Cool photoblog: elders with style


Ari Cohen says: "We have started a blog of our own that documents street style and fashion of the mature and wizened. Our aim is to take photos of elders with a unique sense of personal style that has developed with age. We noticed so many amazingly dressed older people in New York and are having a great time getting to know them, hearing their stories and capturing a bit of their style to share with others." Advanced Style


  1. Someday soon, please! – make hats fashionable again. My grandfather always wore a hat. I guess his was the last generation to wear them.

  2. Once in a while I’ll see a well dressed older person and the phrase that pops into my mind is “Grampa wears fat laces” from DJ Q-bert.

    But most of the old people I see are those shuffling or jazzy-wheeling around walmart in a fanny pack and a jogging suit; and that just makes me sad about growing old.

  3. I have to also say great site… its like reading ‘Street’ but better dressed. I don’t mind seeing crazy fashion styles but seeing people wear the classics the way they are supposed to be worn… shows you WHY they are classic.

    Regarding bringing hats back in Vogue… START WEARING THEM, maybe the trend will catch on?

  4. I’m with you, #1. Every once in a while I’ll think about getting a porkpie hat, then realize it would only look good if I was wearing a suit–which I wear maybe once a year. It’s up to guys who have to wear ties 5 days a week to blaze the trail.

  5. “…elders with a unique sense of personal style that has developed with age.”
    It’s called dignity. Persevering through a lifetime of adversity to survive with one’s self-respect and sense of worth intact should not qualify a person to be treated as an objet d’art.

  6. BTW, for those fawning about the hat on the gentleman in the picture, that is a ‘Stingy Brim’ Fedora, not a ‘porkpie’. ‘Popeye’ Doyle and Buster Keaton wore ‘porkpie’ hats.

  7. Gotta agree with #1. My grandfather was the last man I knew to regularly wear a hat. I always wanted to wear a hat like my Dzia Dzia (Grandpa in Polish). I bought myself a nice felt fedora in college, but it didn’t work for me. This year, I decided it was time to trade in the baseball cap for a more “grown up” look. I found a fishing hat on sale at a local store, and it worked on me. It looks like the Peter Davidson-era Doctor Who’s cricket hat, and I’m quite taken with it. I wore it all over the place when we were on vacation this summer, and it worked great.

  8. I’ve been reading it for a few weeks. (Because I am that awesome.) It’s so great. I thought it might have been ironic at first, but am pleased to discover it is not.

  9. He’s wearing a tie chain and a tie clasp, I can only imagine he lives in fear of the day he forgets to restrain his neckwear and it flies off in a slight breeze.

  10. Loving this. What a cool idea. I think most of the Grandmas in those pictures could give me more than a few fashion tips.

  11. Fascinating project! Inspiring

    The picture used on BB reminds me of an old friend…

    One of the coolest experiences I have ever had was caring for a 101 year old 1st-gen. Hungarian-American. Everyone called him “Uncle Joe,” and at his age he could feed himself, dress himself, and bathe himself. He was just starting to get “senile” at age 100, when he was placed in the Alzheimer’s facility where I was a caregiver.
    The cool thing about Uncle Joe is that every day, all day, he could be found looking incredibly dapper in a 3 piece suit and a gentleman’s hat. He carried himself with dignity and had a certain style and swagger that never failed to impress me. He impressed everyone else as well. Had a girlfriend who was thirty-some years his junior!
    Yes, Uncle Joe could *dress* himself well, but he could also *undress* himself well, which is one of the reasons he was in my assisted living facility. When it was time for bed, Joe would strip off all his clothes wherever and whenever he wanted, with no regard to anyone around him. All my best attempts to stop him were futile.
    I always admired that Uncle Joe never took any shit from anyone, and his mind was almost 100% focused on escape. It was an honor to hang out with Joe. He came here from Hungary when he was 9, and because I’m Hungarian as well it was a way for me to connect with my roots. If you’re out there Joe, I hope that if I ever make it anywhere near your age, I have *half* the style, grace, and dignity you had. Catch ya on the flipside, Uncle.

