If your 20s are all about experimentation and trying different looks, different personalities and even different careers, the following decade is about consolidating this experience into a coherent lifestyle and a wardrobe to match. This can be a bit of a balancing act, combining elements such as an element of maturity, a need to look professional, a desire to preserve an element of fun, and managing a budget that may have to extend to a mortgage and even children.
Develop your style
It is easy to go with every wild trend when you are young, but getting older means evaluating what works for you and collecting pieces that you know are good quality, flattering and fit well. By this age, you should have a fair idea of what suits you and what does not. A good place to start is with colours; for example, a lime green PVC suit may have been distinctive when you were 20 but you may look like a clown who has lost his circus at the age of 38. If in doubt, stick to classics and add personality with your accessories.
Sweet silhouette of youth
Some cuts and shapes that looked super-cool when you were 22 will not be working in your favour 15 years later; for example, skinny jeans look good on lithe limbs that are just out of adolescence, but can look like you are trying too hard on someone approaching 40.
Jeans cut more generously and some tailored items will last a long time, nail the smart casual look, and be an incentive to stay in shape. Chinos are also a versatile choice for the bottom half, especially in a neutral colour and worn with a T-shirt or button-down shirt. You can add a jacket for a more formal look.
Less volume, more quality
Buy fewer clothes, but better ones. A beautiful overcoat and shirts with an immaculate finish in great fabrics will take you a long way. A good example is the range of mens Farah shirts from stockists such as http://www.ejmenswear.com/.
A decent pair of leather shoes or boots, rather than scruffy trainers, is also a good way to project a sharp image. If you add a belt, make sure it matches.