As with any landmark birthday, 18th, 21st, 25th, and so on, there is no shortage of advice (unsolicited or not) given—from relationship status, career, money; the list goes on. The 30th birthday, more so than any other, is typically met with a collective dread; it marks the ending of the beloved 20s and the beginning of the more mature 30s. In reality, the 30s is a decade of self-assurance and enlightenment, no matter what milestones you have or have not reached. Personal style-wise, your 30s will arguably be your chicest decade to date, where classic wardrobe staples shine, and proper fit is of the utmost importance. After three decades of trial and error, you’ve officially come to the realization that with age, it’s all about quality over quantity–congrats!
Once you have a foundation for getting dressed with a roster of closet basics like the best white T-shirt, a flattering pair of jeans, a classic white sneaker, and everyday gold jewelry, it’s time to add a few treats to your wardrobe. (You did just reach a milestone after all!) Upgrade your old work bag with a chic and colorful tote from Bottega Veneta or Proenza Schouler. Cocktail dresses from Tory Burch and emerging label Commission NYC require basically no thinking at all with their all-in-one outfit formulas. Reliable layering pieces like a polished button-up shirt or a black legging are also key to building your arsenal, and go-to undergarments like cotton undies and a little black swimsuit can never hurt either.
By thirty, you’ve found what works for you and have learned to embrace it–you know yourself better than anyone, after all. Below, how to dress in your 30s and the 15 essential items you’ll need to do so.
The White Tee Capsule Collection
The value of a well-curated white T-shirt collection is unparalleled—there’s a reason as to why it’s front and center. Pair with quite literally anything in your closet and expect great results.
Leset Margo cotton-jersey T-shirt
Everlane the Pima micro-rib crew tee
Mother Denim Rowdy bright white T-shirt
The Row Pomorie two-tone cotton T-shirt
The Polished Topper
Worn as a layering piece or stand-alone, a crisp button-up shirt is the ideal outfit topper. For a day at the office tucked into your favorite trousers or seaside on the beach as a cover-up, its versatility knows no limits.
Charvet Side-slit linen shirt
Cos oversized striped shirt
J. Crew slim-fit Baird McNutt Irish linen shirt
The Frankie Shop Lui stripe shirt
Ralph Lauren Collection Adrien cotton-poplin shirt
Tibi oversized checked cotton-poplin shirt
The Flattering Fit Jean
When it comes to shopping for denim, a lot of trial and error can ensue. Our advice is to find a few silhouettes and brands that flatter you and buy in bulk. Your denim collection is like your white tee collection—a must-have in the closet.
Frame Le High flare jeans
Khaite The Danielle stretch jean
Reformation Liza ultra high-rise straight jeans
Everlane the ’90s cheeky jeans
Gap Sky high-rise vintage slim jeans with Washwell
Acne Studios 1997 straight-leg jeans
The Updated Work Tote
Treat yourself and upgrade your old work bag with a chic and colorful tote from Bottega Veneta or Proenza Schouler. The perfect catch-alls for a day at the office and into after-work drinks.
The Row Piper grained-leather shoulder bag
Hereu Calella leather and suede tote bag
Bottega Veneta mini Cabat bag
Proenza Schouler small ruched leather crossbody tote
Loewe Flamenco large leather tote
The Long-Lasting Leather Jacket
A great leather jacket is one closet staple worth the splurge. After all, they only get better with age (kind of like you).
Acne Studios leather biker jacket
Mango leather biker jacket
Frame exposed zip leather jacket
Rag & Bone Andrea leather jacket
The Frankie Shop Olympia faux-leather blazer
Theory cropped leather jacket
The Everyday Black Pant
A classic pair of black pants, whether wide leg, pleated, or straight leg, serves as the foundational piece to any and all outfits. I personally love to dress mine up for a night on the town with a tiny top.
