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Look your best for every occasion

Great style tips for men

Created date

June 11th, 2010

While some men always look great, others readily admit they are fashion-challenged. And even stylish men may find themselves wondering what to wear as they enter into a new phase of life. If you wore a suit and tie to work every day, what looks good now that you are retired? What should you wear to a part-time or volunteer job? What works for a night out? For answers we asked a number of style consultants and fashion experts and their advice was remarkably consistent, perhaps best summed up by Henry Hank Battie of Cravats Custom Clothiers in Sarasota, Fla. "As a master customer clothier as well as a man over the age of 60," says Battie, "my advice to our clients in that age range is simple. Be contemporary but always with a touch of classicism, dress to your physical attributes, and don t forget that you re 60-something."

Keep it simple

Sandra Soich, a well-respected fashion stylist from Miami, concurs with Beattie's advice. "Less is more," she says. Soich, whose celebrity clients include Derek Jeter and Greg Norman, says older men should try to look youthful without dressing like a 20-year old. "It is better to have a few very good pieces than to have a closet full of nothing," says Soich. For a casual night out, Soich recommends a simple, nicely tailored cotton shirt, cashmere sweater, nice fitting jeans, and a comfortable pair of shoes. The key here is tailoring and fit. Dressing simply is all in the details and is much more work than just throwing something together.

What to wear

George Wolf is a retired apparel designer from New York with extensive experience in both men's and women's fashions. He also happens to have great personal style. Wolf spends much of his time at a charity that helps Holocaust survivors and even when volunteering looks his best. "Do not try to look younger," he says. "Forget pony-tails and a five-o clock shadow to look sexy. Do not wear tight jeans, low-rise jeans or pants, tight shirts, or unbuttoned shirts. Attempting to look younger is obvious and makes you look ridiculous. Be dignified, act your age, and be proud of it." For work (including volunteer work), Wolf says men should dress well and dress appropriately which means slacks and blazers or nice tweed sport jackets. Wear suits only if you are in banking or have a serious leadership position. If you have always worn ties and feel comfortable in them, Wolf says to go ahead and wear a tie. For your feet, Wolf recommends good dress shoes. "Lace-ups if you can bend," he says. "Slip-ons if you can't." What your clothing is made of is just as important as the individual pieces you select. Dick Lerner, author of Dress Like The Big Fish and co-owner of Bel Air Fashions in Omaha, Nebr., says, "Comfort, fit, and performance fabrics are essential components of a well coordinated wardrobe! Clothing that doesn t shrink and maintains its shape is how to make men look good...consistently. Never let clothing become a barrier to one s image, perceived knowledge, or productivity."

Beyond apparel

Great as your clothing may be, it's your face that the world sees first. Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters, an international image consultancy based in Naples, Fla., advises her clients to think beyond apparel. "New eyeglasses in a modern style can take years off a face," she says. Optical technology these days is so good that most prescriptions can be made with lightweight lenses and the choice of frames is enormous. Take time to try on different frames in different designs, materials, and colors. As for hair, Lampard advises her clients to stay gray. Graying hair can be made more silvery with readily available hair products (such as Clairol s Shimmer Lights) that remove dullness and yellowing. Nothing looks better than a head of silvery gray locks, but a good haircut is essential. "If you're losing your hair," she says, "keep it short and neat or be bold and shave the remainder off. A balding pate with straggly hair or worse still, a thin, sad ponytail, just highlights the fact that the hair is thinning." Finally, Lampard suggests trying to incorporate some color into your look. "Don't disappear into the background by avoiding color," she says. Skin and hair tones fade with age, so colors that once worked can seem a little harsh or make faces look washed out and pasty. Don't resort to beige or gray as an "it goes with anything" option. Have a personal color consultation or try different colors next to your face to see the tones and hues that look good on you.