There are many good aspects to being in your 40s.

In a lot of other ways, though, it bites the big one.

I could write for pages and pages about the downsides to being 40+. Rather than bore you with stories about how my back always hurts, my crappy eyesight, my deteriorating hearing, etc. I thought I would share this less personal observation.

I’m beginning to question how I dress. Only mildly, mind you. But still, sometimes I wonder if there is some vague line around 40, maybe 45, when you need to stop dressing like you’re in your 20s.

Examples: Should I wear as many shirts that proclaim my loyalty to my favorite teams, beers, or other cool products? As a middle-aged man shouldn’t I be wearing either name brand polo shirts or Tommy Bahama shirts if I’m going to dress casual?

Today I was buying a pair of shorts. My shorts tend to be monochromatic, usually khaki, black, or navy. Today, though, I picked up a pair that featured a muted plaid pattern of grays, blacks, and whites. They’re not garish, but neither are they the plain shorts I traditionally wear. Still, as I walked to the register, I wondered, “Am I too old to wear these?” Likely not, but I felt like I might be right up on the edge of whatever the highest age they would be suitable for.

Which is stupid. We’re long past the era where each age required a specific style of attire. Wear whatever is comfortable and fits your tastes, as long as you don’t look ridiculous.

It did help, though, that at St. P’s pickup today there was a dad/grandfather, clearly at least ten years older than me, wearing a surfing t-shirt and some stylish plaid shorts. If he can pull it off, I damn sure can.