Fashion For Men Over 50 | The 50 Zone Magazine : Mens Information On Wellness, Health, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Women, Style And Fashion

thenextchapter
.

The Wrist Watch

by James Kelly

The wrist watch has evolved since the 17th century from a somewhat crude mechanical and not too reliable bit of machinery to its sleek quartz driven or electronic pulse manifestation it is today.

Wrist watches became popular in the 1920s and most were pocket watches, usually covered and carried in a pocket attached with a chain or fob.

Today’s modern wrist watch can run anywhere from a few dollars for a swatch to insane amounts of money. Most notably the Vacheron Tour De L’ile – $1,259,000 or the Richard Mille Tourbillon at $525,00.

No matter what the price a wrist watch makes a statement. It can say I am fun and crazy or I am an athlete. It can let your competitors know that you have taste and the money to look the part.

A watch is always a great accessory and usually lends a certain flavor to a person’s look. Unfortunately there is nothing one can do about a person’s lack of style.

A watch can help you stand out in a crowd or it can be the albatross that makes you stand out in a crowd.

 

Winter Boots

by James Kelly

Winter Boots

Man, winter came on with a vengeance this year and I realized that my winter boots were about as stylish as Pa Kettles. As a matter of fact I think I heard someone make an Olive Oyl comment the other day when I was out shoveling my walk. For those of you who don’t know who Olive Oyl is, she is Popeye’s Girlfriend. What? You don’t know who Pa Kettle is either? Google it.

Needless to say my idea of a good winter boot was back when I was a kid and never took my snowmobile boots off till June. You remember those, right? Nice black rubber out and enough compressed woolly stuff inside that you might have been able to insulate the house.

These days it’s not about functionality, it’s about how you look. No one cares if their feet are warm as long as the boots go with the rest of the kit.

You only have to watch business men trying to get to lunch on the first icy day of the year to know that shoes with no tread are hazardous and you can bet it takes all lunch hour for the toes to thaw. Just in time for the return slide to the office.

Get a grip, really. Winter boots can look stylish but make sure they are functional too. No one is going to see your $500.00 boots if you laid up all winter with a broken leg because you chose style over function. Even the dreaded snowmobile boot has some style these days.

Last word: Popeye had some seriously ugly boots but he always got the girl.

 

.

Eyewear

by James Kelly

We have, in the past talked about glasses, styles, colours, size and price.

From that article we had hundreds of emails, texts and tweets asking about where to buy glasses online. Where could we get a good price? What was the product quality? How long did it take to get the glasses?

While there are more and more online resources for your eye wear you don’t really want to use the old trial by fire when it comes to spending money online. Not even if your glasses cost a fraction of what they do at your local optometrist.

Here is my tip. www.firmoo.com.

Their easy to negotiate web site lets you select frames from $8.00 to $70.00 with hundreds of designs and colours. They even have promotions for free eye wear on a regular basis. There is also a great function where you can upload you own image and try the glasses on before you buy.

I get my glasses in about 5 days and the quality is equal to any high end local retail, lenses ground in the back shop.

Here’s the skinny. Want a great pair of glasses for the right amount of money? Check Firmoo out.

James Kelly

 

Hairstyle

by James Kelly

So…hair, or more specifically, the hair cut.

When did men start cutting their hair? There is a popular line that Stone Age man believed that good and bad spirits entered the body through the hair. It was said that the only way to rid the body of bad juju was to cut the hair. Sounds logical to me.

So what’s up with all the crazy styles in between?

The early Egyptians with the right angled tent. The Norman knight with “the Moe” from The Three Stooges bowl look. It’s said that the Roman soldiers kept their heads shaved to stubble so their enemies couldn’t grab onto it in battle. What about the North American Indian Mohawk and let’s not forget the curly locks of the French and British in the 18th century.

Your hair is as much a fashion statement as your apparel. To be in fashion means you always need to have a fashionable hairstyle.

Just look at the reaction one gets to the giant purple Mohawk. Or the pink streaked spikes popularized by the Punk era. Even the lowly Mullet gets its share of poo-poo’s when worn in public.

How is one to know what hairstyle to sport to fit in?

Hair stylists are as individual as their clientele. You can spend hundreds of dollars or you can spend ten bucks. Either one could get you great or not so great results. It all depends on what kind of day your stylist is having.

