When I was still in my teens I swore I would stop wearing jeans the day I hit forty (it may even have been thirty). Ah, the militant certainty of youth. I still wear jeans, of course. Seventy-year olds wear jeans. You can wear what you damn well like, regardless of how old you are. Well, up to a point...
Let me illustrate what I mean. Take trainers, for example. No, bear with me. I know it's a subject pathologically done to death by the writers of Duped and Bemused, but trainers do provide a handy hook for the sort of cod trendiology that I am about to indulge in.
I was a late convert to the nano-fetish of trainers. Sure, I wore Converse baseball boots when I was thirteen along with my greatcoat, Oxford bags and scoop T-shirts. But I was into my thirties before I knew or gave a damn about the pros and cons of Vans V Adidas. (It has to be Adidas). I bought a modest four pairs in New York last year. And there was one pair that it took me months to wear for the first time. Partly because I wanted to keep them pristine and box-fresh. But mainly because, for a while, I wasn't sure that their luminous whiteness, and funky Paisley detailing wasn't just a little, well, young. But they looked so good with the dirty indigo straight (byebye bootleg) jeans, the white cutaway double-cuff shirt with my wife's grandfather's Vegas 'links and the Shener Adam pinstripe jacket, I realised what a worryheaded fool I had been. Lesson? You can wear whatever you damn well like, regardless of age..so long as it looks right. If you're still consulting GQ on stuff like this, you're a boy, not yet a man.
PS - the Adidas are strictly "bar to car" so stay fresh.
PPS - I was taught almost all I know about how to look right by my older brother. He has the instinct. He was born with it. More about him another day.