Skip to Content

How To Dress In Your 30s: 21 Must-Have Style Pieces

Wondering how to dress in your 30s? Are there certain things you should avoid? Certain things you can’t wear anymore? Let’s dive in!

First and foremost, you don’t have to abandon all your fun fashion choices from the past decade. Actually, it’s better that you don’t because the fashion industry is one of the most wasteful industries. That said, I’m so glad you’re here to build a wardrobe you truly love!

Just because you’re in your 30s doesn’t mean you can’t still wear crop tops – it just means that maybe you should consider wearing them with higher-waisted trousers. Want to wear sequins? May as well make them an everyday staple as you accessorize.

This post may contain commissionable links. Thank you for supporting this resource.

How To Dress In Your 30s

I have personally been slowly figuring how I want to dress. Taking time to try on various pieces and picking what you truly feel comfortable in versus what is trendy is the way to go.

It doesn’t matter what everyone else is wearing if you don’t like it. You have to wear what suits your style and your lifestyle.

As a general rule, you should wear what you feel most comfortable in.

There are different ways to approach this though.

One of the best ways to do this is to look at your most common use-case.

Are you dressing to go to the office or are you a stay-at-home mom who wears leggings most often?

Ultimately you need to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and it needs to work for you. You don’t need blazers if your commute is to the playroom and you have a boss who is not even walking yet.

So begin by focusing on what you wear the most and go from there to build out a wardrobe of staple pieces that you truly feel your best in.

I do think it’s great to have pieces outside of your usual dress code for when you need them.

For instance, I have a black dress I call my funeral dress because I wear it just to funerals. I’ve done this since my 20s. It is a black wrap dress that that is appropriate for these events and I know will always look good.

I also have a few professional outfits I can throw on at a moments notice that I know will fit me and I will feel confident in.

How To Dress In Your 30s

What Not To Wear In Your 30s

Defining Your Personal Style

When defining your style, ask yourself: how do I want to present myself? Do I want a polished yet edgy look, or a more relaxed and laid back vibe? What colors do I feel most confident in? What shape of clothing best fits my body type?

Look around and take note of the pieces you’re drawn to. This can give you an idea of how your wardrobe should be, and what kind of pieces suit you best.

Accessorizing is also key – consider how you want to complete each look with the right jewelry, bags, and shoes. Sticking to a few signature accessories that speak to your style will help create cohesive looks.

I want to preface this section by saying I think you should absolutely wear what you want to wear. Truthfully, if you feel your best in something, wear it! It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

But on the flip side, chances are you’re reading this article because you are still figuring out your thirty-something style. It’s okay if you aren’t sure yet what looking and feeling your best means! That’s why we’re here to help.

You’re generally going to want to opt for timeless yet classic pieces that won’t ever go out of style – think wrap dresses and dark denim.

As for footwear, stay away from sneakers with a bright logo. Opt for basic shoes that are still stylish yet comfortable enough to run errands in.

Avoid things that aren’t for your body shape. We all have a different body shape, so make sure what you’re wearing fits your figure. You could work with a professional stylist to help you find the right fits for you.

It’s okay to go for trendy pieces and new styles but make sure they are things you’ll want to wear more than once. Otherwise you could consider renting pieces from somewhere like

Finally – don’t forget to make sure your clothes fit properly! Nothing will make you look older faster than ill fitting clothing. Choose the right size and tailor your pieces if needed.

Also, be sure to invest in quality pieces that will last for years instead of buying cheaper but trendier items that won’t hold up over time. Investing a little more money into timeless staples like tailored trousers and a great fitting blazer can take you places!

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with how you dress. With age comes confidence and that’s the best accessory of all. Try some bold colors or daring patterns – how else are you going to find out how amazing you look in them?

The Capsule Wardrobe for Your 30s

So what are the pieces you need to have the perfect wardrobe in your 30s? These are 20 types of clothing you should consider based on your lifestyle. You certainly do not need them!

It can take many tries to find the perfect pair of anything, so don’t give up! Take photos of your outfits everyday for a month and track what you wear most often before investing in more pieces.

Where are the gaps in your wardrobe? What do you wish you owned? Start there and move forward.

