Looking younger than you are can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.
It can be regarded as a compliment when someone says you look like you’re a fresh 21-year-old when you’re actually 31. However, it’s frustrating whenever you’re being treated poorly just because you look like someone who shouldn’t be taken more seriously.
Have you ever been to a café and were given messy tables, broken chairs, and rude servers because you look like an average college student? Worse, have you ever felt judged and disrespected in the workplace because you look like an intern they can mess with, not a tenured executive?
Believe us, we get you. Luckily, it’s possible to look older and present yourself with more authority. Picking the right menswear is the best way to start. Whether you’re a young agent or just a misunderstood babyfaced adult, here are 9 tips that might help.
1. Don’t try so hard to look like an old man
Dressing up older doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a thick suit, fedora hat, and some antique pocket watch, with a stick of cigar in hand. You can look older just by wearing a nice polo shirt.
It’s all about looking like a man who knows what he’s doing, thus must be taken seriously. And nothing says, “I’m inexperienced” than a man who can’t wear the appropriate, right-sized clothes.
2. Try to grow a beard
Growing facial hair is one of the most effective ways to add years to your face. However, there’s a fine line between looking mature and refined and looking rugged and stressed out.
Whether you want a light stubble or a full beard, make sure it’s properly trimmed. Trim, groom, and shape it to emphasize your jawline. Steer clear of any hair on your neck.
3. Wear glasses
Whether it’s for a function or solely for style tips, wearing glasses never fails to give you a bookish, mature look. Stay away from bold colors and frames and opt for timeless styles like classic black, tortoiseshell, browline frames, and clear frames.
4. Mix and match men’s core colors
You don’t need to splurge on men’s designer clothing. You just need to steer clear of ultra-colorful outfits and focus on building your wardrobe around the timeless masculine colors. These include navy, black, white, gray, taupe, olive, and camel.
5. Build your wardrobe around classics
Want to look more like a gentleman than a boy? Be prepared to declutter your closet.
Trendy styles, which emphasize your young age, should be used sparingly. We’re talking about tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, and sweatpants with graphic designs, huge logos, wild prints, and bold cutouts. Additionally, avoid wearing gym clothes, jerseys, and trainers outside of the gym or jogging grounds.
Stock up classic menswear like a white dress shirt or oxfords, pale blue buttoned shirt, chambray shirt, classic white shirt, polo shirt in solid hues, light-colored chinos, dark jeans, and a dark-colored blazer.
When in doubt, swap a classic t-shirt for a collared and buttoned top. You may also wear tees as undershirts for stylish layers like jackets and blazers.
6. Use refined accessories
The accessories you use can help mature your look. Start by upgrading your work bag. Ditch your college backpack for a classic messenger/briefcase fusion with leather details. You may also invest in an all-leather briefcase.
Then, dress your wrist with classic wristwatches. Get rid of your oversized g-shock and any wristwatch with a flashy strap. Instead, stick to watches with classic leather or metal bands.
7. Swap sneakers for dress shoes
Wearing a pair of refined dress shoes can easily change the vibe of your look into something more mature and professional. From time to time, swap your favorite white sneakers for some lace-up boots, oxfords, and leather or suede loafers.
8. Change your hairstyle
Steer clear of over-the-top haircuts and undercuts, like spiky cuts, bright colors, and patterns shaved into your scalp. Stay away from looking too scruffy too with long, unkempt hair, long bangs, and man buns.
Opt for clean, classic styles. Stylists recommend growing the top a bit more and switching up to a classic side part.
9. Get in better shape
So you’ve applied all of these tips but you’re still looking like a teen? Perhaps it’s time to consider a bit more long game: working to look more buff and masculine.
Hit the gym to drop some body fat and gain some muscle mass. Working out also helps reduce your babyface cheeks and chisel out that much-coveted jawline. Building muscle mass works not only for chubby gents but also for those slimmer and shorter men who are often mistaken for teenagers.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a savvy writer for Northern Menswear, an online streetwear fashion website for men, delivering clothing and footwear products from top UK brands such as Unforgivable, Jameson Carter, Loyalty, Rose London, and Avora London. She loves sharing tips about fashion and lifestyle for trendy gents.