Friday, 28 February 2014

A reader asks - hats, beards and the balding older man

A reader asks (a series in which Grey Fox helps other older men in their search for style).....

Dear Mr Fox, 
Please accept compliments on your excellent blog (including links) which neatly coincides with my intended style. As you have probably already guessed I am a middle aged man who aspires to improve my dress. Currently I spend most of my life in jeans and technical clothing and have realised I need to tidy myself up. I am 59 years old, still fit thanks to a lifetime of cycling and athletics but grey-fine haired round the sides and bald on top as you will see on the photo.

My big problem(s):
  1. Given the scarcity of it, I would very much value your opinion on what hairstyle and facial hair (if any) I should adopt. 
  2. What style of hat should I consider instead of baseball caps and beanie hats? A strong Yorshire accent has made me wary of wearing flat caps.
The chaps on the Fashionbeans forum have given me some excellent help and advice so far on choosing classic clothing which I am pleased to follow especially as it is consistent with predominantly buying British. A member of that forum put me onto your blog. I very much look forward to your advice. 

Best regards

Grey Fox replies.....

Dear Andrew, 

Forgive the delayed reply and thanks for the comments on the blog. 

I take it you have adequate sartorial advice now, so let me address your question about the hair. I’ve written before on the blog for balding men and the advice I gave (having consulted many experts!) was that close-cropped neatly-cut hair is best – very much as you have now. If you want facial hair as well, the same goes, closely cut and neat – however, if you feel a bit more flamboyant the style in the attached image works very well I think – a slightly longer beard. 

Image Alan Paine

As for hats, a beanie or a trilby may be the best options – but I wouldn’t rule out the flat cap simply because you’re from Yorkshire; why not celebrate it? The choice will depend what you’re wearing it with – trilby with suit, jacket and beanie with very informal and sports wear. 

I’m sure you’ve been advised that good fit is absolutely essential – ensure jackets fit across shoulders (go to a tailor for alteration if not), and avoid teen fashions like baggy jeans and t-shirts. You’re lucky in (like me, as a cyclist) having an athletic figure – use it! 

I hope that’s helpful. If I haven’t answered the question, or you have any supplementary, let me know; I’m very happy to help. 

Best wishes 
Grey Fox

Grey Fox's previous scribblings on baldness can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Have to say GF I diagree about no t shirts. For example marinierre's offer a very stylish addition to amy mans wardrobe. ( See Picasso for example.)
what about those of us who have to wear suits and jackets to work and want something more casual in our down time? for me this is where good Americana comes in RRL sell some particularly good pieces.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? You, sir, are in an enviable position for 99% of men yiur age. This one is easy....

Avoid hats if they concern you.
Avoid facial hair if you're not sure about what to do.
Buy the bests tailored clothes you can lay your hands on.
A pair of slin fit indigo jeans in fine. Hiut denim are worth the cash.

And please ignore any typos. Was compelled to type this via phone on the way home.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Grey Fox,
I think your reader should Google Search "Prince Michael of Kent", and click on images. That man is balding but has nicely kept facial hair. If a full beard is not to his liking he should thing about a mustache or goatee.

Grey Fox said...

Thanks for the suggestions; yes, maybe I was unfair about t-shirts, but generally the other suggestions are spot on - it'a all about overall appearance rather than just one or two factors.


Anonymous said...

Hi there Grey Fox,
Thinking about the man, I think he should have someone take his picture straight on, then right profile and after that left profile "Clean Shaven". Then he should grow a Full Beard. At that point, again, he should have someone take a picture of him straight on, Right Profile and Left Profile. After that he should trim away the sides of the Beard to form a Goatee. At that point he should have his pictures taken again from the Front, and Both Left and Right Side Profiles. Finally after that he should trim off the Goatee and just leave the Mustache. Again he should have the photos taken the Three different Ways. After having all of the different shots of himself from the three angles, with different amounts of facial hair, he could than study them and decide which of the three, if ANY, is the best option for him. If one of the options that is more than the Mustache suits him best, he could grow in the facial hair and that will be it.

Sarah Gilfillan said...

Hello gentlemen,

When you don't have any hair to frame your face, it's good to find something else that will act as an alternative, that's why I think facial hair works well on lots of balding guys.

If you wear glasses I suggest you go for something with quite a strong frame to give a point of reference to the face. Check out the google images of Stanley Tucci (a very sexy balding man!) - I think he looks best with glasses and a beard.

And btw - flat caps are infinitely better than baseball caps!!Never mind about the Yorkshire accent!

Grey Fox said...

Thanks Sarah and Fred - excellent comments as ever.


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