5 Things To Chuck When Turning 40

With the notable exception of Moses, time and tide waits for no man. So having already outlined what to chuck when you turn 30, we’re moving on more swiftly than a winged chariot. The Bible says that when you become a man, you put away childish things. We say: dispose of them altogether. If any of the below are still in your rotation when you hit the big four-O, then it’s time to KonMari your act up, sharpish. This is (what to ditch when) 40.

1. Skinny Jeans

There’s mutton dressed as lamb, and then there’s past-its-sell-by meat that’s been wrapped in cling film in a desperate attempt to extend its shelf life. “I would never recommend skinny jeans to any of my clients over 40,” says Daniel Rhone, personal shopping consultant at Selfridges. (Avail yourself of his services by e-mailing [email protected].) “Unless they were Keith Richards.” Papa may have been a Rolling Stone, but you are not. Squeeze yourself into skin-tight clothing and you risk resembling a badly packed sausage – or worse, exposing yours.

Turning 40? Time to ditch the spray on skinny jeans

The Solution

For men of a certain vintage, it’s not about jumping on bandwagons. You won’t look hip, you’ll just break one. “For a lot of the gents I work with on a day-to-day basis, I preach how you can take elements from ‘fashionable trends’ and tweak them so they work for you,” says Rhone. “For example, the idea of a more flattering shape can be found in the form of a slim-cut jean.” The aim is for your denim to skim your thigh, not be sprayed on, with the crucial factor being tapering from the knee down: “That creates a clean, sharp finish to show off your beautiful suede monk-straps.” Not your Yeezy Boosts (see below). (Related: 4 denim shapes to try instead of skinny jeans)

Men's Slim Jeans Fashion/Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply ss16sarar ss14club monaco ss14crombie ss16avva aw14carl gross ss16

Key Pieces

  • Acne Studios Max Stay Cash Jean BlackAcne Studios Max Stay Cash Jean Black
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Tim JeansHe By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Tim Jeans
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Jan JeansHe By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Jan Jeans
  • Reiss Stuge Slim-fit Jeans IndigoReiss Stuge Slim-fit Jeans Indigo
  • Reiss Fugee Slim-fit JeansReiss Fugee Slim-fit Jeans
  • Tom Ford Slim-fit Washed-denim JeansTom Ford Slim-fit Washed-denim Jeans
  • Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Slim-fit Organic Dry Denim JeansNudie Jeans Grim Tim Slim-fit Organic Dry Denim Jeans
  • Levis Kobori 501 Slim-fit Denim JeansLevis Kobori 501 Slim-fit Denim Jeans
  • Frame Slim-fit Stretch-denim JeansFrame Slim-fit Stretch-denim Jeans

2. Logos

To speak plainly, visible brand names are a no-(lo)go when you’re into your fifth decade. “Simplicity is key,” says Eric Down, style director at Men’s Health magazine. “You should have got the lust for look-at-me-clothes out of your system in your twenties. If you didn’t, now is not the time to rock up to work in head-to-toe Gucci.”

Turning 40? Time to ditch overtly logoed clothes

The Solution

It’s possible to dress unfussily without being ‘basic’. Rather than names, it’s all about buying better-quality pieces that whisper their superiority through fabric and fit. “No one likes a show-off, or the #richkidsofinstagram, so don’t shout about your labels,” says Down. “If people know, they know; if they don’t, then their opinion isn’t one you should care about. A quiet nod of approval from a fellow connoisseur is worth a hundred thumbs-up emojis.” Besides, you’re too old to be a rich kid, granddad. That doesn’t mean you have to dress boringly, though: “By all means have a statement piece, but don’t go for the obvious street style bait, and keep everything else toned down.”

Men's Minimal No Logo Fashion/Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

crombie ss16massimo dutti nyc ss16MANGO SS16BROTHERScrombie ss16reserved spring 2016

Key Pieces

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Unstructured Cotton BlazerHe By Mango Slim-fit Unstructured Cotton Blazer
  • Reiss Tate B Wool And Linen Blazer CharcoalReiss Tate B Wool And Linen Blazer Charcoal
  • Reiss Mansion Merino Polo Shirt Airforce BlueReiss Mansion Merino Polo Shirt Airforce Blue
  • John Smedley Marcus Crew Neck Merino Wool SweaterJohn Smedley Marcus Crew Neck Merino Wool Sweater
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V Neck CardiganUniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V Neck Cardigan
  • Reiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Racing GreenReiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Racing Green
  • Reiss Spirito Pique Cotton Polo Shirt WhiteReiss Spirito Pique Cotton Polo Shirt White
  • He By Mango Slim-fit End-on-end ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit End-on-end Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve ShirtUniqlo Men Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve Shirt

3. Esoteric Trainers

Being a keen sneakerhead past the age of 40 is really not so different from being a trainspotter, or having a spare room occupied by a legion of painstakingly handpainted Warhammer 40,000 figurines. Either way, you should really have found something healthier and more productive to spend your time on by now, if not your money. Like starting a family, say. Or serial-killing.

