Finding my Style at 4o!

Getting in Style

I might’ve been in denial a little, but over the past year and (a bit), I’ve totally changed my image. What was once bed hair and a grandad cardigan, has now moved on to actually brushing it and owning shoes that weren’t trainers! Hair Products and a Beard Trimmer (to stop sideburns turning to mutton chops), now sit in my bathroom cabinet. The washed-out T-shirts from the past 10 years are getting weeded out my wardrobe too. What was it that all of a sudden made me become aware of how I looked, after teaching my kids looks are not important?

Hair and Grooming

Back in my school days I always had a nicely combed side parting. As I moved on this became a messy spike, which evolved into just a mess. I’m not kidding when I say it was essentially bed hed hair! This was probably an evolution of rebellion. However the year I turned 40, I started to look at everything slightly differently. I spent a year trying to grow out my short messy chop to be able to “Do something with it”.

Finding Style at 40
Photo by Graham Shirley (photography assessment)

Then after much discussion, I went into a “trendy” barbershop and had it cut. Very short on the sides and much longer on the top. It never looks the same when you brush it yourself, but this is how it is supposed to look.

Finding Style at 40

However, once you have hair that you’re happy with, it doesn’t stop there. you need product!

Being sold mainly on packaging Johnnys Chop Shop stood out from the crowd. It was on Buy one get one half price in boots, so I couldn’t stop adding it to the basket. Mousse that lasts a long time, Salt Water texture spray (have a word with yourself Alan!), Power Hold Hair Spray (It’s like my granny hair lacquer), Firm Hold Gel, that seems to dribble out the tube, like slightly thicker water and finally Shampoo and Conditioner. If I’m totally honest the Shampoo and the Mousse are the best of the bunch (for me).

With the hair in place, it was time to ditch the washed-out T-Shirts.

Changing fashion in your 40s

I am by no means a fashion ambassador/icon. In fact, my fashion sense gets mocked more than applauded. I do appreciate a nice warm Cardigan with pockets, or a T-SHirt with a shirt on top combo. Mainly as I like being warm comfortable. So why did I decide to tweak my comfort zone? Mid-February, a convention I was attending with my friends. Who wants to be the one that gets refused entry into a venue for dressing comfortably?

It wasn’t about the Shirt combo, more concerns with my footwear. A pair of Black and White Vans that were starting to get a little scruffy. Catherine sent me a photograph of a model from Marks and Spenser, pointing out the shoes. I think they’re called Chelsea Boots.

Marks and Spencer clothing Model

So I spent a night marching around the Metrocentre looking for this style of shoe/boot. Turns out every shop has a version of them, it just goes down to what shade of brown you want or hardness of sole. In total denial that M&S was a shop for this you hipster, I visited every other shop. Eventually finding a similar shoe in Next. Even now that I own a pair, I can’t tell them apart. It was one of these Chelsea Boots!

Maybe a skinny pair of Jeans would go well and a smart jacket. Not a suit jacket, but better than an anorak. You can tell I hadn’t got a clue. And at the same time, I didn’t want to buy the entire set of clothing Catherine had photographed on the M&S Model.

So again I marched around the Metrocentre. Trying Debenhams, Next, Topman, River Island etc. Ending back at M&S. Finding a similar Jacket and an amazing pair of Skinny Jeans. The Jeans had really deep pockets like trousers. Very comfortable and reasonably priced. It is now official by turning 40, I have stepped into the Marksy era!

Alan is sporting a smart casual blue wool jacket from Marks and Spenser, worn across a white patterned long sleeve shirt from Next. His Skinny jeans could have been Skinnier, but were from M&S and have luxuriously deep pockets, even if he is the last to buy a pint. Chelsea Boots were from Next as were his socks and undies (not visible – thankfully).

That was possibly the easy part, next up is maintaining the look and moving forward with it. Wish me luck!

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