When should you stop with the backwards hat, customized sports jersey, Speedo, long hair and more?
An article has been circling around in the Land of Blogs about a survey that determined the ages when women are “too old” to wear certain items. For example, 47 was deemed the cutoff for a bikini, 51 for stilettos, 35 for a miniskirt, and so on.
For today, I put together the male gender’s version. But unlike that list, I don’t really care for hard-and-fast cutoffs. There are always exceptions to every rule. So here are 11 ages when the average man is too old for certain fashion choices… plus some key exceptions to each rule.
1 | Professional sports jersey customized with your name
The cutoff here is around age 33 or so. The reason: You can’t do this once you’re older than all of the actual players on the team. Because then, even the one in a billion dream scenario of the customized jersey gets weird…
You get your own customized jersey with your last name on it. You’re at the game. Front row, of course. Almost everyone on the team gets injured. Facing down a forfeit the coach or manager looks to the stands. He spots you. “Come here and get in the game,” he shouts, “hell, you’ve already got the jersey!” You race down and get in the game. Then you look around, realize you’re older than all of the other guys on the team and promptly pull a hamstring.
Exceptions to that age cutoff: There’s already a player on the team with your name (like if your last name happens to be Abdul-Jabbar, go for it)… you and your kid both get customized jerseys to be cute… you’re Julio Franco and might make another run.
2 | Letterman’s jacket
Age 18. Yeah… it has to go into storage as soon as you get home from high school graduation. Before you even get Vitamin C’s Friends Forever out of your head you’ve got to fold up those leather sleeves and put it up in the attic.
Exceptions: You form a tag team with the Steiner Brothers… you go to a “dress like you did in high school” party… it’s the 10th or 25th anniversary of the time you scored four touchdowns in a game for Polk High and you’re being honored on the field.
3 | Earrings
I got into a long debate with people over this one as I tend to lean on the side of “wear ’em until The Man forces you not to.” Which should be approximately 27. That’s around when people inadvertently grow up a little bit.
Exceptions: Pirate… Rob Thomas… gypsy… prima donna NFL wide receiver.
4 | Backwards hat
This generally needs to happen before age 30. Basically, once your hat is concealing a receding hairline or at least a few wicked widow’s peaks, it should be on forwards.
Exceptions: Umpiring a little league game… trying to spark a rally but can’t get your hat to turn inside-out… spontaneous moment of amour… you get an audition and want to fit in with Good Charlotte.
5 | Unattractive facial hair
You can use your 20s to experiment with things like the soul patch, fu manchu, flavor saver, Rollie Fingers, chin strap, mutton chop, John Waters, and Hasidic Jew.
The average marriage age for men is now 28. So the absolute final cutoff on these should average 26-and-a-half, seeing as all are prohibitive in finding a wife.
Exceptions: Participating in the World Beard and Mustache Championships… magician… member of ZZ Top… joining a barbershop quartet… you have plans to ride one of those bicycles with the giant front wheel and tiny back wheel.
6 | Skinny jeans
As Danny DeVito proved on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, grown men have no place in skinny jeans. These should probably be gone by age 22.
Exceptions: You work at a record store, trendy barbershop or Hot Topic… you’re a famous British person… trying to make a negative impact on fertility.
7 | Wearing a baseball glove to the ballpark
I remember when I stopped taking my glove to games. It was when I turned 12 and, as a middle schooler, was mortified at the thought of outwardly demonstrating that kind of uncool effort. And after you’ve gotten through your detachment years… you probably shouldn’t throw the glove back on. The cutoff is 12. Make a barehanded grab like a man or get on SportsCenter by catching the ball in your beer cup.
Exceptions: You go to the game with your child and he OR SHE wants you to have an equal chance to catch a ball… you’re secretly smuggling airplane bottles of bourbon in the fingers.
8 | Sweatpants in public
Frankly, I don’t ever have a problem with this. I have a pair of sweatpants and I think they’re fine for social occasions. And probably outstanding at strip clubs. But every female I talked to about this list objected strongly to any older, slovenly man in sweatpants. The agreed-upon cutoff age was 44.
Exceptions: Just running out to grab breakfast or eggs or something at the grocery store… yoga instructor… the pants are part of some kind of track suit and you’re a mobster.
9 | Long hair
Didn’t you see the sign? “Long-haired, freaky people need not apply”? (Man, I wish just one time I’d have walked in for a job interview and seen that sign in today’s litigious society. I would’ve gone home, downed a year’s supply of Dimoxinil to grow my hair out, and then filed a wonderful lawsuit.) Anyway, before I got distracted, we ruled that this starts looking wrong after age 34.
Exceptions: Pro wrestler, American Gladiator, or biracial or Samoan football player… genuine hippie… member of a jam band… Native American… eccentric scientific genius.
10 | Speedo
The most common answer I heard when I asked people was “I don’t know… eight or nine?” I don’t know about that. If you’re built for a Speedo as an adult, wear a Speedo. But if you’re not built for a Speedo… or even unsure if you are or aren’t built for a Speedo… then don’t wear a Speedo. And absolutely stop by age 85.
Exceptions: Pot-bellied European… Hot Cop… you’re a shockingly cut Hank Azaria in Along Came Polly… professional swimmer… vacation in Brazil.
11 | A t-shirt with a penis/vagina/sex joke
You get a one-year grace period in adult life, and then it’s time to move on. So the cutoff for a penis t-shirt is 23.
Even if the shirt hi-lariously has an arrow pointing toward your face that says “The Man” and one pointing toward your crotch that says “The Legend.” Even if the shirt even more hi-lariously says “I’m not a gynecologist but I’ll take a look.” Even if the shirt even EVEN more hi-lariously says “Let’s flip a coin: Heads I get tail, tails I get head.”
Exceptions: You run a t-shirt shop in a tourist-y beach area… you actually work professionally as a Female Body Inspector… you are on vacation and determined to stay faithful to your new girlfriend and want to make sure to repel all women.