Modern Classic Style: Essential Clothing for Men in Their 40s

Your style needs to evolve as you age. In your 40s, say goodbye to cheap clothing and instead, welcome the best quality that you can afford. You worked for it. You deserve it. With that said, even a designer outfit can look sloppy if you aren’t styling it correctly, and that’s why our team at Berle is here to help.

Completely revamping your wardrobe can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be when you have a solid plan and a few classic rules to follow. In your 40s, modern classic is a wise style to aim for. Items in this category are neither too casual or too formal. As a result, your wardrobe will enjoy a lot of diversity and the ability to mix and match just about everything.

Golden Rules

1) Invest in High-Quality Fabrics

If you haven’t already, now is the time to move away from trendy items and cheap materials and instead, choose classic pieces made with high-quality fabrics. When styling a classic look like blue jeans and a white shirt, the fabric that you wear is one small detail that will either make you appear sloppy or polished. Remember, the quality of fabric you choose is important both for comfort and to ensure a longer shelf life.

2) Adjust Your Fits

Now that you’re investing in higher quality items, make sure that you’re buying fits and styles that suit your body type. If you don’t already know your measurements, now is the time to either visit a tailor or grab some measuring tape. Knowing your chest and shoulder measurements will give you a good idea of what size you wear and also what styles and fits shirts are most flattering for your body type (for example, modern vs classic fits) This information will also come in handy if you do any of your shopping online. For example, at Berle, we offer complimentary hemming on all our trousers. However, we can’t match you with the perfect fit without those numbers.

3.) Details

The days of buying clothes that sit in your closet forever are over. Now is the time to think more carefully about your wardrobe as a whole, including tiny details like the colors you wear. Most men in their 40s are looking for a classic look that is simple to pull together. For this reason, it’s wise to stick with neutral colors whenever you buy clothing. By doing so, you’ll have an easier time making use of everything you purchase. Why? Because these colors will always look great together!

Essential Buys

If you aren’t ready for a complete overhaul of your wardrobe, you can start by choosing a few items here and there. To help you get started, here are a few modern classic items to consider.


You are going to want a nice selection of trim chinos and khakis to choose from in your wardrobe. These trousers can easily be dressed up or dressed down, and that means you’ll get maximum use from them. When choosing the colors of your chinos, also consider the colors of other staple pieces in your wardrobe like your jackets and blazers. Remember to choose a few chinos to match these dressier pieces and a few other colors for more casual looks. Here are a few versatile colors to consider.

Featured items:
Charleston Khakis Stretch Sateen Flat Front Regular Rise in Olive
Charleston Khakis Fine Line Stretch Twill Flat Front Regular Rise in Navy
Classic Linen Pant Flat Front Regular Rise in Natural
Performance Dress Khaki, Self Sizer, Flat Front Long Rise in Black

Plain T-Shirts

It’s time to ditch the graphic tees. Simple, plain t-shirts should be your go-to's for a more polished casual look now. Once again, don’t cut corners on quality here, and remember to choose well-fitted styles in neutral colors. Remember, the quality of your t-shirt and the fit will either make or break your look.

Sophisticated Sneakers

Your shoes are another important item that will either make or break your look. As a general rule of thumb, avoid the generic white walking shoes that you see many dads wearing. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Rather than classic dad shoes, opt for a more sophisticated, classic white tennis shoe. A great example is the Adidas Stan Smith with its leather upper and clean shape.

Outfit Inspiration

When it comes to modern classic style, you have a lot of options. Here are a few outfits to consider when building your wardrobe.

  • A Cashmere sweater in grey – Works well with chinos and white leather sneakers for a more casual look. For a professional look, layer an Oxford button-up underneath and opt for dress shoes.
  • Button-up oxfords in a mix of white, pale blue, and blue striped – Pair with Charleston khakis and dress shoes for a professional look, or Prime Poplin shorts and white leather sneakers for a sophisticated casual look.
  • Polo t-shirts - can be dressed up with chinos and dress shoes or worn casually with Prime Poplin shorts and white sneakers.

Get the Look at Berle

In the end, many of the same fashion tips for men in their 40s apply to men of all ages: stay with the classics, wear clothes that fit, and purchase quality items that are built to last and hold their shape.

At Berle, our collections emphasize quality and superior craftsmanship with fine, hand-tailored fabrics from around the world. If you’re ready to upgrade your wardrobe, shop our Tailored Collection today. Complimentary hemming is always included with your order.