Turning 40? Time to ditch the cult sneakers

The Solution

“Avoid bulkier styles and stick with sleeker, more minimal styles from brands like Common Projects,” says Olie Arnold, style director at Mr Porter. This is in step with the above advice to buy superior-quality staples that aren’t festooned with in-your-face logos. Another rule of big toe is to stick with styles that have stood the test of time, like Adidas Stan Smiths and Gazelles, Converse All-Stars or Jack Purcells. They’re classic – like you – and ageless – unlike you. Also, nobody will suspect that you scoured the internet or queued up overnight to acquire them. Or forced your kids to do it for you. Which brings us to…

Men's Plain Neutral Trainers/Sneakers Fashion/Style Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

windsor ss16SUITSUPPLY SS16Aquascutum AW16burton aw16next ss16L'Estrange SS16

Key Pieces

  • Selected Homme Dylan Leather TrainersSelected Homme Dylan Leather Trainers
  • Reiss Jack Purcell Signature Jack Purcell Sneakers NavyReiss Jack Purcell Signature Jack Purcell Sneakers Navy
  • He By Mango Lace-up SneakersHe By Mango Lace-up Sneakers
  • Converse – All Star Low-top Leather TrainersConverse - All Star Low-top Leather Trainers
  • Common Projects Original Achilles Leather SneakersCommon Projects Original Achilles Leather Sneakers
  • John Lobb Leather SneakersJohn Lobb Leather Sneakers
  • Acne Studios Adrian Sneaker WhiteAcne Studios Adrian Sneaker White
  • Etq. Low Top 1 Sneaker Desert TaupeEtq. Low Top 1 Sneaker Desert Taupe
  • Adidas Stan Smith Running White & New NavyAdidas Stan Smith Running White & New Navy

4. Edgy Haircuts

Firstly, congratulations: you still have hair. But with great coverage comes great responsibility: namely, not to abuse your power by shearing your fleece into some sort of extreme undercut or asymmetrical hairdresser mullet. Rather than hide your advancing years, it will only serve to highlight them – as will highlights.

Turning 40? Time to ditch 'edgy' haircuts

The Solution

Enlist in dad’s army. Like most military-derived items in menswear, battle-tested haircuts – short back and sides, high and tight, even a modified buzz cut that’s slightly longer on top – are never going to be discharged from fashion, if not always in the vanguard of it. Think Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds. ‘Defence cuts’ also invariably involve clippering on the flanks and at the rear, so you can keep some of your edge without scaring the mums at the school gates. (Related: The 5 best short back and sides hairstyles for men)

Men's Classic Short Back and Sides Hairstyles/Haircuts

5. Streetwear/Sportswear

Paying an inflated sum for a bog-standard Hanes T-shirt with Supreme or Palace screen-printed on it directly contravenes the quality/logo principles that we’ve outlined above. And if it’s something that your offspring – hypothetical or otherwise – would buy then, like Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, you are officially too old for this shit. “If you think your teenage son or nephew might wear it, let it go,” says Down. “David Beckham has come perilously close to mutton/lamb territory as Brooklyn upstages him on social media, but he’s David Beckham – he survived the sarong – so he gets away with it. Just.”

Turning 40? Time to ditch branded streetwear and sloppy sportswear

The Solution

Pause for thought. “Before you rinse the kids’ university fund on Gosha, Vetements or Balenciaga by Demna, take a breath and ask yourself, ‘Would I be better off buying some great clobber from COS?'” says Down. “Answer: yes, you would. Go to COS.” Sportswear isn’t totally out of bounds – you just have to play it right. “If you have a six-pack past 40, good for you, but lycra’s for the gym and only the gym,” adds Down. “Ditch the muscle vest. If I can see your nipples and you aren’t Magic Mike, then we have a problem.” With ‘athleisure’ – as with everything else – think plain, think well-fitting (not tight) and maybe also think a more upmarket material such as cashmere. Just don’t actually train in your £2,000 Loro Piana goat-beard tracksuit, as Vladimir Putin memorably did. Like his terrible exercise form, that is very much the wrong kind of flex.

Men's Luxe/Dressed Up Sportswear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

MANGO MAN MARCH 2015SUITSUPPLY SS16river island_aw16windsor ss16CLUB MONACOburton aw15

Key Pieces

  • Topman Black Tracksuit TopTopman Black Tracksuit Top
  • Rag & Bone Loopback Cotton-jersey Zip-up SweatshirtRag & Bone Loopback Cotton-jersey Zip-up Sweatshirt
  • Suitsupply Navy HoodieSuitsupply Navy Hoodie
  • Reiss Melody Quilted Zip Cardigan GreyReiss Melody Quilted Zip Cardigan Grey
  • J.crew Wallace & Barnes Indigo-dyed Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatshirtJ.crew Wallace & Barnes Indigo-dyed Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • J.crew Garment-dyed Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatshirtJ.crew Garment-dyed Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • Reiss Chapel Ribbed Polo Shirt NavyReiss Chapel Ribbed Polo Shirt Navy
  • Club Monaco Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatpantsClub Monaco Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatpants
  • Next Black Pleated JoggersNext Black Pleated Joggers

— Still got it? Already lost it? Voice your age-related style concerns in the comments below.

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