For many people, entering your thirties is a time in your life when you feel like you’re finally coming into your own. Far from the fashion experiments and faux pas of your twenties, you now enter an era where you get to know a little more about what you like—and how to wear it with confidence.
Whether you’re working your way up the career ladder or caring for a growing family, in your thirties, life is better than ever. While it seems like a looming milestone where you need to have everything together, turning thirty just means you’re ready to live your best life with a wealth of experience under your belt.
Dressing in your 30s is the perfect time to try out a more mature aesthetic while embracing your authentic self. This is also a great time to start figuring out what should be in a capsule wardrobe and to start crafting yours. If you’re thinking about how to dress in your 30s to make the most of this new phase in your life, follow our helpful guide to keep your wardrobe fresh and sophisticated as you enter your best decade yet.
Invest In Quality Wardrobe Staples
While the closet of your 20s might be overflowing with trial-and-error looks or throwaway trends long past their prime, transitioning your closet to a more manageable, wearable collection filled with modern and timeless pieces is one way to embrace and encourage the confidence and authenticity of your 30s. Your life may not be totally put together yet, but at least your wardrobe can be.
One of the best ways to up your outfit game as you transition to dressing in your 30s is investing in quality, well-made wardrobe pieces that will last through seasons and years.
When you’re stocking a 30s wardrobe, don’t be afraid to spend the extra dollars to get the perfect look and fit. Keep what works and what lasts, and seek out staple piece wardrobe items that will carry you through the next decade in comfort, confidence, and style.
#1 Upgrade Your Denim
Jeans were probably your go-to casual clothing base in your twenties for everything from running errands to weekend brunch, and that doesn’t need to change just because the digits of your age bumped up. Denim is the ultimate wardrobe staple, and the right pair of jeans will feel like a second skin and blend right in with the rest of your closet favorites.
Now that you’re dressing in your 30s, take time to find a pair of jeans that can take you through the new decade with timeless lines and unparalleled fit. Add a pair of well-tailored denim jeans to your outfit rotation—just a smidge of stretch will accentuate your curves in all the best places, while updated details like a raw hem keep them youthful.
And when you do find the unicorn denim that fits like a glove in all the right places, stock up on a few pairs in varying washes so you’re never without a perfect pair. If you’re steering away from denim, consider wearing other alternatives for jeans.
#2 Find the Right Little Black Dress
If you’re finally settled into a career you love (and even if you’re not quite there yet), adding a wear-anywhere dress that makes you feel effortlessly beautiful and confident will make a huge difference for those office meetings and evenings out alike.
As you’re revamping your closet and figuring out how to dress for your 30s, don’t be afraid to toss out the cheap dresses that don’t fit quite right or have been sitting in the back of your closet since your 25th birthday. At this stage in your life, you know what looks and feels good on your body, so feel free to say goodbye to ill-fitting garments, itchy fabrics, and uncomfortable dresses you can’t wait to change out of at the end of the day.
Instead, seek out a little black dress you can dress up, dress down, and feel incredible in from your early morning Americano to happy hour last call. A staple of women’s wardrobes since 1926 thanks to the ever-stylish design eye of Coco Chanel, the little black dress is a necessity for any well-rounded closet. Whether you prefer stretchy and form-fitting or flowing and breezy, every woman in her 30s should have a go-to black dress they love to look chic, sophisticated, and current.
#3 Simplify Your Separates
Upgrading your wardrobe staples is all about making dressing in your 30s easier while looking chic and put together. Versatile basics let you experiment with combining separates like blouses, skirts, and pants knowing that you look good whichever way you layer them.
Things to focus on when investing in upgraded separates include:
- Neutral colors like black, white, gray, and taupe that can be paired easily with other basics or bolder pieces
- Luxurious and sustainable fabrics like linen, chambray, and wool upgrade your wardrobe from fast-fashion throwaways
- Sturdy, well-tailored construction makes for long-lasting wear
- Unexpected details like low necklines or asymmetric hemlines keep styles current and classic
Together or apart, quality separates provide an important base layer for outfit building and layering and give you room to try new combinations that take you out of your comfort zone.
