Full disclosure: I'm in my late twenties. If I was ever cool, I probably reached peak coolness sometime around twenty-two, when I didn't have to have a job that required my full attention, and as such I could spend my time worrying about things like what bands have "sold out" and which craft beer will tell the girl at the house party that I'm classy yet down to Earth.
Writing for a pop culture web site continually reminds me that my coolest days are behind me. My editors have to tell me about phrases like "on fleek." From time to time, I'll make a pop culture analogy, only to have it replaced with one more current. Sometimes, I read through my copy to see names that I have only cursory familiarity with, like Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea in my articles, replacing references to pop stars from the TRL era and indie bands from 2003.
While I can't offer you coolness, what I can offer you is perspective. If there is such a thing as aging gracefully, it begins sooner than you think. We all know that you don't want to be the 55 year-old man with frosted tips wearing an Ed Hardy shirt, but the sad truth is that there are some fashion items that you'll get too old for sooner than you think. As you edge your way towards thirty, you'll realize that it's best that your skinny jeans are no longer so skinny, that your cargo shorts have a little less cargo. As the years go by, looking good looks different. Something that was a staple of your closet three years ago may have to head to Goodwill where it will find a loving home with a younger, cooler man. Here are 10 Trendy Clothing Items You Should Leave In Your 20s.
No one is asking you make the move right from skinny jeans to dad jeans. That's something that you shouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Dad jeans have brought low some of the most powerful men in the free world.
However, at a certain point, you have to acknowledge reality. Even the fittest among us will start feeling the effects of gravity sooner or later, and there comes a certain age where it is no longer polite to walk around in public showing subtly showing off the outline of your balls.
Don't go full dad jean, but as the years go by, a good fit might mean just a little more give to that denim. Your goal should be buying jeans that fit, and fit well. If you've been hitting the squat rack hard, it's okay to wear pants that show off those hard-earned glutes. But, please recognize that you aren't at a Fallout Boy concert circa 2003. It is time to let the boys breathe and leave a little something to the imagination.
Don't despair, dude bros. There are still certain venues where your cargo shorts are acceptable. Once you get older, you can still wear them around the house. You can mow your lawn in them, just as your father wore his way too short cut-off jean shorts to mow the lawns of your childhood. You can wear them on your beach vacation as you sip Corona Lights from bottle protected by "Life's A Beach" koozies. You can even where them when you scream, red-faced at your future child's youth soccer games.
As far as more social public settings go, there is a hard and fast rule. When you leave college and finally place your hackeysack and decorative bong in long-term storage, it is time to retire those cargo shorts as well. If you wear cargo shorts to the bar after age 25, you are going to repel women as readily as I do when I tell them I'm a freelance writer. If you wear cargo shorts to a restaurant that doesn't have a red sign you can see from the interstate, you are guilty of a fashion faux pas.
There is no need to rend your cargo shorts in a fit of bro rage. You can hang onto your precious cargos, just remember there is a right time and place for those many-pocketed shorts.
Ideally, you never wear a hat backwards unless you're the catcher for a basebeall team or you're the frontman of Limp Bizkit.
If you're just one of those people that loves having their head covered, but hates the idea of keeping the sun out of your eyes, you are allowed to practice this style faux pas into your mid-twenties. After that, it's time to turn your hat forward and look to the future. The backwards hat is a sign of cheeky, somewhat douchey youthful rebellion, much like hanging out at the gas station smoking cigarettes and rolling your eyes whenever an adult give you useful advice. Once you become the adult giving said advice and you start telling kids to stop smoking and go home, it's time to give up the backwards hat.
Too Deep V-Neck Shirts
Shirts With Too Many Buttons Left Unbuttoned
At a certain age, it is no longer cool to party like a rock star. Right around the same time, it becomes poor form to wear your shirt like a rock star. No one is asking you tuck in your shirt and look like the floor manager at Kohl's, but you need to enforce a strict two button limit no matter how lose you are trying to hang.
As you get older, you have to tidy up a number of things in your life. You should drink one or two less beers. You should tidy up your room a couple more times a week. And you should utilize most of the buttons on your shirt as God and the designer intended. There will come a point where you're too old for anyone to care if you're buttoning any of the buttons on your shirt at all. But, until that day comes, keep it tasteful.
Drop Crotch Pants
Thankfully, I was already too old for these bad boys when they hit the scene. The idea of taking fashion cues from Justin Bieber makes as much sense to me as taking etiquette tips from Justin Bieber. Even a more conservative jogger pant feels like a crotch too low.
If you're in your late teens or early twenties, by all means, wear yourself some harem pants. We all need photos to regret in our old age. Just beware that with each generation comes youth fashion that wears well only on the young and the beautiful. These trendy fashions are not meant for those too far on the wrong side of twenty-five. Just as the seventies didn't look kindly on dad bods trying to squeeze in to punk rock garb and the 90s grunge look didn't wear well on people old enough to be a part of the system, youth fashion remains for youths. If you are young and beautiful and stupid, sow your wild olds while wearing harem pants, young man. But, when the sweet bird of youth flutters away, and the first streaks of grey hair arrive on your once golden mane, let that bird take the harem pants with it.