21 Fashion Items Every Girl Should Own Before She Turns 30
Age may only be a number, but there’s something about turning 30 that just feels so, well, adult. You’ve finally managed to get your sh*t together (for the most part) and can start investing in yourself. Sounds pretty good, right? Whether you’re turning the big 3-0 soon or slowly creeping toward the milestone, your first order of business should involve stocking up on a few wardrobe essentials (think: an elegant evening clutch, denim that fits like a glove and upgraded versions of your everyday basics). No matter where your sartorial loyalties lie, the 21 pieces below are indispensable additions to any wardrobe.
1. Madewell Cruiser Straight Crop Jeans in Shane Wash ($135): If you haven’t already found *your* denim brand and cut, now is the time to try Madewell’s straight-leg silhouette. It flatters just about every shape, and the crop length will take you from summer to fall in a flash.
2. Uterqüe Burgundy Culottes ($119): Whether you’re doing the corner office thing or grabbing drinks at a swanky new wine bar, tailored trousers are always a flawless option. Classic black ankle pants are incredibly versatile and timeless, but don’t be afraid to embrace bolder options, like these Instababe-approved burgundy culottes.
3. Mango Metallic Mule ($40): We love classic ballerinas — don’t get us wrong — but it’s time to graduate to a pair of steppers that live up to your haute standards (and feel a little more grown up). Start beefing up your lineup with sleek flats with a modern edge, like these swoon-inducing gilded mules.
4. & Other Stories Slip Top ($55): A classic camisole (skip the cotton styles) will prove itself time and time again — it’s the ultimate layering piece. Tucked into jeans and layered underneath a boyfriend blazer, it’s the basis for a sophisticated after-hours ensemble. Just add chandelier earrings and ankle-strap sandals.
5. Topshop Slouch Tuxedo Jacket ($125): Your office may not have a strict dress code, but a good blazer will take you well beyond the boardroom. The key is to ensure the perfect fit, so don’t be afraid to hit up your tailor.
6. H&M Wrapover Satin Skirt ($40): Pieces that can kick it both on and off-duty are major wins in our book — and this asymmetric number is no different. The length and clean-cut silhouette make it appropriate for the workplace, while the satin fabric delivers a subtle note of glamour that allows for a flawless after-hours transition.
7. Modern Weaving Abstract Stacked Loop Earrings ($135): Costume jewelry is great, but you’ll get more mileage out of well-made pieces that can stand the test of time. That doesn’t, of course, mean sticking to pearl drops and diamond studs. These abstract brass stunners are durable, versatile and It girl-approved.
8. Ann Taylor Cypress Botanical Smocked Ruffle Collar Blouse ($90): A billowy blouse is your best friend when you’re feeling bloated or just want to put on a polished front without putting in the effort (us, always). Neutrals are always great, but DO mix in a few punchy prints to keep things feeling fresh.
9. Keepsake Say You Will Dress ($195): Invest in a fierce frock that can kick it at a variety of occasions and that you’ll be pumped about wearing again and again. Boasting ethereal ruffles and a saucy cold shoulder cut, this navy number is both elegant and cutting edge.
10. Sonix Dafni 56mm Gradient Cat Eye Sunglasses ($98): There’s a reason every influencer out there owns an arsenal of sunglasses — they can instantly make even the most timeless pieces feel runway-ready. These quirky cat eye sunnies are personality-packed, yet still manage to nail it in the sophistication department. It also doesn’t hurt that they come in under $100.
11. ASOS Deconstructed Cigarette Jogger ($38): Instead of rocking sweats out in public, slip into a pair of tailored joggers that even the likes of Audrey Hepburn would swoon over. The sharp styling keeps your getup feeling elegant, even when you’re kickin’ it on the couch.
12. BCBGMAXAZRIA Faux-Leather Belt ($58): Belts do much more than keep your trousers from falling down to your ankles — they’re a fashion statement in their own right, elevating everything from swingy floral dresses to snuggly knit tunics in a cinch.
13. Reformation Chelsea Dress ($248): There’s a reason Diane Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress is still a favorite of fashionable femmes everywhere — the cut looks downright DDG on everyone. Reformation’s Chelsea dress brings the same level of wow-factor to the table, but with a slightly more affordable price tag. Here’s to your new date night, on-duty and wedding guest go-to.
14. Matsuura Co. Pearl Inset Claw ($12): We wouldn’t begrudge you a flower crown — a real one — at the festival, but kitschy headpieces and juvenile accessories have got to go. Swap ‘em out for a pearl-inlay clip with goddess vibes to keep that perfectly undone ‘do in check.
15. New Balance for J.Crew 620 Sneakers ($80): We love a good pair of statement trainers (the bolder, the better), but classic white or neutral-colored kicks (we’re partial to these dreamy gold numbers) are a versatile basic that will go with everything in your wardrobe — LBDs and slick suits included.
16. Brahmin “Suri” Zip Around Wallet ($135): Say sayonara to cheapie wallets. Since you’ve left those oops-I-forgot-all-of-my-life-essentials-at-the-bar days behind, go ahead and invest in a sleek new wallet that’ll keep your cards, receipt and other financial swag in check AND double as a classy clutch for after-work drinks or a casual coffee date.
17. Victoria’s Secret The Afterhours Satin Pajama ($72): Treat yo’self, girl! Ditch those tired sweats and college tees and slip into a pair of posh satin pajamas instead. But don’t say we didn’t warn you: These bad boys will change your whole weekend routine — the luxe, comfy feel might inspire you to lounge at home all day.
18. Babaton Johannes Sweater ($95): Turtlenecks are like the unicorns of the sartorial world — a little bit weird yet undeniably magical. They look straight-up chic tucked into tailored trousers or a printed pencil skirt, and boast serious layering potential — have you seen the way they turn up the heat on slip dresses and flirty, summer frocks?
19. Louise et Cie “Hyacinth” Ankle Strap Sandal ($129): There’s a reason strappy sandals are a staple for the red carpet set — they always look flawless. Whether you prefer them in nude, black or metallic, they’ll look just as fab with boyfriend jeans as they would with a formal gown.
20. ASOS Boyfriend Coat in Check Print ($151): There’s something ridiculously luxe about a longline coat (it doesn’t hurt that they’ve been spotted on some of the biggest fashion influencers either). As if the cool-factor weren’t enough, the elongated silhouette makes this checked number the perfect partner to midi skirts and ankle-grazing dresses. Sorry, we’re not sorry, peacoats.
21. & Other Stories Leather Lady Bag ($145): Every adult needs a trusty tote to shuffle her essential swag from point A to point B. Opt for a style sans logos that’s durable and elegantly edgy — basically, this sculptural option above.
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