Yes, it’s true. Even though we don’t wear makeup (or if we do, we would never admit it to anybody), we men must admit to at least a little vanity when nobody’s looking. Some guys age very well (Sean Connery) without much help, but for the rest of us, once we cross the chasm of middle-age we need a few secrets in the bathroom medicine cabinet.
Taking care of oneself after 50 (or at any age, for that matter) is a hard sell here in the industrial Midwest, where the cologne of choice is usually named something like “Pit Bull,” “Diesel” or “Stetson,” meaning we have a choice of smelling like a wet dog, gasoline or a smelly cowboy hat. (Yes, I know Pit Bull is some sort of musician, but you get the point.) I think though, that taking care of oneself after 50 should start with scent. Come on, who doesn’t remember that mysterious old grandpa smell? What is that? Where did it come from? Why don’t young people ever smell like that? And now that I have it, how do I get rid of it?
Five-dollar drugstore cologne is not going to go very far in getting rid of your grandpa smell, my fellow old-timers. In fact, those cheap brands will probably add to it. When I was a kid I remember my dad had two go-to brands: Old Spice, and English Leather. Both have a scent that is reminiscent of a guy who has been working on a ’67 Buick.
I know you don’t want to, but you’ll have to part with a hundy and get something decent. My two personal favorites are Acqua di Gio and Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, and my most recent purchase of Bleu de Chanel actually crossed north of that hundred-dollar mark but was worthwhile. No more grandpa smell for me.
The second anti-aging tip for us old guys is just to pay a little more attention to our clothes. Sure, when you’re 20, you can probably get away with a lot and still look good. Those days are gone, my friends, but a nice well-fitting jacket with a pocket square and a fedora is still going to turn the heads of younger women now and then.
Now on to the facial hair. The three-day stubble trend again really works well for a 30-year-old, but if you’re 60 and sporting that style, you just look like you should be outside pushing a shopping cart. It’s time for an all-or-nothing choice – either grow a proper beard or shave it off. Once you’re over 50, there is no in between.
There is help of course, and an informative Esthetics Hub with some useful anti-aging advice that you will find useful. Read it, buy the stuff, but don’t ever tell anybody. You still need to have a few secrets.
Dan Blacharski is editor-in-chief of TheVivant.com.