First of all, let me say that the “mature” man doesn’t equate to the intellect, character, personality or hygiene of that person. As “mature” women are being called for those NOT petite or skinny, the “mature” man can be considered in the same way. Living in the south, there are more “mature” men here than anywhere else I have been.
Does it matter if you’re “mature” or not? Not even in the least. What does matter is your own perception of yourself and how you present yourself in public that will make the difference. Confidence in yourself exudes in your speech, actions, and appearance. Confidence is where it starts.
So how would or could a mature man show their confidence through their appearance and outfit? It’s easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not doable. I’ll show you several ways in different scenarios where you can create a confident look that surpasses the perceived notion of being a “mature” man. These outfits are meant to shift the focus and perception of you as a solid, professional, “sharp-dressed man.”
The Daytime Look
You don’t have to forego going out in the daylight because of your figure. Make it work for you as comfy as you can and make it work well. Here’s how:
FOR THE TOP:
- Wear button-downs that aren’t overtly tight on the sides but are tapered and fitted enough that you can move your arms. If you have a gut, go for tall sizes instead of the larger size so that the extra fabric from tall sizes can cover your stomach easily without sacrificing fit on your sides. Same goes for tees and polos.
- For sweaters or sweatshirts, solid colors are always a safe bet, and can easily be mixed and matched to your existing wardrobe. A strong focal point like Express’ Lion on the left chest can easily be a good addition and does not distract the outfit from it’s overall look.
- Sweater vests over a tee or a solid button-down shirt is also ideal. Be sure that the vests are loose enough on the sides for the shirt but not too big or too tight that the undershirt is bulging because of it.
- Tread lightly on patterns and mixed patterns, as that can emphasize your weight more than decrease it. Go for small or light colored patterns that are narrow and not overtly bright.
- Color schemes depend on your style and personality, but some colors play well with those that have beer bellies or are just naturally “big boned.” Stay on the neutral, cool, and earth tones like black, brown, gray, and strong blues and greens. Pick light blues and light greens to a minimum, and you may want to ease up on the pastels.
- Avoid tight tees and button-downs that will make it easy for others to spot unsightly areas. Man-boobs are not cool, and back man-boobs are even worse. Don’t try to look like Dave Charvet when you may end up looking like David Hasselhoff.
- Avoid loud colors and some bright tones. Hot pink, bright yellow or neon green can be fashionable when appropriate, but It calls attention to your body when you don’t need it to. Unless you’re stuck in the 80’s or going to an 80’s party…
- Avoid excessively obnoxious patterns or over-the-top focal points on your sweaters. Some sweaters have too much going on in both pattern or focal point that it actually makes your physique all the more predominant than you want it to be. Patterns and focal points are to soften and enhance the look, not make it look worse.
- Avoid big or heavy patterns or stripes, as it can call attention to your physique as well. Some v-neck sweaters or sweatshirts may have stripes that follow the curve of the neck or the “V,” which is fine. But Charlie Brown stripes across your body will make people more aware of your size than you want them to.
FOR THE BOTTOM:
- Jeans and/or slacks may not be as form-fitting for the mature man than most would like to have, but there are ways to make it work. Stick with boot-cut styles and/or loose fits around the crotch and thigh area. Straight or relaxed fit is applicable for some but may not for others, as it can be a difference on the waistline, the crotch area, and the height of the person. This is also true for different brands, as some designers who sell “straight” or “relaxed” fit pants tend to be tighter than others.
- The key things to watch for when trying on jeans, pants, or slacks is to check and make sure that the pants do not taper on the ankle area. Let your pants cover your ankles towards the arch on your foot so that you get full coverage of your whole leg. Untapered and full-length pants creates a straight, narrower physique, an illusion that makes you look taller and skinnier.
- Pair the jeans, pants, and/or slacks with the appropriate footwear. Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole/Kenneth Cole Reaction, Fossil, Aldo and Stacy Adams provide awesome all-around casual, dress, and formal shoes for jeans, pants, and slacks (and they hardly go wrong!).
- AVOID SKINNY JEANS like the plague.
- AVOID SKINNY JEANS like your wife’s meatloaf.
- AVOID SKINNY JEANS like the person with the clipboard outside the Publix entrance.
- Do not wear crocs or country boots with jeans.
- Do not wear crocs or country boots with pants.
- Do not wear crocs or country boots with slacks.
The Night-Time Look
Going out at night can be much easier for your self-confidence, as the dimmer restaurant lights or the ambiance at your local bar can offset perception. Nevertheless it’s still good to have a strong, well-put attire to make your night feel fantastic, regardless of where you go.
FOR THE TOP:
- For those that love suits, a soft, narrow pinstripe suit in black or gray is the perfect choice for any occasion and any location. Black or gray is a neutral color that offsets weight perception and gives a stronger definition of length and narrowness than bolder colors. Soft white or darker black vertical pinstripes (depending on the color of your suit) will also present the length of your stature more easily and also portrays sophistication, which will also help boost self-confidence and attraction.
- As stated in my daytime do’s, sweater vests over a button-down can double as a great night-time look. Splurge on different colors and patterns for the sweater but stay on the neutral colors, different shades of primary colors, and less pastel.
- Not into suits? No problem. Investing in sport jackets and/or suit separates will definitely help offset your weight, as long as the pattern isn’t too strong and the size isn’t too tight or short. Make sure the sides taper well and comfortable to your sides without squeezing you in. Length of the jacket should be no longer than above your thighs, as the jacket length can help put definition to your height.
- Go for slightly stronger top color if you’re wearing jeans and dress shoes. Express has a variety of great slightly bolder colors that mix well with denim wear, and definitely looks sharp. Different shades of blues, creams/off-whites, and reds can make a difference to your physique, but don’t make it too bold of a color that people want to wear shades when they see you.
- Stick with one bold pattern that isn’t too ridiculous, or mix subtle smaller and similar patterns. Your pinstripe suit can go with a solid shirt or a shirt with subtle stripes. Too wide of a stripe or pattern can create mixed signals about your physique.
- Too strong of color scheme. One color should be the focal point with the rest as neutrals. Competing colors will just get you to go home alone.
- Don’t compete multiple bold patterns at once. Mixing wide vertical stripes with wide horizontal stripes makes you look more like an idiot than someone sophisticated (or trying to look like one).
FOR THE BOTTOM:
- For a nicer, more sophisticated environment, invest in suit separates, as they are easy to find and particularly cheaper than investing in an overall suit. You can find suit separates at your local department stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s and Banana Republic, discount stores like TJ Maxx, or higher-end stores like Off Fifth/Saks and Nordstrom.
- Choose different neutral colors and shades and patterns.Cream/brown pants in solid or stripes are great for spring and summer wear. Gray and black pants (in solid or stripes) and khakis are all-around pants that can double as day-time or night-time look.
- For jeans, go for a darker wash with limited whiskers. This color is suitable for all types of outings and is very versatile in terms of what to wear; darker jeans can easily be accessorized with either dress shoes or casual shoes and a multitude of tops. Lighter wash jeans are ok and can work well with different body frames, and may be best suited for going to bars or bowling.
- Make sure the ankles are covered and bottom legs of the pants are fitted to be straight down and not tapered.
- Don’t go for pants or jeans that are too large or too small. Remember my skinny jeans comment? Same goes for pants/slacks.
- Don’t go overboard on print and pattern. For suit pants, stay close to subtle pinstripes or don’t use any at all.
- Don’t wear loud or bold colors, unless you live in San Francisco or Seattle. If you do, don’t wear loud or bold colors.
- Don’t match your suit pants with crocs or casual shoes. Pinstripes and black Reeboks don’t mix.