Prince William at 40: the 5 style rules every man should know by his milestone birthday

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Prince William - Kensington Palace
Prince William - Kensington Palace

Prince William turning 40; doesn’t that make you feel old? It seems like only yesterday that he was the doe-eyed Disney princeling heading to St Andrews. Now he’s a father of three with a complex family life and a penchant for rather nice knits.

At first sight Prince William doesn’t show the same level of enthusiasm for style as his father. Prince Charles is an avid supporter of British manufacturing and Savile Row prowess, and his wardrobe is a mix of impeccable tailoring and loveworn pieces - some of which he’s continued to wear for more than four decades.

Prince William doesn’t have the same appetite for fashion, nor does he seem to be interested in high fashion brands (we’re looking at you, Harry). But over the past 20 years he’s built up a steady roster of outfits that he’s come to rely upon.

Speaking as someone about to stare down the barrel of 40 himself, it’s a time of life when a man settles into his style. When he should know precisely what suits him and exactly which fashion follies to leave behind. As the Duke of Cambridge has aged he’s settled upon a look that suits his role and lifestyle - and others could learn from his approach.

Find a ‘uniform’ you like, and stick to it

Prince William Belize - Wireimage
Prince William Belize - Wireimage

After years of fairly nondescript off duty clothes - many men flail in this respect when not in a work ‘uniform’ - William has honed in on one style, and one brand, that works for him. The prince has been photographed wearing myriad outfits by luxury Italian outfitter Luca Faloni, who specialises in exceptional fabrication and light-as-air linens. Prince William has adopted its fresh, breezy shirts and easy chinos for royal tours in warmer climes.

In a similar vein, it’s telling that - as a younger generation of Royal - Prince William rarely wears a tie, preferring open-necked shirting instead. In doing so, he looks more Everyman.

Don’t be afraid to dress up

Prince William green velvet - FilmMagic
Prince William green velvet - FilmMagic

Prince William has slowly embraced a more ritzy side, and while he doesn’t dress in formalwear to the degree that Prince Charles does, he appreciates a touch of dress-up. See his emerald green velvet evening jacket for example; it’s been a perennial at red carpet to hold his own alongside the high wattage gowns worn by his wife.

Remember your accessories really do count

Prince William
Prince William

In a similar vein, Prince William enjoys a couple of considered accessories to finesse his outfits. He’s worn glossy patent leather evening slippers from British shoemaker Arthur Sleep for years, a pleasingly peacocking touch for evening occasions. He also wears a classic Omega Seamaster 300, an iconic timepiece that’s handsome without being showy or overly expensive (in terms of watch prices).

Find a grooming routine that works for you

Prince William - Getty Images
Prince William - Getty Images

Prince William has taken a different tack to his brother in myriad respects. But one curious change in direction is their approach to their thinning hairlines. Harry has fought it - as any man might, there’s no shame in that - by growing out his bushy hair and, if rumours are to be believed, having a hair transplant. William, on the other hand, copes with his hair loss by keeping it cropped and short, a shrewd approach to make it less notable.

Learn from your dad

William with his father, Prince Charles in Lille in 2017 - Getty Images
William with his father, Prince Charles in Lille in 2017 - Getty Images

Prince Charles is steadfast in his zealousness about reusing clothes, and William stays true to that mantra - he relies on the same classic navy suit and Clark’s desert boots time and again, and his country attire in Norfolk consists of battered a trusty old Barbour jacket and rustic knits.

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