How should men dress in their 40s and beyond: fashion and style guide

26 March 2024

Style icons are no longer tweens in pop bands; today, it’s men in their 40s. It’s your David Beckham’s, Ryan Reynold’s, Sterling K. Brown’s, and David Gandy’s.

The point is that hitting 40 is not a time to give up on your wardrobe. It’s quite the opposite. Your 40s are a time when you can finally bring together all your style skills from the last decades and fully embrace a distinguished gentlemanly style.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover how to approach tailored excellence in your 40s, ensuring you’re standing out for your clean lines and sharp cuts. Here’s how every gentleman should be dressing in their 40s and beyond.    

Man in a trendy outfit

Comfort and Fit

As men reach 40, it’s natural for their bodies to change. For this reason, a well-fitting suit is paramount not only for its style but also for everyday comfort. While your 20s prioritised fashion over function, your 40s are sober to the fact that both are essential. Investing in tailoring can ensure you maintain that sharp, polished appearance whilst remaining wearable for the entire day.

Mens suit with a navy blazer and green top

That’s not to say you must replace your entire wardrobe. If you’ve noticed certain pieces no longer fit right or you can’t quite stand the discomfort of your 30s experimental style, it’s worth revisiting them. With a new relationship between age and clothing, a simple adjustment can often make all the difference and make the garments you wore in your 30s and 40s appropriate and comfortable to wear well into your 40s.

Quality

The quality of your pieces will significantly affect the final look. Opting for fewer items crafted with quality will mean buying less often, but it will also give you durability and value for money.  While cheaper alternatives may appear tempting initially, they will wear out quickly and require frequent replacements.  

When you focus on material, cut, and craftsmanship, your garments will ensure but also maintain their aesthetic appeal. 

Andrew Brookes measuring clothing

Personal Style

There’s no other ‘you,’ so we always encourage you to lead with your personal style. Think back to your first suit and the trends of that time; now, consider how much your style has evolved since then. While the classics are always a great go-to, implementing personality into your look is the only way you’ll enjoy putting outfits together.  

So, that yellow and green checkered shirt may not be on trend, but if you feel good about it, you should wear it. Consider your style as a reflection of the milestones in your life. This way, you can look back and see your wardrobe as a capsule of not only your style progression but also your personal evolution.

Brown blazer with grey hat

Versatility

Creating a functional men’s capsule wardrobe is about making the most of every piece. Each item needs to pull double duty if less.  

For example, a blazer that can easily dress up jeans for a casual outing or complement chinos for a more formal setting—it’s a wardrobe essential. When shopping, aim for pieces that can be styled in at least three different outfits. This way, you maximise versatility and ensure that every item earns its place in your wardrobe.

Smart mens clothing hung up

Seasonality

Choosing the right clothes for each season is vital to staying comfortable and stylish. In colder months, layering is key. Opt for jumpers, cardigans, and lightweight jackets for a curated casual look that can transition from day to night. 

In warmer months, focus on lighter fabrics and breathable materials. Think cotton T-shirts, linen shirts, and tailored shorts to keep cool in the heat. For more style tips, check out our blog post about the best summer suits to beat the heat.

The great thing about layering is that it’s versatile. You can mix and match different pieces, colours, and patterns depending on the weather and your style while adding thoughtful depth to your outfit.

Fashion and Style Options

Now, whilst many 40-year-olds’ style is determined by lifestyle, there are a few items that will be non-negotiable if you’re aiming to make your 40s your defining fashion decade.  

Let’s explore some essential fashion and style options that every 40-year-old man should consider adding to his wardrobe.

Blazers

Owning a quality blazer is essential. While having several is ideal, having a favourite that fits you perfectly is key.  

Your blazer doesn’t have to be traditional navy blue with brass buttons, although that’s timeless. Dark colours like charcoal or deep green also make a statement. For a touch of extravagance, consider personalised touches such as monogrammed metal buttons.  

Mix and match, make it your own. Your 40s are the prime years for mastering the art of the bespoke tailored suit jacket—embrace it with confidence and style.

Man in grey suit with blue tie

Shirts

A tailored shirt will always be in style. In your 40s, they’re less office wear and can readily enter your everyday wardrobe.  

Whether a crisp button-down or a relaxed polo, a few classic colours offer tremendous versatility; a denim shirt and a plain white T-shirt are the perfect casual companions. Avoid wearing brashly branded shirts and stick to bespoke shirts that feature clean cuts and uniform colours. 

Jumpers

Jumpers are indispensable, especially during the colder months. You get warmth and style from an expertly crafted sweater; they’re the easiest way to add texture and depth to a look. Layer over your favourite polo or crew neck t-shirt, and you’re heading to a well-curated look for casual and semi-formal occasions. 

Darks Jeans

Few fashion faux pas rival the sight of a middle-aged gentleman squeezed into a pair of skin-tight jeans. However, just because you’re 40 does not mean jeans can’t be a wardrobe staple. Tailored jeans in a dark wash, like those from our collection, offer a refined fit that flatters your silhouette while maintaining comfort.

Trousers

Trousers are essential for more formal or business settings but can also offer heightened style on casual days.  

Now that you’re 40, you can get away with wearing your favourite tailored trousers to Waitrose. From classic chinos to tailored dress pants, having a variety of trousers in your wardrobe ensures you’re prepared for any occasion.

Trendy outfit with green coat

Shoes and Accessories

Shoes and accessories are the finishing touches that complete any man’s look. Invest in high-quality footwear, such as leather dress shoes or casual loafers, that offers style and comfort. Accessories like belts, watches, and ties add personality and refinement to your outfit.  

Remember, age doesn’t dim the allure of self-expression and style. If anything, it amplifies our confidence in being unapologetically ourselves.  

Your 40s are your “middle youth” years, a time to embrace curiosity and dive into the latest trends—whether it’s in music, art, or fashion. The younger generation doesn’t have exclusivity over these interests anymore. So, wear what you like and wear it proudly. 

For more ideas on constructing the perfect wardrobe, contact Andrew Brookes. As Edinburgh’s leading men’s tailors, we can assist you with all your fashion needs. Visit us in the studio or online for our bespoke offerings.  

OUR COLLECTIONS

At Andrew Brookes Tailoring, we offer a wide range of luxury tailoring services to our customers. Offering bespoke suits, designs and accessories suitable for every occasion, check out our collections below.

Bespoke Tailored Suits for Men

The finest materials, personalised designs and classic fitting experience all make up our bespoke tailoring service.

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Highland Dress

Traditional Scottish style with a modern twist, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd with a piece from our highland wear collection.

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Wedding Suits

Helping people look their best on the most important day of their lives, we craft exquisite, bespoke wedding suits that will live long in the memory of all in attendance.

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Tailored Jeans

A pair of timeless denim jeans is crucial for every wardrobe. Our team takes this one step further with a fully tailored jeans service that will introduce you to a pair that you’ll never want to part with.

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Bespoke Shirts

Feel cool, confident and comfortable with a custom-tailored shirt made from the finest quality materials and cutting edge techniques.

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Polo shirts and T-shirts

Casual or smart? Whatever the occasion our range of versatile polos and T-shirts has something suitable for every event.

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Accessories

Want to add some stylish accessories to your new look? We can help with this, too. We’re home to a vast selection of stunning belts, ties, pocket squares, sporrans and much more.

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