Aging Benefits

Various web sites are fond of showing “then” and “now” pictures of various celebrities. The perky child star of the 1970’s now looks like (gasp!) a middle aged woman! She certainly didn’t hold together well! Now I’ve written on this before, but I’d like to add a slightly different slant.

I have the advantage in that I was never a “hunk” or any other highly sought after physical specimen in my younger days. Coming from good Polish-German peasant stock I’m short and, shall we say, solidly built. However, in my own defense, unlike most of my more physically appealing high school contemporaries, I was still able to hold my own in body armor and a weapon while in my fifties.

Which, of course, leads me to the subject of hats – which I’ve already written about as well.

(What do you expect; if there are only 8 basic plots for fiction writers, there is bound to be a limit on original ideas for bloggers.)

If I recall, I bemoaned the decline in the variety of hats with baseball caps being the predominate choice, and a commensurate lack of hat manners such as removing them indoors. However, if you’re a regular reader you know I have this annoying habit of always looking for the silver lining.

I found one.

While shopping with my wife earlier in the summer, the tropical shirt display was offset by an inexpensive white canvas fedora. I tried it on, half-jokingly – half hopingly and asked my wife what she thought. Her comment was that it was better than the (wait for it) baseball caps I usually wore. I began to wear the hat with the tropical shirts and claim I was channeling my inner Arlo Guthrie. I waited for the comments to start.

They did.

But instead of deriding comments, I got compliments. It seems that one of the advantages of getting older is that you can adopt the style you couldn’t get away with earlier. Only a very few young guys can wear a fedora – say a young Harry Anderson. The rest of us couldn’t, at least when we were young. But now, the playing field is much more even.

If you’re not sure of what a fedora looks like, think the first two Godfather movies. Almost every man wore a fedora with the occasional bowler thrown in for good measure. Still not sure – Indiana Jones signature hat was a fedora.

My grandfather wore fedoras almost his whole life, but back then, everybody did. When I was a teenager in the 60’s I wouldn’t have figured that I’d follow in his footsteps. But look at what happened.

If the websites had their way, they’d expect me to still wear bell bottom pants with a wide belt and a paisley shirt. I don’t think so. So there’s the silver lining. When you get and look older, you can adopt a style to your own liking.

26 responses to “Aging Benefits

  1. I love hats, for men & women! Its difficult to find an occasion for wearing a hat in my area of the country, for women at least. Well, other than the Nashville cowboy hat but really…when you see that, its either a tourist or a hopeful singer on their way to a gig. But anyway, its always good to hear the upside of aging, and embracing your individuality! Congrats on being freahly pressed!

  2. The person who reads too much and uses his brain too little will fall into lazy habits of thinking. —Albert Einstein

  3. And, yet, people look at me oddly when they see that I’m a woman in her mid-thirties with purple and red streaks in my hair. Guess I’m not old enough yet… Sigh… (…although there was one teenager at the grocery store that did compliment me…)

  4. Rock that fedora – I’m sure it’s fabulous! 😉

  5. Very nice message there. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that I knew what a fedora was, and am only 27. But, Michael Jackson… in the Smooth Criminal video, and probably others, had a fedora on with his white suit.

  6. That’s true, you certainly need to have confidence to pull off wearing certain types of hats. But also to a degree as you get older perhaps you become more comfortable in your own skin and therefore you’re more inclined to wear what you want rather than what others expect you to.

  7. changeforbetterme

    This is so true. With women also. Now, as I get older I dress for comfort and not to attract. I’m beyond that. I dress how I like. There are some perks with getting older 😉

  8. Style is always a good thing! My Dad, at 83, still looks terrific — silk pocket square and all. 🙂

  9. How right you are. Older than yesterday opens another door. I wore fedoras when I was younger, stopped wearing them for who knows why, and have started wearing something similar again. And I bet you can drop that thing on your head with the perfect tilt without using a mirror.

  10. OH I think a paisley shirt and a fedora would be quite spiffy! I hate to get all boring and dull but have you noticed that as the wearing of decent brimmed hats declined the incidence of skin block AND skin cancer has increased. I only say this because as i have gotton older i have begun to wear hats too (I wear a wide brimmed wedding hat while working on the farm, it is perfect)! and I believe that I am in wrinkle decline. phew. good morning. i am cecilia. have a lovely day! c

  11. Exactly! I too have discovered that, once one gets “old,” one can get away with more, sartorially speaking (tho’ I still wouldn’t wear plaid pants with a striped shirt). And besides, I no longer care what others think, being comfortable in my Medicare-backed retirement.