Comfortable Leggings

Leggings are essential for most people, whether you work in or out of the office. Looking for leggings can be daunting, but they don’t have to be! Find a pair that is comfortable and flattering.

The Perfect Jeans

Jeans are the key piece in any wardrobe. Look for a timeless cut that fits your body perfectly – you may need to get them tailored if they’re not just right.

For you these might be skinny jeans or boyfriend and for your best friend it might be bootcut jeans or high waisted jeans. One of the great things about fashion is that there are no wrong answers!

Comfortable Slacks

Comfortable slacks are a must-have for any professional office environment. Choose a color that compliments your complexion and works with the majority of the items in your wardrobe.

Top Pick
Ultra-Stretch Ponte Straight Leg Pant

What feels like a yoga pant but has the perfect classic look of a straight-legged pant?

They have a 4-way stretch for unmatched comfort. Plus they come in 3 inseam lengths and range from size S-XL. Oh, and they come in 5 colors too.

Most Sizes
Tradlands Paloma Pant

Meet your new favorite pant - the Paloma from Tradlands. With a roomy waistband, this pant comes in sizes XXS - 4XL for the perfect fit.


Joggers are a great way to dress down your look without giving up comfort. Look for joggers that hit just above the ankle and have an elastic waistband.

Modal Jersey Lounge Jogger

Just about the comfiest joggers around. The smooth, elastic waistband and banded cuff ensure an ideal fit. Great to lounge or even sleep in.

Investment Outerwear

Now is the time to invest in an outerwear piece that will last you years. Look for something timeless, such as a wool coat, or a leather jacket.

Top Pick
100% Leather Motorcycle Jacket

Biker chic incoming. Crafted from 100% top grain leather in a totally timeless design. This leather motorcycle jacket is unbelievably soft, and super stylish. Epaulette shoulders and robust zip details on the sleeves and pockets give it an edgy feel. Plus the pockets are spacious and usable. Fully lined with a poly satin in a slim cut, with belted hem.


Cardigans come in handy when you want to dress in layers but still look polished. Choose a cardigan with a neutral color or pattern for the most versatile look. And a few statement cardigans can make a neutral wardrobe really pop. Never underestimate the power of a cardigan!

Sezane Barry Cardigan

A classic piece from Sezane comes in sizes from XXS to XXXL and four colors.

Amazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Open-Front Cardigan Sweater

From sizes XS to 6XL and coming in 20 colors, this cardigan is priced just right and is perfect for a business casual look.

03/11/2024 07:40 pm GMT

Statement Jewelry

Statement jewelry can transform any outfit. Find pieces that speak to your style and add them to your look for a little extra sparkle.

03/11/2024 08:00 pm GMT

Quality Bags & Shoes

Invest in quality shoes and bags that are built to last. Look for timeless silhouettes like loafers and cross-body bags that will go with anything.

Discount Code
Portland Leather Goods

Portland Leather makes leather bags everyone already knows they want but can't seem to find at a price they can feel good about.

The Perfect LBD

Every wardrobe needs a little black dress. Look for one that fits you perfectly, from hem to neckline. You’ll be ready for any occasion in no time!

Top Pick
Abigail Sparkle Gown

This stunner from Baltic Born is one of my all time-favorite little black dresses.

03/11/2024 06:00 pm GMT
Washable Stretch Silk Tiered Maxi Dress

This tiered maxi goes with the flow thanks to its fluid tiered silhouette and flexibility to dress up or dress down. Short sleeves make it wearable year-round, and a smocked waistband gives it an extra-comfortable fit. 

Basic Tees

A basic tee is a must-have for any wardrobe. Look for tees that are well-fitting and made from quality materials. Don’t be afraid to invest in good basics – they’ll last you much longer!

Top Pick
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt, Pack of 2, Navy/White, X-Large

The price is just right with these Amazon Basics tees that come in 43 color variation two packs.

03/11/2024 02:00 pm GMT
Luxe Pick
Washable Stretch Silk Tee

This classic tee is made from washable silk, with a bit of stretch for the perfect fit. The crew neck and tulip hem gives it a little curvature for a more premium look. The washable silk makes this top super easy to care for.

