When you get older, you find yourself at a crossroads. Should you try to look younger? Or should you embrace the fact that you’re aging?
There are a lot of mistakes you can make as an older man trying to look younger. But did you know that there are some things that you might be doing that can make you look even older?
Aging is fine and I think we should embrace it. But we definitely don’t want to look older than we are. That’s why today I’m revealing eight mistakes that older men make that actually make you look older.
1. Not Adapting to the Times
We all know this guy that I’m about to describe. He’s the guy you look at and are like, “Man, you know, he was probably so cool in the 80s.” He pulls up in his Trans-Am that’s blaring Whitesnake or Dokken. He’s got the perfectly parted feathered hair. Maybe he’s wearing a blazer with shoulder pads that’s a little too big. And you can almost smell the mustiness of the 80s when you see him.
And let me tell you something about this guy. He’s not dressing like this to be ironic — It’s not like he’s not some Brooklyn hipster or something. No, what he thinks is, “Dude, I was the man in high school, I got tons of chicks, I partied, I drove a sweet car, and I still got it. Why change anything?”
And that attitude of not adapting to the times is the first thing that makes older men look older.
The thing about this is – and I kind of alluded to it in my funny description of this hypothetical person – is that there’s a really strong mental component to this. We’ve all likely had great, positive experiences early on in our lives. And it’s natural to want to hold onto that. Like, hey, this was a great time in my life — I just want to live here forever.
But unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We have to move on. We have to evolve. We can’t live in the past.
Sure, the clothing and the hairstyle stuff is part of it but the real issue is being able to move on mentally. Dwelling on past successes, triumphs, and positives to the point that it traps you in the past, is not a good place to be.
Things change and change is hard. Actually, let’s just be honest — change sucks. But, we know that change happens. And the sooner you can wrap your head around that and learn to consider change as a way to improve yourself and a new challenge to take on to improve yourself, then and only then can you start living your best life in the present.
2. Not Accepting Greying Hair
As we get older, there are a lot of changes that happen to us and our bodies. Most of them are very annoying – things hurt, you don’t recover as quickly, you get tired faster. But we kind of accept these things though and maybe have a good laugh about it with our friends. But we understand that these are things that we can’t really reverse.
But there is one thing that happens as we get older that some men do try to reverse with the intent of looking younger. However, when we make mistake number two, which is to try and cover up the fact that we’re getting some grey hair, we make ourselves look even older.
There are probably some really good hair dye products and beard dying products out there, but I feel like I can always spot the person who uses them. It just doesn’t look natural. It doesn’t match up with everything else that I’m seeing in front of me. So it ends up looking like a guy who is trying to cling to his past glory and not accepting that things change. That makes us look and appear older.
There’s nothing wrong with grey hair or some salt and pepper. You appear more mature. You appear wiser. And in fact, I think a lot of women (and men) would say that men with grey hair or salt and pepper hair look even more attractive and sexier than guys without any grey.
3. Ignoring Ear, Nose & Body Hair
Next, let’s talk about a mistake that so many older men make that is very easy to correct.
You may have noticed, as you’ve matured that your eyebrows have gotten bushier, your nose hairs have gotten longer, and your ears have sprouted hair of their own. It’s natural. It happens. But, if you let it go, not only is it kind of gross, but it makes you look like an old man.
There are many easy ways to take care of this. For nose hair, there are any number of little grooming devices to choose from. Or you can use a little pair of scissors – but just be careful.
Ear hair, also easy with a small grooming device or electric razor. I would caution you if you use a safety razor and try to use that on your ear because it’s very easy to cut yourself–speaking from experience.
And then as far as your eyebrows, next time you go to the barber, ask them to trim them up. They’ll put the comb on, go over it with some clippers, and you will look younger.
4. Not Having a Good Skincare Routine
You’ve probably heard the saying that things get better with age or things get better with time. And that’s true of a lot of things, like wine, cheese, whiskey, a great pair of jeans, quality leather goods, a cast iron skillet.
But for most of these things to get better as they age – wine, cheese, and whiskey aside – there’s a certain amount of maintenance involved. Taking good care of these things helps them age well and also ensures that you are maximizing their lifespan.
The most important thing to understand is that this type of maintenance needs to be regular and it needs to be routine. It’s not like you invest in a really nice leather briefcase, use it every day, beat it up real bad, never maintain it or protect it from the elements, and then one day 10 years later you wonder, “What happened? And is there any way I can fix this?”