  12. One of my trend-setting friends in college (way back in 2000) had a really unique yet familiar style, but I couldn’t classify it. Then one day, it dawned on me — he dressed like my great-grandpa. Maybe there is hope for my generation yet…

  13. Fedoras pretty much look like an affectation on anyone under 40, but they’re still a fully awesome hat.

    Personally the ability to dress up in jacket, tie, and fedora on a daily basis is one of the few things I’m looking forward to upon becoming elderly.

  14. goodness, this is wonderful. i just posted the link to my facebook.. so my octogenarian grandmother who is a member as well can share in the joy with me even though she is a time zone away. ahh technology, bringing the generations together!

  15. @#11

    BTW, for those fawning about the hat on the gentleman in the picture, that is a ‘Stingy Brim’ Fedora, not a ‘porkpie’. ‘Popeye’ Doyle and Buster Keaton wore ‘porkpie’ hats.

    As did Lester Young, which is what I’m thinking of.

  16. Ed Bear @24: “Fedoras pretty much look like an affectation on anyone under 40, but they’re still a fully awesome hat.

    Personally the ability to dress up in jacket, tie, and fedora on a daily basis is one of the few things I’m looking forward to upon becoming elderly.”

    I’m also looking forward to becoming elderly for somewhat similar reasons. All the things I would like to wear just look out of place on a young person these days. They’re also not terribly practical for really busy people. I’m looking forward to having the time to devote to really dressing rather than just throwing on some clothes because I can’t leave the house naked.

    Either that, or I will abandon all restraint and go all-out punk. Going gray/white-haired would be the perfect excuse to finally dye it one of the outlandish colors I’ve had in mind.

  17. I love this. Our old folks are basically invisible in our modern times, and taking the time to highlight them and appreciate not only their years of style and creativity, but recognize their continued relevance simply as people. And it remind us that getting old doesn’t have to mean settling.

    I am off to call my Grandma…

  18. I’ve been very fond of fedoras since my teens. I’ve had a number of them made of all kinds of materials, all kinds of colors.

    Now I’m over fifty, so I guess I’m officially allowed to wear them, not that I’m one to pay attention to rules. Then again, the rules might just be different for women.

    The thing is folks, the rules are nonsense. You can wear anything that pleases you if you do it with confidence and attitude. You want hats to come back? Wear them and work it. Someone will see you and think, hey he looks great. And if they’d always wanted to wear a hat, they might be emboldened to do so.

    One of the things I do not like about fashion is how it compels people to discard perfectly good clothing. We make enough trash as it is. Well, I’m thinking in the coming times we are going to see a lot less of that, as people are going to have a whole lot less money, and none to waste.

    If you love hats, why do you care if they are “in” or not. I’ve always much more enjoyed wearing styles that were not in fashion. Just enjoy.

  19. Awesome.

    I’ve yet to find a hat-based look that I can carry out, probably because I don’t wear a suit to work during the week.

    (Honestly, I’d wear one with my suit to services, but that’d get spendy after a while…)

  20. “…elders with a unique sense of personal style that has developed with age.”

    No, this to me is saying “This looked good when I was younger and was considered normal then. Compared to the slobs all around me today who can’t be bothered to dress up when they go out this not only still looks good, it looks great!”

    It took me quite a while to find a grey fedora of my own in a thrift shop that was the right size and had the right shape that I liked. I have the Florsheim solid colour shoes, not being a fan of wingtips. I have yet to find just the right suit and pants though but I’m working on it!

  21. I’ve started wearing a khaki bucket hat in the summer, now that I’m bald. When I’d see McLean Stevenson wear one on M*A*S*H, I’d wonder, who really wears those? Now I know.

  22. What rocks are you people living under? Hats have been back for awhile. It’s at the point now where I’ve had to stop wearing mine because I feel like it looks too “trendy”. They sell fedoras at urban outfitters for chrisake.

