How to Transition Your Wardrobe: 20s to 30s

As women transition into their thirties, it is common for many to feel that a lot of the clothing in their closet doesn’t quite fit their style needs any longer.

For many the twenties is a time of experimentation and rebellion, of tees with ironic statements, cheap shoes and affordable, fast fashion—as well it should be. Now that you are in your thirties, you are finding it harder to get away with wearing these clothing items; one of your go-to skirts suddenly feels a little too short, and another dress that’s been in your closet for years just seems too … I don’t know, frilly.

You need and want a wardrobe that is more classic and sophisticated to reflect the grown-up that you have become.


How You Know Your Closet Needs an Overhaul

Do you know that feeling when you open up a closet overflowing with clothes and think that you have nothing to wear? That’s a pretty good indication! In addition, you notice that you have a serious lack of formal attire and professional workwear.

You also don’t feel like your clothes fit right anymore. Even the colours that used to work on you seem off. (Interestingly, our complexion actually changes over the years so you may actually have a real reason to start trying out new hues to match your changing skin tone.)

Look at your clothes and see if you have what you need for your new, current lifestyle. Are you covered in terms of work clothes, cocktail hour, business and social events? If your answer is no, then it is time for a wardrobe overhaul.


How to Dress for Your Thirties

Have you heard that thirty is the new twenty? It is definitely an interesting age where you are no longer deemed ‘young’ but you are definitely not ‘old’, either.

Start by investing in basics that don’t date and that you can easily pair with other clothing. That means including good quality pieces in classic shades such as black, navy and khaki. When you have a pair of black trouser pants, for instance, you can have fun periodically updating your look with inexpensive and on-trend tops and blouses that inject colour, pattern and texture to your look.


Wardrobe Must-Haves

What are some of the must-have items to include in your wardrobe? You’ll need a well-tailored blazer in a dark colour, a pair of black pants, a couple of shirts (at least one should be white) and a classic black dress. For casual, but smart weekend attire, make sure you have tees in clean, neutral shades (white, black, grey) and jeans without embellishments or rips. It is also good to have on hand a classic handbag that goes with everything and good quality shoes.


What Should Stay and What Should Go

Let us take a closer peek at your closet to see what items ought to remain in your revamped wardrobe and what should be tossed out onto the curb.

Sundresses Are a Go

In your thirties, it is much sexier (and more sophisticated) to maintain an air of mystery. Skip the slinky bodycon dresses and instead, choose to wear fun and flirty frocks that reveal just a little bit of skin. Leaving the rest to the imagination is a way classier move.

Pencil Skirts Get an A

It was fun while it lasted but it may be time to retire your micro-mini skirt. Make a stylish and modest transition to pencil skirts that skim those curves in a flattering way, and yet will not run the risk of revealing more than you intend to. Pencil skirts are also very versatile, taking you from work to casual to an evening out. Feel free to play with colours, prints and patterns, too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having fun details like leopard print and polka dots on your pencil skirts.

Less (Jewelry) Is More

When it comes to jewellery, one statement piece will do the trick. A gorgeous pair of earrings or necklace is all you need to add drama and flair to your neutral outfit. But if you can’t give up on layering your accessories just yet, keep it to no more than two pieces and avoid chunky items. A pair of dainty necklaces or two delicate bracelets will look elegant and lovely.

Comfort Matters

There is no need to inflict pain on yourself or risk a terrible sprain in order to look good. Nix the four-inch stilettos and find yourself a sensible pair of pointed-toe pumps or chic sandals that spell quiet style and luxurious comfort.


Think Quality, Not Quantity

For a more sophisticated wardrobe, this is the rule of thumb: focus more on getting quality items and less about acquiring a bunch of poorer quality things that don’t last. So invest in a classic timepiece, a timeless pair of earrings, and choose clothing that is made from good quality fabrics.

Well-fitted and tailored clothing that doesn’t reveal too much skin also exudes the elegance and maturity you are aiming for. Make the effort to press your clothing too. Nothing ruins a good look like a wrinkled shirt.