R5 Ask the Fashion Expert

Q. My husband, who is in his late 50s, is stuck in the Sixties fashions and is into looking like he’s about 20. He shops at the Gap and Banana Republic. He and our sons basically wear the same things. What should I do?

A. Whenever I try and pick out clothes I’d love my boyfriend to wear, he usually just makes a face and heads to the next rack. While I still stand by my choices (they were great, I swear) I think someone with a higher success rate should probably tackle this question. For the answer, I turned to Ken Giddon, owner of Rothman’s in Scarsdale and NYC. “This is easy to solve,” he says, “Many sportswear companies realize that guys in their 40s and 50s want to look young, but probably should not be wearing the same trendy clothes that their twenty year old is wearing. The dad risks looking like he is trying way too hard. He probably should trade up a bit from Banana and Gap, and look for denim lines like Agave and Seven for All Mankind. Masons Khakis are shorter rise, contemporary fit, (expensive- amazing fabrics made in Italy) but perfect for the hipper Dad. There are plenty of shirt lines (Rufus,Tailorbyrd, Hugo Boss) that are narrow and modern, and Z-Zegna is a tremendous, modern suit or sportcoat line for a hipper adult.”

Q. “I am a 24-year-old college graduate and, yes, a guy. I don’t care about fashion particularly, but I can’t believe that women over 30 wear leggings. I feel it’s so not age appropriate. Don’t you agree?”

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A. No way! I might not be that much older than you, but I definitely think women in their 30s and 40s and even 50s can pull off leggings! Just look at Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker; they’re both over 40 (Catrall is 52 for goodness sakes) and can pull off almost any outfit—I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in a pair of leggings here and there and anyone who can pull off styles like this and this always wins in my book.

For women other than say, teenagers in high school, the key thing to remember is that what you wear with the leggings is really important. Stay away from shirts that are too short (i.e., don’t cover your behind), or too tight. Stick with tunics, long sweaters, and dresses, then pair with great accessories like belts and flats. This way, regardless of age, you can still look trendy while not looking trashy.

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