How to combine good style with fashion trends at any age

As men get older and more comfortable in their own skin, their wardrobe should reflect this. But how you hustle your look depends on your attitude.

According to Melbourne Fashion Week's male ambassador and model Thomas Davenport, 26, what's most important is editing.

"Don't try and wear every fashion trend at once," says Davenport.

"Keep your look simple and cool," he says. "It's about being selective, finding a brand you like and mixing it up. Don't over style yourself either," he says.

In your 30s

You're not young anymore, but you're not quite old either. This is the decade where find your comfort zone – perhaps sticking with brands you're loyal to, getting suits custom made and chasing labels that deliver quality rather than fast fashion concepts.

It's a time to think palette based when it comes to your wardrobe. Think about what fabrics you enjoy wearing and owning essential key pieces to keep you looking on point – items like quality shirts, blazers, tailored pants and chinos should never be far from your choices.

Embracing casual simplicity

"Guys in their 30s should have the basics in the wardrobe," says stylist Lana Wilkinson.

"There should be a good quality blazer, chinos, jeans and a classic white shirt. If you don't do fashion, then think in terms of palettes. You can't go wrong with navy and greys. Checks and plaid shirts are also key items to looking on trend without being a fashion victim," she says.

David Abela, who runs a Melbourne-based marketing agency, says he's dressing down as he gets older. "As I am getting in my mid- to late-30s I am more confident and there's a power shift in the way I dress. I think about knitwear and how I can incorporate that in my daily look," he explains.


"Understated looks best on my age group. In terms of how to do that – you need chinos, shirts, jumpers, a blazer and good shoes that reflect your personality. Don't over do it," he says.

In your 40s

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme doesn't do fashion trends. But he's proof that blokes needn't quit the leather jackets and denim as they age.

"Guys should get more comfortable in their own skin as they get older," says Josh Homme, who is often referred to as the Ginger Elvis.

"You can always pick a guy who is trying too hard. I mean it's not that hard to still get the rock'n'roll look – a band T-shirt can always work under an open shirt as you get older and jeans and cowboy boots never really go out of date," he says.

It should reflect who you are

Sydney architect Ian Moore prefers a tonal palette of black, white and greys with a nod to avant-garde. He's most comfortable wearing Rick Owens and says it's less about wearing fashion trends and more about making fashion work for you. He's also got a hankering for James Perse T-shirts and Helmut Lang.

"What I wear is a total reflection of my personality," says Ian Moore.

"Trying to follow trends is wrong when you get older. You have to find your niche. When you're over 40 you have a good idea of who you are and you can't be afraid to say this is who I am and run with it. I think you have to leave the Iron Maiden T-shirts alone after a certain age but you can still wear T-shirts and start thinking about layering for a softer effect," he says.

Moore says men over 40 should own jeans in various weights, good quality shoes and think tonal – black, white and greys. "I love fashion that doesn't become redundant," says Moore.

The essence of keeping your cool in your 40s is to not be transfixed on your younger self. Embrace the trends by layering, if you go bold (like a top or jacket) make it a statement piece rather than bulking your look with an abundance of themes.

Over 50

You're cool, suave and nothing really matters. You've found your sartorial nirvana and know thyself better than any self-help book can throw a pointer your way. It can still be a time for denim and cargo jackets but it's also the era of the polo and chino, hats to hide receding hairlines and collarless linen shirts also punch above their weight for this age group.

Milan based fashion entrepreneur Alessandro Squarzi is a role model for over 50s cool. He shows his Instagram followers how to obtain his classic style without looking out of touch with your generation.


How wonderful! Home sweet home... #alessandrosquarzi #asstyle #gipsyclassic #aslive #fortelastyle

A post shared by Alessandro Squarzi (@alessandrosquarzi) on

He prefers looser cut denim with frayed elements that aren't overbearing, is fond of khaki and bomber style jackets and opts for Converse and rolled cuffs and makes it look easy.  He doesn't do tight, favouring relaxed casual and tonal dressing in caramel, khakis, denim, whites and black.

Classic roots

"I never really followed fashion, not even when I was younger," says Alessandro Squarzi.

"I have always had my own personal style. I like to mix my classic roots with my passion for military vintage and Navajo accessories," he says.

"I think the important thing [for men] to know is one's proportions and know what looks good on you and to always dress according to the occasion."

Got an opinion on what it takes to nail style at any age? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.