you adopt a more entrepreneurial style – it will also make your life easier while juggling responsibilities that life seems to put in your way. A tailored navy blue suit is appropriate for almost any situation and makes getting dressed in the morning require no effort.
But it can also be fun, as long as you retain an optimal physique you can do as Hidetoshi Nakata and choose to venture into the costumes section. In this image, he has opted for a denim ensemble (combined with sneakers – something that is now officially allowed, as long as they are clean and white), but he could have opted for a striking color like beige or petrol blue. To look a little more like him, check Parisian brands such as Valentino and Officine Generale, both offer new shrewd and refreshing twists in the tailoring pattern each season.
At 40. According to cultural clichés, the forties is the point at which you are turning towards the territory of the “crisis of middle age”. But this insidious myth (sometimes true) should not stop him from showing some style when it comes to dressing. In this phase of his life, tailoring becomes a reliable basis for any outfit, a tailored jacket can enhance his figure and look appropriate for his age.
But that does not mean you have to look like a banker all the time. Instead, invest in contrasting loose clothing, as did Alasdhair Willis, who retains a subtle stylistic edge in this look with sand-colored chinos and a navy blue blazer. Avoid looking old-fashioned by wearing a polo shirt instead of a shirt and, in the summer, try to go without socks or contrast your smart-casual look with a pair of white Converse sneakers. For more formal events, an elegant suit with simple buttons from Italian experts Canali, combined with a pair of shoes with a rounded toe “Shannon” from Church’s, will guarantee you a “great dad” status.
At 50. Congratulations for having come so far! As a reward for your efforts (let us suppose), now you are the boss, patriarch of the family, or – if you are the type of most carefree artists – you are at the peak of your creative potential. Therefore, you can dress in the style of a man “mature and wise” with total authenticity, and for this purpose there are few things that overcome a cross, as below it looks the editor in chief of W Magazine Stefano Tonchi. In other times, it was a court reserved for royalty and magnates, but thanks to recent and more slender offers of the likes of Kingsman, Kilgour and Gieves & Hawkes now you can also have a lighter touch that works all year .
At 60. Released (or within a short time) from the shackles of work, now you are a man with your own resources and no obligations to anyone – a fact that can be reflected in the choice of your clothes. Custom-made formal attire remains an attractive option, but works better if worn a bit more baggy. The pleasantly libertine Bill Nighy is always a good reference on this front, often without a tie – wear a handkerchief with a relaxed knot in place – and opt for a long, straight-cut coat for a more romantic silhouette. Strong and dark colors look better with gray, so if you add denim (in the form of a shirt or jeans), make sure it is in indigo blue.