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The Icon: Kris Kristofferson


Aging is hard. But like the tax code, it’s something all men eventually have to deal with—some more gracefully than others.

So we thought we’d bring your attention to one of the more graceful examples: Mr. Kris Kristofferson, who’s managed to grow steadily more grizzled over the past few decades without ever looking like anyone other than himself. As for how he pulled it off, we’ve got some ideas…

Perfectly EmbodiedHe fooled around with the Elvis look a little bit in his younger days, but eventually he settled on a country-hippie shagginess that fit him perfectly. And as the years wore on, the beard got grayer and the hair got shorter, but that was about it. He’s picked up a few more wrinkles along the way, but they fit right in alongside his gradual shift from salt-and-pepper to just salt.

Words of Wisdom I woke up Sunday morning, With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt. And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad, So I had one more for dessert. Then I fumbled through my closet for my clothes, And found my cleanest dirty shirt. And I shaved my face and combed my hair, And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day. -“Sunday Morning Coming Down”

The Backstory: That’s a pretty good description of how Kris looks on any given day—disheveled, hungover, but still dutifully working through the morning routine. (Well, except for the shaving part.) We usually prefer gents with a slightly more formal style—in fact, outside of the movies, we couldn’t find a single pick of Mr. K in a non-bolo tie—but country singers tend to work by a different dress code. And since the man definitely knew how to pull off a t-shirt, we’re willing to make an exception.