AW on Ageism: Q&A with The Grey Fox

Posted 03/09/2019 16:27

Men's style

It seems that the world is obsessed with staying young, looking great and trying to pretend we’re not getting any older, but we believe getting older is a privilege.

Contrary to what the media tells us, many of us actually enjoy and appreciate getting older.

In this blog series, we’re going to be talking to men about ageism and how they feel about the pressures of society. We’ll be speaking to clients, influencers, and men from all walks of life.

To kick things off, we’re talking to the wonderful Grey Fox who you may remember from our Man of the Month .

Without further ado, here’s Grey Fox on ageism.

How do you feel about getting older?

Privileged. Age brings many benefits, from more happiness to more time and (for many of us) financial security. It may also bring the delights of family and retirement. Of course, I do sometimes think that time is running out, but I make up for this by doing more and the benefits of ageing are far greater than any small disadvantages.

Have you changed the way you dress as you get older and if so, how?

Indirectly, yes. I started my blog because I wasn’t sure how to dress as I got older. Through the blog, I explored all sorts of styles and types of menswear, from affordable ready to wear, to Savile Row bespoke. Overall, I’d have to say that I dress better than I did before.

Do you feel there is too much pressure to look younger these days?

Yes, for women in particular. I see beautiful older women apologising on social media for their looks. There is strong pressure on them to dye their hair or pay for cosmetic procedures. I hope that the current move towards pride in age will become stronger so that the signs of age are not seen as a curse.

As a man, I don’t feel such pressures. Grey hair and a few lines are seen as badges of honour in men - and they should be seen the same way in women.

What’s your response to the guidance on how to dress over a ‘certain age’?

Most of it, if not all of it, is penned by young fashion writers who have no idea what they’re talking about. Naturally our style and tastes will change with age and, for example, it’s unwise to try to dress like your children, but otherwise style is a very personal thing and rules about what to wear or not to wear are unnecessary.

Where do you seek inspiration from?

From all sorts of things. Art and nature for colour and texture, from men and women who dress well for style inspiration, and from books and film for the stories that influence how we want to appear to the world.

Where do you buy your clothes and is it different to when you were younger?

I buy from everywhere, from the high street through to made to measure and bespoke tailors. I try to avoid following one brand as it’s best to select and vary your clothes to suit your style and personality - something that’s particularly important as you get older. A good tailor can help you identify your style and what suits you and of course this is a service you provide, Alex.

Are there certain aspects you look for in clothes that you might not have looked for before?

I look for quality and fit. I also expect ethically and sustainably made clothing where possible. We should aim to buy less but buy well - to buy lots of cheap clothing is wasteful and you have to ask why the products are so cheap - how good it the quality? How much were the workers paid who made those products? You have to pay for quality, but the clothes will last longer, and you can be more confident that they’ve been ethically produced.

Thank you so much for your time, Grey Fox!
Alexandra Wood & Co