Because the answer is no. Once you get to a certain point with some things, there is no going back.
Now, for some things, like the briefcase example, or a pair of shoes, or a pair of jeans, it’s not the end of the world if they wear out because we can just replace them with a new briefcase, or a new pair of shoes, or a new pair of jeans.
But when it comes to something really important, like your face, well, that’s not something you can replace. And since it’s also the first thing people see when they look at you, if you’re not taking care of it – if you’re not moisturizing, if you’re not using some sort of SPF, if you’re not doing that general daily maintenance – those effects are going to snowball out of control and you will end up looking older than you are.
And skincare doesn’t have to be a big deal – but you do have to commit to the routine. And one of the best skincare systems that I’ve found out there is Tiege Hanley, which I’ve been using for nearly two years now. Everything you need is sent to you monthly and they tell you exactly what to do, when to do it, and how much to use. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
5. Not Accepting Balding
A lot of the things we’ve been talking about so far have to do with trying to hold on to the past at any cost. But, unfortunately, when we do that we look older than we are. And the one instance where this shows up the most is when guys start losing their hair.
This isn’t something that’s a problem for just older men. Because you can start losing your hair at any age. But, if you’re older, and start losing your hair and start trying to cover it with a little combover and growing it longer on top that just makes you look older.
Like, living in the past, there is definitely a mental component to this one as well. You might think you’re not as attractive as you were with a full head of hair, women won’t find you attractive anymore, and it’s over. But you know what? You are the only person that cares about this.
I’ve seen friends of mine go through this, and let me tell you, when they finally give in and just go with a tight buzz or even a complete head shave, they not only look and feel more confident, but they look younger than they did with the old combover.
I know that it’s tough. But as hard as it’s going to be, this is a change that you need to embrace. It’s going to be a different look. But it will become your look. And you won’t end up looking older than you are.
6. Wearing “Comfort” Footwear When Dressed Up
Let me tell you a story about a teacher I had in graduate school. He was in his late 60s. He was a good looking guy and a smart dresser. However, he wore the wrong shoes and it really made him look like an old man. I’m talking about black New Balance walking shoes with everything!
Now, when you get older you might need some comfort when it comes to your shoes. Okay, I get it. But if you’re dressing up and wearing “comfort” shoes, you’re going to look like an old man. Don’t do it.
Get a nice pair of dress shoes – they could be Oxfords if your style is dressier, derbies if you’re more casual – but do not wear these comfort shoes when you dress up because that will make you look older.
7. Wearing Trendy Things
Next, let’s talk a little bit about wardrobe in general. There’s a lot of conversation about dressing age appropriate. But what does that even mean? What should someone in their 30s wear? What should someone in their 40s wear? What should someone in their 50s, 60s, or 70s wear?
It is 100-percent a rhetorical question because there is no handbook for this.
When you think about how you dress, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
- How do I want people to see me?
- Do I prefer to stand out?
- Or, do I prefer to fit in?
- And finally – and perhaps most importantly – how do I want to feel wearing these clothes?
The answers to these questions are way more important that what you “should” be wearing at your age. If you’re 20 years old and want to wear a three piece suit, there’s nothing stopping you. Nobody’s going to say, “You’re too young to be wearing that.”
But what kind of stinks is, it doesn’t really go the other way. Because mistake number seven that older men make that makes you look older is wearing trendy things that the kids are wearing. Trying to look younger, will make you look older, especially when it comes to younger style trends.
So instead of thumbing through the latest GQ for some outfit ideas, try searching through Instagram, because there are a lot of older guys who have great style and they look their age.
8. Giving Up
You know what one of the best things about getting older is? Not really caring quite as much anymore. For example, the other night, I had on this outfit, my wife took a picture, and she asked me if it was okay if she posted it to her Instagram stories. And I said, “I don’t care!”
People that follow her and follow me would probably think it was funny. I mean, what’s the big deal? I’m at home, I want to be comfortable, I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. Basically, it’s not like I’ve given up. I’m not dressing like this when I go out like I don’t care. Because once you stop caring, once you kind of give up, that will make you look older.
I’m not saying you have to walk around with a suit and tie all the time. But you should put some effort into how you look and how you dress.
Thanks, as always, for reading.