Haven’t you heard? 30s are the new 20s, yes really! Long gone are the days of that classic ‘mid-life crisis’ at the stroke of midnight of your 30th birthday. If anything, in the world of fashion, life is really only just beginning for you at 30.
Finally, you’re at the time in your life where you (hopefully) have more income to spend than you had in your 20s. With 10 years more life experience, you’re a decade wiser and more comfortable in your body than you’ve ever been before, while still retaining all the luxuries that youth has to offer.
With this in mind, get ready to feel inspired as you embrace high fashion and build a wardrobe for your 30s that’s on-trend, vibrant and above all, enjoyable to wear. Read on to discover our favourite styles for dressing well at this exciting and transitional stage in your life.
When building a capsule wardrobe, stick to just a handful of staples. Throw out any items you haven’t worn since your student days and only hang onto items you actually feel comfortable in. Pick figure-flattering pieces that can be mixed and matched together in different combinations.
A successful capsule wardrobe is one where all items can be mixed and matched with others to make a variety of different style combinations, such as: a pair of fitted full-length trousers, a midi skirt, a pair of go-to jeans or jeggings, a shirt dress, a couple of t-shirts, a button front blouse or tailored shirt and a few pieces of knitwear like a cardigan or a relaxed fit jumper.
Teaming these items together you’ll find that you can create between 20-30 combinations. With each new season you can then have fun introducing one or two high-fashion items, to embellish and complete your look.
In your 30s denim really is a must-have addition to your closet, and don’t just stop at one piece, have a go mixing denim styles together. Try and find shapes that flatter your body shape. A pair of skinny jeans is great to show off curves, while bootcut or straight leg styles are better for creating a more slimline look.
Look out for denim outerwear which can be a great option for a capsule wardrobe. A denim jacket can be worn with almost anything. Try pairing one with a maxi skirt and tucked-in tee, or dress down a little black dress and add some funky leather boots.
Denim skirts are another versatile option. Most people think of mini lengths when it comes to denim skirt styles, but you can also try an on-trend straight cut midi complete with a sassy front split. Pair with fresh trainers or ankle boots and crisp white tee or elegant knit top, for a super chic take on the denim look.
At 30, many women are working full-time, climbing the career ladder. This means that a large portion of the clothes you wear are in the workplace. With that in mind, it’s sensible to have a workwear closet you feel excited about. Research suggests that if you are feeling good in your outfit, your productivity levels are higher, and your general outlook upon the day is more positive.
Find two or three dresses in different styles. For example, a versatile midi is great for a day at the office (depending on the dress code). You can find some gorgeous looks on the highstreet from tailored shirt dresses, to wrap front styles, sleek a-line silhouettes and delicate hanky hemlines.
In your 30s you can have so much fun with pattern and colour. Look out for bright and vibrant florals, vintage and retro designs, statement animal prints and bold geographic designs. Remember that a good selection of next level dresses in your wardrobe can also work a double investment, as you’ll also be able to wear them to a multitude of occasions from a friend’s wedding to a day at the races.
In your 30s, casual dressing is just as important as your professional style. Even if you’re going for a simple jeans and t-shirt combo, take the time to choose a pair of jeans that fit your shape perfectly. Neutral tees are always chic, but a graphic style with a slogan or print that expresses your personality can be a fun way to elevate your look.
As well as your favourite cosy hoodie, add a few items of knitwear to your closet. A relaxed fit knit jumper in an on-trend shade, statement colour block design, or a classic stripe will add a chic edge to your style, while being just as warm and comfortable as your usual go-to loungewear.
At any age, a successful capsule wardrobe needs a versatile party dress. In your 30s, why not have fun with more sassy playful styles such as a fit & flare mini or even a sleek bodycon silhouette. Show off some skin in an elegant fashion with a glamorous Bardot neckline, or be daring and try a plunging v-neck or even a backless style.
Enjoy experimenting with colour and print. Vibrant florals or standout abstract prints will definitely turn heads. If the occasion is more of a glitzy soiree, think about embellishments such as all-over sequins, lace trims, sheer sleeves and even skirts with dramatic splits.
Metallics are great for making a statement and will have you looking party-ready in seconds. Try a metallic pleated midi skirt with a fitted tucked-in tee and strappy heels for a sophisticated runway-inspired style that’s perfect for showcasing your best look in your 30s.
Do embrace your youth and showcase your best assets. No matter your body shape, at 30 you really need to make the most of every curve. Sure, you may want to transition from the crop tops and mini skirt combos you may have worn in your 20s, but a sleek bodycon midi dress or a figure-hugging peplum blouse teamed with skinny jeggings will show off a perfect silhouette.
Don’t waste time on scruffy or grungy clothing. If there’s anything to be left behind with your teens and 20s it’s combinations of oversized hoodies, teamed with baggy jeans and grubby trainers. In your 30s, even if you enjoy a casual style, it’s definitely time to elevate your look. Find a pair of quality fitted jeans and a handful of chic and classic sweaters.
Do put a focus on your workwear style. A handful of versatile dresses in a variety of lengths will make you excited to dress for a day in the office.
Don’t forget to have fun. This is true at any age, but in your 30s it’s great to have a capsule wardrobe that’s adorned with a few really standout on-trend garments. Add a glitzy sequinned cami top or a metallic midi skirt to your closet for after-work drinks or dinner out with friends. Otherwise think about splashing some colour with a cobalt shirt dress or even a bold animal print blouse. Go wild, the choice is all yours!