No ifs, ands or buts about it 鈥 you will reach a certain point in your life when a shimmery going-out dress, a streamlined trench and girl boss-approved power pumps will be in order. But rather than telling you what NOT to wear once you embark on a new style decade (鈥榗ause that鈥檚 just crazy talk!), we鈥檝e put together a list of 27 ceaselessly chic investment pieces 鈥 all divvied up according to decades, no less 鈥 you won鈥檛 want to be without. While the jury鈥檚 still out regarding the most fashionable age, we鈥檙e confident these style essentials will hold you down regardless of whether you鈥檙e in your fun and flirty 20s, ambitious 30s or fearless 40s. Can we get an amen to that?

20s

metallic-bomber

1. Ban.do Boogie Daze Bomber Jacket ($99): B is for the futuristic bomber you didn鈥檛 know you needed, but now won鈥檛 be able to live without. This holographic stunner featuring a rainbow trim brings the badaboom factor. We dare you to *never* take it off.

sticker-patch-set

2. Madewell Embroidered Sticker Patch Set ($15): Personal flair goes a long way, baby. Why not add an emoji-inspired patch (or three) to a denim jacket, a baseball cap or your flea market-bound canvas tote? We call dibs on the hot dog emoji, 鈥榗ause #goals.

stan-smiths

3. Adidas Originals Unisex White and Green Stan Smith Sneakers ($90): Every boss babe on the block has a pair of Stan Smiths on standby, and for good reason. They鈥檙e the It-girl-approved sneakers that give off an athleisure vibe even when you鈥檙e just hitting up the corner post office. Pair 鈥榚m with anything from rolled-up boyfriend jeans to a jersey bodycon dress for maximum impact.

bee-blazer

4. Topshop Bee Blazer ($110): Mark our words: This cheeky bee-printed blazer will double for a class presentation, a double date and even a conference for young working professionals. Wear it as a matching set or toss it on alongside mom jeans and mid-heel ankle boots for a high-profile lewk.

sequin-slip-dress

5. Motel Finn Sequin Mini Slip Dress ($89): Cue the FOMO: You don鈥檛 want to reach your 30s only to have regretted NOT scooping up that totally risqu茅, wear-anywhere paillette dress.

lace-bralet

6. Free People Galloon Lace Halter Bra ($20): Life in your 20s is all about embracing a lazy girl 鈥榯ude. Don鈥檛 have to wake up until 鈥渉alf past eleven鈥 for your first MWF class? Fine by us. Perfect your roll-out-of-bed-and-go routine with this scalloped lace halter bra that can be layered underneath a fisherman sweater or teamed alongside an open-back dress for a Friday night date.

7-day-studs

7. Madewell 7-Day Stud Earring Set ($48): This set of seven-day mixed metal studs promises to hold you down every single day of the week, so you鈥檙e never left with *nothing* to wear. Mix 鈥榥鈥 match to your sartorial delight.

western-edge-poncho

8. Duo Boutique Western Edge Poncho ($45): The beauty of a boho Aztec poncho is that you can literally toss it on and instantly look like you鈥檙e about to hit up Coachella. Throw in some fringed ankle booties, a felt fedora and some boho flares for a getup that channels sunny SoCal.

30s

lilac-bi-stretch-trousers

9. J.Crew Maddie Pant in Bi-Stretch Cotton ($98): Eww, boardroom trousers. But actually. Don鈥檛 throw any shade at J.Crew鈥檚 best-selling bi-stretch Maddie pants (in neon orchid, natch) until you鈥檝e tried them on. Not only do they bring the Jenna Lyons-esque swagger 鈥 give or take some Breton stripes and smart specs 鈥 but they鈥檙e the quintessential 鈥渨ork鈥 pant.

black-bodycon-dress

10. ASOS Bodycon Dress With Collar ($46): There comes a certain point in every working gal鈥檚 life when a Wednesday Addams-inspired collared dress is in order. Hitting just at the knee (conservative enough for the boardroom and justifiable for after-hours), this jersey bodycon dress will accentuate your best assets, while maintaining a level of professionalism.

flap-city-bag

11. Zara Asymmetric Flap City Bag ($70): Because you can鈥檛 call yourself a HBIC until you鈥檝e got a chic top-handle satchel that means business. You鈥檒l rock this two-tone suede and leather city bag during your morning commute alongside a wrap coat and power pumps, and a red haute power suit come networking hour.

margot-industry-standard

12. Industry Standard The Margot Highrise in Indigo ($125): In lieu of fleeting denim styles, we recommend this streamlined, high-waisted pair that鈥檚 designed to elongate your legs and make you feel like a BOSS. Don鈥檛 even get us started about that deep shade of indigo blue 鈥 you鈥檒l instantly feel 10 times more put-together upon heading out the door.

drop-earrings

13. BaubleBar Fluoro Crispin Drops ($48): The easiest way to look presentable without having to put in the effort when playing hostess with the mostess? You鈥檙e looking at 鈥榚m. These cobalt blue drops not only bring the red carpet appeal, but they look ah-maz-ing with a crisp button-down or a silk blouse.