Today styles are short, unlike the waist length dreads of the 70’s. Not that there was anything wrong with long hair. Back then that was the style. Heck, the Broadway play Hair is still making the rounds and every once in a while you see a long flowing Viking mane flailing in the wind from some famous tennis or soccer guy’s convertible.

If you’re just a guy going about his day short is the easiest and least expensive style to maintain. No hours of brushing. No special shampoos for split ends. Just a bi-weekly trim and away you go.

Barbers and hair stylists alike have been performing the standard #3 on the side, trim on the top hair cut for millennia. They should have it down pat by now.

Your hairstyle is a statement about who you are and what you do.

Here’s the skinny. You can have the the Armani Suit, the Burberry shoes, the diamond rings and a Cartier watch, but if you top that off with a lime green Mohawk? Honestly, are you going to let this guy invest your retirement savings??!

 

Swimwear

by James Kelly

So how long have swimsuits been around? Since it was called a birthday suit, that’s how long.

Did you ever wonder why we even wear swimsuits in the first place?

It wasn’t until the 18th century that “swimsuits” were invented mostly for the purpose of hiding the human body because the moral times changed and it became inappropriate to be naked in public.

Today’s fashionable man can sport a number of swimwear styles to either hide or enhance his image.

The first is the Speedo or Brief. These are often made of nylon, spandex or a longer lasting polyester composite. They can vary in style from a full seat to a t-bar (aka g-string). The t-bar/g-string should never be worn publicly unless you live on a Greek Island and have a minimum waistline of 80”. You should also try to cultivate some back hair when sporting the g-string swimsuit. Both the girth and the hair are really a diversion to take the focus off your hairy butt crack!

Trunks are the most common swimwear and come in various colours, leg lengths and decoration. Trunks have been used as swimwear since the 1940’s, but really became popular in TV shows like Baywatch. The Trunk has morphed its way into the board shorts of today and is worn by all age groups.

The Square Leg Suit is much like a Brief, but more conservative. This is a style worn by the more athletic for running and swimming and is most commonly compared to boxer briefs. The brief-styled suit has really made a comeback in the sport of triathlon, a sport that involves swimming, biking and running. At one time the sport was synonymous with the Speedo, but it too, has changed with the times, except perhaps for a small contingency in Germany.

Finally, the Fudoshi. A traditional Japanese styled suit that really should remain in Japan. If you want to look like you’re smuggling bananas across the Bogotá border in the front and trying to do a magic trick by cutting yourself in half at the back, then go ahead, try one of these on. Just make sure no one loses an eye in the process.

So, moral of this article…your bathing suit makes a statement. A fashion statement. It is a reflection of who you are and how you feel. Choose wisely.

.

 

 

Eyewear

by James Kelly

It seems that there was no such thing as glasses in the time of the ancient Egyptians or Romans. At least there is some written documentation alluding to the fact. Back then when you became too old to see properly you just hoped you were wealthy enough to have slaves to read to you or at least give you updates at the forum as to whether or not your gladiator won!

The Chinese supposedly developed spectacles over 2000 years ago.

Some say that the first ones were made between 1268 and 1289, but no one really knows who made the first pair.

Benjamen Franklin developed the bifocal in the 1780’s.

Sir John Herschel suggested the idea of contact lenses as early as 1845.

What I want to know is who was the first person to hold the damn things together with medical tape!!

The history of eyeglasses is long and varied. Today, fashion glasses are a giant industry. Colours for frame and tinting of lenses is endless. One can almost create a pair to match any ensemble for a night at the opera to a day of cycling with friends. Even the infamous nerd pair can be fashion-fit with matching colored medical tape between the eyes for a day at the mall.

In the past, frame material and the process of grinding prescriptions made the idea of owning more than one or two pair prohibitive, but thanks to modern plastics and lens molding the only thing holding you back from a drawer full of good looking glasses is the big chain eyewear makers who see fit to sell their product for three or four hundred percent markup.

Today with online eye wear distributors like zennioptical.com and clearlycontacts.com the days of $700.00 for a pair glasses and gross over charging for contact lenses are coming to an end.

So if you’re still wearing a pair of steel rimed glasses held together with a bit of white tape on the bridge, check out these two websites and start looking cool.

