You have succeeded. Now can someone talk about your wardrobe?
While there was still room for experimentation in the 30s, the 40s are all about honing it. Keep it simple, but with enough fun that you don’t look like you’ve completely given up. It’s about leaning into the style you established in the previous decade.
Just look at some of the guys who can handle it in 2023. David Beckham knows what suits him – tailored suits and muscle-hugging knitwear – and so does Mark Ronson, who swapped a hot pink suit for a smart neutral outfit. Hollywood’s very own Sterling K. Brown? Muted colors and constant patterns.
What’s important in this decade is a real focus on fit. real, proper WARNING. If you don’t hit the gym every day, you probably need to tone down your look a bit.
Also think about accessories you may not have needed to splurge on in your younger years: really good leather gloves, jewelry, and matching luggage that doesn’t look like it lost a carousel battle. Invest in these timeless pieces.
Finally, if you haven’t already, now is the time to start a watch collection. Before we get into the golden rules of dressing well in your 40s, let’s take a closer look at some men who are already doing it.
Well-dressed men in their 40s
David Beckham, 47
Everyone hails the king. We often pray at the precipice of David Beckham, but it’s not a PR or calculated stunt, it’s just because he dresses well. He is the hero of the fact that we age gracefully and become your style as we grow older. If you look to no one else, look to Beckham for inspiration.
Mark Ronson, 46
In addition to creating a cavalcade of incredible pop bangers, Mark Ronson has built a reputation for several award-winning chic airport looks, edgy red carpet style and after-party DJ outfits. Sometimes outrageous, but always cool.
Sterling K. Brown
Sterling Kay Brown gets it. Actor “This is us” walks a fine line between being conservative in clothing and still having fun. Not his black brogues with a hint of color. Age appropriate. Prince of Wales’s cheque. Ideal in combination with an all-black cut.
How to dress in 40: 6 golden rules
1) Edit (and update) your wardrobe
You’ve spent 20 years building up a solid wardrobe arsenal since breaking out of university, so it’s understandable if some of these items have fallen out of regular rotation. If you haven’t worn something in a few years, give it to a thrift store. If you wear one item a lot, maybe invest in a few alternatives for it to give it a break from time to time. And also check for any gaps that may need to be closed.
Also, take the opportunity to update not only the items in your wardrobe, but also the wardrobe itself. Buy a wardrobe big enough to store all your things so they don’t pile up against each other, and if you haven’t already, buy wooden hangers, cloth suit bags and plastic shoe boxes.
2) Don’t assume you need a size up (but BE SURE to adjust the fit)
We spoke to international style icon and handsome man Johannes Hübl, 44, about how to dress in your forties: “You need to have a good idea of certain cuts and styles that suit you and your body type. Tailoring will always be an accurate and age-appropriate choice, as will alterations for non-standard options.”
So, if there are a few items you haven’t worn in a while because they don’t fit, just go back and adjust them a bit. This will usually just mean that the seams of your suits need to be widened a bit (a minor change that can make a difference), or that you need to go for a straight hem rather than a slim cut (no cut, please). ).
You don’t need to completely revamp your wardrobe, just a few changes will make your suits as vibrant as they were in your 20s and 30s.
3) Approach sportswear with caution
Sportswear is dominating menswear right now, and while adding it to your wardrobe can freshen up your outfit during downtime, investing too much into this look in your 40s can leave you feeling like a gym teacher. If you want to do it right, ditch the baseball caps and backpacks and invest in cool designer sneakers from Valentino , Lanvin or Mr Hare in pared-down colors that can be worn with a loop or cashmere jumper and indigo jeans at the weekend.
4) Improve wrist movement
You may have a watch or two in your repertoire, but now is the time to take it to the next level. If you haven’t already, your 40th birthday is a great time to treat yourself to your first high-end watch – and by that we mean the kind you can one day pass down to your son. Also, invest in jewelry that complements it, whether it’s a ring or a small stack of bracelets you can wear on the go, with delicate stones or highly polished beads and metals.
5) Decide on a haircut
No more mohawks – the days of experimentation are over. When it comes to your haircut, determine what works best for your hair type and face shape, and find a barber who gets it right every time. That’s one thing to worry about.
6) Don’t try too hard
Yes, the irony is not lost here. That being said, there is a tendency for men around this age to burn up in the flaming wreckage of fashion, better known as the midlife crisis. Thinking “I’ve still got it” tips the scales too much, and you end up looking like a very flamboyant, inappropriate plea for help. So be bold, pick your colors, but don’t dig out the crazy clothes you wore in your twenties in an attempt to relive the good old days. Get older, smarter, get cooler.
Things to buy in your 40s
Loafers are one of the most comfortable and chic things in your wardrobe. You can be a cool dad, comfortably floating on the deck of a yacht off the coast of Mallorca, or a sexy divorcée, strolling the pubs and restaurants of Soho in the summer. It’s a dream setup for you and your moccasins; unleash that newfound forties power.
You’ve spent most of your life in jeans, and while we’re not suggesting you ditch them entirely, it’s worth investing in some grown-up alternatives. While corduroy is a young man’s material these days (in your 40s it might be a bit GCSE geography teacher), add a wide selection of shearling chinos to your repertoire. Beige and navy are great colors for starters, but it’s also worth investing in a couple of colors that will go great with a blue blazer or gray jumper at the weekend, such as dark red or forest green.
A true socialite looks to the place, no matter what mode of transport he uses – and getting his luggage game down to scratch is a key starting point for that. It’s time to finally get rid of that shabby bag you bought over the break, find a quality luggage maker that will create a shape you like, and buy a stylish set that looks just as good together as it does on its own. A cabin-sized wheeled carry-on, a larger one-week suitcase and a smart carry-on bag would be a good start. Additional conveniences include a leather carrier suit or a medium-sized wheeled exit bag.
Decent clothes for leisure
In your 20s, you might have gotten away with boxer shorts with big logos, but now is the time to update your after-hours outfit. If you’re more traditional, go for matching pajamas or something a little more sophisticated, buy soft white t-shirts with long and short sleeves and wear them with light trousers or thigh-high shorts. And make sure you have a decent dressing gown for the next morning (one in a towel or jersey for winter and one in cotton for summer). We also recommend investing in a decent premium tracksuit for those lazy days and Sunday morning shopping sprees.
You’ve already started using an anti-aging moisturizer in your 30s, now it’s time to include an eye cream in your skincare routine to ward off bags or crow’s feet. A good tip if you’re new to eye cream is to apply it until it’s absorbed, don’t rub it in like you would a moisturizer.
There is a certain correlation between your age and the number of black tie events you’ll be invited to, just as that number starts to increase during your forties and fifties, it makes economic sense to invest in your own. In addition, a custom-made tuxedo will look much better than a rental one because it’s made to measure for you.