Jeans are a staple in your wardrobe, and despite being a casual item, they’re probably the most important pair of pants in your closet, outside of chinos. So obviously it’s critical that you’re wearing them the right way and giving them the consideration they deserve. Because they’re so important, if you’re wearing them incorrectly you can be doing yourself a huge disservice, especially in the eyes of the opposite sex. After you read this and check out the video, make sure you take a look at our Jeans Fit Guide and our Dark Wash Jeans primer for how to do it right!
\We see all kinds of bad jeans-wearing these days and the worst part is these mistakes are easy to fix! So, here are 6 ways you’re wearing your jeans wrong!
Obviously, it goes without saying that baggy jeans look awful. They aren’t flattering and just look sloppy. Baggy jeans only make slim guys look more skinny and bigger guys look more chubby. The right fit will be comfortable, so don’t think that you can get away with it because of comfort. Getting the right size and fit is a huge key, so make sure you’ve checked out our Jeans Fit Guide.
The right taper is important but overly tight is definitely really bad. It can be super unflattering especially if you don’t have a butt which most men don’t have. It also makes you look very juvenile if your jeans are way too tight and it’s definitely not professional, regardless of how casual your work environment may be.
Washes that are too light (very light blue or grey/white) or acid-washes are neither timeless nor versatile. They just make you look like you’re trying too hard to be trendy. We recommend keeping your jeans in a clean, dark wash or check out a few of our other recommendations for jean colors.
Distressed or Ripped Jeans
It’s a fine line between good and bad but for 95% of men over the age of 25, this just isn’t a good look. Like some of the lighter washes, it makes you look like a teenager/fuccboi who is trying hard to be trendy. Sometimes a little bit of distressing is fine, but again only if you’re under the age of 25.
Such a bad look and such an easy fit. Find the right length or got to a tailor, it’s a simple $5-10 fix. It just looks sloppy and can ruin an otherwise good fit. Also, it can make you look really short; not flattering at all.
Yikes, this is super unattractive. Find the right fit in the seat – proper rise (the length from the bottom of the crotch to the top of the waistband) is crucial. Here’s a handy reference image for what the “rise” is. The key is to not have a ton of excess fabric in the booty area. You want a trim fit but not overly tight.
As we discussed in our previous video about Dressing Well When You’re Over 40, style and confidence as you age is all about embracing what you have and presenting a classy, refined look. Now, it’s worth mentioning that nearly all of our style advice, from Essential Wardrobe items to Fit Guides, applies to all age ranges. But, dressing well later on in life is just as much about what NOT to wear as it is the exact items you are wearing.
So, we thought we’d answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about what not wear if you’re over 40.
Q: Can an older man wear white sneakers?
A: Absolutely they can. In fact, we did a whole video about it. White sneakers like Adidas Stan Smiths and are a classic casual item for any man, regardless of age. That said, if you’re not comfortable wearing white sneakers or you feel like they’re a bit too young, we recommend going with a nice, clean leather sneaker in any color of grey or navy blue. Suede versions are excellent too as the added texture is a nice look.
Q: Is it really important to wear fitted clothing?
A: Yes, it’s critical to wear well-fitting clothing, no matter how casual or dressy. That said, this doesn’t mean tight! There is a HUGE difference between slim, well-fitting, clothing that’s proportional to your body type and something that’s overly tight. A lot of older men end up skewing overly large or baggy due to comfort or fears that they aren’t dressing their age but having a wardrobe that fits you well is something every man should have, regardless of age. For mode insight, make sure to check out all of our fit guides for in-depth info on all types of clothing items.
Q: What can I do to give my wardrobe some personality?
A: The most simple and cost-effective way is the right choice of accessories. So watch bands, ties and pocket squares, a ring, or a fun patterned sock are all great ways to add a bit of personality in an age-appropriate way. Being age-appropriate is the key thing, and over-accessorizing is a quick way to kill your style by making it look like you are trying too hard.
Q: What items should I avoid if I’m over 40?
As we mentioned in a previous video, leather jackets are a big one for men over 40 to avoid, with one exception. We do like leather or suede bomber-style jackets for men in this age range, but other types like moto and biker-style jackets just make you look like you’re having a midlife crisis. T-shirts with logos are another huge no-no, they just make you look juvenile. Additional types of t-shirts to avoid include henleys and deep v-neck t-shirts. They just aren’t the right look for an older guy. Stick to polos and well-fitting crewneck t-shirts. On the denim side of things, jeans that are light-wash, or ripped and distressed fall into the same category, they just look too young. Keep your jeans well-fitting and in a dark wash.
