In your 20s, you alternated between building a foundation of basics and experimenting with every trend imaginable. In our 30s, we’re leading fuller, busier lives packed with milestones—promotions, baby showers, weddings—and far more hectic schedules to squeeze it all into. It’s time to go beyond the basics (and girlish fads) and focus on polished pieces that are versatile enough to serve your busy life. Fashion in your 30s starts with these essential styles.
1. Ladylike Tops
A crammed calendar calls for tops that are appropriate for every occasion, transitioning seamlessly from work to dinner plans or a bridal shower to a charity event. Thankfully, we’ve learned that a less-is-more approach is far more alluring than the skin-baring styles of our past. Opt for tops that are more sleek than sexy—focusing on luxe fabrics, interesting textures, and statement details.
2. Tailored Trousers That Aren’t Black
You’ve got your workwear staples covered, and chances are, it includes a whole bunch of basic black (yawn). Your weekday wardrobe is begging for styles with a bit more personality. The next time you’re hunting for office-appropriate pants, embrace texture and pattern; try herringbone, gingham, crosshatching, or stripes. And, if necessary, head to a tailor to make sure you get that perfect made-for-you fit.
Sleeker and more versatile than the denim jacket you wore throughout your 20s, the chambray shirt can be worn as a workwear blouse, casual top, or lightweight outer layer. Business casual dress code? Wear it buttoned and tucked into trousers or a pencil skirt. Off-duty, pair it unbuttoned with a white tee and darker denim or throw it on over a printed shift dress. Really, anything goes with this wardrobe workhorse.
4. A Grown-Up LBD
The wedding invites that started arriving like clockwork in your 20s continue to pour in. Only now, you’re being invited to swankier soirees. The super-sweet or slinky styles worn in the past no longer fit the bill, so it’s time to invest in a polished LBD. Choose a flattering silhouette you feel amazing in—regardless of your current relationship with the gym—so you feel completely confident when the next formal invite arrives.
Fashion at Every Age: The Bright Bag
No matter how many times you’ve been around the sun, there are a few necessary pieces that every woman needs in her style arsenal. After all, age is just a number. A bold statement bag is the easiest way to elevate a simple tee and jeans or a classic button-up and trousers.