Oh yeah, and pull your pants down from under your armpits. Ed Grimley is funny, not fashionable ; )


Underwear

by James Kelly

I want to talk about underwear. Did you know that the Egyptians and the Romans wore underwear? They didn’t call it underwear, that is a more modern term for them. They probably called them bag of straw the chafes.

Today’s modern underwear come in a variety of styles: briefs, boxers, bikinis and thongs.

Briefs usually have a large band that sits at the waist, a front fly and fabric that covers everything from the waist to the upper thighs, with full coverage of the butt.

These are great underwear for jobs that require sitting down all day (they tend to be more compact with less movement in the material) or for physical activities, though we don’t recommend you do your first marathon in them!

Briefs come in many colours and are the most common underwear found on the new age dresser.

Boxers are the “classic” men’s underwear. They are the loosest and some claim the most comfortable underwear. Straight-cut leg openings that cover part of the thighs and the entire butt; can vary from eight to 16 inches. They always have a workable front fly.

The boxer seems to be the most flamboyant underwear. Often sporting team logos and a plethora of design graphics the boxer has become the billboard of the undies world.

As to the comfort level, well that depends on your idea of comfort. If you like the feel of almost commando, but still a little privacy, then there is no doubt boxers are for you. But, if you hate feeling every time you sit down, like you’re going to crush the boys, maybe they’re not the ones.

OK, bikinis and thongs. Hey, I’m no prude. If you think these two types of underwear are comfortable or sexy more power to ya. I guess if you’re a body builder or you think they will impress the wife on date night, that’s great.  If you are over 200 lbs with a corporate paunch and enough back hair to make it look like you’re wrestling a bear when you bend over, do us all a favour and strap on a pair of boxers.

Last thought. I know it’s fashionable to have the elastic band of your underwear visible above your jeans so you can proudly display the name of the manufacturer but, if you are over 50 and not a gangster please pull up your pants.

.

The Sock

by James Kelly

Ahhh, the sock. It’s the last thing you think of unless you live in a place where the floor is constantly cold.

So, you’re buying a suit and the sales guy up-sells you the shirt and the beautiful matching tie. I’m not sure when ties went from being an accessory for a couple of bucks to something that requires refinancing your home to get, but that’s a story for another day.

In the process did he mention socks? Not likely. Why? Because socks are one of those things you can still get for a couple of bucks and they add nothing to your salesman’s bottom line.

If you think socks don’t play a part in your fashion statement, let me ask you this. How many times have you noticed that David Letterman was wearing white socks with his talk show ensemble? How many times have you noticed that the geek in front of you at Starbucks has a pair of thermal work socks on with his shorts and sandals? How many times have you noticed men wearing knee socks with dress shoes and shorts?! See what I mean, people notice these things.

Now some people will wear two different colour socks and tell you that that’s how they roll, but take it from me, that’s not how they roll, that’s how they roll out of bed!

The earliest known cloth sock dates from 300-500AD. They had split toes, designed to be worn with sandals, unlike your wooly workies that you think look so good. Every culture in the world has at some time invented some kind of sock and they have been created from every type of material. Anything from cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, polypropylene, and spandex with silk, to cashmere and mohair, used to bring a little softness to the project.

It’s no wonder the sales guy didn’t offer you a pair of socks. He probably didn’t want to spend another half a day trying to figure out which ones would work for you.

I remember the Bermuda knee highs from the sixties, but especially remember the multi-coloured toes socks of the seventies. Not since then has there really been a sock statement, and though they go unnoticed for the most part, they stick out like a sore toe when added to a wardrobe improperly.

Here’s a tip: if you get yourself all dressed up for a night out and when you take that last glance in the mirror you wonder, do these socks look stupid? Then they probably do! So don’t ignore your instincts (or your mirror). Take them off and get some that don’t look like you just came from a “Flash Dance” rehearsal.

If you think that no one will notice that you have plaid socks on with your pin-striped suit, guess again. People notice. Take the time to get some good quality socks. Ones with some taste that match your wardrobe. Unless you are wearing an ascot, ’cause then they’ll just be laughing and pointing at that!!

 

The Fanny Pack

by James Kelly

OMG, are you still wearing that thing? Please take it off before you hurt yourself.

