Ten things a man over 50 should never do

If you're planning on making a century, then the age of 50 is a speed hump you just have to get over. It's kind of like surviving a Wednesday during the working week; you can crawl under your office desk and sob, or you can be a man and face your demons.

We reckon the best way to get over the middle of your life is to do it with as much grace and elegance as possible. Problem is, grace and elegance seem to be bygone words in the era of the perpetual 'kidult'.

"In days gone by, teenage boys looked up to their fathers and tried to emulate them," says social demographer Bernard Salt. "Nowadays, it's the other way around, with fathers trying to be like their teenager sons."

To make thing a little easier, we've cobbled together this completely random list of 10 things you should probably avoid once you turn the big 5-0.

1. Ride a scooter

No, we're not talking about a motor scooter; these are cool at any age although, quite frankly, the sight of an octogenarian weaving through traffic on a Vespa is a tad unnerving. We're talking about a scooter you have to push along with your foot.

Unless you are Todd Sampson with an ego to match, don't ever wear a t-shirt with a bigger personality than you

The sight of any man over 50 on one of these contraptions will lead onlookers to assume you are either suffering from arrested development, you're on a DUI charge, or that you are poorer than Eritrea. The same goes for a BMX. No man should ride a bike that sees his knees up higher than his head. Which is why you should also avoid a recumbent. They just look silly.

2. Take ecstasy

Largely for the simple reason that as you are over 50, you will have a hell of a time finding any. And if you do happen to locate some, do you really want that time to be spent raving to your wife about how very much you love, love, love her, while the kids cringe with embarrassment?

3. Wear shorts in the city

You're a big boy now and big boys don't wear short pants in places of industry, culture and sophistication. If it's a hot day, find yourself a pair of light cotton chinos, or linen trousers. And as for cut-off jean shorts? Just no. 

4. Stay in a backpacker hostel 

You are 50 years old. What are you doing bunking down with a bunch of 18-year-old Germans who insist on keeping you up until 4am, burning incense and listening to Rammstein? Not only will you look like a creepy old man, people will assume you are either cheap or impoverished. By this stage in your life it should be five-star all the way, and damn the expense.


5. Vote Green

Yes, we know this is a controversial thing to say, and some might argue that the Greens fulfils the role of the Democrats in "keeping the bastards honest", but seriously, the Greens are for the young, hopeful and deluded. Those of us over 50 know that everything is turning to sh-t no matter what, and there is no way a party that doesn't own a decent suit between the lot of them is going to change a damn thing.

6. Try to get a six-pack

This writer attempted that very thing a couple of years back and the results weren't at all pretty. Getting a six-pack after the age of 50 is not only nigh on impossible, it makes you a really, really boring individual who counts calories, lives on steamed chicken breast, and tells everyone about it at every opportunity (sort of like Pete Evans). Better to have a small paunch and enjoy the second half of your life in style and decadence.

7. Wear a baseball cap

Not even Lleyton Hewitt can get away with it anymore, and he's only 35. Baseball caps come under the arrested development label, along with BMX bikes, scooters, skateboards, and Star Wars figurines. A man wears a fedora, a Panama, or - if he's Malcolm Turnbull - a top hat. Nothing else is acceptable. Ever.

8. Wear 'cool' t-shirts

You best put that Deus ex Machina t-shirt to rest – unless you really are some kind of wannabe biker, you'll just look like a try-hard. And unless you are Todd Sampson with an ego to match, don't ever wear a t-shirt with a bigger personality than you. If you're over 50 it's best to keep it plain, but of a superior quality. Check out the elegant range from Sunspel.

9. Listen to FM radio

This probably should apply to anyone over the age of 15, not 50, but the point remains. If you're an adult, you shouldn't be listening to anybody with a name like Wippa or Davo or Mikey, or any of the other inane appellations these people give themselves. And do you really need to hear Khe Sanh, or Am I Ever Gonna See your Face Again … again?

There's one exception to the rule: ABC Classic FM. You're a grown-up now. Celebrate it with beautiful, sophisticated music; and never Kyle and Jackie O.

10. Wear skinny jeans

I hear what you're saying: 'but Mick Jagger is over 50 and he wears skinny leather jeans'. Yes, he does. But you don't have a raft of number one hits like he does. And honestly, do you really want to look like Mick Jagger?

After a certain age, a man just looks wrong in anything that hugs the assets too closely.

This includes skinny suits, skinny bathing costumes (thanks Tony Abbott) and skinny body shirts. Visit a good tailor and have your clothes made so that they actually fit you.

What things do you think men over 50 should never do? Let us know in the Comments section.