If you were to look up the dictionary definition of ‘smooth’, chances are you’d find a picture of Lionel Richie. (You know, if you’re the kind of person who owns a picture dictionary past the age of 10.)
The perenially popular crooner – famous for hits like Hello and Endless Love – isn’t just one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, but he has also been one of the best-dressed gents in showbusiness for decades. The man’s 71 but he barely looks 40, with his impeccable dress sense only adding to his youthful appearance.
Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this outfit he donned ahead of his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week. The dapper don looked slick as hell, contrasting a cognac brown Amiri shirt jacket with an otherwise all-black fit consisting of slim Acne Studios jeans and pointy Saint Laurent boots.
You could easily imagine him blending in at a university bar in inner-city Sydney or Melbourne, ordering an Aperol Spritz and discussing NFTS… All jokes aside, there’s a lot that men who are over 50 and looking to dress well can learn from this outfit. Let’s break it down.
View this post on Instagram
Firstly, notice how Richie’s kept it fairly simple. Sure, he’s wearing a necklace and plenty of rings, but the overall fit is fairly straightforward: it’s really just a t-shirt, jeans and overshirt. The brown of his jacket provides a nice contrast but it’s still rather understated. Richie looks collected, but not like he’s trying too hard to make a statement – which, really, is the best statement you can make.
Black is also a very slimming colour, which can be helpful if, like Richie, you’re not as lithe as you used to be. Also notice how Richie’s t-shirt is an ever-so-slightly different shade of black to his pants: if your shirt and your pants are too identical in colour, it can look rather jarring or like you’ve put too much effort into your outfit.
Actually, the ‘double black with a jacket’ is kind of Richie’s signature look. He varies it up with different jackets – from suit blazers to leather biker jackets and everything in-between – but it’s a look he consistently gravitates back towards. But it never looks overplayed, because it’s versatile. Developing an easy-to-pull-off signature look that you can easily change up is another key to looking fresh in your 50s and beyond.
Finally, chelsea or elastic-sided boots like Richie’s are also an invaluable pair of shoes for any man to have, regardless of age. They perfectly straddle that fine line between casual and formal – and you don’t need a pair of French designer boots like Richie’s to look like a million bucks.
Richie’s currently filming the 19th season of American Idol alongside fellow judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. He’s also set to tour Europe this year, and recently performed at the 63rd Grammy Awards as part of an ‘In Memoriam’ segment honouring Kenny Rogers, who passed away last year.