  23. My wife and I were grocery shopping recently, when we saw and elderly gent coming up the aisle slowly with the help of his cane. In a store full of folks in t-shirts and running shorts and such, he seemed to be of another time and place. I leaned over to my wife, who had spotted him as well, and said “He’s not at the same store we’re in. We’ve come to ‘get groceries.’ He’s ‘gone to market.'”

  24. I love hats, and own a couple, as well as a selection of plumes for that run a spectrum of outrageousness. I never wear them though – my problem is that I bike everywhere, and I insist on wearing a helmet. What’s a goon to do?

  25. At almost 40, I increasingly find myself unable to buy affordable clothes that don’t make me look like a skater or an extra in an asian gangster movie.
    Indy fedora here I come!

  26. I think I may have to contribute to this project.
    I’m currently working an internship at a PR company in Boston, and the boss is an extremely stylish gent. 80 years old, looks like he is 68, and dresses like it’s ’48.

    White leather loafers, seer-sucker pants, button down shirt, and sblue blazer with his family crest on it.

    Fun times working here as well. All day long, cole porter songs as sung by peggy Lee, Tony Bennet, Ella Fitzgerald and julie London are playing.

    On weekends he takes the bus down to Newport (RI).
    The guy is highy sociable, knows everyone, etc…
    Plus, every friday, he goes to the farmer’s market and brings back cookies and brownies for everyone.

  27. i’m over 60..we dress like that because we don’t give a damm what people think about us anymore..

  28. For the past several years, my deliberate fashion choice has been ‘your crazy old aunt’. Colors, patterns, and recently I’ve begun to accumulate Interesting Hats. I have a favorite coat I refer to as the ‘Horrid Coat’; taking it out again is the one thing I love about fall.

    My hair’s starting to go white, but nobody can tell under the Atomic Pink hairdye.

    Dressing like a crazy old lady is awesome. I can break any ‘rule’ I want to; if I carry myself confidently enough I still get people complimenting my appearance.

  29. I have a half dozen wonderful hats for just about any occasion, from visiting the boardwalk to clubbing all night. I loves my hats. And I’m only 57. :)

  30. The comments about these people’s sense of style was very tastefully worded. It wasn’t your usual run-o-the-mill bitchy style cut-downs. Refreshing. Made me feel good to read it.

  31. Its funny that people seem to think that “old people” are almost a completely different species.

    “My word, look at that brown-crested oldicus farticus there–fascinating!”

    It helps to remember that there’s a person in here, with a sense of style all his own. I have my own style, and while I’m 25, I like to think that when I’m older I’ll still have my own style and that i won’t be classified as “dressing like an old person.”

    Remember, old people are people too.

  32. Re: “bring back hats” – Due to my extreme photosensitivity, I require shades and a hat with an all-around brim when outdoors in the daylight (sunblock if I’m to be out for over 5 minutes). My students either think my hat (which bears a superficial resemblance to Indiana Jones’ fedora) is way cool, or that it’s the dorkiest thing ever. Oddly enough, even here in New Jersey, where baseball caps seem to be the norm, I’m beginning to see more hats like mine. Maybe I’m starting a new trend…

    Re: Dapper older gents – In a town where I used to live, the oldest resident was a gentleman named Mr. Brown. Even in his 90s (I think he hit the 3-digit mark) he could be regularly seen pedaling around on his bicycle. He was always snappily-dressed, with a hat and a necktie. He greeted everyone with “Hello, Chippie!” and loved to regale people with stories about his career on the stage (vaudeville?). One day some kids were roller-blading on the freshly-re-paved street in front of his house, and he talked one of them into letting him try out these fancy in-line wheels (He apparently was very good at roller-skating in his youth). He picked up the new style immediately, and proceeded to show the kids some tricks he used to do. Unfortunately, he wiped out and broke a hip. He died in the hospital from complications. Hopefully he wasn’t in too much pain, because I rather like to think that he sort of died the way he would have preferred to go.

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