Cos wide-leg tailored pants
Everlane The Way-High drape pant
The Frankie Shop Bea pleated fresco suit trousers
Veronica Beard Core Hibiscus pants
Theory Demitria pants in good wool
Vince high-rise cigarette pant
The Vintage Closet Heroes
By thirty, you understand the value of investing. Invest in vintage closet heroes like this trench from Dries Van Noten or a timeless black dress.
Dries Van Noten pre-owned 1990s belted long trench coat
Thierry Mugler vintage midi length dress
Valentino vintage 2000’s crop top
Gucci pre-owned 2000s pinstriped slim-legged tailored trousers
Roberto Cavalli vintage knee-length skirt
Marc Jacobs leather sandal
The Perfect White Sneaker
Like the white tee, another neutral palette cleanser to have in your closet is a white sneaker. You can dress them up with one of the cocktail dresses above or with a classic black legging to follow.
Khaite Walker suede-trimmed leather sneakers
Everlane The Forever sneaker
Loewe Wave Retro runner sneakers
Totême The Leather Sneaker
Tory Burch Howell court sneaker
The Work to Play Blazer
Whether you’re heading into an interview or out to dinner in the city, a blazer is a great transitional jacket that offers just the right amount of coverage.
Raey single-breasted wool-twill suit jacket
Nili Lotan Valerie pinstripe double-breasted virgin wool blazer
Aritzia Babaton Logan blazer
Proenza Schouler satin-trimmed wool-twill blazer
The Wear-Everywhere Black Boots
Trust us when we say that you’ll get more wear out of a pair of black boots than any other one-and-done pieces you may be considering. They are trendy, all the while feeling effortlessly seasonal.
Ganni square-toe Chelsea boots
The Row leather ankle boots
Blundstone Footwear 1671 Chelsea boots
Stuart Weitzman Norah boots
Dear Frances Spirit boots
By Far Edie knee-high boots
The Cocktail Dress
Cocktail dresses from Tory Burch and emerging label Commission NYC require basically no thinking at all with their all-in-one outfit formulas. For any upcoming weddings (and we know you’ll have a lot), choose an event dress that lends itself to no surprises and hopefully no wardrobe malfunctions.
Tory Burch colorblock one-shoulder dress
Commission asymmetric ruffled tiered crepe midi dress
La Ligne open-back smocked cotton-sateen maxi dress
Proenza Schouler embellished twist-back knitted dress
Ulla Johnson Naveah pleated midi dress
The Reliable Leggings
A trusty pair of black leggings never hurt your top shelf. Reach for the staple for a travel day at the airport when comfort is key or when headed to your favorite workout class.
Everlane The Perform 24/7 legging
Proenza Schouler zip hem stretch jersey leggings
Wardrobe.NYC Release 03 high-rise slit-cuff leggings
Totême Cork stretch-jersey leggings
Alo Yoga Alosoft high-waist 7/8 Highlight leggings
The Row Woolworth stretch-ponte leggings
The Little Black Swimsuit
It takes some time to figure out the best swimsuit silhouette that works for your body type. By thirty, you’ve probably realized that the little black swimsuit is a flattering option every time.
Eres Cassiopee strapless one-piece swimsuit
Everlane The V-Neck one-piece
Marysia Santa Barbara one-shoulder scalloped stretch-crepe swimsuit
Tory Burch solid underwire one-piece swimsuit
Totême deep v-neck one-piece swimsuit
The Mature Underwear
Clear out your underwear drawer of decades past and make room for something slightly more elevated like an all-black pair from Skims or a cozy, cotton set by Araks.
Cuup the high-waist panty
Skims Fits Everybody crossover bralette
Skims Fits Everybody thong
The Understated, Yet Elevated Jewelry
Because most of us grew up in the 90s, we can appreciate the value of minimal dressing and accessorizing. The dainty gold pieces feel understated, but definitely still elevated.
Laura Lombardi Calle gold-plated necklace
Charlotte Chesnais Blaue 18kt gold-plated & silver ring
Kat Kim grande éternal diamond earrings
Jennifer Fisher micro Natasha gold-plated hoop earrings