Learning how to get even better at dressing in your 40s is, without question, one of menswear’s biggest mysteries. While your 30s was about experimentation, your 40s is about honing all those skills and keeping it simple – but still with just enough fun to keep things fresh.
For the fourth decade of your life, one of the most important things that need to do is to pay real attention to fit. Real, proper attention. Unless you’re hitting the gym every single day, you’re probably going to have to think about your changing shape. You should also think of the accessories you might have had little need to spend money on in your youth. We’re talking about a really good pair of leather gloves and matching luggage that doesn’t look like it’s lost a fight with the carousel. This is also the time to really invest in those truly timeless pieces, like the watch collection that you’ve always dreamed of, or those loafers you’ve been eyeing up for years.
So, in this GQ guide, we’ll be going through some of the golden rules of how to dress in your 40s, and a closer look at some of the dudes who are doing it, and doing it well.
How to dress in your 40s
#1: Time for an upgrade
Since breaking free from uni, you’ve spent 20-odd years building up a solid armoury of attire, so it’s understandable if some of those items have fallen out of regular rotation. If you haven’t worn something for a few years, consider donating it to a charity shop. If you find you wear one item a lot, maybe invest in a couple of alternatives so it gets a rest once in a while. And take stock of any gaps that might need plugging.
Also, take the opportunity to upgrade not only the items in your wardrobe, but also the wardrobe itself. Buy one that’s big enough to store all your stuff so they don’t crumple up against each other and, if you haven’t done so already, get yourself some decent wooden coat hangers, fabric suit bags, and plastic boxes for all of your shoes.
#2: Find your fit
We sat down with international style icon and good-looking man Johannes Huebl, 46, to chat about how to dress in your 40s. “You should have a good idea of certain fits and styles that suit you and your body type,” says Huebl. “Tailoring will always be an exact and age-appropriate choice, as well as alterations on off-the-peg options.”
So, if there’s a few pieces you haven’t worn in a while because they just don’t fit right, go back and get them slightly adjusted. Usually, this will only mean that the seams of your suits need letting out ever so slightly (a small alteration that can make a big difference), or that you need to choose a straight leg selvedge rather than a slim fit (no bootcut, please).