Boden Waxed Jacket

14. Boden Fitted Waxed Jacket ($250): A cool girl-approved waxed field jacket that always reads off-duty will never steer you wrong. Toss this bad boy over a chambray shirt and black vintage Levis or team it with a silk dress and pumps for a sophisticated #OOTD. Trying, but not trying too hard has never looked so good.

fuschia-pumps

15. Banana Republic Canta Pump ($128): Towering platforms and ankle-breaking steppers, you鈥檝e been replaced. Proof that sensible need not equate to boring, these neon fuchsia suede block heels are ready to werk it.

high-slit-jean-skirt

16. Madewell High-Slit Jean Skirt ($90): Not to say you can鈥檛 wear a mini in your 30s (because you most certainly can), but there鈥檚 something so RN about a midi-length denim button-front skirt with 鈥70s undertones. The peekaboo slit doesn鈥檛 hurt either. Channel instant confidence by dialing it down with a striped tee, a handkerchief scarf and backless mules.

lemon-lace-sleepwear

17. Floreat Lemon Lace Cami ($68) + Floreat Lemon Lace Sleep Shorts ($58): Your days spent scouring your dresser for an old sorority tee and leggings are a thing of the past. This ultra-femme lace print set with lemons is game for slumber parties with your BFFs, a crazy Friday night-turned-at-home pampering sesh or a rendezvous at bae鈥檚 place.

relaxed-shirt

18. Everlane The Relaxed Cotton Shirt ($65): A no-frills, relaxed button-down is exactly what the doctor ordered for many a casual Friday and low-key weekend. It鈥檚 slouchy, yet still refined enough to be paired with a set of pearl studs, d鈥橭rsay flats and a sleek bucket bag.

40s

classic-trench

19. ASOS Classic Trench Coat ($91): While a perennial trench with French-girl sensibilities looks exceptional at every age, there鈥檚 something about rocking this khaki topper in your 40s that seems especially fitting. Simply toss it on over anything and go for a ceaselessly chic getup that鈥檚 ready to travel the world in style.

striped-turtleneck

20. J.Crew 10 Percent Deck Turtleneck in Stripe ($75): When v-necks feel too casual and boatneck styles feel too resort, a form-fitting turtleneck will work to your advantage. Bonus points: This striped beauty even contains a hint of cashmere 鈥 AKA, perfect for any and all layering purposes.

leather-transport-tote

21. Madewell The Transport Tote ($168): So easy to overlook, yet practical enough for day-to-day use, Madewell鈥檚 iconic leather transport tote is a total game changer. It鈥檚 deep enough to stow away all the essentials and professional enough to tote to work by the shoulder strap.

wide-waist-pleat-trousers

22. COS Wide Waist Pleated Trousers ($115): You *need* a pair of wear-everywhere paper bag trousers on deck. Let it be known: These bad boys, featuring a forgiving waist and dropped crotch, will make you look pulled-together even on days you feel like bummin鈥 it. Round out your corporate uniform with a form-fitting turtleneck and everyday skimmers FTW.

tortoiseshell-sunnies

23. Illesteva Boca Sunglass ($220): A timeless pair of tortoiseshell frames that will last you a lifetime are a given once you turn the big 4-0. Turn your attention to these retro cat-eye shades by Illesteva that are worth every penny.

pearl-studs

24. Kate Spade Rise and Shine Small Studs ($38): While an OTT pair of statement danglers may be required for more fancy affairs, subtle everyday bling a la a set of everyday studs will suffice for your Monday-Friday lineup. The Swarovski crystals are just enough to keep things interesting.

wool-cashmere-cardigan

25. Everlane The Ribbed Wool-Cashmere Oversized Cardigan ($140): Time is of the essence. Between picking up the kiddos from school, meeting up with the ladies for brunch and running your own personal business, this oversized wool-cashmere cardigan is the throw-on-and-go layering piece you鈥檝e probably been overlooking.

scalloped-flats

26. Banana Republic Scalloped Robin Ballet Flat ($98): Repeat after us: Flats are not dead鈥 far from it, actually. Run 鈥 don鈥檛 walk 鈥 to scoop up a pair of these Kate Middleton-esque blush scalloped ballerinas that will look equally charming with a classic sheath as straight-leg jeans.

check-suit

27. Mango Check Suit Blazer ($120) + Mango Check Suit Trousers ($80): Is there any wardrobe workhorse more essential to your 40s than a check print power suit that makes you look wise beyond your years? We say no. Not just restricted to the nine-to-five grind, this menswear-inspired set will make you look legit AF, whether you鈥檙e commanding attention in the boardroom or attending a rousing political debate.

Which of these fashion essentials will you be scooping up? Follow us on Pinterest for more Instababe-approved style inspo!

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