Just because you’re over 40 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving some consideration to how you dress. While the majority of our style tips are applicable no matter what your age is, for you older guys out there there are a few extra things to keep in mind. Above all else, it’s about both embracing your age and confidence, and crafting a style and wardrobe that enhances everything you’ve got going for you.
Here’s how to dress well when you’re over 40!
Dress Your Age
The older you get, the more important it is to dress your age. There’s nothing sadder than an older guy trying too hard to look young. Embrace your age and all the great things that come along with it. We’ll discuss further in a minute but this doesn’t just go for the items you choose, it has to do with the fit and how you wear your clothes as well. It’s important to always strive for a tailored fit. In terms of specific items we recommend, suede bomber or collared jackets, wool or cashmere blend sportcoats paired with chinos, dark wash jeans, or wool trousers are all excellent places to start. You can easily dress these items up with a collared shirt and dress shoes or dress them down with a sweater or t-shirt and sneakers.
Stick To The Classics
Just like dressing your age, as you get older it becomes even more important to stick to classic, timeless items. Leave the trends to the younger guys and embrace the distinguished style that you can pull off. For example, some classic items that should be the foundation of your wardrobe are: suits/blazers, oxfords, dress boots, chinos, Harrington, bomber or standing collared jackets, and polo shirts.
Class It Up
Many men mistake getting older and trying too hard with dressing too casually. Yes, there’s always a place in your wardrobe for well-fitting basics, but take your casual wear up a notch. A polo shirt instead of a t-shirt works well, leather loafers or driving mocs instead of sneakers instantly adds class to a casual outfit. And if you want to add personality to your outfits more, that’s always done through accessories – not the main items in your wardrobe. Understated, distinguished and in-control is what we love to see older men doing. Screaming “Look at me!” with crazy outfits or “funny” t-shirts is just immature.
Nail the fit
We talk about it all the time and have an entire series dedicated to its importance, because, above all else, this is key. Many older men tend to wear clothing that’s one or two sizes too big to hide problem spots on their bodies or for pure comfort. Big mistake – it actually starts bringing attention to you hiding something and being insecure about it. Wearing-tailored clothing will always allow you to present your best self as opposed to wearing too tight or too baggy of clothing, which is just unflattering.
Despite what you may think, dressing stylishly and well doesn’t have to involve a lot of money. We’ve talked time and again about how achieving style has everything to do with choosing the right items for a timeless essential wardrobe and nothing to do with how much you pay for something. Whether it’s the right budget-friendly denim and chinos, or affordable accessories that add a bit of personality, you can dress well on a budget, no matter what it is. Another bonus: women care more about how you dress, not what you spend on clothing, trust us.
So, with that, here are a few simple ways that you can dress well on a budget.
The Right Fit
It doesn’t matter how much you spend on clothes if they don’t fit they’ll look like crap! A well-fitting $75 bomber will look way better than an ill-fitting $2000 suit. If you handle this part properly, you’ve done 80% of the hard work. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with Fit Guides for nearly every wardrobe item in your closet.
Nail The Details
Small tweaks like well-chosen accessories (watch, pocket square, a tie bar, or watch band) will elevate an average look to a new level. These items can all be super affordable and when put together with a well-chosen, well-fitting outfit they’re really going to take your style to the next level with a bare minimum of investment.
The Right Shoes
There’s no quicker way to ruin a solid, stylish outfit than with a bad pair of shoes. Plus, it’s a fact women will notice your shoes and regardless of how much you spend, they should be clean, in good shape, and timeless in style. Don’t forget to consider the right shoe choice for the situation you’re dressing for. A shoe that’s too casual or overly-dressy with the wrong outfit is just as bad as shoes that are in terrible shape.
Dress for the situation
Dressing out of touch for the situation just makes you look like you’re trying too hard or you’ve got no taste, and neither one is something you want to impart to an observer. Whether you spent a lot or a little, if you’re overdressing for a barbeque or underdressing for a work event or wedding, nobody is going to care about your budget, they’re only going to notice how out of place you look.
Sometimes a few simple hacks can make a huge difference in your overall look, and trust us, women are definitely going to notice. The great thing is, these are super simple, in some cases, cost zero money, and are tricks that anyone can pull off.
Here are 5 style hacks women LOVE, and will notice!
Tuck in your shirt in the front just a bit
A small move that adds a little bit of polish but never looks too formal, this quick trick is a super-easy way to show you’ve got some serious style skills.
