While some would say that your 20s are your golden years, we beg to differ. By 30, you’ve kind of sort of figured sh*t out — your personal style included. Embellished loafers are your jam, while kitten heels make you cringe. And you’ve more or less accepted the fact that you’ll never, ever be caught dead in a bustier top. There are, however, a few stragglers that don’t necessarily jibe with your newfound style sensibilities (now that you are a legit adult) but continue to kick it in your closet nonetheless. Which is why we’re here for a bit of a sartorial intervention, giving you a nudge in the right direction of style glory by weeding out these 11 “wardrobe essentials” by the time you turn 30.
Switch Low Rise Jeans for Classic or Boyfriend Denim
1. H&M Vintage High Cropped Jeans ($40): Low-rise jeans might be coming back into style, but resist the urge to channel your inner Britney or X-tina and slip into a pair of boyfriend or classic jeans instead. The relaxed, retro silhouette reads effortlessly cool, with the added bonus of not having to hike up your trousers every two seconds. #winning
Switch Bodycons for Flirty Cocktail Dresses
2. Keepsake Without You Dress ($185): Let’s be real — Kim Kardashian is probably the only 30-something who can actually pull off a full-blown bodycon — they’re just her thing. We, on the other hand, are partial to classy cocktail dresses that use asymmetric styling, sassy cutouts, and peekaboo slits to turn up the heat without compromising on sophistication. Sex appeal and elegance? Now that’s our thing.
Sub Cheap Costume Jewelry for Quality Pieces With Edge
3. Lady Grey Tangent Ring in Gold ($144): Costume jewelry is great — don’t get us wrong — but there comes a point where baubles that won’t turn your appendages green is a must. Who wants to be laying out a big business plan or sipping cocktails at a swanky restaurant with telltale stains around their fingers or earlobes? We’re not saying go out and drop bank on some Harry Winston, but now is most definitely the time to take the plunge and treat yo’self to a few elevated accents made with high-quality materials.
Swap Denim Mini Skirts for Sleek Pencil Skirts
4. Topshop Midi Denim Skirt ($65): We’d never convince you to turn away the opportunity to show off a little leg (go for it, girl!), but there are better ways to flash those gams than donning a distressed denim mini skirt. The piece has been one of your wardrobe staples for years, but there comes a point where it can start to read juvenile. And as a bona fide lady about town, that’s just not going to fly with your style sensibilities. A midi or pencil skirt style embodies all of the casually cool vibes you’d expect, with one major difference — the sophistication factor is through the roof.
Leave Two-in-One Duds for Versatile Forever Pieces
5. Zara Leather Jacket ($199): While we admit that reversible pieces have their virtues, they won’t exactly help you in mastering the fine art of “adulting.” Ditch those two-in-one dresses, jackets, and swimsuits in favor of versatile essentials, such as a wear-with-everything leather jacket or fresh white sneakers that can be paired with everything from jeans to fanciful frocks to create an edgy look.
Let Go of Leggings for Smart Track Pants or Tailored Joggers
6. H&M Pull-On Pants ($30): Sorry, we’re not sorry. Of course, we’re not saying you have to ditch leggings for good. But you might want to reserve your prized pair for at-home chillin’. So then, what to wear if you’re headed out but don’t feel like slipping into a pair of jeans or a set of tailored trousers? Classy track pants or tailored joggers, duh. They’re just as comfy and come with a serious side of Jenna Lyons appeal, especially when teamed with a smart button-down and patterned heels.
Ditch Collegiate Hoodies for Sleek Sweatshirts
7. Mango Message Cotton Sweatshirt ($30): Your sorority days are over girl, and so is the reign of your signature school days sweat. However, the sartorial power of leisurewear can’t be denied; so go ahead and replace your Sunday not-so-best with a sleek, minimalist sweatshirt that can be layered over ruffle-trimmed midi skirts and dark wash boyfriend jeans alike.
Give Up Sky-high Stilettos for Chic Kitten or Block Heels
8. Loéil Jaclyn Slingback Mules ($72): This is the time to start thinking about how your style choices affect your well being. And let’s be honest — towering heels aren’t doing any favors for your feet or your back. Luckily, stilettos aren’t the only avenue to style success. A pair of ah-mazing low-riding kicks (we’re swooning hard over these sassy blue mules) pack just as much punch (in a totally pain-free way, of course).
Lose Worse-for-the-Wear Undergarments for Quality Lingerie
9. Journelle Isabel Balconette Bra ($84): No more excuses — it’s officially time to purge your underwear drawer of any undergarments that show signs of wear-and-tear (holes, thinning fabric, etc.) — bras, panties and socks included. It’s also just a good excuse to treat yourself to something pretty.
Drop Micro-Mini Anything for Modern Midi Silhouettes
10. ASOS Pleated Satin Skirt With Marble Print ($53): At a certain age, ultra short skirts and dresses no longer feel appropriate for most (if not all) IRL situations. Think of it as a positive — no more worrying about wardrobe malfunctions. Instead, opt for feminine midi skirts or dresses with plenty of personality (think: architectural detailing, bold prints, and bright color).
Scrap Cutesy or Sequin Tees for Chic Graphic Tops
11. Monogram Tunnel Vision ($65): If it looks like something you would have sported back in the third grade (think: loads of glitter, Lisa Frank-inspired prints, or cheesy inspirational quotes), it’s gotta go. But don’t think that means surrendering yourself to a lifetime of plain white tees. Au contraire. Just enlist this It girl-approved number right here. It’s understated enough to rock at the office, sandwiched between an edgy powersuit.
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