Father Tony

Summer Fashion Rx for the Geritol boys

Filed By Father Tony | March 12, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: fashion advice, men's summer fashion, older gay men, Winter Party

Dear Father T,

I'm feeling old and out of date. No one looks at me. What should I do?

Model T

Dear Model T,

Just for you, have I assembled this fashion-edition slideshow of croppings from the Winter Party.

I don't know how old you are, and I would never advise an older man to become ridiculous by pretending to be a kid, but there is a way to thread a path into looking effortlessly contemporary. It consists of knowing what excesses to avoid and what versions of currently hot styles make you more vibrant, energetic and au courant. Read this list of what is hot for the upcoming summer, and then read my concluding recommendation for you.

My observations are in terms of hats, jewelry, shorts, footwear, sunglasses, hair and body art. They are based on what I saw at the Winter Party and on what I see every day at the beach.

In general, the spectrum of 2009 summer style is very wide with almost no dominant costume, and some repetitions from last year seem to be acceptable. Let's start at the top.


The baseball cap lives on. Be sure you have a white one, as that seems to be the preferred statement. Also, straw is not out of the question, and may be shaped into a fedora, a curly cowboy hat or even tinted green and presented as one of those cute and jaunty small-brimmed alpine numbers that perch incongruously above the necks and shoulders of the most ridiculously droided of the crowd. You have choices here, but black or white seem best to offset the strong colors that prevail below the hat.


All the blondes seem to have gone into seclusion somewhere in a Tibetan monastery. Everyone seems to have black hair. That little fauxhawked central ridge is still to be seen on the very young, but generally, the cut is simple and a bit timid: very short on the lower sides, graduating to an inch longer on top. The buzz and its attendant jarhead provoke yawns.

Despite rumblings to the contrary, body hair will still being kept to a minimum.

Eyebrows are the big expressors of the season. You may shape them, but not unnaturally and whatever you do, remember that a thick brow that can convey emotion is preferable to the pencil-thin auburn arcs that your aunts applied just below their hairlines.


Here we seem to have some agreement. Large rounded rectangles framed in shiny black with dusky brown lenses prevail. Aviators with graduated tints darkest at the top are an acceptable option.


Kept to a minimum. A single seventeen-inch metal chain around the neck carrying one small metal medallion is of the moment. Jesus-on-the-cross-with rosary-beads seems to have faded as fast as it flared. Damn, I just cleaned all my old beads with ammonia.

Rubber bands and braided jute around wrist or ankle is over.

Piercings seem to be on their way out.


Body art does not seem to have evolved. Tribal tattoos seem over. If anything may be observed, it is that red is the new black when it comes to ink.


Almost anything goes. Think medium-loose, not long, and, do not fear your favorite bright solid colors.


Avirex-Shorts-55320-2.jpgWill the cargo short ever lose its supremacy? Not until we no longer carry phone, keys, and money, or, until we start carrying the dark leather clutches that were favored by Italian men in the late 1970s.

Here is where you style mavens might want to make your one significant purchase of the season. Get a pair of plaid cargo shorts. Big plaid that combines maybe a soft blue, a strong blue and yellow verticals and horizontals all on a white field. This plaid seems to invoke a boyishness and a sense of humor, and it will definitely prevail this summer. Avirex White Shadow shorts, a crossover from skateboarder gear, seem to be the best of the lot.

Camouflage patterns have not entirely disappeared, but are fewer. As to swimwear, a Speedo in any color, if you can carry it off, is still not to be argued with. Be sure you choose the ones that are at least three or four inches wide on the sides. Leave the bikini cuts to the ladies.


Just about anything except gelato-colored Crocs, or, (sadly) Sperry Topsiders.

To answer your question, Model T, if you are over 50 and able to approach fashion with fun rather than desperation, get yourself a white baseball cap, black sunglasses, loose t shirt, and quiet cargo shorts (big plaid might be age-inappropriate). No camoflauge or dog tags for you unless you're really a vet. Let the pendant on your neck chain be of personal significance that may spark a conversation with young hottie who does not yet have too many memories of his own. Keep your silver hair bright and shiny. It's an asset.

And remember, when you put on your new fun-gear, as they sang in Annie, you're never fully dressed without a smile. And, I might add, without a condom and lube in your cargo pocket.

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Gosh Tony, I noticed... no beards down there.

Might I say that if you live up North. Beards and ball caps are still in. and if you are 40+, daddies are the thing for 2009. just look for a skinny(ish) hipster to attach yourself to and start listening to Junior Boys.

I've always wanted to be a fashion accessory for a hipster boy. Maybe 2009 is the year. But I'm not giving up my Topsiders.

I am in shock. absolute shock. LoL. I have to add a paraprasing quote because i went and am going through this to a lesser degree. All of humantity ages, shrivels up and dies. You are part of humanity therefore you are not alone. If you feel alone in this, then that is your ego saying that "this should not be happening to me". Well aging is a natural occurrence. Your beauty and aliveness within yourself can be just as vibrant today as it was at 21 because that does not age. Jeepers. Get out of yourself. You sound shallow. Go to a VA hospital and see people with heavier issues. Imagine what it is like for a burn victim. And don't go buy some facial mud mask expecting to reverse the inevitable. Someone once told me years ago that i had no problems if all i am concerned about was my hair and in that moment i grew up significantly.

I love my Sperry topsiders too. I think they look hot on me and others. Preferably no socks.

This is what fashion's like? Straw hats?

Fortunately I live in a city where no one cares about fashion: Paris.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 15, 2009 8:22 AM

Let's see, in Florida my eyes bled. It was a hetero problem in the main. I was surrounded by men in public places in baggy shorts, bad hair dyes, or worst, bad hairpieces. Don't get me started on their wives and the occasional matching outfits to the hubby they would wear. :)

I am too fashionable for Florida ;)

Now I live in Disneyland for men over 50. Majority still hetero. Yeah, there are still sixty year olds with jet black hair but I can always look in another direction. And yesterday I bought a new Thai, hand woven, straw hat. Funktional and kool.

Sadly becoming a bit invisible as we age happens to most of us. I no longer expect to be noticed and am happily surprised when I am.

However it's better to go unnoticed then to be stared at for looking ridiculously dressed for your age.

Tony I thought your fashion observations were very good...didn't realize you were such a serious fashionista!

John Shields John Shields | March 26, 2009 7:11 AM

Regarding hats, specifically baseball hats - make sure the bill and front part of the hat has a gentle slope that doesn't look like a mountain cliff. I'm not sure who buys those things?

A nice, gently sloping baseball hat with a curved bill catches my eye every time. And since summer is nearly upon us, I'd suggest white or tan as darker colors will bake your head during the day. At night, darker (think blue) is definitely a plus.