Out there on the internet, there are more blogs than you could ever get round to shaking a stick at. They cover all sorts, almost everything, from food, to fitness, to the freakishly specific. If you look hard enough, you can find blogs on rightfully-forgotten haircuts, embarrassing tombstones, and even Ryan Gosling Disneyland Cats... whatever they are.
But despite the internet’s best efforts to have all the bases covered, there’s one particular niche that doesn’t get anywhere near the look-in online that it deserves: fashion for the older gentleman. Noticing this back in 2011, David Evans decided to take matters into his own hands. Starting his own blog, the aptly named the ‘Grey Fox blog’, he set out to chart his journey through style as an older bloke and published it online to help other older blokes doing the same.
Now having been online for six years strong, we thought it was about time we caught up with the Grey Fox himself, so we grabbed David for a chat to find out more about his blog, his style, and what he looks for in eyewear.
Hi David, thanks for dropping by! Firstly, how did you get involved in fashion and style? Have you always been interested in it or is it something you got into more recently?
It only started just over six years ago when I began to write the blog. Before that I’d occasionally try to dress smartly, but never with great success.
Oh wow, so the blog came first? What was it that inspired you to start blogging?
I wanted to write and decided that a blog would give me the opportunity. I didn’t know what to write about, but realised that it had to be something that I could write about from personal experience and from the heart. I thought of the doubts that I, like most older men, had about how to dress. What styles should I wear? Where could I buy clothes? A search for style seemed a good theme and that’s what I chose to write about.
"Style is really about finding what suits you and your personality. Fashion is about simply copying others, irrespective of how those looks suit you." - DE
And you’ve been on this ‘search for style’ for over six years now. Have you picked up any pointers on how older men should approach style? Is there anything you now think should be avoided? Or anything you think should be indulged in more?
I suggest they approach it cautiously at first - as they should at any age. It’s about looking around and seeing what you like and trying things out. Do you feel comfortable wearing those styles, colours, patterns? Style is really about finding what suits you and your personality. Fashion is about simply copying others, irrespective of how those looks suit you.
As you gain experience and fashion you can decide for yourself what to avoid. I don’t like setting out rules, but advise against trying to dress like younger men. You run the risk of looking a bit sad, trying to regain lost youth. Some older men can dress that way, but it has to be done with great care. Go for more classic looks but update them with contemporary cuts, softer tailoring, ties with denim or chambray shirts, a splash of colour. A pair of good handmade English shoes is essential. Make sure everything fits well - that’s key to successful style.
Talking of good handmade English shoes, tell us about your support of British brands. You work with them a lot on your blog and you even host a list of UK-made menswear brands there. Why do you think it’s so important to support home-grown retailers and manufacturers?
Because we have an industry to be proud of here. In the Far East, Japan in particular, British products are sought after and appreciated for their style and quality. Many of the brands that do well there are hardly known here - brands like Tusting, Nigel Cabourn, SEH Kelly. We should all be wearing British clothes to support our home manufacturing. With Brexit on the horizon this becomes even more important.
You’ve worked with some of the most revered British brands around, including the likes of Land Rover and House of Fraser, but what are your favourite lesser known brands? Any you’ve worked with that you think we should know about?
There are so many - Lamler make wonderful raincoats, Lavenham is better known, Tusting, Nigel Cabourn, SEH Kelly as I’ve already mentioned. Ettinger leather products are known around the world, Sirplus make great things from surplus fabrics, Dashing Tweeds, any of the smaller still privately-owned tailors all over the UK, Cravat Club, Stearn & Seaward, Billingham Bags, Bodileys shoes, Cordings, Carre Ducker, E Tautz, Hilltrek, Lancashire Pike - there are many many more who make high quality clothes. Of course they cost more than the high street, but last better and are a more sustainable and ethical way to shop than buying piles of cheap stuff.
David's wearing Garrett Leight Brooks in Champagne. Take a closer look here.
As it’s kind of what we do, let’s move on to glasses. Do you think attitudes towards eyewear have changed since you became interested in fashion?
No, I don’t think it’s changed. My own attitude to wearing glasses has changed however. I wear contacts much less now as I like the way I can change how I look with glasses. There are so many great styles around that there is something for everyone and you can use them to reflect your personality and style. There’s no stigma to wearing glasses, but care needs to be taken to select the right shape and style.
Why do you think a good pair of frames is such an essential element of style today?
As I hint above, they give the wearer the chance to play with their style to reflect their personality. A well-made and designed pair can change the wearer’s appearance significantly.
What kind of things do you look for in a pair of frames?
Comfort, style and robustness.
Excellent choice. Well, that’s all we’ve got time for. Thanks for stopping by David!
If you want to find out more about David and his blog, head to Grey Fox Blog by following this link right here.