10 T-Shirts 40+ Year Old Men Should Not Wear

I have recently come to the conclusion that there are some t-shirts 40+ year old men should not wear. I know there are many different articles of clothing that 40+ year old men should not wear, I think those are implied and/or readily known (i.e. cut off shorts, skinny jeans, anything with glitter or rhinestones, leather pants, a collared shirt that has more than 2 buttons undone, a low cut v-neck shirt, socks with sandals, [of course] Speedos, etc.) Obviously that is just a small sample of a list that can take days to compile, however notice that when the thought of "what 40+ year old men should not wear" comes up we have at least 5-7 articles of clothing that we can easily rattle off like a list of our favorite movies or food. However the quintessential article of clothing hanging or folded in any middle-aged mans closet is the T-Shirt. This is a staple of any 40+ year old mans wardrobe; I would dare to say a necessity to daily life, like oxygen or their Maxim Magazine subscription. But here comes the twist, there are some t-shirts (1) a 40+ year old man should not own, and more importantly (2) SHOULD NOT WEAR! Refer to the list of examples and explanations:

10. Any t-shirt that has to do with ANGRY BIRDS. All this shirt does is scream I pay more attention to my smart phone than trying to get a date. *Ding* your match.com app just sent you a message, you better pause ANGRY BIRDS and check it out.

9. Any t-shirt that has to do with farting or pooping. We know that you may be proud and secure with your bodily functions at your age, but we're not. I'm glad you're not constipated, I just would rather you not put it on your t-shirt. (I'm most impressed that the fart t-shirt comes in 21 colours!)

8. Any t-shirt that has to do with STDs. Regardless if it's the best seafood you have ever had in your life, it never warrants buying and wearing a t-shirt that makes people think you have an STD.


7. Stud Muffin or "I Brought Sexy Back". Let's just leave it at, if you have to declare this on your shirt you aren't and you didn't.

6. "Lick 'em Don't Bite 'em". I know that this is a common reference to Blow Pops, but what 40+ year old man still eats Blow Pops?! The last thought I want in my mind is thinking about what he wants licked and not bit, because we all know it ain't a Blow Pop!

5. T-shirts with text talk on them. OMG! its bad enuf that u try 2 txt like a tween, u dont have 2 promo it on ur T 2! I bet u dont even no what it means n e ways.

4. "That's What She Said!" If you're old enough to say, "Adam West was the best Batman because he was the ORIGINAL; he was OG!" You aren't allowed to say, "That's what she said!" You're also not allowed to wear a t-shirt that says it either. And don't say "OG" either, even if you know what it means.

3. "Who's Your Daddy?" Do I even need to explain why a 40+ year old man should not own, wear or even have the thought cross his mind about buying this t-shirt? 4 words: TO CATCH A PREDATOR!

2. "Beer Pong King". First and foremost let me try and let you down easy, YOU'RE NOT IN HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE ANYMORE! Second, at what point did you think it a good idea to advertise your love of high school/frat party drinking games and alcohol? The one thing this t-shirt screams louder than AA is DUI!

1. "The Man, The Legend". There is a short list of 40+ year old men allowed to wear this t-shirt: Hugh Hefner, Ron Jeremy and Bill Clinton. If you are not on this list, then you don't get to wear this t-shirt... Simple enough.

Regardless of whether or not this information will be put to good use, it's out there. Tell your friends, tell your dads and tell your friends' dads!


Vince | July 26, 2011 at 6:49 AM

As a 40+ year old man and your friend, I was a bit scared to read this blog for fear that I was the inspiration of your observation and review. Thankfully though, I not only own none of the t-shirts offered as examples but I agree that they have no business in my wardrobe or the wardrobe of those men born in my era. If I am honest, there were a few that for a moment I thought "I like that one" and "Cool" those thoughts were quickly removed by the stinging pain of the rubber band on my wrist used specifically in times of stupidity! Thanks again for the rubber band AJ!

Andy Shipman | July 28, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Dear A.J.,

I have 18 months until I turn 40. The only shirt I own that's close to any of the ones you've listed is a shirt that says, "I'm bringing nerdy back." Is this an acceptable alternative to the "sexyback" shirt, or will it have to stay in my closet after Jan. 31, 2013?

Also, what about comic book related T-Shirts? As a full-on member of Generation X, I believe these T-shirts are almost mandatory for the Geek subculture. What do you think?

Speaking of Gen X, what are your thoughts/recommendations for over 40 Gen X Geek T-shirt couture?


AJ Teaters | July 29, 2011 at 9:08 PM


You bring great questions to the table. Your "I'm bringing nerdy back" t-shirt is fine. It walks the line because it is obviously a play on "I'm bringing sexy back" (which as we learned above is a no-no), but we have to use our discretion and judgement... possibly intercessory prayer to make sure we are not crossing that line.

As a side note I would be careful with how I choose to label myself. First, you wear a t-shirt that says, "I'm bringing nerdy back" this leads one to believe that you think of yourself as a nerd, but in your comment you refer to yourself as part of the "Geek subculture" of Gen X.

Please refer to chart:

Nerdy/geekiness aside. Superhero t-shirts are always in the right. How can they be wrong when they stand for truth, justice, honor, and being just plain cool? I will leave you with this simple rule on comic book related t-shirts, don't let them be the only t-shirts you wear.

As for recommendations for over 40 Gen X Geek T-shirt couture here are 2 websites that I suggest you peruse:


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