If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!
Should I try to live up to my expectations of what 40 is, or just be myself?
When I was a kid, adults who were 40 dressed and acted a certain way. Now that I'm 40, I'm feeling old, but still look and act younger. I don't want to dress and act like a Dad, but don't want to look foolish being someone who doesn't act their age or dress the part.
I'm a jeans and t-shirt guy, athletic and like to have fun.
Which is fine around the house, but not for work. However, I don't want to wear cardigans or a suit everyday. The spongbob PJs...fine, I'll give them up, but I need fashion tips for something in-between.
And...are new clothes the answer?
Look inside you and ask yourself why you are feeling "old" or "don't want to look foolish being someone who doesn't act their age or dress the part." Once you are comfortable within yourself, you will be comfortable in whatever you choose to wear.
New clothes may be part of it...but really, I think age is perception. You say you're feeling old but your life doesn't seem to reflect that! I say be who you are...
Unless you're a corporate lawyer or your workplace requires it, you don't need to wear a suit everyday. But you can step it up from jeans and a t-shirt! Look at men's mags and what guys your age (Patrick Dempsey, Jason Bateman, Robert Downey Jr) are wearing. Find your style icon and adapt their look to your lifestyle.
All of our experts say the key to changing your look is to think about cut, color and proportion. It may not be the clothes you are wearing are "wrong" but maybe you need a new version of what you already know looks good. So trade in light wash jeans for a straight cut dark wash. Ditch the tee and go for a 3/4 sleeve henley or a sweater over a collared shirt. Trade your running shoes for All-Stars or a great boot.
Hope that helps!
I think the old notion of what it means to look and be 40 no longer holds true. This is a different time and a different world than it was even 20 years ago, and if you're comfortable in jeans and a tshirt and you don't have to dress a certain way for work, then enjoy it! If you want to dress differently because you want people to treat you a certain way, then that's a different story. My husband felt that way when he reached 30, and he started looking to his favorite actors (Brad Pitt, George Clooney) and tried to copy their styles. Now he feels much more confident in himself and his clothing when we go out...but he hasn't given up his Yoda tshirt or playing XBOX at home. That's just who he is and he's happy with it.
So my advice is...go ahead and find some new clothes if you want to feel more confident in a certain situation, but I don't think you have to feel obligated to give up your "style" just because you turned 40.