It’s all about sleek pieces that’ll make you look chic at all times. A blazer, high-waisted trousers and ankle boots are just some of those timeless classics.
There’s something that happens in your 30s: Whether you want to or not (and whether you’re even aware of it or not), you grow up. Everything about your world view becomes a bit more mature, and your style evolves along with it. While much of this evolution happens very naturally, for our wardrobes, that might not be the case. And as we get older, our clothes matter more.
If that sounds like your life right now, then luckily, we’re here to help because when it comes to clothes, everyone can sometimes use a nudge towards adulthood from time to time. For this reason, we’ve come up with 20 pieces you should own by the time you’re 30 that will make getting dressed easier and leave you more time to do, well, grown-up things, ensuring you always look incredibly chic in the process.
#1: Well-Fitting Jeans
We all remember the days of Britney Spears–inspired ultra-low-rise jeans. They had their moment in the sun, but for a more lasting style, reach for a pair of classic straight-leg jeans in a suitable mid-blue wash.
Next year, Levi’s will celebrate 150 years of the 501, showing just how enduring this style is.
#2: A Versatile Midi Dress
While we fully commend the Kim Kardashian look, some days, we don’t feel quite so up for body-con and cut-outs. Some days, we’re all for the more demure midi style.
The perfect companion for trainers, boots or sandals, depending on the day ahead.
#3: Great Ankle Boots
Yes, there are thigh-highs, knee-highs and everything in between, but trusty ankle boots will be the most loyal. Get a great pair, and you’ll wear them many times. You’ll make endless trips to the cobbler’s because that’s what people in their 30s do.
White boots can lift an outfit and are even Sienna Miller approved. Plus, this style works especially well for those who are high-heel averse.
#4: Staple Jewellery
A piece of jewellery can be classic but on-trend. Look to brands like Missoma and Daphine that create fashionable but timeless pieces you’ll wear forever.
The signet style is classic and elevated in plated 18kt gold.
#5: A Classic Black Blazer
To help limit fast-fashion consumption, investing in pieces that last is smart. Case in point? The black blazer.
The minimalist style makes this black blazer timeless, whilst the lack of lapel adds a bold, modern touch.
#6: A Trench Coat
Trust us when we say that you’ll have zero regrets once you have one of these in your outerwear collection.
A trench is one of those pieces that looks effortlessly chic. If you invest in a good one, you’ll bring it out for years to come.
#7: Chic Hair Accessories
If you’re after a way to give your outfit a new twist, finding a hair accessory you love is ideal.
This dependable design will soon, like its brand name promises, become your uniform.
#8: High-Waisted Trousers
You’ll never regret buying a pair of these. Why? Not only do they work for the office, but they’re also great for weekends paired with trainers and a white T-shirt. It’ll be another hardworking item in your wardrobe.
With tailored front details and an elasticated back, the waistband will adjust to your contours for a perfect fit.
#9: Pointed Flats
Flat shoes that aren’t just your classic ballet pumps are a great way to do modern flats.
These are giving me The Row energy, and for that price, I’ll take them.
#10: A Wrap Dress
Instead of buying everything that’s on-trend, opt for pieces that flatter your figure, such as a wrap dress, which, to be honest, looks good on everyone.
Style for sun with your favourite sandals, or opt for knee-high boots on cooler days.
#11: A Slinky Camisole
Wear under blazers and dresses, over T-shirts or by itself with a pair of jeans.
The slinky camisole is the perfect goes-with-everything top.
#12: A Statement Skirt
You might not wear a statement piece every day, but you know those days when you just don’t know what to wear? Allow us to introduce you to the printed skirt that will help solve all those problems. It requires minimal effort and will do all the talking for you. The midi length is way chicer than that one miniskirt you used to rely on.
A statement skirt doesn’t have to cost the earth. This retro-print piece can be worn with your staple black blazer or thrown over a swimsuit when holiday season arrives.
# 13: Tailored Joggers
This item has become ubiquitous among the fashion set and those of us who still work from home. If you style them in the right way—with a white shirt or cashmere, for example—they can look less teenager and more grown-up.
For ultimate cosy lounging style with the matching sweatshirt.
#14: A Sleek Pencil Skirt
Not to say that shorter skirts are off limits, but a pencil skirt will work for many more occasions. It will look so good with a sleek shirt tucked in and will be your workwear hero.
For an out-of-office outfit, style it with your favourite jumper and trainers for a polished yet laid-back look.
#15: A Fancy, Formal Dress
When you hit your 30s, you will be invited to an abundance of engagement parties and, of course, weddings. Make sure you’re prepared for any soirée that shows up in your calendar by having that one “wow” dress you can bring out again and again.
Reformation makes its best dresses in sizes 4 to 28, and this red wrap style will suit every figure.
#16: Good-Quality Tights
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to introduce a pair of tights to the bin thanks to too many holes. To save your wallet, invest in the best tights chosen by our fashion editors.
We always keep a pair of skin-coloured tights in our wardrobes in case of cooler days and to wear with dresses or hide a bad fake-tan moment.
#17: A Leather Skirt
This’ll be your go-to skirt for when you have nothing to wear. It’ll be the do-it-all grown-up skirt that will make you look instantly chic without even trying.
Nowhere did we say you can’t combine your statement skirt and leather skirt. This Gabriela Hearst patchwork skirt may be an investment, but the mix of colours means it will style easily with your other pieces.
#18: Black Pumps
Your younger self may have reached for a pair of six-inch open-toed, stacked-heel stilettos, but the classic court is here to save the day. These go with everything, will never date and will create a confident posture rather than a “wobbling on heels for the first time” kind of look.
We love pointed-toe pumps with wide-leg tailored trousers to channel Victoria Beckham’s sleek style.
Trainers are really quite the personal choice. But our favourites right now? These New Balance sneakers.
Veja trainers have been a sell-out since they hit the fashion scene. The easy, clean lines make them constantly coveted.
#20: A Roll-Neck Jumper
The roll-neck is the most versatile piece of clothing (second only to the white shirt, of course). And that’s what we need in our lives now: easy-to-throw-on pieces that always look incredible.
This boxy fit is a more modern take on a classic piece, with deep rib details to add texture.
This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. Next up, these are the biggest summer 2022 fashion trends to know.