2011 August 17

This summer’s newspapers seem to be full of older people who aren’t managing to look casual, whether in their attitudes or their clothing. Rupert Murdoch and Prince Charles might not seem to have much in common, but the inability to dress for comfort is a characteristic they share. Rupert, in particular, has an odd habit of being photographed with his wife, Wendi Deng, when she is wearing casual clothing and he’s in a suit and shirt, although his concession to informality is to remove his tie for evening interviews on TV.  Prince Charles has always been lampooned for his obvious discomfort in casual clothing and photos of him with a jeans-wearing Prince William continue to highlight the heir to the throne’s love of the formal.

It’s not impossible to dress comfortably and look good in casual clothing, no matter what your age.
1.    Choose a colour: for older men, pale blue is usually very successful – it tones down red in the eyes and skin and gives a hint of youth without looking stupidly flash. Wear a darker colour below the waist, such as navy shorts with a blue polo-shirt because it’s slimming.
2.    Choose a fit: relaxed fit works well if you are on the larger side, but if you are one of those people who is getting thinner as they get older, don’t think ‘relaxed’ will work for you, instead you look lost inside your clothing. Pick a more tailored style, perhaps a long-sleeve T-shirt to hide scrawny arms, or a slim fit hoodie that will flatter your trim waist.
3.    Choose simplicity: T-shirts with logos and slogans are risky because you may not understand the connotations. Super skinny trousers suggest you are a fashion victim and rarely suit the older man as well as a pair of neatly-pressed cargo trousers. Simple fabrics like cotton work better than shiny surfaces if you’re over fifty, just because the seem more classic and therefore give you an air of confidence.