Old Mr. Young
Dress your age not your new waist size
by Aonika Laurent Thomas
Did you know that Tom Cruise in the latest Mission Impossible is five years older than Wilford Brimley was in the first Cocoon? Tom Cruise is the Holy Grail for middle-aged guys who want to gulp from the fountain of youth. Some 50-year-olds manage to pull it off: the 31-inch waist, the 54 bpm heart rate, possession of your original teeth, the stamina to outrun and out lift guys 20 years younger than you are at the gym. Congrats! Sounds phenomenal, right? But there’s a trap. It can be tempting to look at the young bucks and try to rock the drop-crotch, super-skinny jeans in vintage acid-washed — but not so fast, player. Just because your waist is the size of a kid in a boy band doesn’t mean you should dress like one.
On the other hand, you worked too hard to have to shop at Jos. A. Banks and dress like your dad. Your contemporaries hide under oversized T-shirts and baggy jeans, or wear sneakers with the same dress socks they wore to work. You can tell when a man gives up on being considered eye candy, and that ain’t you.
It’s key for a middle-aged man to be infinitely at ease in his own skin. In truth, this comes from the inside. So the aim is to have your clothing match the beast within. Comfort and confidence should be the unmistakable hallmark of the man who’s fit at 50. The most important things to remember are:
Tailoring — Whether work or casual clothes, get your gear tailored. You’re at the age where you’re supposed to have grown into your manhood and know who you are. Tailored attire reflects exactly that.
No conspicuous logos — Remember when it filled you with unalloyed joy to be able to display that big Gucci GG on your sunglasses and matching belt? Still does? Stop it! Time to let that go. Big look-at-me logos are for rappers, grade school jocks, and your much younger girlfriend. Your wife is far too classy.
Belt placement — Speaking of belts, make sure they go around your proper waist. We all know that as men get older, the belt starts to creep up to the diaphragm to cover up the paunch. If you’ve managed to avoid the paunch, avoid the temptation to get cute and low ride your belt like Justin Bieber. It’s sloppy. You didn’t work that hard to maintain your body to look like an adolescent.
Contrary to popular myth, midlife doesn’t have to be a crisis. Ask Tom Cruise. Midlife can and should be a coronation — an arrival at peak self-actualization. Dress like it.