Time and again, in this space, I say that there’s no such thing as “rules” when it comes to fashion and style. Even the suggestions that I share weekly are subject to a reader’s perception. Rules and “musts” are essentially constructs created by those in power and you, as a consumer they are targeting, have the liberty to accept which ones work for you and which ones do not.
Recently, I met up with a friend whom I haven’t seen in a long time. We met in a coffee shop and gabbed about a lot of things and this included an ex-boyfriend whom she claims to be having a midlife crisis—primarily because he hasn’t been dressing his age. Per her description, he was dressing up like a 25-year old when he is actually in his late 40s.
Like a true good friend, I did abide by the friend-code and laughed with her when we talked about him wearing cropped John-Lloyd chinos when it was never his style when he was a lot younger. Of course, the discussion was aligned to her (I suspect) inability to move past her what-if’s with the guy, but that’s a different discussion and is not for this column. But this actually got me thinking, is there really such a thing as “dressing according to your age”? There sure is a saying that you cannot bend or break the rules unless you have mastered them but who made up the rules anyway?
Personally, 29-year-old me would probably not go trying on something that a guy of Justin Bieber’s age (or taste) would put on his back. At the end of the day, it isn’t really about looking your age. The way you dress shouldn’t even be like a badge you wear to tell everyone your age. Sure there are numerous ways either to look young or to look mature, but the key in being well-dressed is to dress in a way that would highlight your individuality—nothing to do with age.
A fashion writer once said, “Being well-dressed is a discipline. It’s a lifelong learning curve.” You evolve as you grow older and your taste differs but it never is according to your age, it is dependent on your understanding of what looks good on you, as you have observed through the years.
For this issue of Rank, we talked to men of different ages and fields to find out how age factors into their sartorial selections:
1) Von Estoque, 21, web developer
“I just turned 21, but I choose clothes that may be a bit more mature because of the nature of my job. I want to command the workplace and since I commonly stand in front of a room to present projects we have come up with, I want to look like someone they would listen to.”
2) Miggy Asis, 23, student DJ
“I guess my choices on the clothes I buy is not based on my age. I like being a chameleon. I can wear a three-piece suit and look more mature than my age, but I’d rather wear what feels good for me and what is applicable to my lifestyle. My choices are always laidback and free because my lifestyle really is always on-the-go. Kelangan magaan dalhin.”
3) Andrew Gan, 25, actor
“When you are an actor, you tend to train yourself to become a chameleon. But when it comes to my personal preferences, I evolve depending on different styles I pick up along the way. I don’t think age has something to do with it, age may factor in but only because through age, you can assess better. No rules, kumbaga.
4) Patrick Patawaran, 28, model and musician
“As a model, I know that I have to be accepting of different styles. On and off the camera, my choices on what I want to wear would rely on what suits me, period. Stylists and designers know what would fit my features and what best highlights my personality to look good for a job, and I think na-apply ko sya.”
5) Cris Lomotan, 32, model, entrepreneur and actor
“I don’t think there are rules when it comes to what a guy can and cannot wear. You have to adapt to changes, din naman, but as you grow older, you get a better understanding of yourself, eh. You don’t just want to try out all the trends out there, but you want to be yourself. We often overuse that, but at the end of the day, staying true to who you are, kahit anong age ka pa, would reflect on how you carry yourself and that includes your choices on your clothes.”