#4 Get a Go-To Shoe
Don’t forget your feet when you’re planning out how to dress in your 30s. Strut into your best decade yet with well-fitting footwear that’s versatile, comfortable, and practical without feeling like you’re turning into your grandmother. Look for quality shoes that combine on-trend styles with supportive insoles and breathable materials.
You’re still on the go (maybe even more so than before) in your 30s, so keeping your feet healthy and pain-free should be a priority whether you’re finishing off an outfit with supple leather boots or block heel sandals. As with the rest of your wardrobe, spending the extra dollars for a well-fitting pair that cushion and support will carry you through the decade sans bunion, heel spur, and tendonitis.
How to dress in your thirties means celebrating your individual style without suffering for fashion—no more squeezing your toes into too-small stilettos for a few hours of fun followed by days of pain.
Let Your Personality Shine Through Your Style
You’ve spent your 20s figuring out who you are, trying out and trying on new things to see how they fit with your likes, wants, and needs. Now that you’re more confident in your skin, let your personality shine through thoughtful, stylish outfits that reflect your best assets.
Your 30s wardrobe doesn’t need to be boring—be confident in your choices and put yourself out there with playful combinations and unexpected details. Now that you’ve got your wardrobe basics upgraded to reflect the more sophisticated decade ahead, embrace and enhance your personal style to make dressing every day a fun, fresh experience.
#1 Play With Pattern
Whether it’s a breezy maxi dress or versatile peasant top, patterns are the perfect way to make an outfit your own. Colors and patterns combined with well-fitting and flattering styles to elevate any look. Pairing patterned pieces with your neutral basics keeps you looking playful even when you’re wearing an office-appropriate suit or floating into daycare pickup as the cool mom.
Here are some fresh ways to incorporate pattern:
- Pay homage to your festival-loving past by adding a touch of tie-dye to an otherwise traditional dress shape.
- If you prefer a more reserved look, stripes bring classic country club vibes and add visual interest without being over the top, and can be incorporated easily into any look much like a neutral.
- Bohemian paisley or scarf print tops are the perfect way to personalize and elevate basic jeans and regular or graphic tees for everyday, classic style.
- Delicate daisy and other florals exude cheerfulness and youthful fun, especially on separates like tops and skirts.
#2 Flirty Shapes & Classic Twists
Trying to find the right thirty-something outfit without feeling like you’re aging yourself prematurely? Keep your silhouettes young and trust in the classic pieces with upgraded details. Clothes like these will make sure you’re emphasizing the “flirty and thriving” part of being in your 30s:
- A classic shirtdress with a tie belt lets you cinch your waist and look put together in a breeze.
- An upgraded blazer with tailored details and updated ruched sleeves is perfect for layering over a revealing cami at work or on the go.
- A peekaboo pointelle sweater keeps cool weather layering both sexy and sophisticated.
#3 Accessorize Your Age
While you may already have a large collection of hats and bags to wear on rotation, consider making some sophisticated and fun additions to your accessory stockpile to ease the transition from your 20s to your 30s. Being in your 30s means you can dress up your accessory game with chic heirloom quality jewelry, playful hats, and go-anywhere bags:
- Treat yourself to a stunning artisan pendant necklace in quality sterling silver and statement-making turquoise stones to dress up any ensemble, from a simple sheath dress to a plain white tee and jeans.
- Embrace your boho spirit by wearing a macrame crossbody bag to hold all your essentials while keeping your hands free.
- Top off your outfit with a straw Panama hat to keep the sun off your face as you browse the produce at the farmer’s market or enjoy afternoon mimosas on the patio.
Dress Your Best at Any Age with Karen Kane
Don’t fret over how to dress in your 30s—embrace your new best decade by treating yourself to styles you love and that reflect a more confident you. Upgrading your wardrobe with chic, sophisticated touches is the perfect way to say you’re ready for the next stage of your life.
At Karen Kane, we want you to feel beautiful and comfortable in our clothing at any age or stage in your life. With a focus on impeccable fit, fine and eco friendly fabric, and masterful craftsmanship, our styles are made to be worn and loved. Explore what’s new in our Spring Collection and find your new favorites today.
Met Museum. House of Chanel: Dress. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/83616
Mount Sinai. Foot Pain. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/foot-pain