A lot of younger men ask us, how can we look older to be taken more seriously?
First of all, why do you want to look older than you are? We live in a world that seems to appreciate youth, at the same time, people judge you constantly. Youth, while mostly considerably advantageous in most cultures, can also have a connotation with impulsiveness or immaturity. Some people will also assume that you’re not as reliable and I mean all kinds of judgments, simply based on the age and the way you look. Maybe if a babyface, or just a young gent, wants to be taken more seriously and advance his career, it can also help you to get better service because you look older and chances are, you won’t be carded as easily and as often. Aside from the fact how old you actually are, the way you look, and the way you dress, are the first indicators people will see when they judge how old you are and how they will treat you.
What Can You Do To Look Older?
Avoid Trendy Styles And Looks That Exacerbate Your Young Age
That means, don’t wear t-shirts or sweatshirts as your main form of outerwear. Of course, if you wear an undershirt, that’s a different thing. Also, don’t wear trainers or gym clothes outside the gym, it just makes you look sloppy and younger than you actually are. The same goes for sweatpants and hoodies, those are typically things worn by younger men of the demographic or adolescence, so it will not help you to look older. In the same vein, wearing things with huge logos will quickly identify you as someone who is of the younger generation. Avoid wearing things with huge sports teams, maybe a collegiate sports team, your NFL team, or your favorite soccer jersey. It simply makes you look younger and immature. The same thing is true for backpacks; nothing makes you look like a schoolboy like wearing a backpack. Instead, upgrade to a briefcase, also avoid younger flashy accessories such as maybe an Apple watch or six wrist bracelets in all kinds of colorful things because that certainly makes you look young.
Get A Classic Haircut
What does that mean? Take a look at our guide on gentlemen’s haircuts and if you wear those, you will automatically look more mature. Stay clear of extreme cuts, extreme undercuts with lots of hair products that are just over the top, because that’s not something mature gentlemen would wear. Also, if you want to look older, a scruffy look, man buns, or long hair, are typically things not associated with older men and therefore, I’d stay away from that.
Opt For Glasses
No matter what you do, you actually need them. Having glasses will give you a more bookish, mature look that is really unparalleled. I suggest you stay away from bold colors and frames, rather go with classic styles in something like a tortoiseshell. Simply by adding glasses to your outfit, you’ll easily add a few years to your entire appearance. The same goes for sunglasses, stay away from cheap ones, or maybe trendy things like bamboo sunglasses and stick with classics such as an aviator, Wayfarer, or some persols.
Grow Facial Hair
If you have a baby face, if you look young, or if your jawline is not very pronounced, having a beard can really help to look older. Definitely, make sure it’s properly and neatly trimmed and to get a better understanding of what to look for and how to treat your beard, check out our in-depth beard guide.
Cover Your Tattoos & Take Out Your Piercing
Yes, in this day and age, most people in the younger generation have either piercings, or tattoos, and it’s something that’s very normal; but in our parents’ generation, or grandparents’ generation, it wasn’t normal so if you cover up your tattoos, you automatically look more mature and older.
Opt For A Classic Watch
Whether it’s a simple wristwatch with a round tile that is slim, in gold or silver, or maybe something a little more ornate. Make sure it’s not too big and oversized like a g-shock, or maybe some Invicta Watches because that just screams young and garish. If you want to add a few more years to your look, I really suggest you go with a pocket watch because it has a vintage feel to it, typically not something associated with young men.
Try To Work Out To Add Some Bulk To Your Body
If you’re young, chances are, you’re still quite slim and it can make you look like a boy. Adding some meat and getting that nice v-shape can help you to look older and more mature.
Put Your Phone Away
Even though there are lots of men of all generations really attached to their smartphone and constantly looking at it, typically, a more mature man knows how to go about life without being entertained at all times. Older men have lived without cell phones and they know what to do, maybe how to be charming, and pay attention to others. If you do that as a young man, you will automatically be perceived as being older and not someone from the younger generation who all the people sometimes can’t relate to or understand.
Hone Your Speech & Conversation Skills
Unnecessary “uhms”, “likes”, “ughh”, can really help you to appear more mature. The same is true about the speed you’re talking. If you’re just speaking too quickly and not clearly and it’s not thought through, people may think of you as more of a younger generation rather than if you have a deeper voice which is not something you can really affect, but the speed and the way you present things, clearly have an impact on how you’re perceived.
Learn How To Write Properly
Writing and the way you express yourself in writing may not be something that’s immediately visible, but if you are in a correspondence whether it be by email, if you have to write a card, it becomes obvious of what generation you are. No matter what you write, use full sentences, use proper grammar, and try to stay away from Smileys. If you go for handwritten notes, having a cursive handwriting immediately makes you look older because younger generations are not learning that anymore in school.
Dress Up In A Classic Way
It’s one of the easiest ways to appear older and there are lots of things to consider. First of all, slight overdressing will always be better than slight under dressing because it makes you look more mature. At the same time, when in doubt, always upgrade from casual to something more classic and maybe formal. In my opinion, the best way to appear older is to wear a suit. Young men typically don’t wear suits today so if you do, it automatically puts you into an older category. If young men wear suits today, oftentimes they have slim fit suits with very skinny lapels and you should stay away from that and go with a more classic lapel width and shape.
The other way to look older in a suit is to one, go with a three-piece suit with a matching vest; or two, to opt for a double-breasted suit with peak lapels because it gives you that nice V shape and just makes it look more formal and mature. If a suit is too much for you or if it’s inappropriate, think about wearing a jacket. Rather than a Harrington jacket, or maybe a field jacket that’s rather casual, go with a blazer or a sport coat. I find that tweed sport coats with elbow patches definitely make you look older than you are. On top of that, you can add a vest especially during the fall-winter season, it will keep you warm because of an additional layer, but it’s also a way to add some color and to add some maturity to your outfit.
Wear A Hat
Go With A Proper Overcoat
During the cold months of the year, rather than wearing a performance jacket that you may be where skiing, go with a proper overcoat. It will immediately make you look older and more mature. Also, instead of going with polo shirts or t-shirts, upgrade to dress shirts. Ideally, you want to keep them in subtle patterns and subtle colors such as pastels. Stay away from bold stripes and loud colors because older men typically don’t wear that.
Invest In Quality Products
Most young men today don’t have the funds to buy quality goods and so they go with cheap stuff from the likes of H&M. If you, on the other hand, invest in more quality products, it will show and make you look more mature. I hear you, good stuff has its price and it’s expensive, and you may not be able to afford that and that’s okay, however, you can go to a vintage store, find secondhand items that are of superb quality at a price that is lower than which would pay for cheap stuff at the retail.
Overall, younger men wear fewer ties than older men, so an easy way to look older is to go with ties. The problem I often see with ties and young men is they don’t know how to tie them properly so they get loose tie knots that hang down and it just makes you look younger or like an amateur who doesn’t know what he does.
An easy way to make your outfit look more mature is to add cufflinks to your outfit. Most young guys wear barrel cuffs with buttons so a dress shirt with French cuffs and a pair of cufflinks will just make you look more mature, and more well dressed.
No matter what you decide to wear it’s important to always wear them with confidence and always to be comfortable in what you wear. Maybe you can find an older man that you look up to that you still consider to be stylish but more mature and try to analyze his outfits, what colors he is choosing, what items, what patterns, and then try to model your outfits after that. In general, I found older men prefer colors that are not as bold so that’s something to always keep in mind.