Despite the assertion that college men are the best dressed in America — a statement made by Apparel Arts or some such in the 1930s — in general men dress better as they age. Their tastes refine, they’ve got more money to spend, and most of all they’ve put in practice — about 10,000 hours of it.

This post is a recycling of my latest Huffington Post column, which is in turn a recycling of an essay in the latest issue of The Rake. I combined some of Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas from his book “Outliers” and used them to support George Frazier’s argument, from his 1960 essay “The Art of Wearing Clothes,” that the best-dressed men are all over the age of 40.

Here’s a snippet:

Certain men may be born with the kind of physique and charisma for which great clothes make the perfect pedestal. But they still have to practice dressing. They have to develop the faculty for what looks good on them, or rather what feels good since a stylish man can pull off anything provided he feels at ease in it. Even the naturally gifted have to fine-tune an intuitive barometer and reject temptation at a haberdashery, refusing a seductive novelty because, in the end, “It’s really not me.” And each morning they have to pick out a shirt, trouser and jacket, select a couple of neckwear candidates, and then choose the one that somehow reconciles the contradictory qualities of being utterly capricious and yet completely logical.

Head over to HuffPo for the full story. — CC

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