Fashion is a tricky thing for dads. Just because you’ve got kids, that doesn’t mean you don’t feel young, so you might not want to lean into the dad look. Why should you dress like an old man just because you’re not 20 anymore?
But some dads take it way too far in the other direction and try to cling to their youth by dressing like their kids. They look in the mirror and think they look awesome, but everybody else looks at them and cringes. That look is never going to work for you because you’re not a teenager anymore and you shouldn’t pretend to be.
Dressing your age doesn’t mean that you have to bring out the cardigans just yet, you just need to find a balance. There are ways to dress your age and look dignified, while also looking stylish at the same time. If you don’t have a clue where to start with your wardrobe, here’s how dads can dress their age while also looking stylish.
Be Realistic About The Cut Of Your Clothes
There’s nothing worse than a middle-aged dad wearing a pair of skinny jeans that are so tight he can hardly walk. So many older guys make the mistake of thinking that if they copy styles that are popular with the younger generation, like slim fitting jeans, they will automatically look young and cool. What actually happens is that they look like their clothes don’t fit properly and they are trying way too hard to look fashionable.
You’ll look much better if you are realistic about the cut of your clothes and you accept that your body is a little bigger and less toned than it was when you were 20. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of slim fit because it does look good, but be realistic about the sizes and pick something that is comfortable.
Freshen Up Your Shirts
Shirts are a staple wardrobe piece that most guys will wear on a regular basis. But there is a lot of difference in the styles available and if you are still buying the same shirts you have been wearing for the last ten years, you probably have a distinct dad look about you. So, what’s the alternative? Should you go for a tight t-shirt with the logo of a band that you’ve never heard of to give the impression that you’re down with the kids? No, you should just need to freshen up your shirts a bit and go for something more modern. Look at some different designs and experiment a bit. You’re still wearing a shirt, which is dignified for somebody of your age, but a new design gives it a modern twist and makes you look more stylish.
Choose Sneakers Wisely
Over the top sneakers is another trademark of dads that are desperately trying to dress young. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid trainers altogether, it just means you should choose men’s sneakers wisely and avoid anything too garish. Instead of that limited edition neon pink and green pair, why not go for a simple black and white instead? You still get the benefits of sneakers (extra comfort and a more casual look) without looking like you’re trying too hard.
Sneakers should be used sparingly by older guys as well because more traditional styles tend to look better. Although sneakers do work if you pick the right pair, you’ll also look great in boat shoes for the summer and boots for the winter. A good pair of boots never go out of style, so even though you are going for the sensible footwear choice, you don’t need to worry about it making you look old.
Invest In A Biker Jacket
Finding staple pieces that work with different outfits and never go out of style is the best way to create a good look. That’s why every dad should invest in a leather biker jacket. They’re still in fashion and a lot of young people wear them, but they’ve been around since before they were even born and you probably remember people wearing them when you were young too. Middle-aged guys can claim ownership over this style because it was their generation that popularized it in the first place. So, a leather jacket is a great way to stay current without looking like you’re trying to dress young.
Buy New Jeans
A decent pair of jeans can last decades if you look after them properly, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Old jeans get faded and that look isn’t in style at all right now. In fact, washed out jeans are very typical of the classic dad look, so you should avoid them at all costs and update your jeans with a dark denim if you haven’t replaced them in a while. When you do buy new jeans, don’t start copying the younger generation and wearing distressed denim with rips because it just doesn’t suit you. A pair of dark denim jeans in a standard slim cut look just as stylish and they’re perfect for a middle-aged man. You can wear them as part of a casual outfit but if you pair them with a nice blazer jacket, you’ve got a great smart-casual look.
Choose Modern Glasses
As you get older it’s likely that you will have to wear glasses and you should think carefully about the frames you choose. Most people underestimate how much glasses can change your face and your overall look. If you go for an old style, it can undo all of the hard work that you are doing with the rest of your outfit.
As a general rule, you should opt for slimline, square styles that don’t draw too much attention but still look quite slick. Round frames and big glasses are becoming more popular with the younger generation but these are often modeled on old vintage styles. On an older guy, they don’t look vintage, they just look outdated and highlight your age. Whenever you buy a new set of glasses, make sure to try lots of different styles so you can find the ones that work for you. Consider your face shape too, and pick a set of glasses accordingly. For example, if you have a very round face, avoid round glasses because it just highlights your face shape even more.
Change Up Your Haircut
Most middle-aged guys have the same haircut that they’ve had for decades and they don’t have any plans to change it. The thing is, the majority of dads are either bald or have the typical dad haircut. If you’re bald, you should just roll with it, but if you still have your hair, you need to get rid of that outdated cut. It’s an immediate indicator of your age and it doesn’t set you apart and make you look stylish. The reason that a lot of dads make do with the same haircut for years is that they get set in their ways. They don’t know what else to do with it, so they just stick with what they know.
The worst thing you can do is dye your hair a crazy color or get an over the top cut that doesn’t suit your age. Instead, go to a good barber and tell them that you’re looking for something a bit different. They know what they’re doing and they’ll be able to suggest something that looks stylish but is still dignified. If you don’t like it, you can go back to your old style but more often than not, you’ll find that a new hairstyle transforms your look and boosts your confidence.
Use Color Sparingly
Learning how to use color in the right way is vital if you want to dress your age but still look stylish. Boring black, white and gray outfits are not stylish, but if you decide to dress in a bright red shirt, that doesn’t really work for somebody of your age. Older guys need something more understated, which is why you need to be very selective about your use of color. Go for light pastel shades in the summer and jewel tones in the winter. Stick to a few simple colors for each outfit and if you do want to add some more vibrant colors, that’s what accessories like pocket squares or neck ties are for.
Accept Your Age
The reason that a lot of people struggle to dress their age is that they don’t accept their age. They think that dressing a little more conservatively and ditching their old clothes means that they are admitting defeat and giving in to age, so they want to fight it by dressing young. But you’ll feel a lot more comfortable if you accept that you’re getting older and lean into it when choosing your wardrobe.
There’s no reason why you can’t dress your age and still look stylish if you follow these tips.