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Top 18 Tips for How to Dress in Your 30s

After ten years of fun and finding yourself, stepping into your thirties is a big deal. You’re a little older, a little wiser, and hopefully, with way more confidence than ever before.

However, there is no playbook that tells you what’s on- or off-limits for your thirties in terms of clothing. What are the dos and don’ts, and how do you avoid being that person who tries to prolong their twenties beyond acceptable limits?

We’re here to give you that playbook you’ve been looking for, covering all the key categories from casual and professional wear to accessories and athleisure. As you enter your 30s and navigate this exciting decade, refer back to this page and ensure you’re on the right track with every outfit you wear! Time to get started.

What to Remove

It’s (almost) always easier to cut items from your wardrobe before adding new ones to the mix. Let’s start our list with the garments and styles you should remove from your rotation once your 20s come to an end.

1. What Doesn’t Fit

The super-tiny crop tops, the low-rise jeans that barely stay up, the chunky sweaters that are big enough to be a studio apartment in Manhattan – these are the garments that simply don’t fit, and it’s time to say goodbye.

We know that trends tell us to experiment with strange fits and proportions, and you can still do that to a degree, but use these different sizing dynamics far more sparingly in your 30s. Opting for true, slimmer fits will always give you a more timeless style overall.  

2. What Doesn’t Match

If you spent a lot of time in your twenties trying to piece together outfits, missing the mark, and returning to the mirror for yet another attempt, just know that you’re not alone.

At that age, we’re still developing a sense of which clothes match, not just in terms of color but also for fabric, fit, balance, and other elements of style.

3. Nonstop Sneakers

We get it – sneakers are peaking in popularity among all age groups, but as you waltz into your thirties, you’ll want to keep them off your feet most days of the week.

Feel free to include sneakers in a statement athleisure fit now and then, but otherwise, try sticking with flats, pumps, strappy sandals, boots, and other more sophisticated forms of footwear that will elevate your looks overall.

4. Goofy College Campus Gear

Nothing against a bit of school pride, but get real – it’s been nearly a decade since you graduated, and it’s about time you left the college hoodies and ratty t-shirts in the dustbin.

Not only are these garments out of date and unbecoming, but they’re also probably looking a bit worse for wear with swiss-cheese holes and fraying stitching.

Maybe you can rock one of these tops to the gym occasionally, but don’t make it a habit.

5. Wrinkled, Crumpled Fabrics

Speaking of no-good fabrics, you owe it to yourself to upgrade the types of materials you wear now that you’re in your 30s.

This might not have been something that even crossed your mind a few years back, since if it was a cute top or dress, you’d throw it on for the look alone!

Now, you can be more discerning and shop for clothes that look and feel good, too. Plus, they’ll last way longer.

What to Add To Your Wardrobe

Rest in peace to the many garments we leave behind from our twenties, but it’s time to move on. Here are some garments you’ll want to add to your wardrobe moving forward.

6. Real Dress Pants

Call them trousers, call them slacks, call them whatever makes sense to you.

The point is that you’re leaving the 24/7 jeans look in the past and moving into an era of more professional pants that you can wear to the office, the cocktail lounge, and anywhere else.

You’ll quickly see what you’ve been missing because these pants look fantastic and also feel great and lightweight.

7. Blazing New Trails

Maybe you jokingly wore a blazer or two in your twenties, but we urge you to give these stately garments a second chance in your thirties!

Blazers are surprisingly versatile and make for a nice extra layer when the weather is brisk in the fall and early spring. Make sure your blazers are somewhat slim-fitting and don’t have too much extra padding on the shoulders.

8. Widen the Leg

You probably experimented with many super-skinny styles of jeans and pants in your twenties, but many fashionistas agree that the thirties are the decade when you really lean into boot-cuts and flares.

These styles are better showcases for nicer shoes and are also more comfortable and versatile than you may think.

9. Mid-Length Dresses and Skirts

This might get a little controversial, but many so-called style “experts” say that after the 30-year mark, you should be cutting down on the number of short skirts and mini dresses in your rotation.

We’re in no position to make this type of definitive statement, but we will say that you should try exploring more mid-length dresses to enjoy a slightly more elegant and professional look.

10. Slimmer, Sleeker Shoes

We touched briefly on shoes earlier, but we just want to point out that simplicity is your friend when wearing footwear in your thirties. You’ll be working hard, making first impressions, and you’ll want to stay comfortable the whole time.

Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing comfort for style in the shoe department because it’s never really worth it.

11. Essential Undergarments

Everyone has a rag-tag set of underwear, bras, and basics in their twenties – that’s just part of the deal.

Now that your thirties are here, you should toss all those unwanted extras and build a foundation of undergarments that will give you the support and comfort you really need.

Don’t skimp on these essentials because they play a key role each and every day.

Accessories, Hairstyles, and More

We’ve offered some solid tips on what to wear and what to avoid, but what about the extras? Tune into these tips to complete your look.

12. Invest in Accessories

Very few women take jewelry and accessories very seriously in their twenties, nor should they. Money isn’t exactly stacking up, so any picks will be basic and generally on the lower end of the quality range.

In your 30s, however, you’ve got a better sense of personal style, and you know which accessories do and don’t work with your clothing and overall presentation.

Look into watches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and of course handbags, and treat yourself to something nice to celebrate another decade of success.

13. Don’t Fail Your Nails

Getting a mani-pedi is no longer a nice, once-in-a-while treat. You should be getting fairly frequent treatments to protect your nails on your hands and feet, ensuring they stay healthy for the long run.

Also, take it easy with the press-on nails and other experimental looks because those can cause some wear and tear.

14. Simplify the Hair

The same principle applies to your hair, which should be cared for and not subjected to intense DIY dyes and heavy heat treatments.

It’s totally worth going to a professional hairstylist and getting it done the right way.

15. Manage the Makeup

You can still have some fun with makeup in your 30s, but the general consensus seems to be that less is more. No need to pile on a ton of crazy colors every day when you have that core self-confidence shining brightly within.

Athleisure Upgrades

Athleisure is everywhere, so get on board! Here’s how to do athleisure in your 30s the right way.

16. Camisoles and Better Tops

It’s an anything-goes situation in your 20s when it comes to gym tops. Whatever you can find on sale that fits (well enough), it becomes your go-to gym shirt for months at a time.

In your thirties, upgrade to tops with better fabrics, more ventilated fits, and styles that truly suit your physique. You’ll quickly notice the difference in quality and experience better workouts, too.

17. Luxe Leggings

Your collection of leggings is probably pretty substantial entering your 30s, but take this chance to ditch the garments that have worn down or just don’t seem to work with your current color and style schemes.

Once again, fabric counts for so much with leggings, so learn those materials and blends to find the best ones for your workout type.

18. A Helping Hand

Still feeling a little lost on the athleisure front? YogaClub is here to help with a fabulous subscription service that sends new gym outfits to your door once a month.

Let us handle the gym stuff while you focus on taking your style to the next level and enjoying your thirties to the max.

 

Sources:

20 Wardrobe Updates to Make by Age 30 | Who What Wear

15 Tips to Dress Well in Your 30s | Style Motivation

How to Dress in Your 30s: 12 Recommended Outfits & Style | Vogue

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