Add a watch or slim metal cuff
A little arm candy is really sexy and adds a noticeable, stylish touch to your outfit. Make sure you use good judgment and don’t over-accessorize though, it can look amateurish. We’ve run down a few more accessorizing tips, our favorite metal cuffs, and watch tips in the past as well.
A black or navy bomber jacket
There’s something really sexy about this item, it’s just a style that compliments every man no matter his body shape, height or age. Obviously there are other jacket styles out there but this one is always so irresistible because it looks so fresh and understated. It’s great casually or dressed up and goes with every type of pants.
Stick with a simple outfit formula
Sometimes (ok, most often times) less is more. At the end of the day, it’s when you look like you’re trying too hard that turns women off. Our favorite formula women will definitely love? A great-fitting tee, tucked slightly in, some slim dark wash jeans, a bomber jacket on top and a pair of fresh kicks on the bottom. Understated, stylish and very sexy.
A fresh haircut
Yup, it’s that simple, and there’s nothing sexier. It might not seem like a big deal or even noticeable, but trust me, women notice. We’ve run down all of the best haircuts women love before, (and a few women don’t like) so check those out!
Getting lazy with your shoe care and maintenance can really affect the look and longevity of your shoe collection. But, the fixes are easy and affordable. Just like we talked about in our closet essentials video, having the right care and organizational items are important for keeping your sneakers, dress shoes, and boots all in great shape and looking sharp.
Here are 5 ways you’re ruining your shoes and how to fix them!
1. Not maintaining the overall structure
You don’t want to allow the creases to set in as you store your shoes, it ruins the look and fit over time.
The Fix: Get some shoe trees. This simple accessory is critical for the life and overall look of your shoes. Plastic will work but we recommend cedar ones for durability and odor control.
2. Not taking care of the leather
Unconditioned leather gets brittle, cracked and loses it’s longevity over time if not properly taken care of on a regular basis. This goes for all of your dress shoes, and doubly so for your boots since you might be wearing them in inclement weather.
The Fix: Get a proper shoe care kit and condition your shoes 1 to 2 times per year, more depending on where you live and what kind of weather you deal with.
3. Not cleaning your sneakers
Dirty shoes don’t go unnoticed so even your sneakers need a little TLC every once in a while.
The Fix: Bare minimum, take a damp cloth and wipe your sneaks down once a week. About once a month, give then a proper cleaning with a sneaker cleaning kit. We recommend the great sneaker-specific cleaning kits and wipes below to keep your white sneakers looking fresh and clean. Also, a Magic Eraser will do wonders to your white leather sneakers.
4. Ruining the backs of your shoes
When you’re stomping or stuffing your feet into your shoes will result in smashing the backs of your shoes. Over time this can cause irreversible damage to the structure and leather.
The Fix: Get a shoehorn. It will make your life easier and prevent this kind of damage. Pro tip: The longer the better so you don’t have to bend as much. Trust me, you’ll appreciate this.
5. Allowing your shoes to get stinky
Do we really need to explain why stinky shoes are a problem? We hope not.
The Fix: Cedar blocks or balls, or, even better, cedar shoe trees all can help control odors and absorb moisture which can ruin the interior lining of your shoes.
As we always discuss, the right mix of items in your Essential Wardrobe is key in giving you the foundation to dress stylishly no matter what the occasion or your age range. The great news is, it doesn’t matter what your budget is, you can build a stylish wardrobe no matter much you have to spend.
Yeah, we know, many people often complain that you “need a lot of money to dress well” but that’s just not true. It does take some proper strategy to know where and how to spend your hard-earned money though, and that’s where we come in. Figuring out where to save and splurge on items is a question we get asked all the time so in this edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re giving you our advice on how much money you should spend on clothes!
How Much Of Your Budget Should You Spend On Clothes?
Good news, this is simple: it doesn’t matter! Figure out what you’re comfortable with, no matter how much you have, and stick to that. There are stylish options for everyone and every budget.
What To Invest In?
Both of us agree that dress shoes / boots and outerwear (jackets, peacoats, bombers) are the two places that it’s worth it to invest in. Quality items in these categories will give you many years of wear and style. Ashley also believes that if you dress up every day, or very frequently, it makes sense to invest in quality suits and blazers.
What To Go Cheap On?
Outside of the previously mentioned items, both of us agree that you can go much more budget-friendly on t-shirts, jeans, chino pants, and button-ups. These items are easily replaced at any price point and will look sharp no matter how much you spend, provided you’re shopping smartly.