  12. When I was a kid in New York my Dad and all businessmen for that matter wore a fedora. Glad to see someone bringing back the style. Hope is catches on again.

  13. Congrats on the FP. I’ve noticed some classical hat styles making a comeback. I never was a baseball cap fan, so I’ve been thinking about a Fedora or Stetson…

  14. How true it all is. Perhaps as we age we are forgiven for our dress sense? Perhaps we are turning into our parents? Perhaps we are beginning to finally grow up and appreciate true style?

  15. liked the blog i wear a fascinator didt know it was called that i just liked it so i wear it xjen

  16. Love this! Along with the usual jeans, graphic tees, sweatshirts and Nikes, my son added a black fedora to his back to school wardrobe – I was shocked and didn’t say a word lest he change his mind. As soon as I paid for the clothes, he pulled the black fedora out of the bag and plopped it on his head – quite jaunty!

  17. Hats off to you for being freshly pressed! 🙂

  18. Thank God for aging! The fedora is a classic. but I still don’t dare put iton. I’m still in the baseball cap stage.. Actually I like folding a balaklava/ski mask and wearing it as a hat. You’ll never know when you need to cover your face. LOL

  19. One of the things I liked about an ex boyfriend, was that he wasn’t afraid to wear unconventional accessories. His ancestry is mostly Ukraine, but once when we went out he donned a colorful dashiki hat he’d picked up at a 2nd hand shop, his dressy black leather jacket, and a funky tie from his collection. We were at a pub where there was some great rock, and he was asked whether he was a musician. Next time we went out it was to a very funky place that tourists like to frequent so they can come away feeling they had some ‘atmosphere’ while they were in town. The music was a couple of past-middle aged guys in dark clothing, very cool, playing bluesy rock. My boyfriend had dressed in his funky stuff, so I had branched out and tried it myself: black pointed heels, black tights, black shortish skirt, bright green deep scoopneck sweater, black leather jacket, black eyeliner, red lipstick. It was the tourists in their Land’s End and Eddie Bauer outfits that looked out of place to me, for the first time EVER. My boyfriend loved how I looked, which gave me the nerve to ask the musicians to play a Fabulous Thunderbirds tune…which they promptly did. I felt totally funkified. Anyway, I really enjoyed your article. Men who have fun dressing up are hard to find, unfortunately. The last guy I dated was all about the long leg cargo shorts, athletic shoes, white socks, and overstretched polo’s. He’d been dressed by his boring wife for 30 years. I hope men take your article here, to heart. I want a guy who has fun with his clothes and accessories, not just because he looks good, but because then he inspires me to have fun with it, too!

  20. Fantastic point of view!

  21. Aging is graceful & it is not about the deglam look or wrinkles.You have just shown an awesome perspective.Thanks for the post.Great read.


  22. I always wear a hat. Weirdly, people always comment, like its an odd thing. I mean come on, hats are not only stylish they can serve important purposes, mainly blocking the powerful sun from you face, eyes, and head, I mean come on, everybody should be wearing a hat!

  23. I remember reading a sign that quite aptly summed up five stages of life we all (most of us?) Go through. It’s not accurate – my brain is oft unreliable – but it goes some’tin like this!

    1) when you’re a kid, you don’t care about what anyone thinks of you
    2) when you’re a teen, you do care about what people think of you
    3) when you’re in your twenties, you pretend not to care about what people think of you
    4) when you’re in your thirties, you care less what people think of you
    5) when you’re past 50, you don’t care about what anyone thinks of you

    As a 24 y/o, I can’t attest to the truth in this. But from what I’ve seen, it seems true enough.

    Rock the fedora! I bet you look dapper as all fudge in it!

  24. Pretty cool, I think I will be in the fedora as well when I am …older.
    Never been much of a hat guy, but like my Dad, who has much less hair than he had in the 70’s, he has adopted the baseball cap as his “hair style”
    and as my hair has started to deplete, i only have to choose which baseball team will be my “hair style”. Any suggestions?
    thanks for sharing and congrats on the FP!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.