Men's Guide to Dressing in Your 40s

November 01, 2022 5 min read

Men's Guide to Dressing Well in Your 40's

As a man in your 40s, you're transitioning into a phase of life where you've established your career and care less about what other people think. Welcome to the age of authenticity and quality of life. The only thing missing is a wardrobe that matches this new era.

Men in their 40s are perfectly poised to create a closet that combines the best elements of every decade into one cohesive aesthetic. We're talking effortless fashion that is traditional yet modern. Pieces that are functional and relaxed but still polished.

It's time to reinvent yourself. These fashion tips for middle-aged men will take features of your style that appeal the most to you and refine them using standards that will never go out of style. 

1. Build a Solid Foundation

The secret to a great closet is versatility in basic pieces.

Smart fashion doesn't mean dressing business casual or overdoing it with accessories to embellish your look. It's about investing in key pieces you can build on. Mixing and matching is the name of the game, and basic, quality essentials are the best way to create smart fashion looks.

For example, you can choose one quality shirt and purchase it in five colors. Add a pair of khakis and jeans, and you now have ten unique outfits to wear. Your options will increase when you add cardigans, pullover sweaters and jackets to the mix.

2. Leave the Graphic Tees in the Past

One of the fundamental rules of learning how to dress well in your 40s is ditching the graphic tees. Style and good taste are one and the same. Loud, albeit funny graphic t-shirts are better left to frat boys, not dignified older guys. Clean, well-fitting shirts radiate a level of confidence and maturity that truly captures this particular age in your life.

When it comes to casual wear, go for structured cuts in pristine condition. Avoid the "just rolled out of bed" look by keeping your shirts clean, ironed and folded.

3. Ignore Trends, Stick to the Classics

A younger, less experienced man allows trends dictated by others to influence his fashion choices. But you know better. Fads fade away, but classic looks are always in style.

Ignoring popular fashion trends and sticking with timeless basics is a sign you've evolved past fast fashion and caring about what everyone else is wearing. You don't have to look at magazines to know how to dress well — you're already there. 

4. Streamlined Footwear

You could argue that men's fashion begins and ends with fashionable footwear. You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, and chunky sneakers are the furthest thing from stylish footwear.

Your shoes should be minimalistic with simple lines and formed to your foot. Clean white sneakers can be elevated by business casual outfits or dressed down for relaxed looks. They give you a cool, breezy demeanor with minimal effort. Neon colors, loud patterns and shoes with blue denim should all be avoided.

Men's Essentials for Dressing Well

5. It's All in the Details

A little effort goes a long way when it comes to the small details. Belt buckles and pant lengths, along with your hair part and beard length, are just a few examples of where the smallest details make the biggest difference.

Take care in choosing your accessories, maintaining your hygiene and wearing appropriately sized clothing. Think about the overall presentation, from top to bottom. The acute awareness of these details will contribute to the lasting impression of your outfit in any given situation.

6. Skip the Cargo Shorts

Above all the style tips for older men, the most immediately crucial is to throw away your cargo shorts and pants for good. They often look outdated and unflattering, and the extra pockets are generally unnecessary. You can find comfort and convenience in other stylish pants

7. Dress for the Season

When it comes to fashion, the weather forecast is your best friend. Every season offers a range of wonderful options for tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories. A new season is another opportunity to show off your best features in a fresh way.

Dressing appropriately for the season shows you are mentally present, consciously aware of your presentation and prepared for any season or occasion.

8. Don't Bare Your Chest

While keeping the first or second top buttons undone is fine, baring half your chest gives the wrong impression. If you're on vacation, go ahead and leave the first couple of buttons open. But as a general rule of thumb, deep V-necks should be left in the 70s.

9. Tailor Your Clothes

There is something special about clothing that is made to fit your body perfectly. Tailoring your clothing automatically makes them look more high-end with neat and crisp lines that flatter your shape and size. This doesn't mean your clothing needs to be skin-tight. Instead, your clothes should follow your natural lines and complement your proportions.

10. The Same Rules Apply to Athletic Wear

This rule needs no further explanation. Just because your gym gear is made of different fabrics and more relaxed cuts doesn't mean your outfits need to look sloppy. Neutral colors, simple cuts, functional footwear and polished clothing will keep you looking fresh even while working out.

Wardrobe Essentials for Men in Their 40s

When rebuilding your wardrobe, there are several must-haves that will bring your looks together and completely transform your closet:

  • Accessories: Intentional functional accessories show special attention to detail. An heirloom watch, fashionable belts, sunglasses that complement your face shape and a quality wallet are always worth investing in.
  • Shoes: You should have shoes for every occasion. Consider staples such as loafers, white sneakers, boat shoes, oxfords and boots.
  • Quality suits: Nothing makes a man look better than a quality, tailored suit. To maximize the number of outfits you can mix and match, you should have a tan, black and gray suit complete with a vest and jacket.

Revitalize Your Wardrobe at Penner's in San Antonio

Evolve Your Wardrobe at Penner's

After four decades of life, you deserve to look and feel your best with quality clothing made with you in mind — and Penner's legacy lives up to this standard. With 100 years of experience in the men's fashion world, Penner's has proven that quality and comfort go hand in hand. 

With the widest selection of guayaberas, shirts, pants, suits, coats and accessories, every man can walk through our doors and find the wardrobe essentials to evolve their closet. With free expert tailoring on anything purchased in the store, you'll always leave feeling like the best version of yourself.

Learn more about Penner's, browse our complete catalog of men's fashion wear or speak with one of our professional staff today at 210-226-2478.