Is dressing a certain way in your thirties a thing?
“It’s taken me far too long to reach this point, but at 31, I think I’m finally done trying on crop tops in Topshop… suddenly I want to look polished and put together instead of scrappy…” writes Sarah Raphael in an article on Refinery29, How to Dress in Your Thirties.
Sarah admits that she doesn’t [necessarily] believe in ‘age-appropriate’ dressing in theory, but acknowledges that it exists: “The term irritates me… yet, just two years into my 30s, I’ve realized it is kind of a thing.”
It’s no surprise the comments section of the article feature a bevy of protesters.
“Lol, miss me with this crap. With the exception of going to work, I’ll continue to wear whatever the F I want…” writes one.
“Girl WHAT?!?! … Literally NO ONE [cares]. Don’t buy into this age-appropriate BS. Name me one memorable, disruptive, bold woman who has subscribed to that, clothes or otherwise. It will just make you self conscious and THAT is real killer here.” writes another.
Is age-appropriate dressing an outdated concept in 2019?
It’s clear that women today, millennials especially, don’t like boxes or “rules”. And while I would defend any woman’s right to wear booty shorts and skin-tight dresses at any age, for many women, an internal shift does take place. In taste, in lifestyle, in ambition, in maturity, and in how we want to be perceived in the world.
What’s perplexing to me is the attitude of “wear whatever you want, do whatever you want, no one cares.” If we take for granted that “no ones care’s” (although that’s complete crap), what about self-respect? Grace? Pride? Shouldn’t YOU should care? Additionally, while what others think does matter (and it does), it shouldn’t affect your personal self-worth.
At 21, I had a free for all mindset. I’d leave the house in sweatpants and flip flops regularly. And in the summer, if my bum wasn’t showing, my shorts aren’t short enough.
But evolving into my 30s, having lived a little, traveled a lot, and matured as a woman, there are things I just don’t much care for anymore. It’s an internal shift that manifests externally. That’s not to say conform, lose your personality, sex appeal, or anything else you value. That shift is a beautiful evolution that is to be embraced.
Related: Why You Should Dress Up To Travel
As women we are ever-evolving. And by 30, we’ve evolved internally. We’ve evolved externally. We’ve evolved in our personal style. And by 30, there are some things better left for the 20 somethings. And THAT’S OK. This is how to be a chic and well dressed woman in her thirties.
Here are 15 Things Women in Their 30s May Consider for a More Mature & Refined Style
Ditch graphic tees
I’m not saying you have to throw out your entire Hollister shirt collection. But maybe you can reserve them for… the back of your closet, or dusting. Being a well dressed 30 something woman requires you to ditch the graphic tees and anything else that turns your body into a walking billboard.
Upgrade your tank tops
Toss your cotton tank tops and spaghetti straps. Replace them with high-quality silk or satin alternatives. You can wear them under your jackets or as a sexy separate for night outs.
Buy blouses, not shirts
While you’re upgrading those tank tops, upgrade your tops in general. As opposed to opting for cotton tees, mature style requires you to invest in some elegant blouses instead.
Upgrade your shoe game
As a mature woman with a sophisticated style, your shoe game totally changes (or at least it should). A pair of comfortable and classy flats are an absolute necessity for a sophisticated woman’s wardrobe. Soft ballet flats are okay, but a study, well-structured pair of flats with a tiny heel, instantly elevates any casual look.
Draw a line between your going-out heels and your work heels
Double duty heels? We think not. Your going-out heels should be a wildly different breed than the ones you wear for work. Professional heels are best kept between kitten level and 4 inches. You want to look strictly business at work, and not like your strutting down a catwalk. Break out your skyscraper stilettos for nights out.
Swap low-rise for high-waisted jeans
High rise jeans are just everything, aren’t they? Not only do they look more sophisticated, but they’re also more flattering for every body type.
Own more slacks than jeans
While we love a great pair of jeans, slacks are just sexy. These semi-formal options can be paired with everything. Dress them down with a simple white cotton tee, or dress them up with a beautiful blouse and/or a well-structured blazer. With a solid collection of well-fitting slacks, you’ll be ready to go for any situation.
Embrace white slacks or jeans
Not only should you embrace slacks, don’t underestimate a pair of slacks or jeans in white. In the summer, white pants make you look super crisp, fresh, and put together.
Invest in the best outerwear
In your teens, you can get away with frumpy hoodies and sweatshirts. Past that, you can do better. It’s totally worth it to splurge on some high-quality outerwear—be it a blazer, trench coat, or winter coat; you should be able to pass off to the coat check at a nice restaurant without being embarrassed. Additionally, an elegant coat is a simple way to look oh so classy.
Ditch the fake jewelry
If those cubic zirconia studs you bought yourself when you were 15 are still leaving a green ring around your ear, then it’s time to retire them. Get rid of that fake jewelry you’ve been getting away with and only splurge on the real thing for your essential everyday gems.
Splurge on your handbag in your thirties
That free tote you nabbed from Victoria’s Secret can’t be your catch-all bag anymore, even for running your errands. If the shoes make the man, the handbag makes the woman. Consider shelling out some serious cash for a chic designer bag, like Prada or CÉLINE. It’s an investment that will serve you years to come.
Keep your sneakers at the gym
Okay, they don’t physically have to be at the gym. But understand that the only time running shoes are appropriate is at the gym.
Say goodbye to bodycon
Bodycon dresses, bodycon skirts—just say no! And I don’t care how amazing your body is. Replace the tight-hugging clubwear with a few chic, elegant, yet still form-flattering alternatives. Cocktail dresses are ideal for almost every formal or semi-formal occasion: weddings, work holiday parties, the office, even jury duty. They can be super sexy without being super skin tight.
Get your clothes tailored
Every item of clothing that goes into your wardrobe should fit you well. Bringing an ill-fitting dress, pants, or jackets to a tailor can instantly increase the item’s classiness level. By getting clothing tailored, you look like a million bucks.
Invest in quality workout clothes
Sure, it can be tempting to stock up on leggings at Forever 21 for $10 each. But, just don’t. Wearing workout clothes you’re proud to be in is actually proven to help get you going to the gym more often.