I have to admit to a high regard for those guys whose dress sense looks so effortless but oh so cool. Especially if the blokes are of a certain age, you know middle-aged and greying a little or, heaven forbid, carrying a little less on top. But certainly carrying a few more pounds than they did in their 20’s. I’m going to exclude from my list of the best dressers, guys like David Beckham and Frank Lampard because they are young, fit and way too good-looking for their own good (as my nan used to say) and, since they are also richer than Croessus, can employ stylists to help them pick their daily head-to-toe Armani ensembles. No I’m talking about the guys who seemingly throw on some regular casual togs and just end up creating a distinctive almost iconic look. Almost as if they weren’t trying. If I didn’t admire them so much, I’d have to hate them.
Now before coming up with my top style councillors I’d like to list some of the clothes I think it should be made illegal for guys over 40 to wear. I see this stuff being sported all over the place by the most inappropriate-looking guys and it’s just criminal.For starters:
– baseball caps. I’ve yet to see a man over 16 from here who looks right in them. It’s the reason I can never become a F1 world champion; I’d never be able to put on that ridiculous Dekra red cap for the post race press conference without looking like a complete and utter kn*b. So I don’t even bother to out-drive Jenson Button now.
– flip-flops anywhere other than around the pool. Definitely not for doing the weekly shop in.
– those cut down trousers. Alright if you’re young, tall and tanned but fat dumpy blokes with ghostly pale legs do not look good in them.
– too-tight t-shirts, especially those bearing political slogans or risque and unfunny statements. That’s so student days.
– cargo pants with dozens of pockets, all bulging with odds and sods.
– football strips, especially when worn outside of match days and on holiday
– cardigans with zippers – save it till you’re in you’re 70’s
– many people say the older guy shouldn’t wear jeans. I’d agree but only so far as ill-fitting jeans are concerned – well-cut jeans can still look great with the right shoes and shirts.
– puffa jackets and hoodies – should be left to the young teens.
If you disagree just say or if there are any other no-go areas you can suggest please feel free to comment.
Anyway back to the effortlessly cool list:
– did anyone every look so good in chinos, t-shirt and sweats as Steve Mcqueen? Not just that but he practically owned wearing TAG watches and Persol sunglasses and no-one since has got close to wearing the black polo like he did. They should have retired it when he left us:
– next up someone who is very much still with us and one of my all time favourite guys for all sorts of reasons, Michael Palin. I’ve met him several times whilst at BT on the work he did for us at Tate; he’s charming, amusing and generous and he always looks classically stylish in his very casual way. He seems to have cornered the cotton oxford/architect shirt look with great casual trousers, jumper round the shoulders and great boots. And some great linen shirts on his travels. How cool does he look here…
– now a guy who undeniably brought a breath of Latin stylishness to London during his time as Chelsea manager. No not Phil Scolari; it can only be the self-appointed Special One Jose Mourinho. No manager before him or since has looked quite so cool on the touchline. Alright his outfits were pure Armani but he totally re-defined the way a football manager could and should dress. Who but Jose could own the grey/black spectrum and who else could make coat-wearing so distinctively Mourinho? One arrogant son of a gun but Christ he even made scarves sexy:
– Now an unusual choice perhaps but I’ve always found Lucian Freud to be highly individualistic in his dress sense. You’d expect a flamboyant or shambolic style perhaps from one of our greatest artists but like Hockney he carries clothes with an ease that’s enviable for a guy who’s approaching 90. This guy’s been caught wearing some very sharp suits in his time and he still cuts it with his highly individualistic style:
– ok I feel I should end on someone a little younger and get back to that casual clothing style which I so admire. But to be honest I’m really struggling to spot someone whose style I admire. Mark Ronson wears some very snappy stuff, ditto Mathew Horne, but in both cases it’s all a little too sharp and skinny and a little too-tailored for my taste. It would be good to hear from anyone who can suggest a style icon in casual wear for the younger male generations.
Similarly if there are slightly older guys whose style stands out for you please add a recommedation in the comment box below.