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How to dress like a fancy grandpa

While I was heading to work a few weeks ago, I came across a very nice-looking man. As he passed by me, I was subjugated, mesmerized, I couldn't look away from him. He was probably in his 80s and looked a bit grumpy, but he was stylish as hell. 

The whole interaction probably lasted around 10 seconds, if not even less. And when I resumed to real life I realized that if I was so obsessed with this complete stranger was probably because I was almost wearing the same thing. 

Please note that I'm not saying my style is amazing, but rather that I have the style of a french grumpy grandfather. Let's call that the "Grandpa style". 

I must admit it didn't really come as a surprise since a couple years ago I found myself speechless in front of this old Taiwanese couple that went viral on Instagram. Wan-Ji Chang and Sho-Er Hsu, both 83 and 84 years old own a laundromat in Taiwan and have been in the laundry business for almost 70 years. They became internet-famous when their grandson, Reef Chang, set up an Instagram account for them to show off outfits they put together using clothes left behind at their laundromat. 

If the idea behind the account @WantShowAsYoung was mainly to prove that there's certainly no age barrier when it comes to fashion, and you can be the most stylish person in the room no matter where you come from or the year you were born, for me, it was quite different. In fact, I wanted to dress like them. And there they were, this 80-year-old couple from Tawain, my new inspiration, the influencers I actually needed in my life, the new show that would be the end of my Netflix subscription. After all, who needs to binge-watch the new Netflix show when you have this couple on Instagram both inspirational and entertaining. 

well, actually, the reality is you can have the best of both worlds, especially when Netflix came out with the second season of The Politician and a new serial killer documentary that same year. 

Maybe you'll have realized from my last couple of blog posts that I care less about trends than I do about A timeless style. I'll grant you that I do love myself a good grandpa outfit, I'm sure if you look at Wan-Ji Chang and Sho-Er Hsy, you'll find out that they don't have much of an "old people look". They have a fun and colorful outlook on fashion, not caring about the trends but rather caring about the clothes they wear and the style they love. But to be fair, there is something timeless about the way they dress too. 

There is something so compelling about older people in general. The way they couldn't care less about what people think, and don't mind saying what's on their mind, even if it can be a little bit hurtful. I love my grandmother but the moment she told me that she didn't like my new hair when I tried new highlights will forever haunt me. 

If a new generation of 50 and plus influencers is currently rocking the blogosphere and showing off at fashion week, I'll forever idolize grandpas (and grandmas but mainly grandpas) walking slowly around Paris with a baguette and the newspaper in their hand, or strolling with their shopping basket, glasses on their nose, hat on their head. And like I said I do dress like them without realizing it. 

Large pants, a white tee-shirt, a sweater or a masculine blazer, a cap, and sneakers have been my "off-duty" and "weekender" look for a while. The kind of outfit you put on when you don't know what to wear, the one you feel good in. Sometimes, I'll feel adventurous and swap the oversize blazer for some kind of oversize jacket. Need actual proof I actually dress like an old man? I shop secondhand and strictly into the men's section, buying way too much large pants, shirts, or blazers. I did buy not one but two vintage men's coats last year. 

So if you feel like dressing like an old man or a less cool version of Diane Keaton, you'll need :

- A blazer, preferably vintage, mandatory oversize (aim two or three sizes up), and from the men's section. Note that your blazer must have at least two inside pockets if not three. 

- Large pleated pants. Keep in mind that it's quite hard, if not almost impossible to find the perfect pair of vintage men's pants in thrift stores. I'll allow myself to digress from secondhand and go for new but timeless pants from COS, Arket, The Frankie Shop, etc. 

- A vest. I'll be honest, I haven't really succumbed to the charm of this not so newly trendy piece. I've seen it too much on Instagram to associate it with the "fancy grandpa" style. I do love an excellent sleeveless fitter blazer kinda vest though. 

- a large sweater or sweatshirt you could sleep in at the end of a full day of running errands while doing crosswords on the couch. Living the life of a fashionable grandpa can be exhausting. 

And the list could go on and on. What I do find useful for inspiration is to look up Pinterest pictures of this New Balance campaign, where they used older people to show off their sneakers to prove that no, New Balance sneakers are not for runners only. 

Please follow me on Instagram for more grandpa inspos. Don't be fooled by the very feminine outfits. Winter is coming, and so is my true old-man style. 



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