London - It is a phase many men pass through, much to the distress of their wives and girlfriends.
Out go the fashion-conscious outfits of their younger years, slowly but surely replaced by a uniform of baggy T-shirts and worn out jeans.
Now researchers have pinpointed the age at which men stop caring about their appearance – and it is 37, according to a survey of their significant others.
In an attempt to slow the fashion decline, nearly two thirds of women have admitted preventing their partner from buying certain items, while 37 percent buy all their other half’s clothes.
Nearly a fifth of women surveyed said their husband’s dodgy denim had forced them to take action, with ill-fitting jeans and matching jean/waistcoat combinations the worst offenders.
For another 16 percent, it was their partner’s old-fashioned, discoloured and overly tight underwear that drove them to overhaul his wardrobe.
Other hated items included Speedos and shocking floral shirts, according to research by online retailer isme.com.
But, while many wanted to keep their partners looking fashionable, women were also keen to ensure they dressed their age, with seven percent saying they had vetoed hoodies and clothing more suited to a boy band member.
The survey of 2,000 women aged over 50 found most would prefer their men to copy the styles of actors such as George Clooney and Hugh Grant – but thought they actually dressed like Prince Charles and Alan Titchmarsh.
Left to their own devices, the women surveyed thought a quarter of men would avoid clothes shopping altogether.
Of those men that would venture into a store, 26 percent would only buy new clothes when theirs had worn through and 24 percent would make a beeline for the cheapest item, whatever the style or fit, the women said.
Alice Barnes, 44, from Southampton, said her husband used to be “really fashionable”.
But, she added: “My husband has a certain inclination to purchase baggy jeans now he has hit 40.
“I do try and dissuade him from some clothes he picks up when we go shopping.”
Julie Donnelly, of isme.com, said: “When men reach 37 it doesn’t mean they should give up caring about how they look, even if their bodies do change.
“Men don’t need to have the physique of George Clooney to look more stylish and contemporary.” - Daily Mail