Relax. You can wear whatever you want and chances are nobody will say a word to you. And far be it from us to dictate what someone else should wear or not wear. That said, we thought it would be fun to ask our Huff/Post50 Facebook friends what they think men over 40 need to cart off to Goodwill. Here are some of their responses and a few of our own.
1. Baseball caps worn backward. Or forward, actually too.
Once the fashion statement of the entertainment industry, the baseball cap worn backward has become something of a cliche that says "I'm not Ron Howard but sure wish I had the dude's money."
The only guys over 40 who wear caps backward should be baseball catchers. It is widely believed that men wear baseball caps only to cover what is no longer there. Remember, bald is beautiful if worn with confidence.
2. Hats that aren't Tilley Hats.
A Tilley hat is timeless statement piece. Mostly what it is stating is that Tilleys have a spot to write your name in them so that when you leave your hat in restaurants, they know how to reach you. Tilleys also have a replacement policy that is unsurpassed, just in case the guy over 40 who found it decides to cross out your name and keep it for himself. An imperfect system, we know. But still great hats.
3. Tee-shirts that shrunk in the wash.
It is a pity when our favorite shirts no longer fit us. We weep right alongside you brother. At some point, we all need to remember that hot water has no place in our laundry cycle. Notice how we blame the washer setting and not anyone's expanding belly.
4. Anything that points an arrow to said expanding belly.
Bellies are jolly good things when worn under a red Santa suit by the guy at the mall at Christmas time. Under other circumstances, they can offend delicate sensibilities and should be kept under wraps. This means no belts that need to be worn beneath them, no shirts so short that bellies protrude from below, and no Speedos under any circumstances.
5. Yes, absolutely no Speedos under any circumstances.
Very few men of any age can carry off a Speedo. While we have no issue with wanting to show off your package of junk, we'd rather see a package of hunk. Leaving something to the imagination is sexiest of all. Unless you are on a beach in Mykonos, in which case your Speedo labels you overdressed.
6. Man buns are good, man pigtails not so much.
While technically not a style item that can be retired to the thrift store, reader Judy Gregg mentioned pigtails, reminding us that what looks adorable on little girls playing soccer gets all Willie Nelson for us on older men.
7. Corduroy jackets with suede patches on the elbows.
Once the realm of university professors and scholars, anything with elbow patches was pretty much banned from First World closets in the early 1990s. These jackets have resurfaced, principally found in vintage clothing stores. Do Not Take This Item To Goodwill. But do sell it on eBay post haste. Reader Leonie Nan lumped checked flannelette shirts into the same category.
8. Dirty clothes of any kind.
Shirts stained with food are a cry for help. Don't let your shirts cry. Clean them. In fact, clean everything. You could probably start with the dirty dishes in the sink and then maybe vacuum. Cleanliness is a good thing -- and super hot.
9. Mom jeans.
Whatever the male equivalent is to Mom Jeans needs to go. Jeans are a staple of life. Everyone needs at least one good pair, which is to say a piece of denim that they shelled out a bushel of money for. Jeans are our go-to item, life's comfort blanket, the one item we would wear every day if we could and do wear even when we can't. Men need to invest in a good pair and toss out all the rest.
10. A hoodie with profanity on it.
It is OK to wear a sweatshirt emblazoned with the name of your daughter's college on it. If you're shelling out $50,000 a year for her to attend, you at least get to wear the sweatshirt. Just don't wear sweatshirts with profanity written on them. Remember how you taught the college girl that her friends who use the F word just have limited vocabularies and that cursing doesn't make you sound grown-up -- it just makes you sound coarse. Don't be coarse. Be gentle and kind.