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In your 30s, you’ve already realized that the way you dress has everything to do with your personality. It’s about your image, the way you see yourself, and the way you’d like to be seen. When that’s the case, “I literally don’t have anything to wear!” becomes this philosophical statement that can very well fire up some sort of an existential crisis. The way you dress in your 30s should be about wearing clothes that reflect your refined taste. Even though that’s a heavy burden to put on a few pieces of fabric, it’s rightfully so.
After all, gone are your 20s when dressing well meant being on top of trends and showing people that you can afford stuff. Now it’s time to put on pieces that exude personality and attitude.
It’s not about dressing age-appropriately but about wearing clothes that are deliberate and impactful. We don’t have that many “What am I going to wear?!” episodes in our 30s. We’re too cool for that.
But if you’re experiencing one, fear not. Below, you’ll find tips on how to dress well in your 30s and reliable wardrobe essentials for work, for dates, for your new promotion, or for your new partner.
1. Focus more on outerwear.
Outerwear is the most expensive of the bunch. Because it’s the most impactful. Your jackets and coats wrap you up and put a label on you that defines your whole vibe. That’s why they deserve the investment and the splurge.
And if there’s one essential piece of clothing you should own in your 30s, it’s a quality trench coat that can put you together just like that no matter what. Make sure it’s simple, pattern-free, and mid-length.
Additionally, invest in long cardigans in different fabrics for all seasons. They’re not too out there like a military coat but are still good for creating a more put-together look and for styling casual and everyday wear.
2. Assign a dress for date nights.
Can’t talk for fellow 30-somethings who are happily married. But for the rest of us single women in their 30s, getting dressed up for date nights is as miserable as the dates themselves. It’s exhausting and time-consuming to think about what to wear every single time.
The best way is to assign a carefully selected outfit for first dates and get it over with. And mini dresses are perfect to set the mood. Go for a floral to make it flirtier. And you can pair it with a leather jacket.
3. Try jumpsuits & rompers.
Jumpsuits and rompers are safe and comfortable. They’re handy because they cut the decision time in half. Once you decide on one, you’re good to go. Plus, they are super customizable.
Rompers can be worn pretty much anywhere; clubbing, concerts, and all kinds of get-togethers. They’re not tight, so they’re incredibly comfortable.
You can tone them down with sneakers and boots or you can intensify the look with heels. Jumpsuits, on the other hand, look super classy and sophisticated for work. They’re always stylish and equally customizable.
4. Wear pencil skirts.
I’m 36 and I’m a complete tomboy when left to my own devices. But there are times when I’d like to look more feminine even though I don’t feel like it. If that sounds familiar, try a knee-length pencil skirt.
The thing about pencil skirts is that they dictate your attitude. Because they limit your movement. You can’t take giant steps with a pencil skirt. You can’t talk fast or be that “animated” wearing those. It kind of forces you to be confined.
And personally, I need that on a first date to better mask my assertiveness that tends to scare people away. Moreover, they look good on anyone and are also perfect for wearing to the office.
5. Do dress up for the occasion.
Don’t be that person that doesn’t try for the sake of not looking like they tried too hard. If there’s a wedding, go and do find an appropriate dress for the occasion.
If you’re on a job search, get a well-fitting suit and wear that to the interview. There is nothing wrong with taking things seriously and dressing the part.
6. Modify the heels.
High heels are sexy, always, and forever. And we still need those in our 30s. But at this point, anything above 4 inches is usually reserved for special occasions.
Because back pain and foot pain become unbearable in this decade. But instead of going for flats or sneakers, try to lower the length of the heel.
Pointed-toe stilettos that are 1-2 inches high are chic enough for any occasion. And they’re comfortable enough to wear for hours and hours without having to hunch forward.
7. Avoid becoming predictable.
In our 30s, we like to think that we grew out of that restrictive idea that ruled our 20s -the idea that certain clothes require a certain body type or shape. In reality, decades of exposure to that insanely unrealistic “ideal body type” wrought havoc on our self-esteem.
And we justify staying in one lane with “that’s not my style”. And our insecurities are disguised as “self-awareness”. Even though we’re finally comfortable enough to say that we can wear whatever we want, we are still holding back.
We tend to dress more comfortably and plainly in our 30s. It happens slowly and gradually. But there’s a thin line between comfortable and boring. And before you know it, you’re on the dark side.
It’s not easy to overcome your insecurities about your body image. It may feel scary to dress up all over at times. But you need to try. And start with the part you’re more comfortable with.
You can jazz up skinny jeans with a V-neck satin camisole or an open-back top. Or you can jazz up a boring top with a ruffle mini skirt or a midi slit skirt. Always make one part pop to avoid being boring and predictable. That’s your edge.
8. Invest in timeless pieces.
Basic white T-shirts are some of the versatile pieces you can hoard in your wardrobe. They go with anything and everything. The trick is the fabric though. While you can buy several white T-shirts from H&M, the fabric wears out too quickly.
You need something a little bit more upscale. That way, you can pair that T-shirt with a blazer, or a nice mini skirt, or skinny jeans without the fabric pilling, diminishing your style.
And also, experiment with different sleeves and sizes. Try oversize basic tees and pair them with skinny jeans. Or pair rolled-up sleeves with trouser shorts.
9. Wear flattering jeans
A pair of skinny jeans look good on anyone! It sounds like skinny jeans are the trickiest but they’re not, especially if you’re like me and kind of a shorty.
Boot cuts and straight cuts are much more difficult to work with as you need to tailor them to fit your height and before you know it, the jeans look completely different.
Skinny jeans are the safest no matter what. They go with heels, boots, sneakers, and any type of outerwear. High-waist low-waist, they’re must-haves in a wardrobe of women in their 30s.
I hope these gave you an idea about what’s out there and some of the ways you can style your outfit without feeling uncomfortable. When all else fails though, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with wearing yoga pants all day every day! Remember that.