As you get older, you will inevitably outgrow some of your favorite clothes. I am not referring to physically outgrowing your wardrobe, but rather “outgrowing” trends that you are now too old, err too mature to wear anymore. There are some clothing items and fashion styles that you have to part with, especially if you are a young man approaching 30 years old. Doing away with the following 10 clothing items ensures that you dress acceptably for your age and that your peers, potential mates, employers, and business clients view you as a serious young professional.
Ironic Tee Shirts
Ironic tee shirts should be shed from your wardrobe immediately before your 30th birthday. Sure, they are funny when you are in your 20s, but potential mates will think you are a perennial Silver Lake hipster if you are wearing them to the local coffee house after your 30th, or 25th, birthday.
A good pair of Ray Bans does a perfect job of protecting your eyes from harsh ultraviolet rays. Wearing shutter shades like Kanye West does nothing to protect your eyes and may make others question your vision or sobriety.
Branded Sport Coats
Sport coats emblazoned with the fleur-de-lis or dragons had a brief period of popularity in the middle of the 2000s, but the fashion trend was more of a fashion faux-pas. If you are in college or partying in a nightclub on South Beach then maybe it is permissible. Maybe. Otherwise, this trend sends others the message that you are auditioning for the “Jersey Shore.” On the other end of the style spectrum sits blazers decorated with preppy crests. This may have been great for preppy themed fraternity parties, but once you’re in the “real world” you should do away with such clothing as it may signal that you are still in prep school.
In some circles, skinny jeans are all the rage. Wearing them is a matter of taste, but once you hit the big 3-0, you should start wearing nicely tailored jeans. Skinny jeans do not qualify as “nicely tailored” clothing.
Puka shell necklaces come in and out of fashion but they do not belong around the neck of a grown man. Maybe you had a bit of a surfer boy phase in your mid-20s when you were “figuring it out,” but do away with them as you approach your 30th birthday…unless you are auditioning for the role of Matthew McConaughey’s little brother in the sequel to “Surfer, Dude.”
Men don’t exactly have attractive feet. It’s an indisputable fact. Flip flops are okay when you’re in college, but wearing them after that tells the world that you are putting in the least amount of effort possible. Keep a pair or two around for beach excursions, but make sure you are not wearing them after your 20s have become little more than a memory.
Sneakers are perfectly acceptable clothing for the gym and while running marathons. You are not running marathons in blue jeans or doing squats in chinos so make sure that you keep your sneakers in the locker at your gym so you don’t accidentally wear them with non-workout clothes. Seinfeld was about the only man in his 30s who could successfully don that look, and that is even debatable.
Croakies are a great and practical accessory when you are out on the boat since they keep you from losing your sunglasses. While they have become a staple of the frat-boy uniform, they should be retired once you reach a certain age, especially if you are on solid ground…unless you are really paranoid about random earthquakes occurring…in which case you probably have more concerns than your sunglasses.
Affliction, TapOut, and Ed Hardy shirts have become ubiquitous in some circles. The thing is that once you start approaching your 30s, you should start realizing that you are paying a premium for a shirt that essentially advertises someone else’s brand. Why would a grown man give his hard-earned money to wear clothes that do nothing but shill another’s goods? Exactly. Unless you are a brand ambassador, let someone else do the advertising for these brands.
When you are young and trendy and trying to show people how “hard” you are, leather cuffs seem like a solid fashion selection. The problem is that once you hit a certain age, you should not be trying to show people how “rebellious” and “hard” you are. You know what’s hard? Working and paying bills. That’s hard and actions speak louder than words.
More from this contributor:
10 Fashion Tips for the Well-Dressed Man
Understanding What Makes a Modern Slim-Cut Suit
Men’s Fashion: The Affordable Cuff Link Collection