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I’ve turned 40 last week. And no, I’m not happy. In fact, I was so sad that I couldn’t even think about a good topic for the new blog post. But then it dawned on me: Is there Life After Jeans? I’m getting too old to wear Jeans. As much as I admire Jeremy Clarkson, I don’t think he’s a good role model when it comes to style. I don’t want to fall victim of the infamous Clarkson Effect (see last week’s video for an explanation). That is not the reason why I’m not happy, though. The reason why I’m sad is because I have always expected to be happy.
Yet, I realize now: happiness is wildly overrated, but style isn’t. You have limited control over the circumstances of your life, but all the control in the world when it comes to how you react to them.
Why style isn’t overrated? Because style isn’t about the clothes you wear, it’s about why and how you wear them.
Some people think that anybody can dress however they want. I always argue that this is not a question of whether you can dress however you want or not, as much as it is a question of is it convenient to do so?
So, the question becomes, is there life after Jeans? Regrets, that’s for sure. But we must look ahead. After all, we all know life is a bitch. Bitches come and go.
Christ Himself once said: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Even the Apostle Paul reiterated: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Apart from bitches and regrets, there is one thing you can do. Get a pair of “Four.Ten” slim cut trousers in Navy Blue like the ones I’m wearing in these pictures. They are not made of denim cloth, but they still have the typical Jeans-cut and the rivets you love so much. They are comfortable and fit like a glove. Also, unlike traditional Jeans, you can dress them up pretty easily.
I think that the Four.Ten fit the role here. Here’s what their website says about the brand philosophy: “For men who are aware of their charm, who know that there is no need to flaunt it, and who prefer 4/10 because it is a symbol of sophisticated fashion that is both simple and elegant.” Both Jesus and Paul would probably have appreciated as well.
There are also other things you can do, apart from the simil-Jeans. For some unfathomable reason, complaining about what’s not going ok is always so easy! We seldom stop and think about the good things in life. Glasses are always half-empty in our universe, and almost never full.
For example, a forty-year-old man is now ready for suspenders (braces, for the Brits among you). Suspenders are one of the most interesting elements in the outfit of a modern gentleman. First of all, they are much more comfortable than belts. Second, if that wasn’t enough, they also do their work better than belts. Third, you don’t need to match suspenders with anything else. Suspenders are the only element of your outfit that you can freely choose without any regard for other colors. That’s right: you could wear black suspenders under a Navy Blue Suit! Fourth, they keep your shirt in place! Fifth, I personally think that they are both fun and professional. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but it seems to me that wearing a pair of suspenders like the ones in the picture, can instantly make you look more approachable. Yet, wearing suspenders also sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. They are sophisticated and yet totally fanciful at the same time. And the best thing is: they only look good when you look forty!
There’s another element of a gentleman’s outfit that only starts looking good on you when you’re finally past your thirties: a tweed jacket. Tweed is quintessentially British. Tweed is also controversial: a tweed jacket is sporty, but traditional at the same time. The fabric itself has an interesting story. A tweed jacket will be the perfect companion for your hunting activity when the weather is uncertain. Tweed is indeed a flexible, durable, as well as hydro-repellent material. Combine this quality with a herringbone structure, throw in some Italian flair, and add a sprinkle of color and you’ll have this wonderful Tombolini three-buttons jacket with large notch lapels, flap pockets and structured shoulders the color of rust.
Recently I’ve been very much into casual style (as you can see here and here, for example). This is due to opportunity and necessity, but also, probably, to some kind of middle-age crisis. This is outfit clearly represents some sort of compromise between business and casual. Yes, we do have a classic shirt, a silk regimental necktie, a jacket, Navy Blue sartorial trousers, leather shoes, a tweed cap and even a dress watch, but all these elements are utterly casual. The shoes are no exception.
They are a pair of classic loafers by Ame Delan, the color of Smoke Tree. I thought they would fit the spirit of this outfit perfectly because: A) Ame Delan is an Italian brand B) Loafers are totally casual. Do not choose any sort of loafers in any official context! Don’t be fooled by the fact that they are leather shoes.
The only other thing I can say about this pair of Ame Delan is that you simply tend to forget that you are wearing them. They fit like a glove, they are extremely comfortable and really well made. You can’t find anything better in that price range. It’s basically a miracle: by getting a pair of Ame Delan you pay 6 and receive 10. I hope it will last.
As per the rest: I’ve described the driver cap by Spada Roma in this post. Now, the necktie is an interesting piece here. This is a seven folds Regimental silk necktie by the Tie Shop Rome. It goes by the name of “Bright Soldier” because its main color is bright red and also because Regimental neckties are obviously of military origins. The only thing I can say about this necktie is that people tend to forget that, more often than not, a quality item goes a long way, while a cheap one might last for only a season. It’s the famous concept of cost-per-wear. Simply put, investing some more money in a quality item of clothing is usually a better strategy in the long run, as cheaper items will actually cost you more since they will inevitably tend to get broken sooner than quality items.
So, consider quitting wearing Jeans when you turn forty. It’ll make you look more authoritative. People out there will judge you based on how you are dressed, it is sad but true. It is advisable to leave the things of the past behind you. You are not a boy anymore, you are a man now. But if you dress like a boy, people will treat you like a boy.
There is life after Jeans, provided you grow up.
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