Men these days are wearing all colours from the Pantone shade card. Surely some colours should still be taboo, especially for trousers? How can blazing orange or electric blue on 40-something men be cool?
Historically suits worn by gentlemen were always darker in colour as these were meant to be more formal. It was the Sixties that saw a transition from formal and sharp to all colours on the Pantone chart, and even floral prints as shirts. With the dawn of high-fashion labels, men pushed themselves to wear what was trendy by picking whatever was the new collection off the peg and shunning the traditional practice of going to their tailor to discover their personal style and wear what’s been made specially for them.
In an attempt to come out with something different, fashion labels started experimenting with all sorts of colours, designs and styles, to the extent that colour shades blurred the lines between genders. Shocking pink became the new black for men. Celebrity endorsements, too, helped a bit.
What is important to note is that these were never marketed to a certain age group. Unlike women’s fashion, men’s fashion has always been pitched as the same regardless of age. This is where the answer to your question lies. Even high-fashion brands understand that men are meant to be sublime regardless of their age.
There is no rule book that says men who are in their 40s are not supposed to be wearing lighter or vibrant colours. They are able to do so depending on their image, personality and personal style.
Pierce Brosnan has worn lighter hues of blue, light grey and even bright pink in many Bond movies and carried it off with great panache. He also looks equally suave in darker colours and dinner jackets. The reason being, every ensemble he has put on is well thought out. He will wear an aqua blue jacket with a white trouser and will ensure the jacket has white buttons so the strong effect of the aqua blue gets subdued by the white, and also so it appears as a set.
Finally, to provide a bridge between these two polar opposite colours, a sky blue shirt is worn. The entire ensemble carefully takes you from the deep aqua blue to the light sky blue right down to the white in a subtly elegant manner. You feel that the entire ensemble is perfect but your mind can’t really make out why.
A man who doesn’t give enough thought to the way he dresses is a man who has not understood the first and foremost responsibility of being a true gentleman.
You can carry off orange or electric blue trousers at any age – as long as you understand how the clash of colours can be bridged with subtle details while dressing.