Fitted Blouses

Fitted blouses are a great way to dress up any look. Look for ones that fit you perfectly and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Silk Scarves

A silk scarf is the perfect way to accessorize any outfit. Choose one with a timeless pattern that you can wear in multiple ways.

A Well-Fitting Blazer

A blazer is a must-have for any wardrobe. Look for one that fits you perfectly and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

A white blazer is always super classy and can easily be paired with blue jeans for casual occasions.

Wrap Dresses

Wrap dresses are perfect for any occasion. Look for one that fits your body shape and flatters your figure.

A-Line Dress

An A-line dress is the perfect go-to piece for any occasion. Look for one that fits correctly in the waist and skims the body in a flattering way.

Depending on how you feel, you might want to stay away from mini dresses, especially in the cooler months.


There are so many different kinds of coats you could own.

Trench coats are a great way to add sophistication to your look. Look for one that has timeless lines and can be worn both dressed up and down.

Bomber jackets are great for casual outfits but can work with work wear too. There are no hard and fast rules!

Top Pick
100% Leather Motorcycle Jacket

Biker chic incoming. Crafted from 100% top grain leather in a totally timeless design. This leather motorcycle jacket is unbelievably soft, and super stylish. Epaulette shoulders and robust zip details on the sleeves and pockets give it an edgy feel. Plus the pockets are spacious and usable. Fully lined with a poly satin in a slim cut, with belted hem.

Button Up Shirt

A classic white button-up shirt is a must-have for any wardrobe. Look for one that fits you perfectly and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It’s truly one of the key pieces in your wardrobe!

Babaton Utility Shirt from Aritzia

Ranging from sizes XXS to 2XL, this versatile button up shirt comes in 24 colors.

Statement Tops

Don’t forget to add in some fun statement tops to your wardrobe! Look for pieces that fit well and have unique detailing like ruffles or beading.

You can experiment with bright colors this way! If you don’t want to invest in trendy pieces for your overall look, try renting them instead!

Hello There Top from Free People

Coming in 7 colors and 5 sizes, this top is a best-seller for a reason! Experiment with adding patterns, colors, and textures to your wardrobe with this piece.

Nuuly Rental Service

Rent with no commitment! Try all kinds of different styles as often as you want.


Sweaters are a great way to dress up or down any outfit. Look for fitted styles that flatter your figure, in either neutral shades or fun patterns.

If you want investment pieces, consider a cashmere sweater. It will always look great with a pair of jeans and a long coat. A classic cut is great for casual wear and can be considered smart casual for professional events too.

Top Pick
Cashmere Sweater

The classic cashmere sweater is timeless. Lightweight, soft and cozy, it's perfect for just about any time of year and occasion. 

A Comfortable Everyday Shoe

Finding the perfect everyday shoe can be a challenge. Look for something comfortable and stylish that you can wear with almost anything in your wardrobe!


The skirts in my closet are overall one of my favorite pieces. I typically like a-line skirts but if you are in a professional environment, you might opt for a pencil skirt instead.

You can pair them with a dress shirt for a classic style or graphic tees for a more casual look.

Top Pick
Alicia Skirt from Sezane

A classic must-have style this midi skirt can be dressed up or down. It goes up to size 14 and comes in a variety of patterns.

In Summary: How To Dress In Your 30s

So there you have it, how to dress in your 30s! The key is to invest in good quality pieces, embrace timeless looks that work for your lifestyle and body shape.

It’s a good idea to not always pay attention to what is trending on social media. A good example is combat boots and low rise jeans. These are just not for everyone! And that is okay!

The key to how to dress in your 30s is to invest in timeless pieces that fit you perfectly and flatter your body shape. With these essential items, you’ll be set for any occasion!

Your 30s are an exciting time to experiment with how you dress. With the right pieces, you can create a capsule wardrobe that will stand the test of time. It’s all about finding what works for you and discovering how amazing you look in them!

At the end of the day, how to dress in your 30s is all about having fun and embracing how you feel most confident! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks and find what works best for you.

About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.


10 Clever Clothing Hacks To Save You Time And Money - GenTwenty

Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

[…] expensive outfits all the time to look amazing. In this post, I’m going to give you 10 clever clothing hacks to save you time and money, and have you looking expensive on a […]