What not to wear if you are a man over 50


When self-confessed fashion hoarder Adrian Clark hit 50, he knew the camouflage trousers and Converse had to go. He shares his age-appropriate style tips for men

Speaking from personal experience, 2017 was a challenging year. It was bookended by two major events that would change my world for ever. In January I turned 50 (for those who have yet to hit the half-century milestone, let me clarify one thing: age is not just a number) and in December, having been a Londoner for more than 30 years, I moved to the Kent coast in pursuit of a more rewarding and peaceful existence. OK, so at first glance you may well say the two are obviously intrinsically linked. Fair enough. As we get older, we all hanker after a slower pace of life, right? Correct. But the collision of these two events opened a can of worms that I, for one, didn’t see coming.

It was time to downsize and, in the interests of both age-appropriateness and to avoid having to book an even bigger removal truck, to edit my out-of-control wardrobe. Working as a fashion editor for more than three decades comes with a whole lot of baggage, quite literally. There is a never-ending pressure to keep up with trends. And it comes at a price if, like me, you are a hoarder – and, in my experience, most men are. After four days dividing up my spoils into “action” piles – one to keep, one for charity, one to re-home, one to sell on eBay – it became clear to me that 50 was not the new 40. It was, traumatically, the finishing line for half of what I owned and, if I am brutally honest, was still wearing.

Crossing over to the wrong side of a half-centenary turns out to be a pivotal junction: you are forced to make decisions on what you should not, as opposed to should, be wearing. A lot of men entering their 50s fall into one of two camps (with a minority bridging the divide): those who have given up, and those who don’t know when to give it up, with the old me falling uncomfortably into the latter. I get that now.

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