Wikipedia claims the name “fanny pack” is derived from the fact that they were traditionally worn facing the rear above the buttocks, for which “fanny” is a slang term in the United States.

So why do you have it pulled around to the front? Is it to help hold up your pants or to keep your family heirlooms safe while you’re out of the house?

Fanny packs reached the peak of their popularity in the late 1980s and early-to mid-1990s. You get that right? 80’s to mid 90’s. That was over twenty years ago. Time to move on.

Really though, I kinda get the man purse thing, especially if it has that Indiana Jones worn out leather look. You can almost call those fashionable, at least if you live in a big city. I wouldn’t want to head down to the local watering hole, say in Butte, Montana with my Stetson, boots and a well worn man purse however. You might end up in a dust up.

The man purse for $200.00 does in some way add a sense of style in certain venues. The fanny pack purchased for $9.95 or less at the Everything Bags store, not so much, unless you’re six years old and that’s where you keep your gum and your cell phone.

Today, fanny packs are considered to be a fashion faux pas. Still, you see them around, usually in combination with the Tilley hat; which isn’t so bad if you’re way out in the mountains taking wild life photos or trekking through Nepal on a National Geographic tour, but if you’re in downtown LA, you’re gonna stand out like a guy in a Tilley hat and a fanny pack.

 

Jeans … a Fashion Staple

by James Kelly

They’re back ... ripped jeans, that is. Is this part of the circle of life? The grunge days of the 90’s have come back to haunt us.

This summer season ripped jeans are back with a vengeance and it looks like every manufacturer is pulling out all the stops to find new ways to tear them up. Front, back, sides, no surface is sacred.

The 90’s ripped jean had its way. More of a lightly damaged look like maybe you fell down and scuffed a hole in the knee or the pocket. Today’s rip is no holes barred. Some of you would wonder how they stay on they look so fragile.

So what should you expect to pay for a less than full pair of jeans? Well you can rip it up at Old Navy for very little. $25 can get you a nice pair of stonewashed completely ripped up jeans. You can expect these to make it through the summer and that’s about it.

.
Calvin Klein’s start at $80 and go up. Fashionable for sure, and a pair of jeans that will last a long time.

Did you know that Gucci has jeans that sell for over $3,000? No kidding. You wouldn’t want to rip those up would you?

No matter what your budget, a pair of ripped jeans can make any outfit look cool. They’re a great change from those skinny legged Levis you got at Mark’s Work Warehouse.

Bottom line, no matter what your age, ripped is in. Over 50? You might want to go with a little less rip and more of the scuff. Either way, don’t let a little thing like looking cool stop you from getting a new pair of jeans.

James Kelly

Zara – 2011 Spring Collection for Men

by James Kelly

Look, you’re fiftyish, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear some old pair of corduroys that have been around so long the cord is gone and now they’re just a shiny pair of ‘roys.

I know, the old flannel shirt you got when you were thirty still feels great, but honestly, when was the last time a woman craned her neck around to take a second look at you?!

Don’t answer that question, I already know the answer.

Come on man, you don’t have to wallow in your frumpy old baggy pant ways any longer.

Here’s my tip: if you want to look fresh with style, try Zara. There is a Zara in almost every big city in North America and they actually have fashion for men. I mean fashion. Not your usual straight-legged jean fashion that makes you look like you just did a repair on the 57 Chevy. Zara has awesome fashion for men of all ages.

You don’t have to be twenty to appreciate the styles they offer and there is a more conservative side for those wanting to keep up appearances.

Their Spring Collection for 2011 offers everything you need to be able to throw out what’s in the closet and start new. The Jeans Collection is not designed for those who are looking for the wayward hobo look with torn and worn patches, but with a sense of style that gaps age groups.

A full line of accessories complements Zara’s cotton, linen and knitted shirts, jackets and pants, so you can hang a hat or grab a tie and dress for casual or office.

From business to hoodie, t-shirt and denim, shoes, hats and footwear, Zara is a great resource if you’re looking for something just a bit more fashionable in your fifties.

Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. It belongs to Inditex, one of the world’s largest distribution groups. Check it out http://www.zara.com and quit trying so hard to look like Red Green!

James Kelly


COMING NEXT MONTH

.

Recent Tweets

@the50zone