There is nothing more cringe-inducing than witnessing a guy trying to dress in a way that doesn’t match his age.
We’ve all seen that guy that dresses like he’s still a teenager even though he’s a grown man, and we’ve also seen the teenager that dresses up like he’s straight out of a 1950s classic with a trench coat and fedora.
There are many foundational rules to fashion, such as fit being king, and not wearing biker jeans if you’re not on a motorcycle.
But an underrated one is learning to dress your age.
When I say dressing your age, understand this – I don’t mean switch up your style to something that is boring and uninspired.
In this article, we’ll give some ground rules on how to dress your age, whether you’re a teenager trying to find their style or you’re a guy trying to upgrade to a more refined style.
How to dress if you’re 18-22
At this age, the world is your oyster and you can experiment with all sorts of crazy styles and aesthetics – take advantage of it.
This is the age of exploring your style identity. If you want to dress in a Y2K style, or look like a TikToker clone with a mop-top haircut, go for it.
At this point in your life, it’s not only acceptable but expected for you to try on different fashion personas.
The key here is not being afraid to experiment and learn from your fashion hits and misses.
You can push the boundaries with vibrant colors, graphic prints, or whatever the latest fashion trend is.
This is also the time to start building a basic wardrobe foundation – simple t-shirts, well-fitting jeans, and versatile sneakers.
Don’t be afraid to mix high and low fashion, pairing thrift store finds with designer pieces.
One thing to take into account is that at this age, your style will heavily be influenced by the group you identify with.
When you see a group of guys in their teens and early twenties, they often look like clones of each other.
The style you go for will most likely attract the same kinds of people to your group.
So, if you’re into athleisure and like to dress in Nike Tech fleece and Jordans, you’ll probably end up hanging out with people who have a similar style.
If you opt for over sized jeans and baggy shirts and are into skating, you’ll naturally gravitate and attract the same type of people.
Another important aspect is that the style at this age is heavily dictated by what’s popular on social media, especially TikTok.
Don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from these sources but remember to always add a touch of personal flair. After all, the ultimate goal is to figure out what you like and feel comfortable in.
All In all, the key to dressing in your late teens and early twenties is balancing experimentation with the development of your personal style and taking into account the niche groups you identify with.
So go ahead, try on different styles, make fashion mistakes, and learn from them.
How to dress if you’re 24-34
As you enter your mid to late twenties and early thirties, your style tends to evolve along with your lifestyle changes.
This is a time for greater sophistication in your wardrobe, but it’s also a time to cement your own unique look.
You can still be trendy, but it’s time to tone down the wilder elements of your wardrobe.
Opt for subtler statement pieces and a more cohesive color palette. Save the crazy outfits for theme parties or music festivals.
This age group often sees a shift in wardrobe due to entering or solidifying professional careers.
It’s important to invest in a good suit, dress shoes, and classic pieces like a crisp white shirt, tailored trousers, and a quality tie.
While you might still be influenced by your social circle, you’ll probably start to see more diversity in the way you and your friends dress.
It’s a reflection of your changing lifestyle. You’ll have new identities that require different ways of dressing.
You might be in finance, and that influences the way you dress.
You might have become an avid golfer, or gym rat – all of these different parts of your identity start influencing the way you dress rather than just your immediate social circle.
If you’re a 27-year-old musician you’re going to dress much differently than a 27-year-old accountant, whether on purpose or subconsciously.
How to dress if you’re 35+
As you navigate through your thirties and beyond, your style should essentially be established. However, this doesn’t mean it should become stagnant.
It’s about refining your style to reflect your personality and lifestyle, rather than drastically changing it.
Your days of experimental, outlandish outfits might be behind you, but that doesn’t mean your style should lose its character.
Opt for pieces that resonate with your personality. Maybe you’re into vibrant patterns, or maybe you prefer a more minimalistic aesthetic.
Either way, make sure your style represents you.
Now more than ever, investing in high-quality pieces is important. This not only pertains to their physical quality but also to their style.
Classic pieces that will remain stylish for years to come are a wise investment. Tailored suits, cashmere sweaters, polos, high-quality dress shoes, and timeless accessories should be staples in your wardrobe.
Whether you’re a CEO, a teacher, or a creative artist, your wardrobe should reflect your profession.
But don’t let your work wardrobe overpower your personal style. Use accessories, color, and subtle style choices to bring your personality into your professional attire.
By this stage, it’s less about jumping on every passing trend and more about incorporating selected elements of current trends into your established style.
Perhaps it’s a particular color that’s in vogue or a type of accessory. Use these elements to keep your look fresh and updated without losing your personal style.
Many men at this age find comfort and efficiency in having a sort of “personal uniform” – a go-to look that they know works for them.
This could be a particular suit style and color, a favorite pair of jeans paired with a cashmere sweater, or even a specific brand that suits their aesthetic and body type.
Remember, just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean your style should become outdated.
Stay aware of fashion trends and keep your wardrobe fresh. Be open to trying new styles, materials, and designers.
In conclusion, style at 35 and Beyond is about sophistication, quality, and personalization.